Final Fantasy X

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JaySevenZero
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Final Fantasy X

Post by JaySevenZero » January 13th, 2019, 12:48 pm

Here's where you can contribute your memories and opinions of Final Fantasy X for potential inclusion in the forthcoming podcast.

Friendly reminder to all that where feedback for the podcast is concerned, we love it - but self-editing (brevity) is appreciated. We do want to include a breadth of opinions where appropriate, but no-one wants a discussion podcast that’s mainly reading. Better to save yourself time and cut to the chase if you can.

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Re: 373: Final Fantasy X

Post by NerdsWithoutPants » January 17th, 2019, 2:14 am

Hello there! Relatively new listener, and I just had to join the forums to talk about one of my favorite Final Fantasy games.

I could go on about how much I love the battle system, or how status effect spells became useful for the first time in the series. I could highlight the amazing graphics, vibrant world, or the phenomenal soundtrack. But I want to talk about Tidus; somehow simultaneously one of the most beloved and reviled protagonists of the franchise.

I absolutely adore Tidus because he stand alone when compared to the rest of the headliners in FF, especially when you put him next to the main characters of the PSX games. Tidus isn’t a brooding SOLDIER. He’s not a too cool for SeeD loner. He’s certainly not a cocksure thief brimming with confidence. No, at his core, Tidus is a dumb jock that’s in way over his head. There’s a purity to his character that is enhanced by nearly every member of the party; especially when he’s in the mix with Auron or Wakka. He’s a little goofy, a little cheesy, but he’s got a heart of gold, and from the moment he lays eyes on Yuna he’s ready to stand by her side always.

That infamous laughing scene is always propped up as an indication of bad voice acting, and that has always annoyed me. If anything, it should be an example of great voice acting. Tidus is teaching Yuna how to laugh, even when she doesn’t feel like it. The scene is awkward and forced because, well, it’s supposed to be awkward and forced. It’s quite literally a “fake it ‘til you make it” moment, and I think the voice actors do a marvelous job.

As someone who worked retail when FF X came out, I love the revisionist history that surrounds this game. Fans decried the character, voice acting, and linear map design when the game was new, but years later it is widely heralded as the last “true” Final Fantasy game. It remains one of my top five games in the series, and it has been in that spot since 2001.

P.S., It breaks my heart that Final Fantasy XI isn’t going to be covered on this EXCELLENT podcast!

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Re: 373: Final Fantasy X

Post by NiaiMitch » January 31st, 2019, 11:24 pm

I think the main thing that has stuck with me about Final Fantasy X is how subversive it is in its depiction of religious duplicity.

Although the game’s religious iconography, in line with its more East Asian-inspired setting hearkens more to Buddhism/Shinto, the very name of Sin and the political machinations, hypocrisy and corruption that become evident in the Yevonite religion evokes for me the most heinous crimes committed in the name of Christianity over the centuries.

Yuna’s resolve for her pilgrimage despite the faith that’s been her inspiration being revealed as an unholy sham is incredibly moving; ultimately culminating in the most powerful scene in the game, where having finally made it to Zanarkand, she declares that making herself a martyr to give the world a temporary reprieve is simply not good enough, even if it means spitting in the face of a thousand years of tradition.

The final series of boss battles where you’re essentially made invincible are admittedly a bit of a letdown, but the lack of challenge is apposite for Yu Yevon’s only appearance in the final battle as a dismal, underwhelming parasite. It reminded me of the fleeting cameo of quote unquote ‘God’ in Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, as a pathetic, elderly imposter – for whom death is likely a relief. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but pretty heavy stuff.

And lest we forget, it also has that wee boy who wants to be a blitzball - an inspiration to us all.

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Re: 373: Final Fantasy X

Post by TheEmailer » February 14th, 2019, 6:21 pm

For the host.. An article maybe to reference on voice localisation https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/278 ... ceover.php
Basically the engine tied animation to sound... So English language lines has to be same number of frames as Japanese, hence the famous rushed deliveries of "yes"

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Re: 373: Final Fantasy X

Post by Alex79uk » February 14th, 2019, 6:26 pm

I'm enjoying this, but there are some awful difficulty spikes. Pretty much all major bosses are a huge pain in the ass. I had to grind for over an hour for the last one!

