If it’s a final fantasy, how come it’s like the third/seventh/tenth one?
I don’t know people, I just don’t know. The title does sound slightly contradictory, but if that’s all that is keeping you from playing the game…GET OVER IT.
The tenth installment of the Final Fantasy series really breaks new ground. FFX is to FFXI what FFVII was to FFVI. In laymen’s terms, FFX rocks. Fans of the Final Fantasy series and newcomers to the RPG genre will both find this to be an enjoyable game. My humble writing skills can do about as much justice to this game as a bag of moldy rutabagas.
The basic, dumbed-down plot of the game is that you, Tidus, a superstar athlete from Zanakrand must save the world. He finds himself thrown a thousand years into the future, in the land of Spira. “Sin,” as the gargantuan sea monster that plagues the land is known by, is your main foe. A plethora of wild animals, crazed zealots, and magical beings stand to annihilate you at each step of the journey. Of course, without these minor nuisances you would never be able to grow powerful enough to destroy Sin.
Some things stay true to the Final Fantasy mold. A cast of seven characters makes up your final party, and each character has certain arms and armor that they alone can use. The typical magic spells of FF history make their return with new animations and stunning graphics. Summon monsters also make an appearance in the form of “aeons.” Of course, the random encounters are still in place to help build up your abilities—a necessary evil.
While some things stayed the same, FFX breaks away from the typical cast in many ways. Gone are the days of experience points. Instead, points are earned towards your sphere level. With each sphere level, your character is allowed to move one space on the sphere board, a gargantuan maze of stat bonuses and special abilities that can be activated by the plentiful orbs earned by defeating enemies.
The function of the summons has also changed as well. Instead of the powerful one-hit attacks of previous games, the aeons now take the place of your party when they are summoned. They use regular attacks and magic spells just like the normal characters. Their true power lies in their Overdrives—the abilities that charge up as battles are waged. When fully-charged, the aeon can unleash a powerful attack against all that stand in its way. One other new feature to FFX is the ability to switch out party members during combat. Three characters enter combat, but if you find yourself in need of an ability that your current characters do not possess, a few quick button presses finds a new party member in the fray. These are all but a few of the new features that make FFX a pleasingly original game.
Final Fantasy has always been known for eye candy, and FFX certainly does not disappoint. Spell effects, summons, and the story-building cutscenes are all incredibly beautiful. There is never a dull moment in the land of Spira. The towns you visit and the lands you venture through are all gorgeous, in the tropical setting of this world.
FFX marks the first Final Fantasy that has full voice acting. Every word spoken by the main characters can be heard as well as read. This goes for normal conversation, cutscenes, and the CGI movies. While interesting, this marks one of the weaker parts of the game. The quality of the voice acting could have been a lot better, with a few of the characters’ voices being a bit grating on the ears at times. An abundance of “ooooo”s and “aaahhh”s are found in the dialogue, and do get a bit annoying at times, especially when everyone in the party has to get their two cents in. It doesn’t affect the game that badly; it’s only during the longer scenes that you find yourself getting a little antsy.
Despite a few minor flaws, FFX holds true to the Final Fantasy legacy of quality role-playing. It provides a grand adventure that the player can spend many an hour laboring through. Side quests, minigames, and other optional tasks will keep the player busy for quite a while after playing through the main quest. Definitely pick up a copy if Final Fantasy or other RPG’s have pleased you in the past, and I would highly recommend picking it up even if you have never experienced the series before. It’s a must-have game.