Review by Quetzacotl21
"A great way to end FF series (In my mind)"
Every game has its flaws and none are perfect. This comes pretty close, however I will admit that like other FF's it has a lot of cliche characters, an overused relation between the two main characters which of course is none other than - love. No major twists in this or a lot of other RPG's. It's a very basic game story wise. "The world is in trouble, and only a few can save it" Now, however basic this story may be concept-wise, it is a well constructed plot. Despite minor flaws, this is an excellent game.
A lot of people see this as an underrated game but really I believe that most reviewers have a valid point in their complaints, even if they are sometimes exaggerated.
This game was one that could fully grab your attention in terms of graphics, the facial detail and movement in timing with the audio was an outstanding first for Square. The detail even in battle, such as dodging, attacking and reaction to being attacked was incredible.
The animations for spells and summons where on one hand incredibly detailed, but on the other hand very long and annoying after the first few times used.
The "world map" graphics were somewhat lacking but were at a decent and acceptable level. The undisputed best part of the graphics in this game, with their realistic physics and the detail on even the slightest strap or accessory on a character are the cut scenes.
The lighting and moving environment was astounding in this game, with proper shading and lighting effects that suited the location in both the story and world, lovely shimmering effects on the environment even if it was something as small as a mushroom in the forest decayed on the forest floor. The moving characters that would carry out a set path put on quite a show for a passing player.
As far as characters go though, outside of cut scenes, their faces and clothing is lacking, however not enough to take away from the game. Just things like how their hair seems as though it was sprayed with two thousand gallons of hairspray and they have clothing which seems to match the pattern.
Overall, a very good game graphic-wise. Some minor flaws, but still great.
This game was a huge breakthrough in many ways for Square in many ways, one being the sound.
This game was a huge hit mainly due to the voice acting. The voice actors in this game I'll admit were less than stellar to say the least, with broken English and scripts which I cannot blame them for. The idea of voice acting finally came to Square it seems after 3 games at least where this was possible and would have been excellent (FF7, FF8, FF9). Regardless of all complaints of failure to have voice acting prior to this, it was a good idea that was hugely successful.
The music was not improved from the previous games and I believe that it even got worse from the last game in the series, FF IX. FF IX had at least a couple memorable tracks such as "You're not alone" and "The Madain Sari Song". This song has no truly memorable tracks but still is an enjoyable listening experience during the majority of game play (With the exception of blitz ball).
Overall the sound in this game was excellent on the standards of Square
The plot in this game was, like a lot of RPG's and final fantasy is especially infamous for this, cliche. The plot is the same old, "The world is in trouble and only a select few can save it." And this "only a few people" they are talking about that could easily be totalled by monsters (in cut scenes) that they get saved from by people who you could easily take down (Seymour, no?).
There were neither major surprises nor twists, with the biggest twist being the true identity of sin and the whereabouts of Tidus' father. The game used a painful attempt at the strategy of later explaining events after they occur, it was done far too soon after the event, had no suspense and lacked room for imagination (funny with a name like final fantasy).
On the other hand of the whole "No room for imagination" bit, they did thoroughly explain...EVERYTHING. Only a few things would require full explanations, but it was nice that some things were properly explained.
Overall this plot was severely lacking and cliche
The game play was pretty awesome, with the exception of some side quests. The manuvering was standard for Square with the basic movement and command selection. The shining star of the game play was the battle system that had a new line up sequence and not the standard, painful ATB meter. Also the new overdrive bar excelled in performance with many ways to charge it such as damaging an enemy, taking damage or even just a touch of charge every turn.
In this game you have things that are awesome like the battle system, and then you get things like mini games / side quests. Not to say all of them are bad though. Take blitz ball for an example, it's a fairly amusing mini game that can get pretty intense in terms of moves and strategies. On the other side of that coin, the sequence of moves that you have to learn to get something like Jecht shot 2, are simply ridiculous. Another good side quest is the monster arena, where you go around catching monsters from all over the world, this unlocks new creations by the "beast master" which is pretty enjoyable not to mention you can fight the monsters you catch any time you want for a small fee.
Now for the bad in these sub divisions of the game. Five words: Chocobo Racing and Lightning Dodging. These are the two undebatable...monstrosities we'll call them, ever to be in any FF game. The chocobo racing is an awful broken up system with 0 appeal to participate other than getting Tidus' ultimate weapon, which I strived for 22 hours to get. It is the bane of my existence. The lightning dodging challenge is just as annoying. The impossibility of this task is to dodge 100 lightning bolts IN A ROW with NO BREAK. This is a close second to the chocobo races.
all and all this game is a pretty good way to end a great series (at least in my eyes). The final fantasies afterwards just seem inferior. An awesome improvement in graphics and audio effects, and enjoyable game play make this a great game despite the less than stellar plot
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/11/09
Game Release: Final Fantasy X (US, 12/17/01)
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