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Re: 373: Final Fantasy X

Post by rob25X » February 20th, 2019, 9:16 pm

I remember picking up Final Fantasy X on launch day along with the official strategy guide. I throughly enjoyed the game for several months after and eventually played it to completion a year or two later.

I tried replaying Final Fantasy X when it was re-released in HD on the PS3, but didn't have the time to invest in it and have not since returned to it. One thing that struck me when I played the HD remaster was how well the visuals had held up. Final Fantasy X is without doubt one of the most richly detailed and best looking games from the whole PS2 era and obviously looks much better in HD.

Would I recommend Final Fantasy X to someone who hasn't played it before? Absolutely. I would even recommend this entry over Final Fantasy VII and being able to experience it in HD now is a huge plus. The only difference between the versions is the soundtrack (the PS2 version is arguably better than the remaster). Final Fantasy X HD would make a great Final Fantasy starting point in my opinion. Easy to get into and very hard and complicated to master. A truly classic and memorable game.

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Re: 373: Final Fantasy X

Post by Alex79uk » March 10th, 2019, 10:14 am

Still getting on with this, I must be on around 36 hours - I'm hoping it kind of starts building towards the end soon. I've enjoyed it, but I'm ever so slightly getting fidgity for the end.

And I wish Tidus would stop referring to his dad as his old man. It's total cringe every time he says it, it sounds so out of place!

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Re: 373: Final Fantasy X

Post by ThirdDrawing » March 17th, 2019, 12:57 pm

The thing I liked about FFX is the lack of the open map. Perhaps this is one of the most controversial aspects of the game, compared to older titles in the series but for me it really works.

The whole idea of the game is that you're on a road trip, going from place to place for Yuna to be able to conjur the final summon. It absolutely makes sense within the context of the game that you would be following a linear path because the characters are on a prescribed journey with a final destination in mind.

I still maintain that FFX is the last good FF game. Adding Masashi Hamauzu and Junya Nakano was a much needed shot in the arm to the kind of lacklustre FF9 soundtrack. (Great theme but used far too much). I can clearly remember my friend importing the game soundtrack before the game was out in the West, and my jaw dropping as I hear the intro to "Other World". (Metal in an FF game? Fantastic!)

The characters have a good rapport (and I think the camaraderie is actually brought out during their road trip - another benefit of the linear journey) , each has a unique personality (unlike FF13) and there is a memorable villain.

I like FFX a lot, even the voice acting, which I think gets a bum rap. So there.

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Re: 373: Final Fantasy X

Post by Alex79uk » March 17th, 2019, 2:45 pm

I'm 40 hours in, just about to go in to the final battle, and have really enjoyed this.

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Re: 373: Final Fantasy X

Post by Alex79uk » April 2nd, 2019, 3:58 pm

Whilst I could class myself as a fan of the series, I've only actually played 8 of the Final Fantasy games, and finished even less of them. I can now add Final Fantasy X to that list.

I thought it was great. A little slow in places, and the story was nonsense, but that's just Final Fantasy for you. It had some great systems in play. Being able to swap your team members out during battle was a fantastic addition, and meant it was incredibly easy to keep all characters levelled up in case you needed them. My main lineup was Auron, Lulu and either Tidus or Wakka, but all of the characters were really useful in battle at various points. Well, except Kimahri. Yuna and Rikku in particular become much more useful in the later game.

I liked the way summons worked, giving you an actual character to play with as opposed to one of special attacks. You could be really smart with when you called them in, for example when an enemy was about to do a party destroying move etc. There were a few difficulty spikes early to mid game, but once you're loaded up with the likes of flare, double cast, copycat and full life you become pretty invincible.

The sphere grid was interesting, and a pretty neat way of levelling up, although I could never shake the feeling of wondering whether I was taking characters on the right path. I did end up looking a few things up online - the game doesn't do an amazing job of explaining everything.

It would be remiss of me to post thoughts on the game without mentioning the GOD AWFUL trials in temples. Pick up ball, push block, put down ball. My word, they were boring, pointless and frustrating. A real low point of the game.

All in all though, highly enjoyable. I could go on for ages, but for the sake of brevity I'll leave it there. I had a great time with Final Fantasy X, and will probably play X-2 at some point.

THREE WORD REVIEW: better than nine.

