Fantasy X, Finally!

I’m done with this game! Whoo! I beat Sin, Seymour, and Jecht! (spoiler alert: those are the final bosses. another spoiler alert: yes, those are their names, even though “Jecht” is the only one that sounds even a little bit like a video game boss name.) I got a bunch of sweet treasures! Three of my characters can double-cast Ultima! Two more can hit for 9999 damage every turn! My stats are, like, really high!

Okay, I’m actually pretty happy about this. As I was almost done, I was really hoping for the game to end soon, but now that it has, I remember why I like video games. Sadly, I like them the same way I like cereal: addictively.

However, I like to review everything all the time, so here are my thoughts on Final Fantasy X:

- The gameplay is mostly pretty great. They keep improving from previous Final Fantasies. You don’t have to spend much time leveling up, which is key; however, you do level up a lot, and whenever you do, you really feel like you’re getting something cool, which is also key. All the characters are useful, in their own way, and you can switch them each in and out quickly and painlessly. You can see which characters will attack next, which lets you strategize a bit.

- The setting is kinda neat. You, Tidus (the main character), live in Zanarkand, but you are mysteriously thrown into Spira 1000 years in the future. You traverse a land of devastated beaches, forests, a cool magicky river called the “Moonflow”, a heaven-like place called the “Farplane”, imperial palaces, underground rivers, caves, mountains, and eventually the inside of Sin (a big monster).

- The storyline is melodramatic and heavy-handed. You’re on this mission to defeat Sin, but (spoiler alert) Yuna, the girl, is going to die! Oh noes! And it turns out that the religious leaders are really corrupt and don’t actually want to save the world like they say they do! But if we all stick together and fight, we’ll figure out a way to save the world AND Yuna! (On the way, we will also overcome racism.)

- Some of the characters are pretty okay. There’s Auron, the mysterious wise old guy who (spoiler alert) is actually a ghost; Wakka, the big dumb religious carefree-but-not-really blitzball player; Seymour, the aforementioned evilman; Cid, the brash airship pilot, etc.

- Some of the characters are not okay. All the girls are hard to take, except maybe Lulu, who is the old, wise one, but still wears dark emo makeup. Oh yeah, and often underdressed, surprise it’s a video game. Seymour is like this good-guy-turned-bad, except they reveal that he’s super bad in like the first scene. Jecht just makes fun of Tidus a lot, and oh yeah, he’s his dad, and Tidus hates him a lot, and this is like a major important plot point because he really hates him totally a lot yeah.

- Tidus deserves an extra bullet point because he totally ruins the game. He is the worst. His voice actor must have been an understudy because the main guy got laryngitis. Or rather, the understudy’s son; I’m not sure he’s hit puberty yet. His facial expressions don’t help. He looks like an action figure. His mouth doesn’t close right. His eyes are like vapid but trying so hard to be full of meaning. Whenever he was talking, I wanted him to stop talking. Gaargh!

Sidebar for Final Fantasy VII and X players. The characters are exactly the same:
Cloud <-> Tidus, the adolescent hero with a giant sword (no innuendoes, good god)
Aeris <-> Yuna, the healer who is in love with the hero and also (spoiler alert) is going to die
Barret <-> Wakka, the dumb likeable big dude who fights a lot
Tifa <-> Rikku, the young girl who steals things and wears short shorts
Red XIII <-> Kimahri, the dog/cat/whatever animal who fights with you and doesn’t talk much
Cid <-> Auron, the grizzled, wise one
Sephiroth <-> Seymour, the really super bad guy with the hair that’s all crazy

Right? Hurgh. Nothing new under the sun.

But hell. Nice game anyway. Good combat, well-scheduled rewards, a lot of friendly interfaces, they let you skip a lot of the stuff that you wanted to skip. Lots of sidequests you could do if you wanted, and apparently a ton of extra monsters if you have all the time in the world. They’re learning from all of their mistakes. All in all, I enjoyed FFX, and if I had another life’s worth of free time, I’d probably play FFXII. And a lot of other video games.

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