Review by mar_50
"One of Square's Finest"
Ah, the famous Final Fantasy X, a game that I purchase back when it first came out, a used copy if you will, which I don't understand how there could have been a single used copy of this game in stores, as it has provided me with 150+ hours of game play to get 100 percent completion. As you all know, or most of you this game has been critically acclaimed, as it should be as it has provided hours upon hours of fun, with some of the most captivating game play achieved by any Role-Playing Game I have ever played, and all it cost me was twenty bucks, which I consider to be one of the best investments I have ever invested in. Not only did I spend one hundred-fifty plus hours, I watched magic unfold upon my television set as I sat there bewildered that anybody could create such a masterpiece, as I immediately fell in love with this game, and still am to this day, five years later, writing this review, which I hope will instill the same love for the game that I have for it now. First and foremost though, there are several things I have chosen to rate this game by, as they seem to be the most important aspect of any game review.
The story is very captivating with dynamic characters and is full of plot twists, as many of you know. I'm not going to discuss any of it other than you control a man by the name of Tidus who ends up in the future saving the world. And the story continues obviously from there. However, the story was relatively short only requiring twenty plus hours to complete. The characters really show true emotion and you can relate to them somehow, and you really feel like you are there with Yuna on her quest to defeat Sin. It truly is amazing for a game to make you feel like you are one of the characters, which this game did so well with. Also you love to hate their enemy you are trying to stop in this game; he seems so innocent and normal until about half-way through the game you realize, "Man this guy is a (fill in dirty language here)." This game kept me guessing to the end, like any good game should, and the final battle is one of the best in the series, albeit a little easy, but still one of the best, although nothing can compare to fighting Zeromus in Final Fantasy 2. Anyways, you can see how the story is really captivating and will entertain you while it lasts before you attempt anything outside the main story, where some of the best parts of the game truly lie hidden, for only intrepid gamers can unlock their hidden secrets.
Game play 9/10
The game-play in this game is flawless, battle mechanics flow smoothly, character building is really unique and getting max attributes on your characters alone will take 100+ hours. There are like a million side quests to embark on as well as a sport, Blitz ball in which you control a team a five people and thrash on another team in a league or in a tournament to win wonderful prizes. There is also a unique language that can be learned by collecting primers to learn a letter of the language. All in all the game play is fantastic. Although the sphere grid should be customizable before you unlock about 75 percent of the monster arena, it still is the only unique leveling, if I can call it that, system in the j-RPG realm. The blitz ball can be a little repetitive at times, but when you get really good at it, several really important things can be unlocked, essential to obtaining 100 percent game completion. Also thee fact you can customize your weapons and armor add an interesting aspect to the game, meaning, you can even stop random encounters to automatically casting a spell on you that cannot be dispelled by the enemies. There are also item combos you can use with one character's overdrives (special move) that add a totally new perspective on item usage in battle.
The game play graphics are nice, especially the animations and the spells look amazing. The graphics are tremendous in certain cut scenes, which just amazed me, as I normally play computer games, and the cut scene graphics look superb compared to real computer generated graphics. There are only a few flaws with the graphics is that they sometimes look misshapen or pixelated, but other than that they are appealing. The character animations are relatively smooth in and out of battle, and the Non Player Characters move around the world in realistic matter, for instance on the airship a blitz ball team can be seen practicing and training for blitz ball, and you can see people riding giant yellow birds, and no, they aren't related to Big Bird. Not to mention that there is a plethora of enemy skins that all look beautiful, but don't let them distract you from killing them, or else you might die. The special affects also look very nice, like the souls leaving a slain enemy's corpse are a nice touch.
The sound in this game is captivating, setting the mood in battle, or in certain areas really get you pumped up for what's ahead. Although some of it is used from previous games in the series the sound still can generate a captivating feeling. Also sometimes the character voices can get annoying, but they do have voices now, so who is complaining. Now and then thought the sound will skip, but this is on very rare occasions and was probably due to the extensive amount of time I had played that day. I also liked how each individual area has its own unique music, unlike previous versions of the series, and that each one is very unlike the others, so I have to give mad props to the music people who work at Square for their dedication of actually putting decent music into a game, unlike the people at "Company X" who decide to put very generic and dull audio affects into their games. The battle sounds are also crisp and project the image of battle, with realistic gunshots and sword hitting flesh or armor. The sounds on spells are also a nice touch, completing the appeal of the overall theatrical image projected by the game.
Although the story is relatively easy to beat, there are many challenges you can do while replaying the game, like the NSG (No Sphere Grid) challenge. Besides these the monster arena can consume hours upon hours trying to capture ten of every monster in the game, or you can chose to get all the secret summons, the list just goes on and on and on. For instance you might find yourself in the Thunder Plain trying to, and failing many times, to dodge two freaking hundred lighting bolts in a row to obtain an item that powers up a weapon, although this is just one of three stupid side quests in the game, the two being butterfly catching in region one a forest and butterfly catching in region two of a forest, all three of which caused me to get some popped blood vessels and several, and I mean several mental breakdowns at the difficulty of these three tasks. And if you really want a challenge you can try a NSG using only the main character challenge, and see how far you can make it. Or see if you can beat the game without dying during a NSG game, the possibilities are limited only to your imagination. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that if you do try to complete a NSG challenge expect to fight the last boss for like 2 hours, just giving a heads up to the more intrepid player.
I give this game 9 out of 10 because the 150 hours I spent on the game was about the most fun filled entertaining experience that I have had with a game, period. The only thing holding this game back from being a ten is the length of the story, but other than that, this game is definitely worth the 9.99 price-tag, and in my opinion this game id the best j-RPGs out for the PS2, not only for its unique story, but its one of a kind leveling system that is even better than Diablo 2's in terms of total customization of the party. If that is not enough this game has unparalleled sound and graphics, and has and, maintains a very good frame rate, and I believe that supports Hi-Def TVs. If you don't already own this game in my suggestion to you, is to get of your computer, go down to your nearest video game vendor, plop down twenty bucks or trade in a few crappy from game "Company X" and obtain this game, and enjoy it for the next week to the next four to five years, as that is how long I believe it took me to achieve one hundred percent game completion. If you do own this game you already know how great it is, and my advice to you is, play this game for about two weeks, and you will fall in love all over, if you haven't already. And when you do sit down to play the game, think, this game is a piece of art, and I shall become a part of this masterpiece, by giving it my time, which I believe cannot be spent on any other game, than the best j-RPG for the PlayStation 2.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 02/15/08, Updated 07/15/09
Game Release: Final Fantasy X (US, 12/17/01)
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