"The latest instalment of the Final Fantasy series, FFX, is truly a work of art. The graphics are great; characters are spectacular, and the story as in-depth as ever. The game introduces many new things into the series. Square kept the limit break or power break idea, only this time it is called overdrive. Perhaps one of the more noticeable additions is voice acting. There are also many apparent changes with the battle, ability, and equipment systems. I will address them individually: "
The latest instalment of the Final Fantasy series, FFX, is truly a work of art. The graphics are great; characters are spectacular, and the story as in-depth as ever. The game introduces many new things into the series. Square kept the limit break or power break idea, only this time it is called overdrive. Perhaps one of the more noticeable additions is voice acting. There are also many apparent changes with the battle, ability, and equipment systems. I will address them individually:
Battle System. The battle system still keeps the same basic menu-command idea (attack, magic, item, etc…) however a few new commands have been opened up to us. There are commands to change armour, and weaponry, and in certain battles trigger commands are available. Trigger Commands can be a variety of things, like moving closer or farther away from an enemy, or taunting an enemy to boost one’s stats. Square has also added a helpful window of information that tells you what order your party and enemies perform their turns, as the battle system is turn-based. This can be extremely helpful when planning what to do next, or to simply find out whether or not you will have time to heal before the enemy can attack, and so on. And perhaps the most helpful of all the new aspects of the battle system, is the ability to switch party members. On any character’s turn one can switch him/her for another character. This gives better opportunities to gain AP for little used characters, and is often a necessity at times.
Sphere Grid. The way in which characters learn abilities has change dramatically. There is now something called the Sphere Grid. The concept of the sphere grid is a little complex, but not too difficult to grasp (at least in the game). Basically, as you defeat enemies in battle, you gain AP. This AP leads to you gaining S.Lvl’s, and S.Lvls are what allow you to progress through the Sphere Grid. For each S.Lvl you have, you can move 1 sphere forward. Throughout the world (and battles) you receive items that enable you to activate ‘nodes’ on the Sphere Grid. Activated nodes improve your character attributes (gain HP, speed, strength, etc…) and teach them abilities. So the just of it is, there is a large map like thing (Sphere Grid) and you navigate through it with your characters, and activate various nodes, thus gaining new abilities and increasing attributes of your many party members. The Sphere Grid system gives you near complete control over how your character becomes stronger.
Equipment. There is no longer any defence or attack value pertaining to the equipment, however if one of the item’s abilities includes something like: Magic Def +10%, then that attribute will be changed. Various weapons and armours have different attributes to them and that’s what makes them better or worse from each other.
Blitzball. I felt this mini-game deserved a section of its own as well. You nearly always have the option of playing blitzball at every save point. The game is played in a giant sphere, filled with water. The point is to blast the ball into the opposing team’s goal. There are various stats that affect your team mates performance in the game. You are only required to play one blitzball game throughout FFX (and it is mighty hard), but it is a good idea to continue playing (not just for prizes but also for Wakka’s legendary weapon, and overdrive abilities). There a many people that you can recruit for your team, and you pay them a select salary on a game-by-game basis. At first blitzball is pretty hard, but it only takes some getting used to--and practice. So don’t get discouraged, because it is worth playing, and it gets to be really fun.
Final Fantasy X is not without fault however. The game is very straightforward and can often feel like your watching a movie. Sure this can become frustrating, but for the most part it is fine. There is a map of the area provided in the top-left corner, and I often found myself looking at that more than the area. This is a problem, because not only do you miss some treasure, or hidden items, but it also, in some cases, takes away from the enjoyment of seeing the area, because you tend to look at it much less. However, the map is useful: hidden pathways (often leading to treasures) are revealed by the map, thus making secrets more obvious. The map also has a flashing red thing that indicates where you are supposed to go; this can be too helpful sometimes. My last and final complaint is the removal of the World Map. The exploration of the world by flying around aimlessly is no longer. This has some good points and some bad points, so this problem really depends on you.
The story is just as good as you would expect from Square, and the FF series. It is just as enrapturing as ever, and with the new voice acting characters seem even more believable. The voice acting really helps you get to know the characters, although it can be corny or off-key at times, all in all the voice acting is well done. There are lots of nice cut-scenes and close-ups with facial expressions and beautiful animation. FFX is definitely a hard-hitter in the graphics department as many FFs have been. The game was generally easy, and fast moving, and never became boring. You can easily put a lot of hours into FFX, and often too many hours too quickly.
My Conclusions. As it is, I have enjoyed playing; the hours just seem to fly by. Without getting the majority of the side-quests or any legendary weapons, the game could easily take 50-60 hours. The time played will increase a lot if you go for the secrets, as they tend to be lengthy, especially capturing monsters for the monster arena. FFX is unquestionably worth playing, and deserves a high rating. Because of a few minor flaw-like things (mainly the easiness and straightforwardness of the game), I rate it about 95. This game comes highly recommended to all who love a good story, with wonderful characters, and the added bonus of great graphics.
Community review by kahr (Date unavailable)
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