Review by ehson

"Amazing. Simply Amazing."

Is this the best Final Fantasy title? Hell yes! I haven't even played the almight Final Fantasy VII, and already I know this is going to be better. Why? Because it is nearly perfect. Practically flawless. This game deserves a ten, and nothing less.

So, you pop your Final Fantasy X disc into the Playstation 2. You are then treated to a wonderful opening movie showing the main characters of the game.

So, who are these main characters? If you've played other Final Fantasy games, you're probably guessing the characters are well designed, well developed. You've guessed right. There are seven main characters in the game. There's Tidus, a young, blone punk who likes to play Blitzball, an underwater sport played in his world. Auron. He's a samurai-like warrior who hangs around Tidus. He wears some pretty neat clothing, and wields a big ass sword. Lulu. Whoa...she is sexy. A sexy goth who likes to wear...a dress made out of belts. Yuna. The sweet summoner who kicks ass when performing on the battlefield. Kimahri. A guardian of Yuna who resembles an enormous cat/lion...thing. Rikku, who is a cute teenage girl, belongs to the Al Bhed, a group of people living in the world of Spira. And then there's Wakka. A sucky Blitzball player who sports a Jamaican accent. They all come together to form an excellent stroyline that gives Final Fantasy X its fame.

So, what's it about? Well, to make a long story short, it's yet another save the world story. But, it's written in an almost poetic fashion, and I can't help but think I was involved in something far greater than saving the world when playing this game.

Well, there's Tidus. He's your average Blitzball player living in the city of Zanarkand. He loves Blitzball, and at the beginning of the game, he's off to a big game. Sadly, after pulling off some amazing moves during the heated game, Zanarkand is a huge watery orb. Soon, Tidus is sucked into the orb, and before you know it, Tidus is in another world, plagued by a monster known as Sin. Destruction, mayhem, chaos, and sadness rule the world of Spira, thanks to that stupid bastard Sin. Tidus will soon have to embark on a grand adventure that will not only aid the world of Spira, but it will also lead Tidus down the road to self-discovery. Wow that was deep. ^_^

The story of Final Fantasy X is lovely. It's got plenty of twists and turns, and colorful characters. Every cutscene will make you want to see the next one, in order to see what so-and-so did, or what will happen to so-and-so, and so on. ^_^

So, from here, where do I go? Why don't we talk about the world of Final Fantasy X, since that's where the game (including the story) takes place.

Welcome to Spira. What is Spira? THE BEST WORLD EVER TO BE IN AN RPG. Screw Morrowind or Final Fantasy VII...Spira kicks ass. It's so cultured and colorful, and you play the game as your in Spira. The towns of Luca, Bevelle, Zanarkand...they are beautifully designed, with fancy buildings and roads, and an atmosphere that is unbeatable. Not only will you travel to the many cities of Spira, but you'll also encounter an icy maze, an expansive field that isn't what is enormous ruin, and more. The thing I also love about Spira is the fact that it has a tropical/aquatic feel. I wish our crummy world would be replaced by Spira. Think I'm crazy? Get this....if you lived in Spira, you'd get to breath underwater! Now is that cool, or what?

Well, talking about colorful worlds, let's head to the graphics. Lovely, once again. I don't know what the graphics are called (polygons?) or what their ''bit'' is, but all I can tell you is that they were superb. Not only do the various landscapes take your breat away, but the character models are great. They aren't blocky the least bit, and even when characters talk, their wonderfully designed lips move almost perfectly to their voices.

I almost forgot the FMV's. They are a dream. A friggin' dream. They surpass every type of cinema scene/FMV out there, by bringing you FMV's that look frighteningly realistic. It's, beautiful and well rendered the FMV's are. You're in for a real treat when you reach an FMV. Not only will you witness a love scene, the destruction of a city, and a computer generated metropolis in FMV, I won't spoil it for you. Play the game yourself to find out what wonders the FMV's hold for you.

Well, it looks like I've covered story, world, and graphics. Should I now talk about gameplay? Ya.

Uh-oh. I've reached one of the tiny flaws of Final Fantasy X. The game is way too linear, and often pushes you to head to the next spot on a very straightforward path. I felt like I was being pushed into the next area. I wanted to stay in the area I was in, but then if I moved on, I would get to see what happened next. Only until the end of the game will you be able to travel freely around Spira, to admire its unforgettable beauty.

