Saturday, April 19, 2003

PS2 - Final Fantasy X review

| GAME FEATURES |

Developer : Squaresoft

A.) Detailed graphics. Better looking then any RPG that came before it.

Publisher : Squaresoft / Electronic Arts.

B.) You play a movie, it's not a movie, it's always got a cut screen with spoken dialog. And cinimatic videos aren't uncommon.

Mine was an updated version released in 2002. The game orginally was released December of 2001.

C.) A very convensing story

D.) It's really over rated. People say the game is perfect. The game is awesome, but it's not perfect.

Type : Character Turned Based Role Playing Game

[ Prelude ]

Final Fantasy X (FFX) is getting old, although it still has a repudiation of being good. Final Fantasy is the first game on the PS2 to be recognized as the best RPGs of all time. This, of course, DOES NOT mean it’s will be the greatest, it only means in someone’s opinion it is. You can, however, argue FFX is the best Final Fantasy game ever. I went to Gamefaqs.com to get my game faq so that I can play this game without hesitation. I see Final Fantasy 10 at the top of the charts for the most popular faqs. Well I'm not alone because there's about 4 million other people who are playing this game. Squaresoft was known on the NES for making a great game, a game called Final Fantasy. It was the first RPG in America in 1987, and it sold like a new car. All Final Fantasy games had a good plot surrounding a black mage, white mage, melee fighter type of character that goes on a journey to save the world. All Final Fantasy games followed the same formula except for FF10. Aside the fact that Final Fantasy 10 is 21st century; it does have a more technical achievement to it then any other PlayStation 2 RPG before it. If you haven’t seen the PlayStation 2’s enormous library of games, then you have seen a lot of RPGs that came after Final Fantasy X. What is quite interesting is earlier in the timeline; the Espers were the only species whom could learn magic. Humans could only borrow the magic in form of eggs. These Mana Eggs could then be leveled up so that the mage could do a spell. A more powerful egg could do more damage with a leveled up egg then it would with a stronger skill at it's first level. Now games abandoned the idea of the mana egg, and now replaced it with real time leveling up which appears after the battle sequence. I guess it was a bad idea to carry magic spells with you, much like you carry spell scrolls in PC games. The first game and it’s chapters had random battles and most of the time you have to save the earth from a dangerous object that will conquer kingdoms. Up until Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy all had a live action, time battle system. Nearly 14 years after Final Fantasy. Final Fantasy VII had a unique battle system where you slash enemies in real time, but you can not defend the normal way. Legend of Dragoon is much like Final Fantasy VII because you there is no option for multiple attacks, you have to time yourself and defeat the enemy in that way. Square changed Final Fantasy VIII again, having it mostly traditional, meaning it was a turned based system with random battles. And a new card game that has been in Final Fantasy games since then. It really doesn’t have a name but it’s kind of like Dungeons and Dragons. Final Fantasy IX was another Final Fantasy game that came around in 2000. Originally Final Fantasy IX was going to feature the same battle system that Final Fantasy XIII had (a turned based battle system used in most console RPGs like Breath of Fire series and Grandia), but it was going to be for the PS2. Well the game was already in development for being a PSone game with low resolution graphics so it was never upgraded. All effort was going towards the online RPG, Final Fantasy X. At first the online system did not work at all, so the online part of Final Fantasy X was dropped due to server issues and development time. Final Fantasy X was really overrated when it came out because it was suppose to have better graphics then it really did, I mean ground braking graphics for the PS2. But that did in no way say that it wasn’t ground braking else where. By this time Squaresoft fans expected to have a 40 – 50 hour gameplay wise RPG every year to two years.

