Review by Rufus Shinra

"Another Gem for Square to Flaunt"

A quick question: How many of you people know the Final Fantasy series like the back of your hand? Well that's what I thought until I played FF10. This is the biggest leap SquareSoft has ever done. Almost everything about FF10 is unique. From the Music and the Graphics to the Story and the Gameplay, you will love everything. If you are a fan of traditional RPGs you will either love this game or hate this game for the same reasons. If you hated FF8 because it strayed from the series then FF10 is not for you. Don't waste Fifty bucks on something that I'm positive you will hate. I probably also would not recommend FF10 to any disgruntled Square fans who hate the new games for it's good graphics and ''supposed'' weak story lines. Anyway, instead of babbling on about old games vs. new games, I'll give you my take on Final Fantasy X.

The Story Line A-

Hands down, one of the greatest Story lines ever in an RPG. Rivaling such greats as FF6 and Chrono Trigger, FF10 brings together the best of sports, destruction, and deceit and sews them all together in an awesome quilt that you want to sleep with every night (Is that a good analogy?). Without spoiling most of the story, you assume the role of Tidus, this first class Blitzball player who has the hots for this chick but never catches on to her hints (But what else is new?). Your probably wondering what the **** Blitzball is so I guess, being the nice person I am, I'll tell you. Basically it's a sport combination of I'd say Baseball, Basketball, and Lacrosse. Oh yea and it's played underwater . This is kind of cool because Square incorporated a world known sport into one of their games (I think that's the first time they've done that). Not to mention as your quest goes on you can play it as a mini-game, much like the card games featured in the later Fantasies. Anyway your Tidus, you hang with this chick Yuna, and you go around saving the world. Cool? Cool.

The Graphics A+

Even if you like the old games, or are incredibly bias towards Nintendo, or hate video games all together, you've got to respect the graphics. Have you seen the graphics on this baby? The regular walking graphics in FFX looks like the cut scenes from early PS games (ex. Final Fantasy VII). There is no topping these graphics. The cut scene movies rival the FF movie they're so good (I believe it got 3 or 4 stars). Even if you hate every thing else about the game you will love the graphics.

The Gameplay A

The gameplay is what is going to make or break the game for you. SquareSoft is either (and I know this is overused) really brave or really dumb . The gameplay is awesome. The main changes are in the menu system, battle system, and the world map. The menu system
has the most changes. There are still the basics, like weapons, but Square did away with 2 major basics. The experience system and the magic system. Instead of EXP there is something called the ''Sphere System''. Instead of getting EXP you'll get a Sphere point. Then you can apply that point to a character and make him move one direction of the Sphere Board. By going in a direction one of your stats will increase. For example going up will result in your health going up and going left will make your defense go up. There I think I made that pretty simple for you guys. Instead of having magic, magic powers come from the monsters you summon and assume the role of.

Whoa, the battle system is a huge change too! Square got rid of Active Time Battle that they've been using since FF5 and brought in a new system. I don't know if there is a definite name for it, but I'll explain it. Simply put, theres a bar on the screen that tells you in which order your party will attack and in which order the enemies will attack. You just follow that and you can't go wrong. A great new feature that came in handy in many a battle is the fact that you can switch party members without losing your turn at all. Overall, I think that all the gameplay is a turn for the better, even though the Point and Click map can get annoying sometimes.

The Music A+

There are two great things about the sounds of FF10. One is the music itself and the other is the voice acting. During cutscenes Square has plugged in voices. You can finally tell if the character is nerdy sounding or not! Now I'm playing an imported version of FF10 so I don't know if the American version will have the Japanese voice acting or if they've hired English voice acting. The music also shows no flaws. Just like FF8 and 9 it has its own theme song as well as the Final Fantasy theme and other new and classic music. This has to be some of the greatest gaming music of all time. The soundtrack has made it way onto my Christmas List.

The Replay Factor B+

I've gone through every Final Fantasy at least 10 times each and all of them were worth it. FF10 is definitely no exception. You'll be so addicted to Blitzball the first time you probably won't want to start over for awhile. Which is good. So after you beat it shoot for that perfect everything game and let me know how you do.

Rent of Buy - BUY!!! ¿

Final Fantasy X

Bide your time well with Final Fantasy X because as many know the next FF in the series will be online with many people. Don't worry if you prefer old 1-player Square has plans to make FF12 back to 1 player format. What will happen to RPGs? We'll just have to wait and see.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/12/01, Updated 10/15/01

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