The Ultimate Classic RPG Guide for New Gamers: FF X
Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy X, I think, was a way for the franchise to start exploring some new and different options. Being the introduction to, at the time, the advanced playstation 2's capabilities allowed for some much needed exploration. If Final Fantasy VI and Final Fantasy VII were to have a love child, Final Fantasy X would be it. We, once again, see the in depth story that you can get sucked into, and the life like characters that you can fall in love with.
You begin the game as Tidus (pronounced Tee-dis), a star athlete in the world of blitzball. His mother died when he was young, and the cruelty he faced at the hands of his father have shaped him into a sensitive guy with some daddy issues. He enjoys the single life of a celebrity until one night when his home is attacked by a mysterious monstrosity. After what would seem like a global annihilation, Tidus wakes up to find himself lost in a strange cavern that leads him to a small village. He'll meet new friends there who are more than willing to help him get home. More importantly, he'll meet Yuna, a beautiful maiden who is destined to learn the summon arts, a skill that allows her to call great magical beasts to her aid. Tidus, taken by her beauty, soon learns the all summoners will face a dire and grisly fate and becomes hell bent on changing her destiny.
Fighting is a little bit different in Final Fantasy X. It's still based on taking turns, but now there is a little chart on the side of your screen that depicts who gets to move and when. Use caution, each action affects the way your turns lay out. Also, new to the battle system is the ability to switch any character at anytime during the battle with another character. Each character is strong against specific enemies. Tidus can hit fast enemies with ease while Wakka is proficient with flying enemies. Rikku can dismantle robot type enemies wile Auron can break through even the strongest of defenses.
Final Fantasy X also introduces the sphere grid. Instead of the traditional level grinding system, you can now use the sphere grid to boost stats and learn skills. For example: Lulu, your black mage can start casting white magic spells once the right progressions have been made. If you think Kimahri is too slow, you can put him into Tidus' skill zone and give him a speed boost. I've always found it a good idea to cross train your team. You can never have too many healers, or an extra thief for plundering rare items is always helpful. Final Fantasy X also tried to introduce puzzles inside shrines. You're given a chance to rest your muscles a bit in exchange for flexing your mind. It's a trial that you must face in order to obtain powerful magics that will help you ease through the journey. Each puzzle consists of a series of symbols that you must locate and activate. Some reveal rare useful treasures, others open new doors to help traverse the shrine. The trial is to manipulate your environment in order to reach these symbols.
All and all the game is superb. It looks and sounds terrific, the story is deep and inviting , the characters are complex and intriguing, the new additions are a nice change of pace and the puzzles can be furiously frustrating. Don't let this one get away. After Final Fantasy X, the franchise was never the same.
As always, I welcome your feedback and comments. Don't be shy, let me know what you think.
Final Fantasy's first venture onto the playstation 2. This game really does have a lot to offer. Don't think twice about picking up this title.