[ More of the story ]

Your main character is Tidus, a person who lived in a world with an extremely high-tech civilization, and then, he wakes up in a somewhat high-tech civilization 1000 years later except his city, Zanarkand, is beneath Although he’s 18, Tidus must be 1018 years now. Maybe he’s older or younger. However mankind has reached the stars by this time, 1000 years earlier. But Sin destroyed it. Sin is the Final Boss in this game. He happens to been who destroyed the old high tech world 1000 years earlier. Stone age compared to what man achieved 1000 years before. You’re talking about when the Flintstones meet the Jetsons in this game! I read a head and found out that Final Fantasy X has a sad story, see Tidus dies in the final moments of the game. I’m only a couple hours in the game. This game is sort of a story of choice, if you know what I mean? See this game is like Legend of Dragoon, the last RPG I got into. You talk to people and they give you choices which may or may not change the story. Either of the main characters, whether it is Dart or Tidus really love the hottest character in the game. In this game it’s Yuna, a super hot girl. But Tidus may love someone else if you don’t watch your words. The last Final Fantasy game I’ve tried was Final Fantasy 8. Final Fantasy 10 stays close to Final Fantasy 8 except it doesn’t have anyone from a high tech civilization. Why, because it looks great, except in the PSone, all the backgrounds were pre-rendered. I thought this game was great so far ….

The story line is a little unclear in the beginning. Everyone talks fine, but at first we only knew that the Final Boss would be Sin. But as things clear up, I realize how much effort really went into the voice acting. Not uncommon with many games of next generation consoles. This was a new feature in the long history of Final Fantasy, which goes back a long time.

As the story goes, your boy hero, Tidus, is going to this huge Blitzball tournament. He scores a few scores in the super high tech city of Zanderland. I wouldn’t know if this place is in fact apart of Sparta back then, or was just a new name for the country that exist 1000 years after the destruction. You have very short time in the pass in this game. Sin appears out of now where in the globe and levels Zanderland. When suddenly a time warp portal appears out of know were taking both heroes, Audron and Tidus forward in time. For a sort time Tidus is alone in Spara in the same city in Zanderland. The city is a ruin. Tidus soon finds Rikku and Al Bhed who rescue Tidus from death when he floats in the sea. The Al Bhed are bounty hunters in Spartia. They do service for someone. That’s when Sin again attacks the Al Bhed ship and after they temporally defeat Sin, Tidus is thrown over-board. He finds himself helped by Wakka, a tribe member who loves the game, Blizball. Wakka and Tidus go together to Wakka’s hometown where the both meet Yura, a recent summoner. A summoner is one who uses magic. Anyhow all three know each other and they go on a journey to defeat Sin once and for all.

Tidus, I think falls in love with the summoner, Yuna earlier in the game. Common with RPGs of this time. But about 11 hours in the game she kills the one that’s she’s suppose to marry. Which, changes part of the character’s direction entirely. To Mastur Seymour, who is evil. I knew he was evil because he had a crazy look on his face. Except he wasn’t crazy, he was just evil. Tidus figures out that he isn’t suppose to like Yuna. What happens then? It least I know that Tidus somehow disappears because in Final Fantasy X-2, Yuna tries to find Tidus. So we already know that Yuna is going to use magic to get rid of Sin. I know nothing about the upcoming Final Fantasy XII, but I wonder if there is going to be a third episode of Final Fantasy X. Then Final Fantasy X can already be a saga. Although there have been 10 chapters of Final Fantasy, all 8 of the ten are 10 completely different games. Two games in the series, Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy IV are remakes of Final Fantasy VI and Final Fantasy II.

[ Graphics ]

The graphics engine in Final fantasy X is mapped after the emotion engine, an engine that Sony created to show off speculations of its PS2 demos in 1999. Actually its graphics score in the top 85% of all PS2 games in August 2003. This game was a head in graphics area because Square already had PS2 figured out. In earlier times, developers had a hard time with anti-analyzing, which is what made PS2 graphics as smooth as silk in Grand Thief Auto 3, Metal Gear Solid 2 – Sons of Liberty and Summoner 2. FFX doesn’t have as much bump mapping as I would like. This game was developed for PS2 prior to 2001 to sometimes look as edgy as any Dreamcast game. Dreamcast ran slower then the PlayStation 2, but the graphics were at 640 by 480 resolution, so the Dreamcast could trick you in sometimes thinking it looked better then the PS2. This was before Sega turned 3rd party, supporting all consoles. FFX may have had it's hay day a year ago, but it's still is popular for one way only. The gameplay still rocks in this game. The PlayStation 2 has improved; anti-analyzing surpassed graphics of Final Fantasy X and Summoner 2 very quickly after those games were released. But I remember, and this is also why I planned to spend 200 dollars on a PlayStation 2, was because the games where already out including the already strong selling Final Fantasy X. I looked at the local Wal-Mart and it is always out of stock. I found it at the nearest Game Stop though and boy was I lucky. Again this game needs no introduction. I believe that most PS2 owners already have this game stored on shelves and they said it was from good to extremely good when they played it for the first time. The game play improved over Final Fantasy VIII and IX. This game is more detailed then a lot of games today and there are a lot of PS2 games out in 2003.

