Review by smallfry645

Reviewed: 06/18/03 | Updated: 06/18/03

A good game with bad gameplay...

When the title Final Fantasy comes up it seems that everyone goes into a crazy frenzy to stash up the game that just released. Well, I'm not one of those kinds of people. I do however realize what the Final Fantasy series has done to the RPG series in the past but in a new wave game world like this, I don't see how it is lasting. When it first appeared it offered a new challenge in the world of games, with its extensive game play and eye popping visuals. But through the development of modern day technology, you would think that Final Fantasy would evolve itself. Don't get me wrong, the game is very impressive with same of the best looking graphics and one of the most in-depth stories that I have ever seen before. But the slow pace in witch the game carries on, much is still left to be desired.

I first started out my Final Fantasy experience with FF9. It was great, for the first two discs, then it got very boring. FFX was the same but got boring even faster than normal. I guess I shouldn't just go on a rant about how I feel that the game sucks, but instead tell you the details about what the game presents to the players.

Story 10/10
As hard as it is for be to say this, I actually kind of enjoyed the story line from this game, despite all of its very futuristic twists. Normally I don't like over obsessive amounts of random Fantasy like acts. You take the main role of a young, blitz ball-playing star, Titus. One day during an attack from Sin, a giant evil thingy, he gets sucked up and thrown into the future. Stay with me now. He must try and piece back together his life and try and figure out where he is and how he got there. Along the way he makes many friends and learns many things that he was never interested. He and his magical friends go across wide desserts and thick jungles, battling exotic saber-tooth tigers and giant bats on their quest.

Yeah, It's better than that, it's just hard for me to describe it all so briefly without giving anything away. The story unfolds both from your interaction with the game and through FMV's presented to you automatically. To give you an example of the depth, Id easily compare it to Metal Gear Solid 2's story line depth.

Audio 4/10
Heh, this is a mixed feeling category. If it weren't for the voice-overs and sound effects in the game, then this would have been down near a 2. The voice-overs are very nice. They match the characters' personalities perfectly. But unfortunately, they don't match up with their mouths. Sound effects throughout the FMV's are very actuate to that of real live. Large explosions, sword slashes, you know, the usual. But unfortunately the people at square couldn't produce a good sound track for the game. Most of the time you are stuck listening to some irritating techno, synthesized, annoying music. Its so crazily annoying that you will be forced to turn down the music on your TV. I'm not exactly sure why people say the music is so great. I must admit though, if you are a fan of the series music than you will get some enjoyment out of the soundtrack. It just wasn't to my liking.

Visual/Graphics 10/10
This is one of the most eye pleasing games out to date on the PS2, or any game system for that matter. If you have ever seen the Final Fantasy movie, then you will understand the idea of what this game looks like the whole way though the game, FMV's or not. For those of who have yet to see the movie, let me explain. The worlds are totally 3D, full of moving and living parts. There is detail on every object, stationary or moving. Charters clothes and hair will move as they are blown by win when running or standing still. You are able to spot out almost every single characteristic of the charters' skin, hair, clothes, jewelry, everything. I was very impressed that Square was able to present this game with this well presented. Untie its release, nothing really this eye popping had been done on the PS2.

The most impressive part of it all is that it is able to keep up these stunning visuals without losing any frame rate. You will continue to see every little detail, all of the time, even in the battle sequences. The monsters and machines that you face are also just as realistic as you and your surroundings. The animals fur is also very realistic, moving as they do. One of my favorite scenes in the whole game is when a rainstorm occurs. That is a sight to see. The wind twists and turns the rain in the air. There is lighting that flashes and is brightened from the glare of the rain. Each little drop of rain acts as if it is alive. Even more impressive than that scene are the FMV's themselves. They are almost real enough to touch. They are so realistic, you will, and I mean it, you will do a double take. The underwater scenes especially. They are so stunning and lively that you'll feel like your in the water with Titus.

Controls 10/10
Done the only way they could be, and that's by having only 3 buttons you need to use. You walk with the analog, select with X, then cancel. Wow. Not much to it as you can see. In “fights” all you have to do is press X over and over until you kill them. You can select different actions and different enemies to attack with the D-pad. Yay.

