Review by dirtyhobo

Reviewed: 01/31/03 | Updated: 01/31/03

Final Fantasy X is as vivid and amazing as this review!

Prepare yourself for the latest installment from the great production company of Squaresoft. Final Fantasy X brings gamers into something more than a game, an adventure. Traditional Final Fantasy fans will be pleased at the classic elements that is has, as well as the new and innovative elements that are introduced. You will be introduced to characters with all different kinds of personalities as they are intertwined with looks and sounds that will leave you coming back for more and more. This game is amazing and if you haven’t already made up your mind to go get by reading this introduction, then by all means read on.

Graphics (10/10)
Final Fantasy X is a graphic masterpiece.

The FMVs (full motion video) are jaw dropping and the in game graphics are spectacular. You can tell that Squaresoft put quite a bit of work into making Final Fantasy X what it is. The anti-aliasing is superb and the 3-D effects are breathtaking, it is like you are actually watching a movie. Every single character has been mapped and tweaked by Squaresoft so much that the characters use facial expressions comparable to those of real life. The amount of care and work that Square put into making Final Fantasy X’s graphics, make the graphics far superior to any other game available. If you like games with a lot of eye candy then you will love Final Fantasy X.

Story (9/10)
Final Fantasy X has a bold story that provides a lot of enjoyment.

Like any RPG there are parts that can be lame, but you will find that the story is compelling and mature almost all the time. The storytelling is vivid and allows any gamer to appreciate the excitement of Final Fantasy X’s environment. The plot is just like any other Final Fantasy (collect your heroes and venture around the world to destroy the evil), but it is delivered very well due to the voice acting. Just because it isn’t original it doesn’t mean that it is not good, in fact it is very good. If you do not want to know anything about the games background and settings then do not read the next paragraph.

Final Fantasy X takes place between two worlds; I call it a tale of two cities. You will be spending most of your time in the pleasant world of Spira, but you will be introduced and often referred to the futuristic mecha of Zanarkand. Sin, a gigantic omnipotent monster, has a knack for wanting to destroy things. A very confused Tidus gets placed into the utopian world of Spira and soon finds himself embarking on a quest with a summoner, Yuna, destined to defeat Sin. Spira is similar to the world of Zanarkand, where Tidus comes from, except it is not quite so fond of machines (machina). Nonetheless Tidus kindles strong relationships and fuels this powerful story.

Sound (10/10)
Final Fantasy X has some high quality sound effects.

As I said before, the voice acting really adds to the effect of the story. The voice acting allows the gamer to be immersed into the story of Final Fantasy X more and more. There are some people that do not like it, and so if you are one of these people then you can simply turn off the voice acting and read the subtitles like any old Final Fantasy.

The music is exceptional and I would often find myself sticking around an area rather than moving on because the area would have such great music associated with it. Any fans of classical music will be thrilled at what Final Fantasy X has in store for them, and other people will enjoy the music as well. The music always compliments to the game’s environments incredibly well. The wide variety of music will always keep you craving for more and more. The pieces range from the typical upbeat/uplifting Final Fantasy songs, a great piano piece (the theme song), a moving violin solo, an impressive Gregorian chant, and even a rock song. This assortment of music is excellent and I would be impossible for somebody not to like it.

Game Play (9/10)
Final Fantasy X is a bit varied in the game play area with some pluses and some minuses.

First the pluses: a new system for leveling up your characters is yet again introduced. This new system is the ''sphere grid''. FFX is great because each character is unique and you have to rely on all of them for their individual skills. This feature is greatly enhanced because of the new battle system; you get to switch out characters in mid battle. All of this adds up to a great playing experience that implements moderate amounts of strategy. If you do not use your option for strategy and decide to be unilateral then this game can be pretty difficult. You will either find yourself cursing because you died once again, or you will find yourself grinning with pride as you ease past a boss using your intellect. Another aspect that I really enjoyed was the ability to customize your own weapons and armor. This vastly contributed to the element of strategy that you often have to utilize through out the game. For the first time in the history of Final Fantasy you could break the HP/MP/Damage limits when you customized your weapons and armor. The traditional anti-status effects are still there and you will find these to be extremely helpful during your quest.

The new system used for summoning is fantastic. Instead of just showing the boring and tedious cut scene when the summon creature will jump out and do some damage you can actually control the summon. You will find yourself often resorting to the summons when you finish the battle since they have very punishing overdrives (limit breaks).

This game isn’t all perfect. As you advance through the game you will realize certain aspects are starting to become shoddier. I like to think of it as a sled ride. It is incredibly fun but you do not have much control and you are going to hit a few bumps along the way to the finish. Unique character strengths that you have come to rely on start to become not so unique as you advance through the sphere grid and go into other character’s territory. Fortunately you still must use strategy to get past difficult bosses. This game can be very controlling since you hardly ever decide when and where you want to go. Sure you can steer your sled of the path, but you are going to get stuck on a tree if you do. I guess the major disappointment I had was that there were hardly any mini games, and when there were mini games they were more of chores than anything else.

Another new element to be introduced to Final Fantasy X was the turn-based system. The ATB (Active Time Bar) was discarded to pave way for this new battle method. Of course the battles will not be very realistic and the ever so common RPG argument is strengthened, about how it is stupid that it isn’t constant battle but taking turns hitting each other. We don’t care about those people though and what is important is how it affects the battle system. Well hold on because I am about to cover that. If you remember Chrono Cross then you will be very familiar with the turn-based system, if not it will not take long to learn. Time magic now plays a role that is more important than ever. You will be able to see when the enemy’s next move is and what you need to do to prepare for it. You may find yourself trying to cram in too much and so the time magic is very important for you to be allowed to do what you need to do to win. This becomes especially important during the battles when you summon an Aeon. I put this last because I am neutral about the turn-based system. It adds even more strategy to the already strategy extensive Final Fantasy X, but the battles have a slower pace then before. If you like thinking on your feet then you will be disappointed that the ATB has been discarded, but if you enjoy planning out your moves, like in a chess game, then you will love the turn based system.

Replay Value (10/10)
Final Fantasy X is a game that I am proud to have in my special box of games. There is tons of replay value to Final Fantasy X and I always feel like I got my moneys worth. The great thing about playing FFX again is that despite the sled ride you can pick what kind of sled you want. What I mean by this is say you didn’t use some characters as much as others. You can easily go through and play as these characters. Every time you play through Final Fantasy X it seems like it gets better and better. The story makes more and more sense, not like it ever did not make sense, and the story never gets old. It is like reading an enjoyable book again and again. You just get so much more out of it. Aside from the story becoming more enjoyable there are a few very long side quests that you can complete if you didn’t complete them the first time. If you are one of those people that strive for perfection and you want to do everything then you can rest assured that your goal will last for a very long time. It took me 225 hours to bring my game into perfection. A warning for the game being too short is not needed, but a warning for this game being so in depth and addictive surely is needed, so here one is. Warning: this game may include content not suitable for people attempting to pursue lives.

I would suggest you go out and rent Final Fantasy X if you are unsure about buying it. If you like it then you will most definitely go out and buy yourself a copy, but this game is not for every one and there is a slim chance that you and others will not like it (crazies).

Overall (10/10)
If you pass up your chance to try out Final Fantasy X then you are making a big mistake. Final Fantasy X is strongly suited in all areas and is what gamers have expected to come from its great producer, Squaresoft. More so, Final Fantasy X should be the definitive game for anybody who owns a PS2.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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