By Darkstar614 26 Comments
Now fast-forward to 2007 when I purchased the Greatest Hits version of FFX while looking around at a Best Buy. Having just recently played through Final Fantasy XII, playing FFX again felt like an amazing breath of fresh air. Mostly everything that I missed from the Final Fantasy series was still present in FFX while a couple parts were being left out for newer mechanics in FFXII. I'm not going to get into it here, but FFXII had its own set of problems. Going back to the turn-based combat of FFX was a nice blast of nostalgia. I was really starting to warm up to this game. I even got more into the optional stuff like the Monster Arena and Blitzball games, though not that deep into them just yet. I did manage to get some of the character's final weapons, including Lulu's, the one involving dodging 200 lightning bolts in a row.
Fast-forward again to 2009 when I decided to pop it back in for another playthrough. Tons of info of Final Fantasy XIII was already flooding the internet showing off its impressive graphics, new combat system, and futuristic setting. The nostalgia for the old turn-based combat was never greater playing the game this time around. Playing FFX this time I was into it pretty hardcore. I got into the characters and started to understand why each one was designed the way it was. Writing Tidus off as 'whiny' is easy to do, and its still debated today. But what people never really cared to understand is his problems are part of the story and if changed, would cause the rest of the game to fall apart. I felt like the weird character designs finally made sense and help the game feel much more complete than I ever thought it was back in 2001.
I was pretty obsessed with the game at this point, farming all those spheres from the Monster Arena, collecting every character's final weapon (yes I even got Lulu's again!), and beating every optional boss that was available in the NA release(sorry no Penance). I spent an enormous amount of time re-writing the sphere grid with +4 spheres to max everyone's stats out. And also spent a great deal of time in Blitzball for a reason that I can't seem to remember at this time. Everything about the game was such an awesome experience this time around.
Now with Final Fantasy XIII nearly out in NA, I start to reflect again on FFX and wonder whatever happened at Square Enix for them to go in such a different direction with the series. Seems like today there is so much hate for turn-based RPGs, but for whatever reason I still enjoy a good turn-based RPG only if the challenge is great.(think FF4 hard-type, none of this Mario&Luigi super easy stuff).
Will square ever make another turn-based game? Probably not. But I was thinking again about FFX recently, and it really does seem like I like FFX more and more each Final Fantasy game that is released.