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Final Fantasy X-2
Preview By: Sam Cosentino
Developer:  Squaresoft
Publisher:  Square Enix
Genre:  RPG
Est. Release:  Q4 2003
Posted:  4-30-03

Someone can't talk about video games without mentioning this hit-series.  Final Fantasy is one of the biggest franchises in the video game industry.  It's got the words 'Smash Hit' written all over it, and everyone and anyone knows that it'll sell like crack when it comes out no matter what.  Well, this one will probably be no exception.  Final Fantasy X-2 is a direct sequel to the great game, Final Fantasy X.  Final Fantasy X had a unique battle system and a different way to increase your stats than the other Final Fantasy games.  It also had a great story, with very bad voice acting.  Final Fantasy X-2 looks like it will take a new, fresh approach with the Final Fantasy series, which may or may not be a good thing.

First of all, I'll start with one of the newest additions to the series:  there are now going to be jobs.  Every job will have its own unique set of abilities.  The two types of abilities are the Auto Abilities and the Command Abilities.  The Auto Abilities automatically occur without any commands or input from the player.  The Command Abilities are accessible in the Battle Menu, and act like magic; as such they consume MP.   Also, the abilities aren't the only things the jobs influence-they also change the clothes of the characters, which means you don't have to stare at the same person with the same clothes throughout the entire game! 

An example of the Auto Ability is that the White Mage (a job class) can automatically increase their defense when their HP is low.  You'll also be given Ability Points (AP) much like you will be given Experience Points (EXP) after every battle.  Thus you can learn more techniques and abilities throughout the entire game. 

Also, in this game you will be given a choice to join one of two sides:  The Young People's Alliance, or the New Yevon Organization.  Your decision is completely dependant on you, and whatever side you choose will greatly affect the people you interact with, the story, and the game as a whole.  If you choose the Young People's Alliance, then the New Yevon Organization will be your enemy, and the other way around.  This means that there will be a lot of replay value to X-2, which has sometimes be missing from some of the Final Fantasies. 

There are also different characters in Final Fantasy X-2.  There are four new characters in this game, and they are Nooj, Paine, Gippl, and Balalai. Each character as their past and their secrets, and if we know Square they will all serve some great purpose in the game other than being just playable characters. 

And finally, what would a Final Fantasy game be without Chocobos?  I don't know, really.  I mean almost every Final Fantasy has had the cute little horse-sized chickens in the game, so why should X-2 be any different?  Well, thankfully it isn't.  We'll be seeing more of those cute little Chocobos in the next Final Fantasy, that's for sure.  You see, like many other Final Fantasies before it, you can breed your own Chocobos in your own Chocobo Farm.  Isn't that wonderful!  Maybe we'll see the notorious Golden Chocobo again!

It seems that Final Fantasy X-2 is shaping up to be a good contender for this year and will probably be one of the Smash-Hits of the year.  The extra new features are surely awesome, and it's great that they finally let the characters change their clothes.  If it continues the way it is, and stays true to the Final Fantasy series, it may very well be better than Final Fantasy X.  The game is going to be released on March 13 of this year.  Let's just hope they get better voice actors, though…

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