ATB? Nope. Turn based? Yes. That basically sums up the battle system of Final Fantasy X. I was kind of disappointed with Square. After nine titles, couldn't they make the tenth battle system a little more...different? What made me enjoy the battle system where a few things. First, the Aeons. There used to be Espers, Eidelons, Summons, GF' Final Fantasy X brings you Aeons. Instead of simply watching the summoning animnation, you'll actaully get to control your Aeon directly, and even give it a numbe of different abilities. They have thier own HP, MP, and everything. Pretty cool if you ask me. On top of this, there's the fact that you can switch characters in and out of battle, so instead of getting only three characters in a battle, you can get all seven, or however many characters you have in your party. The other thing I enjoyed about the battle system was the enemies. There are well over 300 enemies in Final Fantasy X, some being very colorful and cute, others being monstrous beasts. Too name a few, there are Magic Urns, Behemoths, Flans, and even things called Elements. It was amazing seeing the different types of enemies in the game, and I enjoyed them much better than I did the bosses. On top of all this, there's a window on the right side of the battle screen that shows when characters and enemies get to attack. Also a nice addition to the battle system.

Ugh. I hated the Sphere Grid. Luckily, I didn't care too much about it. The Sphere Grid allows your characters to learn all sorts of abilities, and it even allows them to get stat bonuses. I thought it was a pretty neat idea at first, but the Sphere Grid becomes more of a hassel than a pleasure. What is it? It's a huge board that has nodes in it. Every time your character gains a level, they can move a space on the Sphere Grid. Using Spheres, players can fill these nodes in to learn abilities and magic. I would've liked the traditional ''get EXP and level up'' method over the Sphere Grid. You'll dedicate about....20% of the game simply moving on the Sphere Grid and filling in nodes. Boring.

These are mostly available near the end of the game. What do the mini-games include, you ask? Well, to tell you the truth, there not that great. They include catching butterflies and dodging thunder. Yippee. NOT. There is Blitzball. But, Blitzball is a joke. It's a terrible twist in using roleplaying elements in sports. Still, it can be fun now and then, when you're just screwing around in Spira.
But, the sidequests made this game extra fun. They involve getting secret Aeons, weapons, and even finding secret locations on the Spira world map. There's even a ''monster catching'' sidequest that allows you to catch enemies with certain weapons, and combine them into mega bosses that can deal almost 99999 hit a single attack. Talk about TOUGH.

As you can see, gameplay rocks. It kicks ass. Onto the music.

Wow. Simlpy amazing once again. Surprised? You shouldn't be. Final Fantasy X has a great boss theme, main theme, whatever theme you can think of....perfect, superb, excellent. Though I have to say that the music isn't all that happy and joyful. You might as well cry when listening to the sad tunes Final Fantasy X has to offer. Despite the depressing music that plays during most of the game, I have to add, it is simply beautiful. Well done, Square, or whoever made the game's various tracks up.

Voices. Boy, was I surprised to hear Tidus and co. talk. I hated reading text when it came in high numbers during the previous titles. Now, I don't have to do that! I can listen to Yuna's sweet chirps, Wakka's wise ass comments, and Kimahi's growls. Ahh....RPG bliss.

What else is there to add to the review? Difficulty? Well, Final Fantasy X can be challenging here and there, but overall, the game isn't too hard. Only when you get to the monster arena and you have to face those super bosses will the game get real tough. Not only will you have to max out all stats to survive against these bosses, but you'll have to be able to withstand over 10000 damage. Ouch.

So, got a Playstation 2? Get this game, dammit. Whether you like RPG's or not, this game is perfect! Like action? This game has got action, but its slightly toned down a bit. Romance? Oh yeah. Suspensful story? You bet ya. Plenty of replay value? Yup. If you ever get bored, just go and catch monsters, and try to beat the super bosses. I wish I had done that when I had my copy of Final Fantasy X. Selling it was a stupid decision. A very stupid decision. Now I'll have to go and buy it again. Stupid me! Final Fantasy X was way better than Kingdom why did I trade it in? Huh? What? Oh yeah. Almost forgot you, the reader. Look, so I can shut up, just get this game. You won't regret it.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/29/03

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