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Re: Our next Final Fantasy podcast recording (8.6.19) - 373: Final Fantasy X

Post by TheEmailer » April 15th, 2019, 3:12 pm

Great ideas, spotty execution

The bad localisation of sound and technical limitations of speech being limited to animation (see earlier post) draw the worst out of the dialogue writing. I think this exacerbates an issue the series has in the ps1 era, the plot ideas are interesting but the storytelling and dialogue don't match up.
Which is a shame because I love the themes this game explores; how dogma and religious organisations can subdue the population vs the comfort people gain from faith. I think also the game does a decent job of dealing with grief.

I really became attached to the world design and art direction of this game when it released. I still think its a vibrant and interesting world to explore. But the storytelling and audio to irritate on repeat playthroughs, alongside those damn summon trials and the hateful celestial weapon minigames.

The gameplay refined many of the systems in turn based combat, it holds up imo. Being able to switch out party members in battle added tactical depth but also made grinding less laborious. The 'regular' sphere grid is a decent system, but the 'expert' system in the international release is brilliant. Rather than passively levelling characters, the player can choose how to mould each character in both the micro sense of activating a sphere and the macro of their overall direction. It can transform a niche character like Rikku into a jack of all trades option.

Oh and I for one never missed the world map!

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Re: Our next Final Fantasy podcast recording (8.6.19) - 373: Final Fantasy X

Post by duskvstweak » April 16th, 2019, 8:24 pm

FInal Fantasy X was one of first games I bought with my PS2 and, along with Grand Theft Auto 3 and Metal Gear Solid 2, was a big reason I wanted the console (what a time to be a gamer...)

At the time, I couldn't believe my eyes with some of the cut-scenes, that opening Blitzball match and Sin attack had me utter those classic words, "games will never look better than this". But, even outside the cinematics, the game felt so colorful and bold, it was hard not become fully absorbed.

I'm a Final Fantasy X advocate through and through. It's in my top three for the series and it's the one I recommend to someone looking to get into Final Fantasy blind, having a decent balance of classic and modern gaming elements. The character switching made battles much more engaging and gave them a new sense of speed. I never really had a problem with the voice acting, even Tidus, whom magazines and the early internet seemed ready to hate right out of the gate. The soundtrack had some wonderful new classic to add to the Final Fantasy canon. Heck, I even played way more Blitzball then was necessary, thought that's definitely subjective taste.

I never really know where the general consensus is with Ten, but it's an absolute favorite of mine.

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Re: Our next Final Fantasy podcast recording (8.6.19) - 373: Final Fantasy X

Post by ashman86 » April 18th, 2019, 7:23 pm

Despite never having owned an SNES or PlayStation, I was a full-fledged fan of the series by the time Final Fantasy X was being prepped for launch thanks to the PC ports of FF 7 and 8. After years as a diehard Sega fan, I'd been liberated from console tribalism with the announcement that Sega was dropping out of the hardware biz, and so I picked up a PS2 in the summer of 2000, and, through the magic of backwards compatibility, played through both Final Fantasy 9 and Tactics in advance of 10's release the following summer.

As we crept closer and closer to June, 2001, I remember thinking that Final Fantasy fever was at an all-time high. I remember pictures of Yuna and Tidus dominating the gaming magazine racks, and I poured over every detail I could get my hands on. A major motion picture, the ill-fated Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, was set to launch in the US mere weeks before the series' first iteration on the new generation of hardware, and it seemed as though SquareSoft was prepping to usher the world into a new golden age for JRPGs.

So blistering hot was my excitement that I remember struggling to sleep before The Spirits Within's launch. The film was nothing like I was expecting, but I couldn't help but drool over the incredible animation (uncanny valley notwithstanding), and I could only dream how incredible the soon-to-be-released game would look in motion. The following 17 days that led up to FFX's release were some of the longest I'd ever known in my short life.

My hands were shaking as I turned over my yellowed paper pre-order slip to the GameStop clerk. They asked if I wanted to purchase the official strategy guide. You bet I did! And gimme a copy of the official soundtrack while we're at it. It was the first time I'd ever play a Final Fantasy at launch, and I was ready to show up fully for it.

