Square's latest addition to the Final Fantasy series is on display at the Tokyo Game Show, and all indications are that it's impressing the pants off of everyone who sees it. Graphically, the game has taken a huge leap forward; as opposed to the static, pre-rendered backgrounds of the previous three titles in the series,
Final Fantasy X features backgrounds rendered in real-time, and the results are amazing. Environmental effects such as mist rising off waterfalls and top-notch lighting work, combined with vividly detailed textures and excellent character models, serve to make the game a visual treat.
Though there are only two playable areas featured in this build of the game, they reveal a great deal about the game. FMV cutscenes will once again play a part in the game, and most surprising of all is the apparent removal of the Active Time Gauge, a feature that has been with the series since its Super Nintendo days. Battles themselves remain random encounters, but the transition is much more seamless, and as with
Final Fantasy VIII it looks as though
Final Fantasy X may feature a fairly heavy reliance on summon spells. With characteristically beautiful summon scenes, the monsters are summoned- and then stick around to fight. Players are able to command summoned monsters for the first time, and the monsters can attack and use magic just like a regular party member. Special to the summoned monsters, however, is the ability to perform Over Drive attacks, which are super-powerful attacks probably akin to what a summon spell would have done in previous Final Fantasy titles.
Final Fantasy X will feature character voices for the first time, both in battles when calling out names of attacks, and in the cinematic cutscenes. The voices are apparently synchronized quite well with the action, handily enough.
Final Fantasy X is currently slated for a July 2001 release in Japan and a November 2001 release in North America. More information and media should become available as the Tokyo Game Show progresses, so keep checking RPGamer for the latest information on one of this year's most anticipated titles.