The lights are on
Final Fantasy X is my favorite game of all-time and for years I was waiting for this game to get a HD release.Please note my review will only be for FFX.Final Fantasy X has one of the most unique and captivating stories I've ever experienced in any form of media.I like how the character for the game isn't a tough guy,he isn't a soldier,he's a sports star named Tidus who gets sucked 1000 years into the future.It might sound like a strange choice when you read about it but when you experience the story you'll see how a character who is not your typical tough guy and who's inexperienced in battle feels even more vulnerable in a world 1000 years in the future that's filled with dangerous creatures and how he's alienated because the world 1000 years in the future is much different to the world he comes from and also because since Tidus isn't a emotionless,tough guy like other Final Fantasy main characters and in fact he expresses his emotions and is more sensitive which is why a certain female character falls in love with him because he can cheer her up and comfort her in a very depressing world.For people who haven't played FFX before,without giving away spoilers I'll say the world 1000 years in the future is being destroyed by a giant creature named Sin that can destroy entire cities quickly and every time they kill Sin it comes back.They believe Sin is their punishment for going against their religion referred to as 'Yevon' and their religion teaches them to not use machines(referred to as machina)and I won't give away the reasons why but they're good reasons.Sin has killed so many people in the world the world's population has been reduced to small towns and there isn't many big cities left.
The people in the world believe they can make Sin go away for a while and bring a period referred to as the 'Calm' by summoning a supernatural being referred to as an Aeon and to do this they have to go on a pilgrimage and travel to various temples and learn how to summon other types of aeons first.Very few people have the ability to be a summoner though which is why the summoners in the world are very protected people.What makes the story memorable to me are it's sense of adventure,it's plot twists and shocking revelations and it's love story.The love story in the game is very heartfelt for me personally because I can feel the chemistry between the two characters but they have major obstacles in the way of their romance which makes the prospect of a long-term relationship between them two seem almost impossible but I wanted to keep watching the story to see if there was a chance their love could last.Like I said,Tidus can make the girl laugh and cheer her up and she's always depressed because her world is being destroyed.The plot twists do a good job of surprising you while still gelling together well with the main story.The plot twists didn't feel as if they were included simply for the sake of including them,it felt like the story was evolving without becoming a mess.I found the world in the game interesting because of the things I've mentioned above and also because the world has a major sport named 'blitzball' which is like a mixture of under-water European handball with brutal physicality.Blitzball is the sport that Tidus is the star of.The world has various races besides humans such as the Al Bhed who believe it's okay to use machina and dare to challenge the Yevon religion and as you'd imagine it creates a lot of hostilities towards them.The Guado are a humanoid race with hair that grows in weird,pointy ways and they have pointy ears and they have a lot of political power and want to enforce the Yevon ways on everyone,even if it means by force.The Rhono are panther-like humanoids who have their own unique culture too.And the way the dead interact with the world is a unique one,I won't give too much away but often you'll see the spirits of the dead floating around or even reinacting things they did when they were alive.
The cast of characters is great.Besides Tidus,I really like Auron because he's like the wise,quiet,tough guy and has that mentor approach and when he's around you feel like everything is going to be okay and Auron is famous in their world as a guardian of a famous summoner named Braska.Wakka and LuLu have personality and Yuna is the summoner the group are protecting as she travels around hoping she can learn how to summon the final aeon that can stop Sin temporarily.Another thing I love about the story is the mysteries and I don't want to spoil them for you but you'll see what I mean.As for it's gameplay,it has a turn-based battle system and one thing it did differently for it's time compared with other turn-based RPGs is it allows you to substitute party members in and out during the middle of the battle which adds more strategy.The sphere grid allows you to decide whether you want a party member to be a powerful melee attacker,powerful mage,a bit of both of even a white mage but only Yuna can summon aeons.The catch is if your party of 3 characters is K.Oed it's game over,despite the fact your party actually have 7 characters but this keeps the battles challenging and allows them to be tactical.Aeons add an extra element of strategy because they can absorb hits your party members would take but with the exception of one Aeon named Cindy,the other aeons cannot be revived during a battle(only after a battle).However,Aeons are capable of doing a huge amount of damage to enemies,especially with their overdrives.The overdrive system adds another important element to the battle system because the overdrive is like the limit break in FFVII and you can bring in aeons and use them just for their overdrive or to absorb hits for your party.Your characters can perform overdrive attacks too of course.