Tears welled in my eyes as the opening cinematic, set to Uematsu's "Zanarkand" theme, played out. A relative calm before the storm. I tore through the game like a hurricane over the following summer weeks, taking breaks only to work my schedule shifts at my summer job. I wanted to see everything the game had to offer me: every ultimate weapon, every summon, every secret boss. By the time I was done, I had fully caned and rinsed this game.

I fell in love with its music, its combat system, its characters (especially Yuna and Auron), and its world. The game brought me to tears more than once: as Tidus embraced Yuna, weeping, in an enchanted-looking pond and again as he faded away at the game's conclusion. Oh, and I loved the game's summons. Taking direct control of Bahamut in what's probably my favorite rendition of the character is an all-time gaming high for me. Heck, I even liked the voice acting for all its shortcomings (and the infamous forced laugh scene doesn't count; that's been taken out of context since the day the game launched).

And, yet, when I look back on Final Fantasy X, I don't remember it with the same level of fondness as I do 7, 8, 9, or 12. I rank it relatively low on my list of favorite games in the series, and I've never gone back to replay it even once since that initial completion. When the remaster launched, I snagged a copy on Steam, but I've never so much as installed the game. Maybe it's a middle child syndrome of some sort. The PlayStation games were my gateway into the series, and 9 had practically perfected the PS1-era JRPG formula. Final Fantasy XII would dramatically change the formula and find a special place in my heart because of that.

FFX was wonderful, but maybe it never struck me with the same sense of wonder as those other games. Or maybe my reluctance to replay it, due in part to the fact that I'd so utterly completed it the first time, simply meant that I never got the chance solidify how I felt about it in the way I had its predecessors in some self-perpetuating cycle of forgetfulness and a fading hindsight through less-than-rose-tinted glasses.

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Re: Our next Final Fantasy podcast recording (8.6.19) - 373: Final Fantasy X

Post by Magical_Isopod » April 25th, 2019, 7:34 am

Final Fantasy X gets a lot of things right - the art direction is outstanding, the battle system may be the best in the series, the story has a lot of emotional strong points, the characters are memorable and well-defined... And it should go without saying that the soundtrack is one of Square's best. But it's all kind of marred by a glacial pace.

Ten is definitely a very, very good game - and if you're the type of RPG player that can forgive story flaws for amazing gameplay and systems, FF10 is definitely a great experience. The sphere grid system is one of my favourite skill management systems in the series. The gameplay loop allows you to swap characters in the middle of battle to distribute damage or use each character for their unique class abilities, and I absolutely love how involved it is - it keeps you on your toes in a way that turn-based gameplay often doesn't.

But ultimately, I feel the story and pacing hold everything back. I think the creators were going for a calm, contemplative tone, but I don't think the story says anything substantial enough to justify that style. Lost Odyssey suffers the exact same problems, so I suspect the creative team behind both games were simply interested in that sort of storytelling - but the experimentation betrays the game, in my opinion. The pilgrimage framing device pushes the plot forward, but it feels like more of a casual walk than a sprint to the finish. Combined with frequent Cloysters of Trials and uninteresting detours, it seemed slower than it ought to have. The only things that kept me pushing forward were Seymour's scheming in the background, and the Al Bhed's discovery of hidden knowledge through archaeological enterprise. The whole experience can really be encapsulated in the first hour or so - the game STARTS incredibly strong, and sets up a ton of great possibilities... But the second Tidus wakes up in Spira, the momentum immediately halts, and the story meanders around in confusion for far too long.

I also felt that the love story was kinda forced. I'm not sure if it's a fault of the English performance or the core writing, but I never bought Tidus and Yuna as lovers. The chemistry wasn't there, and I wasn't interested at all in their connection. If I were to speculate, I feel as though the major emotional story beats were written first, and a story was crafted around them. Because those individual emotional moments work, and work very well. But the stuff in between takes itself way too seriously and winds up a bit of a dull read.

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Re: Our next Final Fantasy podcast recording (8.6.19) - 373: Final Fantasy X

Post by Magical_Isopod » April 25th, 2019, 7:46 am

duskvstweak wrote:
April 16th, 2019, 8:24 pm
I never really had a problem with the voice acting, even Tidus, whom magazines and the early internet seemed ready to hate right out of the gate.
I, too, will defend Teedus and the game's VO. Tidus's English voice actor did a *phenomenal* job - if you compare the Japanese performance to the English one, they mirror each other very well. Tidus is an annoying character at some points, *but he's supposed to be*. That laugh scene is *supposed* to be awkward and stilted. Tidus is one of my favourite video game characters, and the performance is part of why. They sell the snooty superstar turned introspective wiseman turn *perfectly*. And the supporting VO ranges from adequate to great - Seymour's distant, whispery pretentiousness makes him an excellent villain.


