Review by god56
"Final Fantasy on Playstation 2!"
Squaresoft is back with his Final Fantasy series, but on Playstation 2 this time! Even if Final Fantasy 10 is their first RPG on this 128 bit console, this game is amazingly well developed in terms of graphics. There is a VERY big difference between Final Fantasy 9 and this one. But good graphics does not always make good games. Final Fantasy 10 is a good example. Many people will be disappointed like many were at Final Fantasy 8. I'm not saying that this game is bad! This is BY FAR one of the best games I've played in my life. Yes there are bad points, but every games does have bad points, no? I must really admit that I loved this game, but I still think that this FF is not for everyone. Let's go to the details.
Graphics 10/10: One word: WOW! This is really one of the strongest points of the game. Eh! What did you expect from Squaresoft? Every detail is done perfectly. I've played many games on Playstation 2, but Final Fantasy X beats them all. The backgrounds are so beautiful I couldn't realise it was a game. They're also varied a lot. You'll pass from jungle like to desert! Main characters are very well developed and the facial expressions are pretty good. What I found interesting here is how the realism and the unrealism are mixed. The characters are realist, but magic and monsters are not. This really brought me into the game. The animations in battles are awesome. OK, there's nothing new (almost all the animations are taken from Final Fantasy 8, just add 128 bit and that's what you'll obtain, except for the overdrives) but even so, there fun to see! Anima's overdrive will leave you out of breath! The FMVs may be as realistic as ever, but they're not as good as those in Final Fantasy IX. Even so, they're quite good.
Sound/Music 9/10: This time, our dear Uematsu didn't want to do the work alone and has joined with two other compositors. The result is very interesting. When some tracks are ambient like others are active. What I mean is that some are really smooth. The perfect example is the battle song. Compare to other FFs where the battle songs are rhythmic, this one's mostly relax. Most of the other tracks are real masterpiece. Each one was pleasure to my ears. That's not all. There something in this game (in terms of music of course) that you'll probably never find in any other RPGs : heavy metal song. At the beginning of the game, when I heard for the first time the song called otherworld, I thought that it would be a science-fiction game, like Final Fantasy VII. This is not the only song that fits with its environment, EVERY song fits perfectly. Overall, I can say that our veteran has done a very good job on the music.
Gameplay 7/10: Here's where the game lacks a little bit. First, let's talk about the most important thing, the battles. No more ATB (Active Time Battle). Instead, a new system called CTB (Conditional Time Battle) is introduced. The overdrives (mostly like the limit break system in FFVII) and overkill are also a petty enjoyable adding to the battles. And to make the battle even more entertaining, you'll be able to see characters' turns. Personally, I think that this CTB system is one of the best ideas that Square never had. This brings a totally new genre to the battles: the strategy. Before, they were a bit frustrating because you couldn't really choose when your character would attack and you couldn't really fix a good strategy either. Now this is different. You'll be able to switch your characters at any moment, which will give you the opportunity to use the kind of ability needed in order to beat the monster. The only thing about this is that it makes the game WAY TO EASY. There is no tough boss in this game (except for Seymour flux to Yunalesca), but they're long and you will really use your brain for some of them. Another innovation is the level up system. Very good idea. The sphere grid leaves you the entire control of your character. Bad choices will make them growing very bad. If you can finish it with all of them you'll be invincible (another thing here that makes the game easy: you'll be able to deal easily 99,999 of damage when the final boss has that amount of hp ). The camera is good, but we cannot move it freely:( Small point, but important. Now let's talk about the linearity. We are never able to go wherever we want. Going back until a certain point of the game (at the end of the game) is impossible and that IS frustrating. No more airship that we can move by ourselves, no more world map Yes maybe it would have somehow kill the game a little because of the graphics, but couldn't they find something else that the airship codes or put it at the middle of the game and not at the end? Now the worst part of the game, the sidequests. They're so frustrating! Listen, I'm not the kind of guy that will loose 1 hour dodging 200 lightings for a part of my final weapon. ALL the sidequest are pure and concentrate frustration and I'm not joking. The ONLY fun sidequest is the monster arena. Sidequests should be fun. Unfortunatly, this Final Fantasy does not contain any good ones like its predecessors. Again, only at the end of the game you'll be able to have secret aeons. The fact is that those aeons are extremely powerful, which means that you'll have NO PROBLEM to beat the game, even the toughest boss you'll encounter will be a piece of cake if you're using them. Another problem with the sidequest is that they're the key to the final weapons. And like I said before, the sidequest are very frustrating. Therefore, you'll have to endure HOURS AND HOURS of torture to finally obtain them. Example: if you want Wakka's final weapon, well it'll take a week or so the finally obtain A PIECE of his final weapon
Story 8/10 : What has made Squaresoft games so good till now is obviously the story. In this Final Fantasy, they really surpassed themselves doing the best story they never made in 20 years. I tell you, this is absolutely brilliant. They started from a pretty banal concept and to a very developed one. You're starting at the world's wonderful machinamachinemetropolis, Zanarkand. As the cheerful player Tidus is trying to win the blizball cup, a malefic entity call Sin destroyed the entire city and goes with it all the technology that has created this place. Tidus is then thrust from his Zanarkand to Spira. There, people live for 2 purposes, pray and help the summoners, which are the only ones who can destroy Sin. The story evolves as Tidus help the summoner Yuna and her guardians to complete her Pilgrimage. From this point, many plot twist occur and that is what makes the story soooo interesting. The only problem is that this well thought story takes too much place in the game. You'll find yourself playing 15 minutes for 1 hour of FFX. There are so many dialogues! And by majority, they're placed before and after the battles. This means, if you are killed (and that'll happen a lot when you'll encounter Seymour Flux late in the game) you'll have to listen to the dialogues over and over again and there is NO WAY to skip them. I tell you, this game is a MOVIE. That's why the game last 40 hours. Great! But you'll play only 20 hours on that, if it's not less than that
Replay Value 7/10 : If you really want to pass the game again, well you'll have to listen AGAIN to all the dialogues because you won't be able to skip them, there is no replay mode and you'll be able to listen to all the music and listen to all the movies in the game in a mini-theatre at the end of your first game. However, the game is still fun and if you have 40 hours to waste, well this is a good way to do so!
Rent or buy: Eh! We're talking about a Final Fantasy! There is no way you will rent it without buying it after. So do not waste 5 $ for nothing and buy it! This is really a must have for all the Final Fantasy lovers.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/08/04
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