Review by Alucard517
"Is it a dream or isnt it? A great game though."
A truly great game, it should be owned by every RPG gamer. When just getting this game you will realize they added a lot to this game. For instance there is talking in the videos and all throughout the whole game, unlike most of the other Final Fantasies. So instead of being tired of reading the whole time you really only have dialog to read from most of the npc's in towns, you know the characters nobody cares about. While given the fact of them being able to talk throughout the whole game, they also did a really great job with the graphics. A major upgrade from the great graphics in FFIX which is also another great Final Fantasy you should look into playing. Not too many people like this game because it gets overrated a lot but you know everybody has their own opinion so just go by what you believe.
The work that Square put in this game had to have taken a long time. I mean the graphics are just perfect. The shadows are about the only thing this game falls on but who cares about shadows. Each of the characters has a really propitious look to them. The main character Tidus, kind of looks like Meg Ryan but I am sure we can bypass that fact. Some of the more noticeable graphics are either in the videos which are outstanding or the scenery. The beginning video is one of the best; it starts out with the main character playing Blitzball which I will mention later what that is about. He is playing and the video has a really heavy song in the background. Which I find very awesome but anyways, the detail they have even in the npc's in the stadium just blew my mind away. The best thing is if you like any of the videos that they show you can buy them later in the game at a special stadium and you can watch them whenever you want. Magic spells in this game are really great too. The earlier low magic isn't the best but as you advance in the game you can find some really neat magic's that have the best graphics I've ever seen. The ultima magic is one of the best; the move just glints over the whole screen, and even does a lot of damage for a non-elemental magic attack. There are also summons in this game that are called aeons. The first one you get is called Valefor and it is a flying aeon which can dodge most of the attacks that come from feinds from the ground. The aeons just seem to get better and better as you continue on with your escapade. Each one you will run into will be like getting a present you just don't know what they have in store for you.
Game play 10
A portion of this games greatness falls under the game play. The battling is probably the most noticed difference in this game compared to most of the other Final Fantasy titles. Unlike the others with this game you can do a tremendous amount of new features just in the battle alone. In this battling system you can switch members in the middle of a battle, just by hitting a button and choosing which character you want to come in and replace your previous character. So if you are in a situation where one of your characters is dying just simply replace them with another character that has more hp to take their place in the battle and continue on. Another great feature is you can switch weapons and armor in battle, so if there is a monster you are having trouble with your weapon not doing enough damage; just simply choose a weapon you think will have a better advantage over the fiend. There are summons in this game like most of the other Final Fantasies, but in this one instead of having them come out and do a super move to help you, they come out and you can actually fight with them. Being able to do this with the aeons you can have them come out in tough situations and they will be far surpassed your characters for a short while. Some people just use them as a backup others a decoy while they are destroying a strong enemy. But other than them coming out and attacking and using magic as you can also they still have there special moves that glint the whole screen with their greatness. One of the flaws in this game is unlike some of the other titles, they have airships and you have control to move yourself around the world map, you can move yourself around in this one, but you can't actually move the airship. You simply tell Cid (hmmmmm what are the odds of cid having an airship) where you want to go on a list of areas and you are there. So you don't actually get to have the freedom to roam around on your airship and land from place to place, also knowing that it should be self explanatory but there is no world map, so with no world map to walk on you have no airship. Makes sense right. Onto the better part of the game play.
Like I mentioned before this game is very different from the previous titles. Instead of leveling up in this game you have what is called a sphere grid. And in this sphere grid there is status that you can level up. At the end of every battle you gain AP, and with that AP you can use it on the sphere grid to move around and raise your stats for your characters. Though there are some stoppers in the sphere grid, they are a certain level of key spheres. The highest is level four and they are harder to come by to unlock the blocker to your path. But the reason theses blockers are there, is that each character has a special part of the sphere grid that will fit their class. Take Auron for instance, he would be considered a warrior so you won't find much mp or mp defense spheres waiting for you. You're more likely to find HP and Strength up, things that fit a warrior more than a Black mage or a Summoner, classes of that sort. Although those classes aren't really stated, you can tell if you have played Final Fantasy before whether or not someone might fall under that class. As you can tell this game has a lot added to it that some new comers to the RPG bandwagon aren't used to yet. But overall this game is a great show of what you can do with power in RPG making. And Square really did a great job with this game, in my opinion it is one of the better titles for Final Fantasy, but that isn't why I am here, I am here to tell you about the greatness of this game. Hopefully so far you are enjoying, if so read on.
