Reflections: A Look Back at Final Fantasy X

I had quite the weird beginning with Final Fantasy X.

I actually played FF X-2 prior to playing FF X. That was simply because, at the time, my local game shop didn't have FFX in stock.

A few hours in and I found myself confused by the story and characters, so I dropped FF X-2 and began the search for a copy of FF X. Lucky for me, my friend was finally willing to lend me his copy of the game and I was able to get a fresh start into the world Spira.

Looking back at my time with final fantasy X, these are a couple of things that stand out to me:

- The opening cinematic was absolutely brilliant. Sets the mood and atmosphere perfectly, and screamed "PLEASE PLAY ME!" throughout.

- FFX had a really interesting story in my opinion. Some people didn't really like it, but I am definitely among those who did. Most of the events around Tidus and where he exactly came from were shrouded in mystery, the game uses that as a mechanism to push you forward. Great set of twists and memorable events overall.

- While some of the characters in the game didn't resonate well with me, a couple became instant favorites of mine. Auron stands high and tall among them, an enigmatic figure whom you don't see much of during the early-mid parts of the game. However once his arks opens up you immediately fall in love with his sheer "coolness".

- The game didn't really divert away from previous entries in terms of gameplay. That is not necessarily a bad thing, though the sphere grid system wasn't something I was a big fan of. I would much rather have FF7's Materia or FF8's GFs.

I discuss the game further in one of my videos, so feel free to check it out :)!

What did you think of Final Fantasy X? Are you excited for the upcoming HD remake?

3 Comments
3 Comments
Posted by Hyunickel

I had quite the weird beginning with Final Fantasy X.

I actually played FF X-2 prior to playing FF X. That was simply because, at the time, my local game shop didn't have FFX in stock.

A few hours in and I found myself confused by the story and characters, so I dropped FF X-2 and began the search for a copy of FF X. Lucky for me, my friend was finally willing to lend me his copy of the game and I was able to get a fresh start into the world Spira.

Looking back at my time with final fantasy X, these are a couple of things that stand out to me:

- The opening cinematic was absolutely brilliant. Sets the mood and atmosphere perfectly, and screamed "PLEASE PLAY ME!" throughout.

- FFX had a really interesting story in my opinion. Some people didn't really like it, but I am definitely among those who did. Most of the events around Tidus and where he exactly came from were shrouded in mystery, the game uses that as a mechanism to push you forward. Great set of twists and memorable events overall.

- While some of the characters in the game didn't resonate well with me, a couple became instant favorites of mine. Auron stands high and tall among them, an enigmatic figure whom you don't see much of during the early-mid parts of the game. However once his arks opens up you immediately fall in love with his sheer "coolness".

- The game didn't really divert away from previous entries in terms of gameplay. That is not necessarily a bad thing, though the sphere grid system wasn't something I was a big fan of. I would much rather have FF7's Materia or FF8's GFs.

I discuss the game further in one of my videos, so feel free to check it out :)!

What did you think of Final Fantasy X? Are you excited for the upcoming HD remake?

Posted by Potts

FFX is far and away my favorite FF game, and I will be first in line to get the HD remake, if it ever comes out.

I thought the Sphere Grid system was very good - much less confusing & needlessly complex than FF8's system. Also, due to the characters' placement & progression through it, it allowed you to go through the vast majority of the game having characters with different strengths. The world was well built, each area had it's distinct look, yet the whole world had common themes. The game was nice & colorful, and was an absolute joy to experience for the first time.

But what really set X apart from previous (and later) games in the FF series was the story. 4(US 2) & 6(US 3) had very large, branching storylines, with quite a lot going on for each different character. This isn't to say they had bad stories, but X was much more focused. 7 & 8's stories were muddled & confusing, featuring both enemies & heroes with unclear motivations that were hard to relate to. Cloud & Squall both didn't give a crap about the world, so why should the player? 9 & 12 were good, but didn't immerse me that much in their worlds. And don't even get me started on 13. That game was an unmitigated disaster story-wise.

X's story was fantastic for a few reasons.

1) Having a smaller group (7 playable characters) and a clear main character allowed the game to focus on Tidus's story. Right off the bat, he tells you "this is my story," and you never leave Tidus's point of view.

2) Tidus is an upbeat, fun character. He's a stranger in a strange world, and because of that, it doesn't seem odd that people explain to him (and therefore to the player) the funny things about this new world. It makes sense that he would need stuff explained to him, and those explanations subtly tell the player that they are a part of this too, and help draw them in more.

3) The bad guys had clear motivations, and they were understandable in the context of the game's world. Seymour may have been the classic psychopath that just wants to watch the world burn, but at least he has good reason. You see how he was an outcast as a boy, and what made him who he was. Sin was a giant monster, neither good nor bad, but the thing controlling him was Tidus's father, and gave you a reason to fight him in the end.

4) The characters developed relationships throughout the game in believable ways. At first, Lulu doesn't trust Tidus, but grows to accept him as a "brother." Wakka's relationship with Rikku before learning she is an Al Bhed allows him to get rid of his prejudice towards them. Tidus learns things about Jecht that completely changes how he sees him, etc. The romance between Tidus & Yuna is natural, and not forced. They flirt so much throughout the first half of the game, that it doesn't come as a surprise when they finally hook up. It really bothered me in FF12 & 13 that relationships like this never developed - the games focused so much on system or graphics or gameplay that the things that made past FF games great - story & characters, got pushed to the back burner in favor of making the game more "fun." Which had the nasty side effect of making the games less enjoyable.

Well anyway, I'll end my thesis on FFX there, before it gets too long, but I would like to say that not only is it my favorite FF game, it is one of my favorite games of all time, and I can still go back to it & enjoy it today, 11 years later.

Posted by dudeglove

FFX was excellent right up until Zanarkand - though that is usually the case with Square games when the creators consistently write themselves into a corner, can't figure out who the antagonist should be, lose their fucking minds and thus start talking bollocks e.g. someone's a clone of somebody in 7 (right?), time compression (what?) in 8, the uhh... crystals (?) in 9 which led them to some warped dimension because..?

The twists with Jecht and Auron were pretty neat, plus it has one of the strongest openings of any game I've ever played, and the whole thing sparked my interest in the mafia of voice actors involved: John DiMaggio (Bender) is Wakka, Rikku (Bubbles from Powerpuff Girls) and the ubiquitous James Taylor as Tidus. The ending bit before the stupid speech with the bro high five was a neat little bit of icing on the cake; it's basically the game telling you "job well done". I don't think I've ever got that from the other FFs. Nicely done, Square.

Also, FF10 had a ridiculous number of side quests to do in the endgame like tracking down all the dark Aeons, the monster collection stuff, and it wasn't even funny how many damn hours I put into BlitzBall. About the only thing I didn't do in that game was kill whatever that super ultimate Aeon thing was you fought from the airship because fuck that thing.