As Alex Wollenschlaeger mentioned in his latest installment of Japandemonium, the Famitsu review scores on Final Fantasy X-2 are in, and as tends to be the case when the publication reviews Square titles, the scores were on the high end of the spectrum. Several other publications have also sounded in on the title, which is set for release this Thursday in Japan. Thanks to the translation efforts of Jimmy D, we now have some of those comments here. There is not a single score below eight in any of the three publications whose review comments are listed below; that said, most reviewers tend to operate on a "seven is average" principle, different from the standard of five here at RPGamer.
Update: 03/11/03 It seems our source on this story posted inaccurate information initially, before changing what he had posted to what was actually written in the articles in these publications. RPGamer and this writer would like to apologize for the inaccuracies presented and appreciate the comments from those readers who took the time to let us know about it, in particular Olivier Hagu. We regret the error.
First off, the Famitsu reviews of the game break down as follows:
Hamamure Tsuushin: 9/10
No game up until this point has ever managed to create such captivating expressions for its characters. The movie scenes of course, the regular game, and even the characters' breathing comes across beautifully. To just experience this is well worth the cost of the game. The tactics in the battle scenes are just as deep. This is no mere sequel.
It's important to have a firm grasp of the first game going into this. It's not possible to pause within the battles, which can make selecting your actions rather hectic, but there seems to be both pros and cons to this situation. The dress-up scenes seem to initially have only an aesthetic affect, but this proves, upon further investigation, to have considerable effect on the gameplay itself. The movies are certainly worth a look as well.
People are just going to accept that "this is what FF has become", forget about the story and just lap up the scenery. "These translation scenes are ridiculous", is probably another thought that'll go through your head playing this. Of course, the get ups that the girls are in are going to get a lot of attention, but the base game is fascinating in itself. They've created a story that pretty much anybody can get into, which is welcome.
A stunning story. A bit pleased that the victory theme didn't make it into this game, actually. The opening will blow you away, and it's backed up by how the costume changing scenes retain the spirit of the summons from the original game. The battles are furious, and it's great how many digressions there are along the way.
Overall, these scores total 34/40, which merits Famitsu's Gold Award. It is worth noting that this does not necessarily indicate a game is stellar; for instance, Vagrant Story, a game whose reputation did not necessarily meet up with the standard suggested by the score subsequent to its release, received 40/40 from the magazine.
The next set of scores come from Zapure (The PlayStation), another Japanese publication.
The themes of saving the world and fate that have run through the series, and particuarly the dark impression given by FFX, are blown cleanly away by the opening movie. The guidance section is particularly good in the same manner, but I'll leave that to you to fully experience yourself. This lightness is combined with a system that gives a great degree of freedom to the player, in the manner of the Saga series. A lighthearted story, and unaffected and sincere gameplay are fused perfectly, creating a masterpiece. Love!
S. S. Majin #2: 9/10
Using the technology fostered in FFX as a base, the movies and in-game graphics have the same sense of stability, and the emotions of the characters raise the bar even higher.
However, there are still a few scenes which stand out as being a little on the stiff side. While the story is technically a sequel, it still has points of profoundness, and the battle system, again taking the previous game as a base, has matured into even more enjoyable game playing. It doesn't matter a whit if you don't have experience with FFX, because this game is strong enough to stand on its own. The opening, especially, is a must see!
London Kobayashi 8/10:
As the series' first true sequel, I expected the same characters and the same world to yield the same sort of game, but I was surprised to find an absolutely new experience. The same old battle system has not merely been dug up again, but the costumes and Result Plate create a system full of fine detail, which is very enjoyable to use to fight the enemies. However, given the open-ended nature of the gameplay and the amount of options open to you right from the start, it's possible that if you don't play this game intending to stop along the path to see what there is, you won't appreciate the game to its fullest.
Finally, writers at Dorimaga had this to say about the game, along with the following five ratings out of ten:
9/10, 8/10, 9/10, 10/10, 9/10
- The new system has been well integrated into the game.
- The extremely tactical battles are fascinating.
- At first, the game appears to be quite difficult, but as you grow
accustomed to the system, you're able to put the tactics that you come
up with into use more efficiently.
- The cheerful ambience of the story is a complete change from FFX.
- The tutorials are very helpful.
- Even if you haven't played FFX, there are explanations everywhere, so
you don't need to worry.
- There's no need for saving up.
- There are explanations for each character upon their introduction,
which we agree is a good idea.
- Even though there are only three players in the party, without
opportunity for changing like in FFX, the Dress-Up system creates the sensation of
playing with a much larger cast of characters.
- It's well balanced; just enough detail without being overly picky.
- We like how no infantile characters appear for the sake of trying to
suit everybody's tastes, like in many RPGs.
- There isn't any compatibility with the Broadband unit, but the loading
times can be drastically cut down by using hard drive,creating a pleasant stress-less gaming experience.
Gamers in Japan will be able to give their own opinions on FFX-2 firsthand starting Thursday, when the game will be released there. Though a North American release is expected, one has yet to be confirmed.