Gameplay 2/10
I usually love all games. Anything that comes out ill try. For some reason there is no way for me to love the fighting system in Final Fantasy. To me, when anyone ever says RPG, FF pops into my head and makes me say no to it. I just have strong feelings against the way you actually “battle” in this game. I don't see how people can even say there's action in the game. But before I get into fighting and everything, lets talk about your walking skills. Pretty much there is no “Gameplay” in this game. In other words, you don't really play it. There is almost absolutely nothing for you to do but sit and watch a stupid movie that you cant cancel. The first 2 hours almost consist of solid FMV's. And your forced to watch them so as not to miss and of the actually quite interesting plot. Then when you are allowed to control Titus, you walk. It's like, what the hell, I just watched hours of stupid movies just to walk. Why didn't he just get there in the first place?

That is the whole game right there, the part that you actually do, walk. Very exhilarating. Your little onscreen map shows you right where to go so you just hold down the stick and boom, into another movie you go. In the towns that you pas through on your way you can talk to the villagers that do absolutely nothing to help you. Most of the time they will ask you to shut up and get away from them. You can go into stores and by magic potions to heal yourself and other magic remedies. The villages are huge, for whatever reason, maybe just to look at them. Sometimes you are forced to walk around the villages and talk to everyone to find out “information.” That's the part that you're pretty much in control for. You'll walk around, solve a few puzzles here and there, and then relax for some nice movies.

“But what about the fighting?” you might be asking. This is just my opinion remember, but in my feelings, there is no fighting. It's just a bunch of oddly dressed charters that will stand in a row and will bounce back and forth ready to attack. Here's the best part, you don't do anything. With the innovations of modern day technology, you don't have to do anything but push one button. Bam, you attack. That's right, no more aggravation of trying to dodge an attack, your character will just stand in the way and get whacked by a giant tentacle and lose half of their HP, or life. You have no control over your characters. All you can do is tell them when to attack, what attack to use, when to use magic or and item, or when to block. As far as I'm concerned, that's not action. When you sit and watch your characters stand there and have themselves killed by radioactive bunnies, I find that to be stupid.

That brings me right into my next point, you don't fight anything remotely real. How these creatures came to be I don't know. I know I said they looked good but that doesn't mean that they look like something believable. So you fight these giant monsters and you have your friends along with you. Some have different attacks with them. Summoners can make giant creatures come to life and kill everything. Your magic people can make fire, ice, water, and electricity magically appear from the sky and strike the victim. And it gets even better than that. Your magic items can bring people back from the dead. Amazing. Remember, this is just my opinion on the game. I just don't enjoy sitting and watching I'm more of a doer, I need to be able to do something to feel that I accomplished it. To end on a good note, there was a nice sort of skill building map In witch you can quire new skills by buying them with level up points and special rubies you find. I'm sorry, I just don't like things like this that are so out of it that hardly make any sense at all.

Enjoyment/Replay/Recommendation : Depends on Taste
If you are a die-hard fan of Final Fantasy than more than likely you will like this game. It is full of all sorts of magical creatures, just like the earlier ones. The level up system has been advanced in my opinion from before. There are a lot more weapons, armor, and items than before but also some of the old favorites. The new cast can be amusing at times but at others they can make you wonder how they got away with such amateur dialect. For everyone else out there, fans of hack and slash, FPS's, and everything else that contains the do it yourself type of action, you most likely won't enjoy it, at least that was how it was for me. This game didn't make me want to go back over and play it again but you might find 10x more enjoyment out of it than I did. It really depends on a person's taste.

- Stellar graphics
- Amazing special effects
- Nice leveling system

- Weak battle system
- Poor voice-overs
- Very futuristic
- Not much game to be played
- Too many movies

Closing Note
If you haven't ever tried the series, you might want to stop by your local rental store and pick it up. You might find some more enjoyment out of it than I had. Underneath it all, the game is very amazing on many different levels. Over all, I give Final Fantasy X for the PS2, a 7.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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