Review by Proudnerd

"Knocks over previous final fantasies and kicks them around!"

Its just about impossible to make a better RPG than FFX. It shines so brightly in every aspect. I had been waiting for this game for ages after the slightly disappointing FFIX. It didn't disappoint.

FFX centers on the story of Tidus a young energetic blitzball star, and Yuna a summoner. Summoners are humans who can call forth ultra powerful entities called Aeons to fight. I can't really talk about them anymore without screwing up some of the plot. The plot twists and turns magically with countless cut scenes and FMV. It's the best plot in a FF since FF7.

The graphics are nothing short of amazing. Characters look amazing, with great lip syncing, realistic hair and clothing movements and realistic facial expressions. Battles look stunning with silky animations and framerates. Magic looks better than ever especially summons with small details such as heat haze for Ifrit and a sonic boom for Valefor. Environments look amazing with hundreds of small details great water, and loads of other stuff. You just have to see it.

Sound is fantastic, with amazing voice acting and there is a stack of it. There are loads of cut scenes and even during battle there is speech when using spells or basically anything else. All other sound effects such as the roar of monsters and the sounds of magic are all high grade. The music, as usual for a FF is nothing short of magical. There are just so many songs and they are all so awesome. They all suit their character or situation perfectly and you will keep humming them when you're not playing.

Gameplay is much more than your standard RPG. The main difference from previous rpgs is the XP and strengthening system. Instead of just gaining levels and XP by fighting battles you gain SP or sphere levels. You then use these levels to move around a board game like sphere grid. Each space (called Nodes) has a property such as adding two to a character's strength, or teaching the character Fira. The gird is HUGE and has a lot of nodes with enough nodes to raise your stases to near max and teach you all of the classic final fantasy skills and magic as well as a lot of new ones. These nodes must be activated by the corresponding sphere that you get from fighting. Strength and defense nodes need power spheres, evade and accuracy nodes need sped spheres and so on. Each character must activate all nodes separately. It takes a mammoth amount of fighting to max everyone's status as far as possible and learn all abilities, hundreds of hours of gameplay.

This system may sound complicated and strange, but once you play it you'll see its fun, easy and lets you have complete freedom with the way you want to build your party abilities. For example: Auron is meant to be a very, very powerful swordsman with low magic defense and average magic ability. If you wish you can mould him into the parties healer or a master mage by using the sphere grid. Yuna is a healer and support mage with no offensive magic and very weak physical strength. You can make her into the strongest character in the party by using the grid.

Battle itself is classic style non-ATB turn based combat. The difference in FFX is the fact that you can switch characters in and out of battle at any time between all your party members. This makes more sense than in other rpgs when only a few of your party fight while the rest relax. Even though it's weirder in ffx since the other members are close by and yet they don't fight all together…

One of the major sidequests in FFX is Blitzball. Blitzball is a semi turn based game that is played underwater with 2 teams of eight players. Its sort of like football crossed with soccer but under water , players tackle each other to try and kick a ball into a triangle guarded by a goalie. The game has RPG elements too, players level up with XP and they can learn new skills from other players, such as poisoning a player or reducing his status. You can also recruit people who are players by talking to them with square.(Tip: Get Sharmi and Linna.)

FFX is a very long game. If you rush through it without doing the many, many sidequests, getting ultimate weapons or playing blitzball, you might finish it in 80 hours. If you try to complete every single little thing there is to do 100% you will be there for 200-300 or more hours. It just goes on and on.

FFX is by far the best Final Fantasy yet and is a must play for every gamer out there. Buy it now.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 02/05/10

Game Release: Final Fantasy X (AU, 05/17/02)

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