I n the last paragraph I spoken how the gameplay rocks. Well I was into this game in 2001 when it came out. It reminds me about how at first I didn't like Legend of Zelda Orcania of Time. But then once I bought it sometime in 2000, I realized how it was superior to all the N64 games of the time. Link with his sword and sheild is just plan cool. I may of grown old, but I didn't stop realising that the best game for the console was Zelda 64. Now that I'm entirely off the subject, I like to say that I liked Wind Waker too. Nintendo did everything right when they created it. I have felt the same with Legend of Zelda as I did with this game.

[Changes in Final Fantasy X]

Many would call Final Fantasy, flawless. Everything has been upgraded. This game doesn't drive itself on 10 year old concepts that could only been done 10 years ago. There are a lot of changes to Final Fantasy X, they improved the battle system and made it faster, almost spontaneous the moment you hit the X button on the duel shock controller. Then the other member attacks. The average battle sequence takes around 15 to 25 seconds. It’s closer to many PC RPGs with no battle sequence then it has in common with its own franchise. They also changed the level up ratings your characters have, since you’re in control. The massive chart is known as the Sphere Grid, never used in any RPG before. It basically looks like a star chart. Your character has a system where he/her has to level up some skills to get the skill you’re looking for. Usually what I look for is vitality, but it is a little out of my reach from my current low level stats. Not uncommon to this franchise is the mana for special attacks. Mana is essential to leveling up any character. You do use magic in your game don’t you? I mean if I am talking to someone familiar with Final Fantasy 8. Assuming you have played that game, then you will already know what summoners do. I guess I’ll be talking about the original NES Final Fantasy. You see White and Black mages in this game like you did sometime 3000 years before. I’m guessing Final Fantasy came 3000 years before Final Fantasy 10 did. I wanna know how far down the timeline is between the games Final Fantasy 8 and Final Fantasy 10? Both games are hard to determine because both Squall and Tidus live in high technical civilizations. In real life we may be able to comprehend what 20 years down the road will bring us in graphics. But we may not have the slightest idea what’s in store for us in 60 years. This game gives us another vision of a high technical civilization. It’s like Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within. I think the high tech civilization in this game is believable because Squaresoft added a lot of technical art to make it so. I can’t decide whether or not Xenosaga Episode I is more believable then Final Fantasy X. I have yet to play that game to see for myself. You’re talking about a lot of power people had in the “old civilization.”

.Final Fantasy X hasn't changed that much from the pass on Playstation. The camera angles are still on track. The later Final Fantasy games are similar to Resident Evil. Resident Evil had all the angles that made it very long and very graphically well done all around. Although in Final Fantasy X, all the graphics are done not prerendered. The game runs at around 30 frames per second.

[ Gameplay Department ]

Gameplay in this game is faster then the previous episodes in Final Fantasy. If you like to hack the enemies to death all the time, then Squaresoft/Enix made it easy for you to do that. The first opinion, attacking, is always highlighted. And it takes 2 seconds for each turn to being and end. Unlike Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, Final Fantasy X doesn’t really display the hit points or even mana points of each character. It’s not bad, it’s just different. Summoners in this game can summon a creature to do more damage to the enemy. You can gain new “Aeons” by completing mazes in temples. Mazes aren’t too terribly difficult. Of course, I’m not maze genius ether. It sometimes takes me 10 tries to get it right. When you want to do mazes you move pentacles and gems around in the temple to unlock or remove doors, obstacles that are in your way, fire, ice, elevators, stuff like that.

