Review by KeyBlade999
"The absolute best game of all time"
We, by now, have all seen a Final Fantasy. 99% of us have played one. Many of us have enjoyed them, few have not. Started with Final Fantasy years back, the RPG has become massively popular. And it has only gotten better since. A major peak, Final Fantasy VII, for the PlayStation, was, and still remains, as one of the Top 100 games of all time. Then along came this, Final Fantasy X. The game was the first Final Fantasy on the PlayStation 2, and also gave new features and better graphics. Being the first Final Fantasy where characters spoke alone made it a hit. Then, people played.... and played. The game was recommended to friends and still is. In my opinion, this was the PlayStation 2 Final Fantasy peak. This truly is one of the best games of all time. It then continued on and on until, recently, Final Fantasy XIII was released.
Final Fantasy X features the old battle system. It remains turn-based, with no option to change it. It is like playing Yu-Gi-Oh! or other card games. However, if you look closer, the graphics have changed dramatically. You see that the graphics have been revamped, the 3-D graphics bettered. And now, you attack. You would then be surprised - did he just talk?!? Yes, he did. With Final Fantasy X getting the ability to allow characters to talk, they also talk in battle. They speak when summoning, when striking, when stealing, when healing, at any given time, they can speak. Final Fantasy X has generated, too, weaponry and armor art. Now, a weapon and armor has look. Weapons previously have, but armor was a no-go then; now, Square Enix got the green light.
You know how an RPG works. You save the world, and to help yourself, you level up. In all previous Final Fantasies, the stats were gotten upon leveling up. This allowed a rigid, but exploitable (in some games), way to gain stats. This method of play wouldn't give out as much fun. Paladins in Final Fantasy II (I think) couldn't cast Firaga, due to this level up system. Final Fantasy VII allowed more flexibility. But Final Fantasy X puts in the most flexible possible level up system - a Sphere Grid. Through leveling, you can move where you wish so you can learn everyone else's abilities and gain their stats. There are no jobs, just base stats and a Grid. This allows for major flexibility. Maybe you want an all-mage party? You got it! All thieves? Ditto. Eventually, you can even learn how to use this to your advantage.
In general, Final Fantasy X is very flexible, with you being the creator, in a way, of what you become. You could never level up, or go ahead and max all stats and learn everything and become the master, and everything in-between. The bosses are also cool, as are the enemies, because they aren't hard, but not easy, either. You have a challenge at several points, but, hey, you need a challenge eventually. Without one, where's the fun, right? Final Fantasy X has included the best possible element that I wish was in every RPG. Alas, this is the only one, making this an extremely awesome game.
This game, like just about every Final Fantasy thus far, has no preceding storyline. However, Final Fantasy X the first with a sequel. Yes, the story starts with you going, unwillingly, on a quest to save a foreign world. That this game's story in a sentence, anyways. The sequel, Final Fantasy X-2, is also decent, so go ahead and play it. The story requires no other games to understand. Final Fantasy X-2 would need this, though, so play it thoroughly. There are some not-too-subtle parts involving the next game, but I won't tell. Ever.
Awesome graphics! This game has improved on the graphics from Final Fantasy IX. They were somewhat decent then, but this blows most current games out of the water - and then kills them. The 3-D graphics are unbelievable. I have played a lot of PlayStation 2 games in my day, and they shrivel in comparison to this. Square Enix has paid attention to detail, even the shadows, which you never care about. The fiends are nothing like what I saw in the previous three games. Most enemies just would have a gaping black mouth back in the day, but you can see the deadly sharp points on a dinosaur or just how fast a bullet is. And don't think for a second this applies only to enemies! The weapons all have different looks. You can tell just how sharp a blade is, or even if it is fire-elemental, or any elemental, by the graphics around it. The armor also has varying looks, too. A ring can be obviously transparent when it should be and a shield can be nice and round, just like they all can [somewhat] be.
The sounds are also great. Now, for the absolute first time of Square Enix's (or even Squaresoft's) history, characters talk. You can obviously tell if someone is sad, or happy, instead of having to guess at it. Battle music also has a nice ring to it. Somewhat similar to previous Final Fantasies, but now, being on the PlayStation 2, it was revamped, and nicely, I say. Even in battle, you can hear a blade slicing a wolf in half, or hear a plant burning in white-hot flames. I have played many PlayStation 2 games, and in sound, this is one the best I have ever played. And a new feature - music spheres. At one point, you gain the ability to listen to music spheres, items that play music from in the game. There are many more tracks than you'd think, more than seventy!
This game takes a rather long time to beat, storyline wise. About 30 hours to 60 hours, depending on how good you are. However, you have then likely missed many possible sidequests. Namely, the ultimate weapons and extra dungeon side-quests. Sure, Square Enix made some rather hidden things, some TOO hidden. I have finished just about every sidequest, and have played approximately 125 hours, maybe more. That is just a rough estimate, and I rushed. It will take longer, but that time is very enjoyable. The flexibility adds another time-warping element, also fun increasing. You may play 20 hours, you might play 200 hours; my point is it is extremely fun. It also fun to replay. Play it once, do all the sidequests, and then play again with the sidequests before finishing off the final boss. It will be even more fun, trust me.
Man, I hope you get it as a gift. This is an amazing gift. Except for a console, you can't get much better than this video game. However, you probably won't. You could find it at local retailers for $15 to $30. It would be worth every penny, so flat-out buy it. Yes, it will be rather expensive for a game released last decade, but don't worry. Renting it would be that much costier. Yes buy it, then the sequel. You will have the best time of your whole life playing this game - I know, I did. Buy it, buy it now!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 02/22/10
Game Release: Final Fantasy X (US, 12/17/01)
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