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FFX: I am the Winar.

I finally finished Final Fantasy X. It’s been a year or so, maybe more, but when you only play occasionally and don’t play at all for months on end, that kind of stuff can happen.

All in all, I think it was a pretty good game, but it could have been better. The story was great; it was detailed and surprising and interesting and all of the things that I have come to expect from the franchise. The characters were neat, and offered a good range of choices (I used Tidus/Auron/Wakka most of the time, with some major Yuna influences and Rikku when I could). I really liked the weapon customization system, but the ingredients were a little hard to come by, and the interface was a little clunky.

My biggest complaint, though, was that the last half of my game was leaps and bounds better than the first half of the game, because you have the airship, and that makes all the difference. Note that when I say ‘half’ there, I mean the time I played. The storyline is the first half of the game; the second half was running around and being awesome: getting the celestial weapons, learning Holy, and generally enjoying the world that Final Fantasy is so good at creating and populating. I was disappointed that your opportunity to do all of this stuff came so late: in most Final Fantasy games the running-around-and-exploring-sidequests is a much more integral part of the experience, and it is interwoven with the story progression. Not in FFX: if I wanted to go back to the first city, I had to walk.

As such, I can understand why my brother Josh, whose only real Final Fantasy experience is watching his wife play FFX, seems to dislike the whole series because they’re too linear. FFX is admittedly linear. Play FFVII, or even go back to FFII or FFIII and it’s a different story.

However, having said that, I definitely enjoyed my time with the game, and I am looking forward to Final Fantasy 12 when it comes out next year. In the meantime? The Sequel is coming.

{ 4 } Comments

  1. avatar Josh Again | 2005-11-11 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    FFX-2 just starts you off with the airship; I think Square learned the lesson on that one. ;)

    I don’t dislike the Final Fantasy franchise because they’re too linear; I dislike them because I find turn-based combat to be boring and clunky. I could bear FFX-2 with its pseudo-turn-based combat, but I think only because it was short. ;) That, and Square games annoy me with their flights off into crazyfuckland, without letting me as a player contribute to the crazy except to bear through it.

  2. avatar TALlama | 2005-11-12 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I think that turn-based combat has its ups and downs, yes. For instance, any boss fight in FFX is a strategic fight, where you have to plan out what you’re doing and make sure that you have enough turns to do it. It forces you to anticipate, to plan, and to do things when they have the maximum effect. Contrariwise, I was playing .Hack and one of the bosses there can’t attack if you stay at a certain angle from him. So I found a way to run in a circle that meant he couldn’t ever hit me. That’s not strategy; that’s bad beta testing, but real-time action forces you into these situations where the battle system has to take lots more into account, and a clever player can exploit the holes to make it work. Sometimes that’s neat (I beat the boss at level 5 when you’re supposed to wait until ~14) but most of the time it’s kind of disappointing. On a different note, how did you like FFX2, and why?

  3. avatar Josh Again | 2005-11-12 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    FFX2 was really neat because it was short. I’m getting to be an old fogey gamer, and I want stuff that I can finish without sacrificing large portions of my life to do it. It was also amusing in a pop culture sort of way — it’s a very “hip” game. “Hip” being defined, of course, by 30-year-old male Japanese programmers.

  4. avatar TALlama | 2005-11-13 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    We’re thinking of turning in FFX now that we’ve finished it, and getting FFX2, since Kingdom Hearts 2 has now been delayed until March at the earliest. I’m playing a bit of .hack right now, but I’m finding it lacking in quite a few respects: it’s part 1 of 6, and it seems like the story in part 1 is mostly tutorial get-to-know-the-world type stuff, instead of getting into the actual plot.