Review by DistantVoice
A beautifully illustrated fantasy, only damaged by character development
I need to say that I was quite thankful because if I were to be asked about how good this game was a few days ago, I would of replied that I'll be darn it be a 4 but recently I've decided to play the game and give it another chance so to speak and Final Fantasy X, while it is not the greatest in gaming history, it's still quite a bright gem among other RPGs.
There I stood before my PlayStation 2, wiping off the dust and placing the ancient game disk inside of the game console. Past memories told me that this game was going to disappoint me but needless to say I shoved those memories aside quite aggressively and began a new file. Right off the start can you experience a wide range of emotion from one end of the spectrum to another, ranging from excitement to sadness and what not. Final Fantasy X also succeeds into even making you feel like the star around town at around the beginning of the game. Feelings that you can experience when you play the game can change dramatically or at least it can for me.
Graphically Final Fantasy X fares quite well among other games at the time. Nothing in the game looks graphically glitched up nor is there any graphical pixelation as far as I can see. The character models, ranging from the hair to the clothes that the characters wear are completely fine with me. The characters in my opinion also do a well done job at expressing their emotions with an exception. It seems to me that the mouths of the characters sometimes don't match the expression or feeling that they are trying to project onto the player which can serve as a slight annoyance. The scenery in the game however is a different story as they are filled with such detail and lush graphics which is always a welcome as you will be spending a great length of time wandering around in the locations of the game.
To Zanarkand has to be one of the greatest piece of composed soundtrack in gaming history and guess what? One of the greatest pieces of music is right here in Final Fantasy X! This game has several brilliant pieces of composed songs that are not only good to the ear but also create long lasting impressions and are also memorable. The mass amount of music in the game will not fail to amaze you as the themes themselves can sometimes tell the tales of this game alone. Not to boast or anything but somebody could come to me and play some song from this game and I would be able to name it immediately.
We play RPGs a.k.a role playing games for the gameplay do we not? Final Fantasy X has a good battle system, one which allows up to 3 characters to battle at the same time. The enemies in the game and the characters are all balanced. Some of the characters in your party specialize in attacking airborne enemies while others specialize in assaulting enemies on the ground. Other party members attack with magic which is great when you are battling enemies who are elementally based off of a certain element. Also just a side note, I'd like to mention that some of the weapons which the characters use are intriguing, ranging from a ball used by Wakka to some kind of doll used by Lulu. Always interesting to see the characters use weapons out of the norm. I do have to criticize on the fact that the game is too linear. Basically all of the places in the game take place north from each other. Want to head to the town of (insert town name)? Just head north.
Like many games, in Final Fantasy X, when you're not battling or watching some scene, you will be wandering about trying to find treasure chest. An addition to this is that you might also be using the Sphere Grid to upgrade your characters. Through fighting and collecting, you will be able to learn abilities or upgrade your characters using the Sphere Grid. How the sphere grid works is like for example if you are Tidus and you upgrade your health, you will slowly unlock new areas in the sphere grid. Some abilities on the sphere grid that have a slight glow can be obtained while abilities that you can't obtain are just as grey as the grid itself. The system sounds weird but works like a charm.
The plot of the game to some may be the greatest but to others a great disappointment. The beauty of the plot is that it starts out with some star blitzball player named Tidus and then it slowly starts to develop and expand into several plot twists. I always loved plot twists in every RPG game which I have played but in order to have interesting plot twists, you must have a well developed plot which is perhaps the reason why there are so many cutscenes in the game. My complaint however is that the game is flooded with so many cutscenes that it starts to take up the majority of the time spent on playing the actual game itself. Indeed, some cutscenes in the game does actually help develop the plot but there are also many cutscenes which really are just there, added there just for the fun of it which really starts to get irritating.
The main titans of the game also known as the main characters are yet another flaw that adds to this game. Sure, I admit there is some character development such as most of the character's past and the reason why they are here with you. You do get to know and understand each of the character's relationship between one and another but what really ends up bringing the game down is the utter death of interesting characters. Tidus and Yuna are perhaps interesting. Auron is although powerful and skilled, is not surprisingly anti social. The rest of the characters in the game really only have a base personality and the game simply doesn't go farther into explaining on for what reason have the characters become the way they are now. If this wasn't a RPG then it probably wouldn't matter as much but most role playing games depend on story and character development and the fact that this game has done so well only to collapse right here is a bit of a disappointment.
Final Fantasy X really isn't much of a difficult game for some but for others, it's one of the toughest games of all time. What I'd say is difficult is the insane amount of hit points that some of the bosses have which really can lead into a pointless game of using the same attacks over and over for hours just to drain down the boss's massive amount of hp. What adds to the annoyance are some extremely cheap moves which later bosses use such as a attack that pretty much causes an instant kill if you don't have the specific requirements to survive that attack which can get annoying fast.
I am quite thankful that now I toke a deeper look into the game and instead of criticizing every factor in the game, I looked at the good parts as well. Really, Final Fantasy X could have been one of the greatest role playing games I've played but the fact that it fell prey to character development really is disappointing. Final Fantasy X is worth a purchase if you find it as I wouldn't recommend renting the game considering the vast length of it.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Final Fantasy X (US, 12/17/01)
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