Since the Gameplay isn’t just the controlling the main character in the game, I will go over other key features. In towns you are safe most of the time. That is unless sometime attacks the town. So the town isn’t safe – no – there are no random battles in towns. In towns you don’t have just one merchant, but several to choose from. The price varies, so sometimes you get ripped off, sometimes you get a really good deal, but if you need the potions, I would buy any way. I need these on my journey. In the game you use a lot of potions. The key is trying to be immune and have a high hit point rating all through the game. If you don’t, it just makes the game harder. But if you keep your hp high, you’ll pass 90% of the time. It is usually recommended to keep several weapons at your disposable, but with water, lighting, fire and tornado attacks. Not all weapons are customizable in FFX. Most of the time, magic spells do damage. In the beginning your character has more damage, not in the spells, but in the straight attack. Onless you have overdrive. Overdrive is a command that can instantly wipe out a enemy, but can only be used for total 300 seconds thought out the whole game. All playable characters have overdrive.

[Sound Department]

The sound department is good too, something you except from a multimillion dollar project AKA the “Final Fantasy X project (1999 – 2002)” I heard that the music guys at Square hired the musicians that made music for Final Fantasy 8, made some tunes in this game. One familiar tune from Final Fantasy 8 turns up after the battle sequence in Final Fantasy X. Everything in the intro had heavy rock in it. But the real Final Fantasy game has the tradition Final Fantasy melody we known for years. The medially from Final Fantasy IX is in this game also. I have to comment that the PS2 sound chip is softer then the PSone since I have to turn the volume up to hear anything.

Well this is the first game that characters acted in the whole title. I've seen cut-scenes which characters fully voiced their opinions in Grand Thief Auto Vice City. But this game seems a little more down to earth. The voice acting is not annoying; sometimes I find that the main characters comments make him kind of GIMP.

[Characters in the game]

  • Tidus - the main character from the pass. He's in the games focus all the time. His voice acting is a little strange because when he gets excited about something, his voice level goes up, and it is just a little odd for someone to talk his age. I find it amusing though that Squaresoft would have someone act the way he does.
  • Yuna - a really down-to-earth girl. She has a soft voice. Her character rocks and looks very sexy. I had her wallpaper on my computer for 5 months now. She is a summoner, which means she can do magic.
  • Rikku - I met her in the beginning of the game. She is the only one of the pirates that can speak English. She's at times more comical with her voice then Tidus. She hasn't shown up yet except in the beginning.
  • Auron - The guy who teams up with Tidus 1000 years earlier in Zanderland. He is kind of a even speaking fellow. He's very wise and a lot of hands on experience with things. He seems to know when things are about to happen and knows what to do when this do start heating up. A good example of this would be in the first minutes of the game when Zanderland is destroyed by SIN.
  • Wakka – loves blitzball, but hates macha (machines) He thinks the machines are what brought Sin to the world; it is Spara’s punishment for advancing so much.

My favorite character in Final Fantasy X is Sir Auron, the guy with shades and a trench coat. Auron has a faster attack then the other Final Fantasy characters. He also has a long sword like Tidus (shown on the USA cover) that does the most damage on average. Although I still liked Tidus’s attacks. I had him in all my battles since he rejoined the party. His overdrive attack is really cool. I tried to reserve enough for the final hit on Sin at the end of the game. Yeven wasn’t really hard because he only had like 60 HP. I had Tidus finish him though. I felt kind of bad that he is a ghost (in the end all of us found out he was the walking dead) So he more then likely won’t be back in the sequel set to release in 2004. I felt bad about that. Then I looked on a Final Fantasy site, and found out that he was the most liked character in the whole game. For some reason when Auron swings his samuri sword, he does it kind of like Samuri Jack, the cartoon character.

[ So what about Blizball ?]