Onto Blitzball, a very fun little mini game, but I wouldn't really give it that title, since it is almost a game itself. If the actually made a game just called Blitzball I'm sure there would be a lot of buyers. This game would seem as a football version under water. It requires strategy planning on how to get goals. And unlike most sports games, you actually level up each character in your team individually. But you can sign other players, level up your team score, and raise your scout level to find out more information about players before signing them up. It is almost critical to play this sport because you can run into some really rare items that will help you early or later on in the game. Being able to level up can have its advantages or disadvantages. For instance if you have a high level team say around level 30 and you sign a new player, some of the free agents start out at level one and it can be a pain for you to level them up, because it may seem impossible to give them the ball and score or even pass it. But on the other hand if you have a really great team and you level up well, you can really take over some of the other teams. Once you get far enough and your team is set up right you can end up beating a team such as the Ronso Fangs ten to nothing, it's possible I've done it. Be sure to even out your team because if you don't have them leveled up evenly you might have trouble leveling one up later and you can lose games if you don't play right and just try to level up your characters. Your team consists of 5 out in the field and a goalie. You have a right fielder, left fielder, middle fielder, and two back defenders. If you have the right set up you can really wale on some teams. But enough of the game play lets move onto the rest of the game so I don't bore you.
At first you might wonder as you advance in the story what exactly is going on, but if you pay well enough attention everything will make sense as you move on. This game, like FF VII I believe has a really emotional touch to it. It seems each of the major npc's you run into could have a game of their own with the role they play in this game. You are a star Blitzball player of the Zanarkand Abes, and Zanarkand is your home town. While in the middle of a game a creature by the name of Sin has come to your town and puts an end to it really quick. You find yourself meeting an old friend whom I mentioned earlier, Auron, he has come to Zanarkand to take you to a world called Spira, because he promised your father Jecht. Jecht was also a star player to and was always hard on Tidus (the main character). After a couple of FMV's you find yourself in a dungeon and you don't know what is going on. As you move on you will find another major character that goes by the name of Rikku, she is a cute girl that is an Al Bhed, which is another race on Spira. The Al Bhed are hated by most of Spira because they go against the teachings of Yevon. Yevon is a controlling religion that has most of Spira believing in there stupid bullcrap.
You will move on more in the story and run into some very interesting characters, which will follow you around later to help you in your struggles. Square really put a lot of detail into this story and it can be very confusing if you don't pay attention. The plot will get really deep and you will find characters that are in every game, the ones that you love to hate. One of the major characters that falls under that category is Seymour Guado. He is a very annoying little bastard (sorry about that) who has a thing for Yuna (another character you play as) so he can help Spira to the Calm. What the Calm is, is when Sin which has been put on Spira because of some mistakes people made 1,000 years ago by using machina or machines. But the Calm is the period of time that Spira has to rest before the cycle of Sin being reborn happens again. It is said in the teachings of Yevon that everyone must atone for there sins, which meaning they have to suck up and say they are sorry for using Machines to have a really large war. And as you all know when people have power they are not afraid to use it. And I leave you with that, and we shall make haste to the Sound part of the game.
This game has an amazing soundtrack, one that is really worth all the money you pay for it. Nobuo did a really great job, words can't really express it but I will do my best to tell you about the greatness. Each song fits every area you will run into. The boss fight music can really get you involved, pushing your adrenaline through the roof (not really but I am sure you know what I mean). What's really cool I think is that each character has a very own theme song, you know you're cool if you have your own theme song. A bonus that comes with this game unlike the other titles is that the characters talk, like with actual voices. You don't have to sit there and read for endless hours, you can hear their voices and live in respite. Even though they do speak you can still have subtitles on so you can tell what they are saying just in case they talk really weird. The monsters have improved noises, they don't have really weird Nintendo noises, they actually can grunt and howl like the way you want them too.
At least this game evens out with their noises, they don't just have a really great soundtrack, or just have really cool voices. Everything fits together and you will love every second of this game. With the voices, you notice that there may be a character you might not like, well to make matters worse they give them a really annoying voice, such as Seymour his voice just plain makes me want to jump in the T.V. and strangle him. But onto other matters, most of the other characters have really sole voices, and they really portray with the characters attitude. And you know they did a good job if the can express the feelings of the character and make it seem like they are real. Most of the power behind the background is the music though, the beginning scene has the coolest music that has ever been in any of the Final Fantasies, instead of the usual orchestra and instrumental music you get, they put in a heavy metal song witch fits really well with that part of the game and it will get you moving. Knowing that someone can be so moved by your own music must make you feel really great. And yet again congrats to Nobuo for another great soundtrack he has assembled together.
Game play 10
Overall rating 10
Would you have every guessed that I was going to give this game a 10. Every thing this game has deserves a perfect score. Square did a really great job at this game and should get a medal for one of the best RPG's ever made. And with all that knowledge I filled in your head of this game you should really go out there and try it out. It is really something else, you should like it and if you don't then I don't know what to tell you, this game is really great and should be played by every RPG lover. A lot of people will give this game crap because its so different well you know what its time to move on from the old stuff and work to a new world of gaming. I leave you with that and I hope you will try this game out and like it.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 06/15/04
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