Three Word Review: "Ride ze shoopuff?"

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Re: 373: Final Fantasy X

Post by Magical_Isopod » April 25th, 2019, 7:54 am

Spoiler: show
Alex79uk wrote:
March 10th, 2019, 10:14 am
Still getting on with this, I must be on around 36 hours - I'm hoping it kind of starts building towards the end soon. I've enjoyed it, but I'm ever so slightly getting fidgity for the end.

And I wish Tidus would stop referring to his dad as his old man. It's total cringe every time he says it, it sounds so out of place!
I think this comes down to poor localization - he's probably disregarding his dad as "oji-san", which is a very punkish way of addressing your own family. Properly localized, he might say "biological father" in a dismissive tone. Or a sarcastic use of "dad". But I see what they were probably going for.

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Re: Our next Final Fantasy podcast recording (8.6.19) - 373: Final Fantasy X

Post by duskvstweak » April 25th, 2019, 2:52 pm

Magical_Isopod wrote:
April 25th, 2019, 7:46 am
duskvstweak wrote:
April 16th, 2019, 8:24 pm
I never really had a problem with the voice acting, even Tidus, whom magazines and the early internet seemed ready to hate right out of the gate.
I, too, will defend Teedus and the game's VO. Tidus's English voice actor did a *phenomenal* job - if you compare the Japanese performance to the English one, they mirror each other very well. Tidus is an annoying character at some points, *but he's supposed to be*. That laugh scene is *supposed* to be awkward and stilted. Tidus is one of my favourite video game characters, and the performance is part of why. They sell the snooty superstar turned introspective wiseman turn *perfectly*. And the supporting VO ranges from adequate to great - Seymour's distant, whispery pretentiousness makes him an excellent villain.


Three Word Review: "Ride ze shoopuff?"
I'll give Auron my vote for favorite voice work in the game.

I agree, too. I didn't think anything of the "laughing" scene as a teen. Maybe I was less critical, or maybe that stuff doesn't bother me because it's all part of the joys and quirks of JPRGs/Final Fantasy. The "annoying" characters that the internet likes to kick tend not to bother me at all. They can't all be the dark, scruffy Berserk-types.

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Re: Our next Final Fantasy podcast recording (8.6.19) - 373: Final Fantasy X

Post by Tbone254 » April 26th, 2019, 12:37 am

I wasn’t able to pick up Final Fantasy X at launch, as I didn’t have a Playstation 2 when it released, but when I finally got one, it was the second game I bought.. Metal Gear Solid 2 was the first. Once I got my hands on a copy, I blew through it in no time.

I remember being impressed with how gorgeous the game was. Its presentation was on a new level when compared to its PS1 era brethren. The camera is no longer forced into being a static fixture. On some of the larger environments, it follows Tidus as he moves around, adjusting its height and zoom as necessary to create some impressive and atmospheric locations. Story sections are now full on cutscenes, with a more cinematic quality.

I think X has one of the best stories of all the Final Fantasies. I’m a sucker for stories that include religion as a principle part of the narrative, especially when its examined critically from both sides; which I believe Final Fantasy X does well. The upper echelon of Yevon’s leaders keep their followers ignorant by banning access to information and technology that contradicts their beliefs. Many of the followers of Yevon remain willfully ignorant by refusing to critically examine their teachings, and in turn, they shun those that question the truth of Yevon. And every generation or so, they encourage their followers to become summoners and take up the pilgrimage so they can sacrifice themselves for the sake of others, for the greater good; so that Spira may live in peace. Along the way, maesters encourage the summoners, promising a permanent place in history as that of a grand summoner. It’s religion at its worst. But this isn’t the only perspective the game takes. Like many real world religions, Yevon may be corrupt, but its corruption doesn’t come from the religion itself, rather it’s from its leaders. Therefore, Yevon also does some good. The people of Spira are not ignorant of the sacrifice the Summoners and their guardians must make, and they do their part to show their gratitude. The summoners are practically worshipped as prophets, with the citizens of Spira showering them with gifts and praise in an attempt to make their journey as easy as possible. Many of the communities never had the opportunity to truly thrive and as such Yevon provides a general sense of structure and identity, a commonality that all the people of Spira can identify with, peacefully. Summoners also bring comfort to those that have lost loved ones by performing the “Sending”, allowing the spirits of the deceased to pass on. But I think my favorite aspect of X’s examination of religion comes in the form of Yevon’s prayer. It’s a bit comical. What the followers a Yevon see as a sacred expression of their faith was originally a trivial sports gesture that stood for victory.

