Review by runa216

"Another Worthy Entry In the Series"

Final Fantasy X

Introduction

Final Fantasy X (10) is the tenth game in a series of fantasy RPG by the developer Squaresoft (now Square-Enix) If you have never plated final fantasy, then I will tell you now, none of the games are in the same world.

Before we start, I'd like to say that when I review, an 8/10 is a perfect, but that allows for some room to show excellence for some cases. A 9 means it's above and beyond other games, and a 10 means it's revolutionary and all games from here should incorporate it. (Don't expect 10's often.)

Story - 9/10

As with most Final Fantasies, Story is the most important aspect of the game, or it's one of the main draws. (I'll keep the spoilers to a minimum)

In Final Fantasy X, you follow the story of Tidus, a star sports player who is playing a pro game of blitzball when the town that he's playing in is attacked by a very large monster. When he should die, he is sucked into the beast, and wakes up in the middle of a ruin, not knowing what he's doing or where he is. At first, he's picked up by some shady characters, and he learns the world he is in is not like it used to be. After another attack, he wakes up on a sunny beach, where he meets a bunch of guy who are playing blitzball.

Happy to meet some of his own kind, he happily goes with them. While he is in their care, he meets some of the main characters. The first half of the story revolves around him trying to figure out where he is and how to get home, but throughout the course of the game, he learns a lot about his past, about the world he lives in, and about his family. All of it is intertwined so well, it's almost like prophecy, and some of the plot twists are very, VERY good.

You can tell this is a Final Fantasy game, the story is very well thought out, and there's so much to learn. The back-story is as well developed and is almost as good as the main story. I give this an outstanding 9/10 because it was one of two games to ever make me shed a tear (I won't tell you when.) That and the concept of religion in this game represents what I see as modern religion, and how to deal with it. I was very impressed, and it was all given to us in such a pretty package, it made me believe I was there, and that's what mattered.

Characters - 7/10

As we all know, the characters in a game are almost as important as the story. You cannot be involved in a story if you don't care about the characters, and you cannot be motivated unless it's a bad guy that you really love to hate. In Final Fantasy 10, I was inclined to give them a 6/10. (Remember my review scale, that's like an 8) because they were good, but not great. Lemme give you a lowdown of the main characters.

There are seven members in the party, Tidus, Yuna, Wakka, Auron, Rikku, Kimahri, and Lulu. Of all these characters, only two were underdeveloped. Lulu and Kimahri, the story could have done without them. All the other characters, however, were integral to the plot, all intertwined and with interesting back-story. (Auron's my favorite) they all have a story to tell, I like that.

The villain, well, I can't really tell you who the villain is, you have to find that on your own (not to mention the interesting relationships the villains have with each other and the main characters.) I'd love to indulge more, but that would ruin the story, trust me, the villains are questionable, and unfortunately lack the evil that Kefka did, and that was one of the main reasons I was unimpressed.

Mind you, even though the low playable character cast and the questionable villain aren't exactly my cup of tea, I upped their score for the single reason that they were so well developed, it would be unfair to complain about their slight imperfections. Not all villains are Kefkas or Sephiroths. Personally, I think the villains in this game are much more in-depth then the crazy ones. So I gave em a brownie point for being so in depth.

Graphics - 9/10

Another phenomenal game by Square. One thing's for sure, whether you like the gameplay or story, you can't help but gasp in awe over the graphics in this game. The world is for the first time completely Rendered in 3D instead of 2D pictures that you can move around in. This leads to a fantastic, lush, beautiful world.

Even the characters are well done, they are all smooth, the art style is fantastic, and there is a wide variety of model designs. They are all colorful and very crisp. I could go on forever spewing positive adjectives, but I'm going to stop now, and just let you know, even compared to the most recent games, it holds it's own. Sure, it's no Metal Gear Solid 3 or Half-Life 2, but it's still very well done. One of the best looking games to date, not to mention the FMV's, which I think to this day are still unrivaled.

Sound - 8/10

I wasn't sure if I should make the voices and score in the same category, but I did. I say this because I'd give the voice acting (American version) a 7/10. It was good, not great, but compared to other games, it's still quite good.

The score, on the other hand, is a piece fo work to behold. Nobuo Uematsu has done an amazing job. Every tune is deep, every melody is catchy, and they all convey the proper emotion for the moment. (The Gagazet mountain theme and Zanarkand theme really stick out to me.)

Overall, the whole score was well done, too bad he no longer works for Square.

Length/Replay - 8/10

Once again two categories that should perhaps be separated, but I still stick to my decision. First of all, the story itself is moderate. Kind of short for a Final Fantasy game, but I think that's just because of the lack of a world map, and therefore it seems like there is a short story. In reality, to push through the game, it took about as long to finish FFX as it did FFVII. I think it's psychosomatic. As for replay, despite the lack of world map (and apparent lack of Exploration) there is a lot to do here. Blitzball, the game that replaces the mini game of cards in 8 and 9, is a game in itself. I sat for 12 hours just playing blitzball once. No to mention the art of monster catching, and the secret summons. There are some hidden bosses that are incredibly hard, and that can take many hours of play.

With all these extra games and goals, it would be foolish to say the game lacks replay value. Sure. The story can really only be ‘experienced' once (which is why I suggest not trying to find out what happens before it happens, that would be a shame.) , but there is so much to do, that you can always strive to be better. The sphere grid is also an enigma.

Gameplay - 8/10

Well, this is the meat and potatoes of most games. Final fantasy games, on the other hand, are equal parts story and gameplay. In this case, I think the gameplay does a good job at keeping the elements of a Final Fantasy game while still making it new and fresh. In this game, instead of Active Time battling, it's Controlled Time Battle. Instead of waiting for a time bar to fill up, it's a series of turns. There is a chart in the top right corner that tells you the order of the turns of the party members and the enemies, so you can make strategies. Some moves also affect the speed of you and the enemies, which adds an interesting effect.

Quick hit is my favorite, it is like a regular attack, but you get your turn faster.
Delay attack makes the enemy have to wait to get a turn.

This is interesting, it's like slow and haste, but far more effective, which brings me to another good point. Almost every spell effect, like poison or slow, works in this game. No more wasting 10 turns to put freeze or stop on a boss. If you do it, it will work unless the enemy has a resistance to it. I think this is nice, it's faster, and it's more effective. Not to mention some characters get moves that attack and add status ailments.

The summons are also a huge step up in the game. I LOVE the summon system. Unlike in previous final fantasies, the summons don't come in, do their attack, and leave. This time, they are summoned, and they become an entity with a move list and you get to control them. Ramuh has been given the boot again, but I don't mind. The Electric horse/unicorn Ixion is a nice addition tot he summon team. I also like how the summon's stats are almost completely dependant on the strength of the summoner.

Overall, I think they went in the right direction with this form of gameplay, and I can't wait for more innovation from the team at Square.

Conclusion - 8/10

I think this is a wonderful game and it should be in the collection of any RPGer in modern times. It's got a great story, wonderful graphics, and the gameplay is fresh (as compared to the previous three). I can understand some of the cons that some people would argue, but I say play it for yourself. A good bet and 20 bucks.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/02/05


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