Review by D'Hoost
"This game fails to live up to the reputation that Square has for making excellent games"
Final Fantasy is one of the top game titles of all time. Square made the first one with the assumption that it was going to flop and that it would cause Square to go bankrupt. Instead, it was a screaming success and sparked many MANY sequels.
Final Fantasy is generally broken down into generations of players. There are three generations, each one focused on certain games.
The first generation of players are those that have played Final Fantasy since the beginning. Typically, they loved the first three for nostalgia and praise 4-6 as the best games of all time.
The second generation of players is 5 to 10 years younger, and began playing Final Fantasy with the seventh installment. These players were simply too young to play and appreciate a Role Playing Game when the first 6 were released, but with Final Fantasy 7, discovered the beauty of final fantasy. Most of this generation would swear that 7 was the best game of all time. They will play the subsequent games, but will oddly never go back to play the previous ones, and yet will assume they're not missing out on anything.
The third generation of gamers is the generation of gamers that was introduced to final fantasy with the 10th game. These players are about 5 years younger than the second generation. They love Final Fantasy X with their heart and soul, but will also play all of the games from the seventh onwards. Still, their hearts lie with 10, as it was the first Final Fantasy experience for them.
NOW, one may ask- " what the hell are you rambling about? What's your point, already? " Fear not, there is relavence.
Generation one generally despises Final Fantasy X, proclaiming it just doesn't hold a candle to anything previous.
Generation two likes Final Fantasy X, but nothing like VII.
Generation three will give themselves in sacrifice before this game.
My point is, I'm a generation one gamer, and so that everyone understands my viewpoint- if you are a generation two or three gamer, I do not suggest that you read my review and base any opinions off of it. My background conflicts with yours, and you really are unable of getting a good review from me. However, if you are of the first generation, this may be the only review out of the 101 that are posted as I write this that you'll actually get something out of.
I'll break it down in to several sections, and discuss each point. My hope is that you have all of your questions answered, but that it is conveyed in such a way that you don't feel as if this review is just too slanted to be of use. I said that all players not of the first generation won't like this, but I'm going to do my best to provide a review that is factual and without a whole lot of satire.
Final Fantasy X was released approximately a year following the launch of PS2. It wasn't a launch title, but the developers were still trying to get the hang of things. Not suprisingly, the game controls were a bit wobbly. Blitzball (explained later) suffered massive delays and twitching problems, while the simple task of walking around was often a task far more difficult than most people would anticipate. Again, I attribute it to the fact that the PS2 was still new; no other Square titles on the PS2 had such problems.
Gameplay was everything that you have come to expect from Squaresoft. You control Tidus, and as him you walk around and talk with people. As with all Squaresoft games, interaction beyond opening chests and talking to people is limited. On occasion, you can find hidden easter eggs by examing funny-looking walls, but beyond that there isn't much to look forward to. Then again, Final Fantasy never was about being able to interact; it was always about the story and the battling.
One disappointment was the linearity of it all. You walk from point A to point B, and NEVER go backwards. At the end, you get access to every location, but the storyline never requires you to return somewhere ever again. It's most disappointing and makes the game less interesting than previous ones, which allowed you to go back and forth and watch the world progress as your story unfolds.
Now, most people don't think of mini games when they think of Final Fantasy, but ever since the gold Saucer and the gold chocobo, there have been mini games in every game ( again, you don't really think about it, but it's true ). Final Fantasy X has a few mini games. Some are awesome, and some are... well, they're not quite so awesome.
There are half a dozen mini games, and each one is based around a character's ultimate weapon. By completing the mini-game, you get an item that allows you to unlock the ultimate weapons of each character.
