There's a Final Fantasy X-2 Playable Demo in the new edition of Offical Playstation Magazine. I've played through both demo levels and watched the English version of the Eternal Calm video and I thought I'd offer my thoughts.
I was wondering when I'd get to see this, and kind of hoping that Square would release it as a part of a package deal with something OTHER than Ultimate Saga. But, whatever.
The vid starts with Yuna trying to best 2 minutes of holding her breath under water (she makes 2:41), when she's met by Wakka. Apparently, Wakka hasn't been doing much other than making a kid with Lulu, because Yuna chides him for getting fat. Wakka leaves Yuna to her thoughts, and she ponders the meaning of the "eternal calm" that defeating Sin and Yu Yevon brought to Spira.
She goes back up to the temple where an old man makes it quite clear that things aren't as peaceful as one might have hoped. Now that the whole Sin thing is out of the way, political parties are springing up all over the place including his (New Yevon, perhaps an offshoot of the old church?) and his grandson's Youth League (what's left of the old Crusaders. Not mentioned in the prequel vid, but in the magazine is the "Machina Guild" party). The old guy worries that he and his grandson are going to lose touch based on their varient party affiliations, but Yuna's mental narration basically talks over him explaining the basic changes happening in Spira since FFX. Yuna tells him that family should be able to ignore differing political views, which kind of seems like blowing him off and leaves.
Wakka follows after her as she wanders around lost in thought, and says that some of the villagers want her to get married off already. Yuna, however, has none of that, and basically says that everyone just wants her to pick a side in the political game so that they can exploit her celebrity. Wakka is about to go back and tell the villagers off when they are interrupted by a boy that says that Nooj, the leader of the Youth League wants to meet with Yuna about joining. Yuna tells him for the last time that she's not fricking joining a political party, and the boy wonders if that's because she's starting her own. Yuna thinks on that for a sec, and continues her mental journey. This is broken up by Rikku, who pops in with her boat to give Yuna a gift and ask her to join her sphere collection team.
Yuna balks at leaving the village with so many people coming to her for advice, so Rikku pulls out a sphere for her to see. The sphere shows what is apparently Tidus in a cage screaming at someone off camera about using (his/her/its) weapons to protect the summoner, and asking (him/her/it) what they would have done in his position. Everybody freaks out about this, but Wakka is skeptical, and wants to look into it first. Rikku, however, is raring to go. Yuna, meanwhile, has wondered off again, and is trying to sort out exactly how she's feeling about this "calm" stuff, and whether or not she can afford to go. Finally, she reminds herself that this is HER story. Everybody else can wait. So, she tells Rikku to saddle up and Rikku offers to get Yuna some more appropriate traveling clothes. Meanwhile, the kid from earlier offers the Youth League's support in tracking things down. Wakka, meanwhile, runs off to find Lulu (I'm guessing to talk Yuna and Rikku down, since Lulu's in no condition to travel).
Yuna doesn't want to wait for them though, so she urges Rikku to take off now, and so they do. Really a pretty cool little segue.
Here's the meat of it. If anybody who hasn't played the demos has any questions, I'll answer them.
Active Time Battle
I don't like it, but everyone else seems to, so whatever. For what it's worth, I didn't have much problem pulling off moves once I got the controls down, but I prefer not having to strategize on the go so much. Also, I'm hoping the dress sphere gets easier to scroll as I learn the game.
The animations are really neat, and each character type controls a bit different. There's some neat combos in there for each type too. One thing that was rather unexpected was that you can't just rotate into whatever dress you'd like They have to be connected. The mages, for example (black, white and songstress were all that were available to me in this type) are all connected, and to move up and down or side to side on the grid, you have to switch to the next dress ind the direction you wish to go, and so on and so on until you get to your target. By the way, the mages don't seem to have physical attacks, so you've got to watch your MP. Each girl has a "base" dress to start with (Yuna: Gunner, Rikku: Theif, Payne: Swords). It's not so bad, but it takes some time to get to know, I think.
Don't expect the old standard FFX controls because they've changed quite a bit. It took me some time to get them all down. The most ballyhooed change is of course the "jump/climb" button (which the developers suggest you get to know by just "holding it in" as you run around and wait for Yuna to do something. The danger, of course, is that you'll miss a point where you could have dropped off to get an item (I saw one of these in the demos). Overall, it's pretty "eh". Better than nothing, I guess, and thank God there doesn't seem to be true platformer elements, but I'd say either do something with it, or don't include it, you know?
Yuna's a lot more peppy (which is good), Rikku is still Rikku, heh, and Paine...well...she's quiet. Her lines are pretty solid. She's kind of the Auron of the game, but you'll either love her or hate her. The villains in so much as they are villains, seem to be over the top and a bit campy. I have a feeling there's something a bit more sinester there.
Well, like I said, I have the demo and the magazine, so I could field any big questions or whatever, shoot, otherwise here's just a thread to talk about the game. So far it feels outstanding and OPM gave it 5/5 so it must be pretty good, so...look forward to that anyway.
(edited by Excalibur05 on 6.11.03 0234) Wisconsin Badgers: 6-3 (A Bye Week means you can't lose.)
Minnesota Vikings: 6-2 (Unless your other team is playing piss poor this week.)
Playstation Blog announced, once the PSN store gets running (still uncertain), they'll be doing multiple updates per week until they catch up. This means more posts in these threads to scan quickly past, sorry. US - L.A. Noire Europe - L.A.