Review by Algus

"Another Year, Another Final Fantasy"

What can I say about Final Fantasy? In my opinion the series has slowly gone downhill since FFVI. However, if you are looking for an RPG that will occupy at least some time, any of the games in the series is a sure bet, there's always the stuff that we remember fondly, some of the monsters, chocobos, the old summon monsters.

Final Fantasy X seems to be more exciting the VIII or IX. It has several features that make it worthwhile, all of which I shall rate and describe individually.

Story: 9/10

The story is pretty darn good, all things considered. It's your regular, Final Fantasy save the world from the ultimate badbutt villian/monster situation. But it has quite a few plot twists, the first of which, in the beginning, really hooks you into the story. Of course I am not at liberty to say what that is in this review :).

Combat: 10/10

I love the combat system in FFX. They returned to the turn based combat of the NES Final Fantasies, with some tweaks to make it very interesting. It makes battles far less hectic, when it's your turn, you don't have to worry about the monsters killing you just before you pull of that cure spell. If your healer is up, your good to go.
Your entire party rests at your fingertips. If the person up doesn't have the ability you need, or you need someone's special skill to deal with a monster, press L1 and choose whose not in combat, bring 'em in, it's their turn right away and BAM, wasted monster. Although some might complain that this addition makes the game to easy, I really enjoy it. The designers engineered it so that early on, you would need to use a combination of all the different characters to defeat opponents. It is not uncommon to use four or five characters in combat, say you need to switch someone out because their abilities aren't effective, or they're running low on health. However, by building your stats, you can eventually learn all the techniques in the game with the different characters.

Character Building: 9/10

Levels are a thing of the past. You now rest on a sphere grid. After battles you earn AP to gain spirit points. With spirit points you move around on the sphere grid, and using spheres aquired in battle, you activate nodes to obtain new abilities. This method allows you to develop your characters as you deem fit. All characters begin on a specific spot on the grid, a region talored to their character. For instance, Lulu, the game's resident sorceress/black mage, begins in an area of the grid focused heavily on magic, specifically black magic. Using spirit points to move around, allows you to customize your characters, and with time make ''super characters'' if that is your wish.

Voice Acting: 6/10

I was not impressed with the voice acting in FFX. Square needs to figure out how to dub, that's all I can say. Their dubbing for Xenogears sucked and so does FFX. It's like watching an old godzilla movie. ''LOOK GODZILLA IS DESTROYING THE CITY'' now wait for three seconds while their mouths are still moving. In addition, givin the ability to change Tidus's name, he is never referred to by name in the game. This is odd, to say the least.
Square, either don't let us change names and put everything in the game in dialogue, or have no voice acting, figure it out. Although, the voice acting in combat can be appreciated, this is likely the best part of the acting.

Game Play: 5/10

God this game is linear! This is the most linear Final Fantasy of all of them. Now many people like this. I myself, do not like a purely linear game. I like to be able to move around. As I type this review I am roughly five hours into the game and as of yet have not encountered any world map to speak of. Being that I hate spoilers, I have not researched to see if there is one or not :P.

Music: 10/10

As always, the music in Final Fantasy is just cool. There are catchy themes, boisterous themes, romantic themes. I have always enjoyed the music in Final Fantasy.

Graphics: 7/10

There's nothing WRONG with the graphics in Final Fantasy X but I have played roughly ten PS2 games and seen the demos for at least twenty more and all of them, ALL OF THEM, have the same graphics. Sure there are different tones for different games, like the darker graphics of RE:CVX but come on, give us some variety here.
Basically, the graphics are FFVIII, PE, PE2, etc. not choppy. Think: The Bouncer. This does have some redeeming qualities, for instance, no CGI sequences, because the graphics are just as good as CGI, I simply find it boring after awhile. Although I suspect many disagree with me :).

BUY or RENT? That depends on you opinion of Final Fantasy.
I myself happen to be one of those people that likes to buy every Final Fantasy, even just about every RPG, simply because they are RPGs. If your looking for a really solid RPG for PS2, which are few as of yet, then grab FFX, although good luck finding it for about a month :). You may be better of renting it, however, if you don't care to add mediocre RPGs to your collection.

The verdict? I enjoy FFX, it's a decent game. I've played
better, I've played worse. At it's very core, FFX is still just another Final Fantasy, and that means alot of things to different people.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 12/28/01, Updated 03/28/02

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