Besides just battling you can explore the world and although FFX doesn't have an expansive world map the environments have numerous paths and hidden areas and when you gain access to an airship later in the game you can search for hidden areas on a world map but it's not the typical world map you would have experienced in older FF games because instead of an expansive landmasses with various towns/cities the world map in FFX is displayed inside the airship and you can experiment and scan various coordinates or find hidden codes to add to a computer to scan and it will search for hidden areas on a giant map which represents a world map.Of course you can use the airship to return to areas you've previously traveled to.Some of the environments are quite open but I wouldn't say they're big but they often have numerous paths and hidden areas to explore and at least the world has towns/little cities to explore.You can search the world for aeons(not just the one she needs to learn before the final summoning but other ones she doesn't need to learn how to summon but are very powerful but require finding hidden items and locations and doing other tasks before you unlock them).You can search for Al Bhed primers which teach you the Al Bhed language and there is many of them hidden and you will slowly start to understand the Al Bhed language the more you find more Al Bhed primers and since there's many Al Bhed around the world talking their language,when you start to understand what they're saying it just makes it feel like a more culturally diverse world.The world also has what's called Jecht spheres hidden in various places and the Jecht spheres show story scenes relating to Tidus's father,Yuna's father and Auron and I like how the game purposely keeps certain things a mystery until you earn the right to learn more about them.There's also Chocobo racing but the Chocobo racing isn't anywhere near as good as it is in FFVII or FFXIII-2 but it does present some very challenging sidequests that you can try to beat for rewards.And of course there's blitzball and you can create your own Blitzball team(you can search the world for players to recruit and you pay them according to a contract you create with them)and as youd expect the better Blitzball players ask for higher pay but you have to explore the world a bit to find where these better players are.Blitzball uses a bit of real- time,turn-based elements and character levels and abilities play a big part too and it's a fun game once you get the hang of it and there is blitzball tournaments and leagues you can enter that offer prizes such as helpful items for battles and even to learn new overdrives that are much more powerful.
You can also search for world for celestial weapons and for the parts needed to upgrade the celestial weapons to full power and if you get them to full power the character who wields it will be capable of doing incredible amounts of damage each attack(up to 99'999 each attack).You can also try to capture monsters and breed/create unique monsters and fight them at the monster arena(some of the unique monsters that you can breed/create are very tough and beating these monsters can help you earn rare items that can be used to give your characters great stat boosts.You can also search for the dark aeons which are extremely powerful aeons which you can't use but you can battle them and earn rare items and they're related to relevant side-stories and there's an epic surprise install for you if you defeat all the dark aeons.As for the visuals,waterfalls look stunning and the environments look more realistic and better than ever and the game has beautiful environments influenced by Southern Thailand and what looks like could be Northern Thai influence too.Just like in the original game,during the cutscenes the characters don't look realistic but go for artsyle and in this version of the game they look more polished but the CGI's once again make the characters look like real people and it brings story scenes to life.Once again expect to see spectacular story events.However,there is lag with the lightning strikes in the lightning planes and it makes getting a certain trophy extremely difficult and it's annoying when it's hard to dodge the lightning strikes when you want to travel through the lightning plains quickly because you're getting bombarded with lightning strikes and it's hard to dodge them because there is lag from the lightning strike flashes which wasn't in the PS2 version.
Final Fantasy X is known for having among the most beautiful and emotional music for any video game and for the emotional romantic scenes is when it's at it's most powerful.However,some of the tracks have been rearranged and IMO certain tracks are not not as well-suited for certain areas that they're not used for.But the music is still beautiful and heartfelt and spiritual nonetheless.Auron's voice suits his wise,tough,mentor persona and Yuna's voice suits her well,same with LuLu and Wakka's and Rikku's,as for Tidus,sometimes he sounds a bit too childish but sometimes his lighthearted,goofy voice and cheerful attitude helps brighten things up.The music can motivate you or add an epic feel to certain story events such as when there's a big story revelation or when you feel the group bonding.I'd also like to add this title contains extra story scenes relating to a period in-between the events of FFX and FFX-2 and has an audio drama set after the events of FFX-2 that provide some even more startling story revelations and has even sparked rumors of a FFX-3,so even if you've played this game,if you love it a lot these things add more reasons to come back to it.Even though I won't review FFX-2 I will say it was an emotional adventure but just not as epic as FFX and it's world has developed in interesting ways and...MINOR SPOILERS FOR ANYONE WHO HASN'T PLAYED FFX AND FFX-2Yuna is looking for clues that will lead her to Tidus so she can be with him againEND OF MINOR SPOILERSFFX-2 being included makes it even better value since you get these 2 games for 1/2 the price of a new release game and they're worth experiencing again because they have more secrets to reveal.If you love FFX or haven't played it but love JRPGs you need to pick up this title.
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