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Final Fantasy X
By: Rory on January 7, 2002

Final Fantasy X may have been one of the most anticipated games ever - it has been in Japan for many months and Americans were waiting until Spring 2002 to get their hands on it. Lucky for us, Square pushed up its launch to Dec. 18, 2001, and allowed gamers to get the game before the new year. Does it live up to the hype? Read on.

In terms of gameplay, FFX has mastered the good RPG gameplay and has added more to it. The battles are similar to other Final Fantasies, but the number of fighters has changed back from four to three. However, in a fight, all of your characters are useable thanks to the new battle system which allows players to exchange fighters in and out of battle using the L1 button on your controller. All the characters have their own specialties, example: Rikku is the thief, Auron the Fighter. However, all the characters are completely customizable thanks to the wonderful Sphere Board. Let's take some time to learn about this new system.

The Sphere Board may be considered one of the greatest leveling up system ever. The Sphere board is a gigantic board filled with spheres that give you higher strength, more HP, and more MP. Each Sphere needs to be activated by a character in order for them to gain the described attribute. All the characters start on different parts of the board and are able to change their specialties simply by finishing off their part of the board and moving into someone else's - or they can also use special spheres which transport them to other places on the grid. This means that a typical fighter can become a great spellcaster, and vice versa. While some may find the system complicated, after a short tutorial given in game, it is as easy as 1,2,3.

Another big difference between this and any other Final Fantasy is the weapons. Instead of traditional weapons which have a certain statistic on them which denotes how much damage it will do, the weapon is allowed up to 4 attributes, which can be customized eventually. Instead, the weapon relies on the statistics of the character which are increased using the Sphere Board. This means that the weapon can have such abilities as Poisonstrike which gives the person being hit the status effect of Poison. Other abilities which can be placed on weapons increase power of certain things like HP+5% or Strength+10%..

The graphics in FFX are amazing and sometimes the in game graphics can rival some FMV quality videos. However, the game does have its share of amazing FMV quality videos - not only are they as realistic as real life, they seamlessly lead into and out of normal graphics without any load times in between. Only problem some people have with the graphics is that Square did not take the time to redo the mouth movement so the speaking does not exactly match the mouths. This is a very tiny matter though and can be overlooked by the pickiest of gamers.

The story has always been one of the strongest parts of the Final Fantasy series and FFX does not disappoint. The story involves a star Blitzball player named Tidus from Zanarkand and his life is changed when he ends up in a new land named Spira. Apparently all of this can be traced to one source of evil referred to as Sin. Tidus meets up with many characters along the way including Yuna, Wakka, Lulu, Kimahri, Auron and Rikku and begins his longest journey ever. Along the way you can expect many twists and great story details. This is considered by many to be the best story of any Final Fantasy.

The score of Final Fantasy is also amazing, featuring music that is unforgettable and relaxing to listen to. The music was done by none other than Nobuo Uematsu, who does a great job on this musical score.

Overall, Final Fantasy X will lie in the hearts of many as one, if not the, best RPG of all time. It is a must buy for all owners of PS2, RPG fan or not and it will give you a good 80-90 hours out of it if you want to do all the sidequests and mini-games. Don't miss FFX, and get it ASAP.

Presentation: 10
A great presentation with great graphics and gameplay which will pull you in and keep you hooked.

Graphics: 10
Definitely some of the best realtime graphics of all time, with some of the in game graphics rivaling FMVs and the FMV rivaling reality.

Sound: 9
Great Sound! Nobuo Uematsu has done it again, the only problem is there isn't enough of it.

Gameplay: 10
The Sphere Board has revolutionized the RPG industry and all the other additions were heartily welcomed.

Replay: 8
While most won't ever play and finish this twice, it will be replayed for a long time by many, especially RPG fanatics. The one problem with the replay value is that there is no way to save after the end which would've made more replay value like in Chrono Trigger.

Overall: 10
FFX is AMAZING!!! RPG fanatics will love this game and non-RPG fanatics may find the genre their new favorite after they play this game. It will stay in the annuals of gaming history forever.

© Copyright 2002 PlayStation Pro 2

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