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Square's Forgiven for Their Sins...
By: Ricky Takare
Squaresoft, the RPG machine of the console gaming arena, has given many gamers hours of enjoyment from their games, and even more hours of debate. From Chaos to Sin, The Light Warriors to Yuna and her guardians, the Final Fantasy name has become a household name. Each predecessor being a classic, bringing innovative ideas to the world, and with a story that sparks controversy, Final Fantasy X is no exception.
First of all, to the visual, wow. Squaresoft is always improving on their visual standards, and raising the bar in the industry. The characters can actually show emotion in the game without looking cartoonish. The musical score is also very easy on the ears, and is very memorable, with the exception of the scene of Blitzball in Zanarkand, which gets stuck in your head and is a perfect fit for the scene. This is the first Final Fantasy to include voice-acting, while not perfect, is far better then most games that can be found even today. The voices fit the characters. Tidus is unsure and still acts like a kid, Auron is the calm, collected knight, Wakka is fun and gentle, but can get serious in a heart-beat.
As with any game, my heart lies in it's story. The game can have graphics that blow, but with the right story, it doesn't matter. That said, this game easily gets a ten. The story of this game comes in second place of favorite all time stories for games. Not only are the plot twists great, but the ending brings back the sane feeling I got when I saw Aerith's death from Final Fantasy 7. It also original in it's overall scheme. I've never read, or played through a story quite like it, and if there is please feel free to correct me.
The battle system is a nice change of pace from the Active Time Battle meter. Instead, your characters fight according to the meter in the top right of the screen, similar to that of Final Fantasy Tactics. The special attacks in this game are called Overdrives. There are different ways to acquire Overdrive, you can set it to where you attack, and get it based on damage, use magic, or taking damage. Weapons and armor are customizable, and can have have attributes to help deal more damage, or make your character stronger against attacks.
While it may be a long game, taking 40 hours to get through, or even surpassing 80 hours, if you are a perfectionist, it's not the most difficult. The last boss is easy enough to beat in a few rounds, and the rest of the game is also as easy. As with most RPGs, though, this game falters in it's replay value. The story is great, which I deem worthy of a reply a few times, but other then that there is no new content to be seen, nor is there a new game+ feature.
The translators on this game did an excellent job with it all, including the deciphering of Al Bhed, and while the voices don't match the movement of the lips, it's not horribly off, and if it bothers you that much, throw yourself into a lake and don't come up for air, because there is no way you can ever make English voices fit perfectly over a Japanese speaker.
The interface, however, left a little to be desired. The leveling system wasn't the greatest, while character customization is nice, there is no point in having some characters when all of them can do the same exact things. This tends to be a problem in the latter half of the series, where all the characters have the same commands, except the limit breaks.
All in all, I recommend this game to anyone and everyone who likes RPGs. It may not be the best game in the world, but it certainly is a great game to play while waiting for the next masterpiece to be released. With all my reviews, I'll throw in a quote down here, just to fill space, as I'm horrible at writing conclusions. "In this industry, whenever a black character is introduced, hero or villain, usually by white artists and writers, they're slapped with racist names, that single them out as negro's."
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