The Chocobo Mini Game
The Chocobo mini games of old were always lots of fun. The gold chocobo in VII was tedious to breed, but the racing aspect was great. The gold chocobo in IX was nothing but fun to obtain. ( Hot and Cold will always hold a place in my heart. . . )
Final Fantasy X, however, does not hold this wonderment. The chocobo mini game in Final Fantasy X involves fighting the lousy control that I mentioned earlier to dodge birds that are designed to anticipate where you're going to move, therefore causing you to be knocked backwards. With a goal of getting across a half-mile track without being struck once while obtaining markers for score, it's an endeavor that has driven hundreds of people utterly insane. I was greatly disappointed by this chocobo mini game; it just was not as good as any of the ones before it.
One of the key aspects to the game ( and storyline ) is the game of bliztball. The game is a combination of basketball and soccer, and is played underwater. It is a difficult game to learn, but once a player has learned it, it is incredibly fun and is a definite crowd pleaser.
Players get to travel across the globe and hire freelance players to join your team. Players on other teams are contracted, and once their contract expires, they become freelance and can be recruited on to your team. The game itself involves XP and level ups, and with a hundred different abilities, from the all-powerful Jecht shot to the defensive Nap Tackle (the name says it all- you tackle a player and knock them out), it's a great game that everyone should try.
There are other mini games as well, but those are the two that come to mind- the best one and the worst one.
Final Fantasy is always wrought with characters that we love. Those of us who read 8-bit have fallen in love with the black mage and the fighter from the very original, and veterans will all agree that Edgar, Shadow and Kefka are characters that will always hold places in our hearts. Cloud and Sephiroth are often spoken about as being characters of merit ( granted, Sephiroth has nothing on Kefka, but that's OK- he still wasn't a bad villain ) There are some who like Squall and some who like Zidane. The point is, characters are a key element to Final Fantasy, and they always have been.
Final Fantasy X has several characters at your disposal, and most of them are likeable enough. We have Auron, the stoic Ronin who has some great backgrounds and a killer plot twist. There's Lulu, the woman who pretends to care about no one, until further talking with her reveals a very sad woman with a big heart- Square has always been good at slowly opening a character to reveal a complex personality; it's one of my favorite parts.
However, there are some charcters who are not quite as loved. Rikku is a jumpy and exciteable little girl who comes from a race of outcasts. Many love her, and many hate her. The bubbly personality is befitting of her, but was a bit overdone to create a cardboard character instead of one that feels realistic. Then there's the main character, who is a self-described crybaby with a hurtful past. The entire game revolves around his life with his father, and his dealing with his own pathetic self-being.
They combine to make a very motley crew that has something for everyone. Everyone can find at least one character that they like, even if it's the kid who wants to be a blitzball when he grows up.
Morbidly predictable, the story is pretty simple: Tidus is a star Blitzball player in the year X. Suddenly, a giant monster named Sin destroys his home of Zanarkand, and he is transported 1000 years into the future, where Sin is a giant monster hellbent on destroying everyone. Yuna is a summoner whose goal in life is to destroy Sin. Together they work to defeat Sin, while Tidus tries to find his way home.
Not at all what you expect from Final Fantasy. No character twists of any kind, no real personality changes. Just a bunch of characters going on a quest to kill Sin. That goal NEVER strays, not once. There is a major sidestory that consumes about 30% of the game, but it too revolves around destroying Sin.
Graphics and Music
Spectacular. The graphics were awesome; just what you'd expect from a PS2 game. The video sequences are breathtakingly good, especially the opening sequence in which Tidus plays Blitzball as Sin destroys Zanarkand.
The music was good, too- lots of song variety, with depth to it, too. You have your upbeat tunes, and you have your depressing tunes. Every song fits the mood. Nobuo Uemetsu always does a great job, and this one is no exception.
FFX is a good game, don't get me wrong. I liked it very much and spent a lot of time playing it. However, it's Final Fantasy that we're talking about here, and if Squaresoft thinks that this game is on par with its predecessors, then Square really should stop making games altogether.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 06/06/05
Got Your Own Opinion?
You can submit your own review for this game using our Review Submission Form.