As others have said, I think its voice acting gets a bad rap. Particularly the infamous laughing scene, it’s supposed to be awkward. Tidus’s narration is done well and most other the characters are believable enough. I also believe Tidus gets undeservedly labeled as a bad character. Is he annoying? Sure, but he’s supposed to be. He’s immature and a bit spoiled. But he learns and grows during his journey with Yuna, and it’s done in a way that feels natural.

I really like this game, and having just played through the HD remaster, I have to say that, even though it’s not perfect, it has held up really well.

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Re: Our next Final Fantasy podcast recording (8.6.19) - 373: Final Fantasy X

Post by jackthebluemage » May 13th, 2019, 5:42 am

Despite Kimahri being a poor implementation of my namesake's job class, I'm glad Final Fantasy X exists. I was a big fan of this series going back to the early 90's, and Final Fantasy VIII and IX disappointed me so much that I had to be talked into joining Yuna's pilgrimage fully two years after release. Last time, I mentioned the shortcomings of the preceding game in the series, all elements fully addressed in Final Fantasy X: there's voice acting, the battle transitions are nearly seamless in spots, the combat itself is snappy and fluid somehow despite being fully turn-based, and the 3D models actually looked and moved like actual humans. This game went a long way toward convincing me to buy into 3D gaming, something I resisted throughout the 90's and didn't fully get on board with until I had The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker in my hands shortly after.

Final Fantasy X also has Rikku, my favorite character in the series by a long shot, and a deeply touching ending. That moment...
Spoiler: show
...on the deck of the airship where Yuna starts shaking her head reduces me to a crying mess every single time.
Without this game, I may very well have given up on the series, if not RPGs in general.

Three word review: "suteki da ne"

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Re: 373: Final Fantasy X

Post by Kez86 » May 13th, 2019, 10:53 am

I am a new listener to the incredible Cane and Rinse podcast and am playing the biggest game of catch up by listening to the immense content that you have created over the years. Not necessarily in order, which in a way is symbolic of my relationship with Final Fantasy in general.

That said, having been enamored by Final Fantasy since VII came out in the UK, this series of games defined my gaming experience for over a decade. From VII through to XIII (Where I finally bid farewell to the franchise I fell in love with)

Final Fantasy X was an odd experience for me when it was released in the UK in 2002. It was around this time that graphics in gaming were being hailed as the next step forward in immersion. I will never forget the box art exclaiming "CHARACTERS WITH VOICES" and "REAL-TIME FACIAL EXPRESSIONS" and thinking "Oh my god, I need this!" The game was beautiful to look at for certain. From the vibrant town of Luca to the quaint fishing villages of Besaid and Kilika, all the way to the desolate ruins of Zanarkand, and the empty expanse of Bikanel Island the game always gave me something to look at.

The voice acting was, and still is, incredibly hammy. But that is a part of the charm that makes it memorable. I just remember how amazing it was to explore Spira with Wakka being voiced by the incredible Bender from Futurama.

I also remember how linear the game felt as you gradually made your way North. Something which really didn't sit well with me. Having come from my favorite in the series which was IX, where it gave you immense 'freedom' to a linear pathway ultimately made me reluctant to return to the game after my initial completion in what must have been 2003-ish.

Over 11 years later I returned to Spira through the HD Collection on my wonderful (cough) PS Vita (cough). I now fully appreciate the game for what it was and is. I returned to the game through nostalgia, and I think it took a number of terrible Final Fantasy games to make me realise just how good X was. A game built for the portable console.

Oh, and Blitzball was amazing to play.

THREE WORD REVIEW: HA HA HA

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