Blizball is soccer underwater. Because there is little gravity in Blizball, characters can do certain moves that allow them to define gravity. This is the first Final Fantasy game to have a minigame sports game. When you win the first game against the __, well I forget what the teams called, but you can save your game and play Blitzball tournaments for the gold cup. You add your player talents in the game. If you were me, who barely knows Blitzball, will try to level up all the characters in order. Tidus is our main character in the game and a pretty good Blitz ball player. He does his secret move, the spiral move, and that is the most powerful move in the game. In Final Fantasy X there is only one stadium to play in, with 8 teams to play against. The rules are simple. Try to pass the blitzball to your team mates to score without it over taken. The goalie usually catches the ball. In the beginning your team is severely under talented. But that doesn’t mean the goalie can’t catch the ball. He can and he does it well. I find the best odds with me passing the ball to Tidus. I know, I have to pass the ball to other players too, because the HP is being used up when the guy with the blitzball is moving. Most of the time if you select to pass the blitzball to your teammates, you have a better chance of a teammate catching the ball. The most confusing aspect of this game is you don’t know which way you’re going. There is an arrow with two Goalie nets on opposite ends, but your character can turn the opposite direction in an instant, and that part confuses me. I can’t tell which way to go sometimes. This mini game needs work. It would be better if the camera wasn’t so close to the characters. Otherwise this game is awesome to play. I have an idea, we already know Square and Electronic Arts are merged, EA Sports should make a custom Blitzball game in Final Fantasy X-2. The chances of this happing are very slim. FIFA 2002 wasn’t so bad. Maybe this Blizball game will be in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. So I wish this Blizball will improve beyond what it is now. Although the concept is great, just needs a-bit touch-up. In the end I think this is a great game to play. It’s not as difficult as Breath of Fire V: Dragon Quarter or Grandia Xtreme.

[ The end of the game ]

Final Fantasy X’s ending wasn’t that great. In my opinion, FFX glorious ending wasn’t long enough. It's not the greatest FMV in the game. It sucks really. I was expecting more of a ending. Yuna praises the land as it enters Eternal Calm. The ending was great looking in Full Motion Video form. What can I say about it – Squaresoft, being an experience movie making company (After the computer generated characters in Squaresoft’s first movie, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. After the gamer watches the credits (which didn’t bother me, FFX has this love song playing at the end) Tidus swims up to the screen and then you have the closing screen. It was just a 10 second video after the credits. The game should have had more FMV on Tidus. Sure their was some FMV on his father through out the game, but not every FMV was on him. It will be interesting if the next RPG I plan to play, Xenosaga Episode 1 will exceed the FMV of Squaresofts FFX. The “Xenogears” franchise was originally from Squaresoft before Namco bought the franchise. Xenogears is another game that I own, but haven’t played yet.

My favorite FMV in the whole game is the wedding FMV. Of course, the most popular cut scene was the opening fmv in the beginning showing Tidus with the Blizball team scoring goals just before Sin attacks the city. The special effects were spectacular. I could almost feel the rumble of the crowd. The laser light show was also amazing. The city depth was very vast. I see why every one likes it.

(article posted August 31, 2003 rev 1.1)

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Summing up Final Fantasy X

Graphics

9.0

I like the graphics. Yura is a hotty. I like her. Yet all the characters are well shaded. You can see the muscle in all characters legs in the game. A concept unheard of in Playstation games. The background is pretty.

Control

9.3

The Sphere Grid is a good way of leveling up your character because it does use a like star system, like what astrolomy uses to map things in space. Your cursor can move locations when you loss points when you move, you gain them through out the game gaining experience. Since Final Fantasy changed from ATB (Active Time Battle Role Playing Game) to a Character Turned Based Role playing game and Square made it faster. The long battles of the pass only appear in major boss fights. The menu system is upgraded to not just a plain feel anymore, it's really colorful, but at same time very clean. The character option menu uses many solid colors. It does what you except from any RPG. The ability to change your weapons and armor. It allows you to keep up on all the key items you collected.

Orginalism

9.0

This game is probably the best and most realistic role playing game I've played for Playstation or Playstation 2. It though doesn't seem as long as Fnial Fantatsy VIII or IX for the PSone. Maybe that's because the RPG was filled with full motion video. I dunno.

Sound Effects

NA

Replayibly

NA