Final Fantasy X
Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 12/20/01 | Genre: RPG
I have to admit I was nervous buying Final Fantasy X. True, I played it at E3 and loved it but I had been let down with the last two installments. Now I am not trying to start a debate here. A lot of people liked both 8 and 9, but for me they were both found well, not fun to play. So even though I liked the preview version I still hesitated in buying it, I didn't even pre-order it, which is a first for me with the Final Fantasy series. I must say that all my fears and bad thoughts were put to rest. Not only is it a great game, it may be my favorite game in the series. The visuals, cut scenes, battle systems, music, storyline, controls; all of it was great.
First off, I must admit that the visuals were what caught my eye when I first hit the power button. I have never seen an RPG that looked this good. The representation of the characters and the facial features they used were just astounding. And that is during regular game play. The cut scenes were jaw dropping. I had people who don't even enjoy video games come in and ask me to play the cut scenes for them (which you can do with a nifty little theatre they have in game which allows you to replay them as much as you want and the music as well). The graphical quality of the entire game really showed off what the PS2 as capable of. I think that this is the first game that has really done that. A fellow student at my school said it best I think when he walked by with some friends and they started to watch me battle in the Monster Arena, "You know a game is bad @$$ when groups of people sit and watch you play it." The spell effects were out of this world as well. The way that characters and summoned beings (thank you Square for adding a choice for short summons instead of the full show) attacked with them left you feeling for the poor monster that got hit by them. Of course great spell effects would appear off with bad sound sooo...
On to the audio!!! I am gong to say right off the bat that FF7 had the best music of any FF, with the Super NES versions not far behind. I think FFX fits somewhere in there, definitely near the top. The music really fit the mood and brought more to the different locals of the game, and the great sound effects just added to this experience more. The crackle of energy from the spells and the footfalls of the characters were all represented in clear quality sound. Another feature FFX added was voices for all the main characters. I have heard a lot of people complain about the voice acting in the game cut I thought the voices were well done and added a depth to the storyline that I don't think would have been possible with just written text.
Along with the voice-acting Square added a few other nifty features that past Final Fantasy's didn't have. One of the new additions that I really liked was the new battle system. It allows the player to switch in any character on the fly without sacrificing a turn. Of course this means that the monsters had to have special abilities to counteract this, such as monsters immune to physical attacks or none piercing weapons. Of course this also means you have to keep almost every character leveled up but for most FF fanatics I doubt this will be a problem. Another great innovation that I hope they keep is the Sphere Grid that they use for leveling up characters. It gives the player complete control over the outcome of each character. Want Tidus to learn white magic no problem! Just wisk him over to Yuna's section of the grid. Square has also done away with the need for tents at save spheres. Just touch them and your HP/MP is restored. Of course with all the great things going for it there has to be something wrong with the game right? Well there is. It isn't anything huge but I found it sort of a problem, the length of the game.
This has got to be the shortest FF there is. I completed the game at 46 hours, and that was after acquiring the secret summons as well as some of the ultimate weapons. True, if you play Blitzball till you fingers bleed and try to defeat ever monster in the arena you could stretch this game out for all time, but do most gamers want to do that? All in all FFX is a great game, one of the best out there. Don't think about it, just get up go to your store and get this game!!!