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Final Fantasy X

Final Fantasy XTidus is a famous underwater sport Blitzball player in the high-tech city of Zanarkand. During a Blitzball tournament, the city is attacked by a giant creature known as, “Sin”. As the city is being destroyed by Sin, a mysterious man appears before Tidus and utters the words, “This is your story”. They then both get drawn into the world of Spira.

While in Spira, Tidus is rescued by Al Bhed salvagers and Rikku. She tells him that Zanarkand was destroyed by Sin 1000 years ago. Shortly after speaking with Rikku, another attack from Sin happens and Tidus is separated from the group. He drifts in the ocean until he reaches the shore of a tropical island named Besaid. This is where he meets Wakka, the captain of the local Blitzball team. He introduces Tidus to Yuna. She is a young summoner who is on a journey to obtain the Final Aeon and defeat Sin. Yuna is accompanied by Lulu, Kimahri, and Wakka as her guardians. Rikku, Auron, and Tidus join the team as well. They go on a journey to gather Aeons throughout Spira and defend attacks from Sin. The story also involves an evil mage named Seymour, who’s eager to destroy the world of it’s impurities, and Tidus’s father, Jecht, who’s always had a rough relationship with his son.

The gameplay now is seen through a third person perspective. Camera angles will shift slowly as you play as Tidus. Gone are the days of pre-rendered backgrounds even though I still like them.

There is no world map like other Final Fantasy games before it. You travel the world of Spira through a menu representing your next destination in a point and click manner. Later you get an airship to fly to a specific place or town. Final Fantasy X still has a good amount of side quests and branching paths without the world map.

Final Fantasy uses the Random Battle System once again and the encounter rate has been lowered, thankfully. The game uses a Conditional Turn Base (CTB) system for battles. The previous games used the popular Active Time Battle (ATB) system. Final Fantasy X’s battle system is more turn based then previous games in the series. On the upper right hand of the screen, a display will be shown. This shows the order in which a character/enemy’s turn will come up. You get to have three active party members during battle that can be swapped in and out.

Options to attack during a turn are: Attack, Summon (Yuna), Skill, Special, BLK/WHT Magic, and Item. You can attack a selected target with the first action. Yuna can use the Summon ability. Selecting this command will open a sub-menu which you can choose from the available Aeons.

Aeons are summoned beasts that be called upon by Yuna. When summoned, the other characters will move out of the way leaving the Aeon alone. Each Aeon has its own abilities, attacks, overdrives and fighting styles which can be leveled up. There are 10 of them that you find. Some are ones you get during the story and others are by defeating them in side quests.

Skills use MP and can be used against an enemy or to help aid a friend. There are 22 of them in all. Some specials can only be used against enemies and some can be used for allies. There are also 22 of these and they usually deal with improving your stat or giving an enemy a disadvantage.

BLK Magic (Black Magic) is magic that has an attack emphasis. This is where spells like Fire, Ice, and Ultimate originate form. There are 19 of these you can acquire during the game. WHT MAGIC (White Magic) is the health and status curing magic. There are 22 of these. Some spells are Cure and Esuna. All of these use a certain amount of MP.

Final Fantasy X uses the Sphere Grid to improve and develop characters stats. This is where you get new abilities, skills, and upgrades to stats. When you defeat an enemy you will receive Ability Points (AP) and increase the Sphere Level (S.Lv). You start in the center of a grid and link spheres together. While on the board you can choose which direction you want to link a sphere in. Each one you link can give you different results.

There are four main spheres you can use. They are Power Spheres, Mana Spheres, Speed Spheres, and Ability Spheres. While on the board you can choose which direction you want to link a sphere on the grid. Different spheres will let you learn different abilities when you link them. There are also special spheres that you can link. Some of them are HP Spheres, MP Spheres, Strength Spheres, Teleport Spheres, White Magic Spheres, Black Magic Spheres, Master Spheres, and Level Key Spheres.

For the most part, I enjoyed FFX. It was a nice transition of the Final Fantasy series using PS2′s capabilities. My only minor gripe would be the lack of an explorable world map. Why is it so hard for recent JRPG’s to have world maps like FF7 and Star Ocean 2? Lost Odyssey had them (even though it was pretty limited), so there’s no excuse for Square not to include them. You can’t even enter buildings in games now days. I just feel that they are an important element to the Final Fantasy series. It gives the games that sense of grandeur that makes you feel like you’re on a big journey. Square-Enix, please make them return for Final Fantasy 15!

Pros: Story, Graphics, Battle System, Music, Aeons

Cons: No explorable world map!

Score: 9.0

VGM: “Rikku’s Theme”

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