The lights are on
I've been waiting for the right
time to step back into Spira. Final Fantasy X remains one of my most beloved
Final Fantasy games, but I'll admit I was a bit hesitant to return to it. The
game is so intertwined with my early days of the PlayStation 2 because it
redefined my expectations for games in terms of graphics and cinematic
storytelling; setting a new bar. Obviously, I knew going back I wouldn't feel
that way, even with the fresh coat of paint with HD enhancements. I've seen so
much innovation in video games and technology since then. Thankfully, that
wasn't the only thing that attracted me to Final Fantasy X. I've always been
enamored with how heavy the tale becomes during Yuna's plight and how the cast
grows together to support her through it.
Stepping back into Final Fantasy
X's world reminds me how breathtaking Spira is; the land is inviting with its
bright and warm colors. Right away, Tidus is in all his hotshot glory, signing
autographs while on his way to a blitzball game. I'm reminded from the get-go how
much I enjoy the Tidus' narration. But let me be frank, he still grates on me.
I sigh and laugh just as much - if not more - at his obvious angst and daddy
issues. But I know it's all for a bigger payoff and character growth in the
story. In fact, I wish more RPGs gave a glimpse into characters' minds and
their true feelings during certain situations. You can never know what someone
is thinking, so I appreciate not having to assume it.
After all these years, I still
find myself in awe by Final Fantasy X's opening. Auron looks like a complete
badass as he calmly walks through the streets as Sin is about to destroy
Zanarkand. The way Sin's attack parallels an intense blitzball game on Tidus'
end is still fascinating. The energy and gravity of what is about to occur is
all-consuming. You can't look away, and the game gets you right in the middle
of it quickly, barely giving you a moment to catch your breath. More
RPGs need to put the pedal to the metal like this. Final Fantasy X has a good flow of
action, even when you're still trying to get all your party members.
Playing through again I can also
understand why Final Fantasy X gets a lot of flak for its awkward scene
direction. I agree a lot of the characters' mannerisms can be unrealistic and
jarring, and it hits me even more playing now. However, the awkwardness works
for Tidus and Yuna, since they're both in that googly eye, 'I have a crush on
you' stage. I'll still even defend that awkward laughing scene. After seeing it again in full context, it's
still cringeworthy, but it also says so much about the burden that Yuna has as
a spirit summoner. I still find myself smirking throughout as Tidus tries to play
it cool with Yuna but still comes off as a big dork. I appreciate these
lighthearted moments because it's a feeling we all can relate to.
The small moments stuck out to me
the most during my recent playthrough. I'll always remember how I wanted to
make Wakka a hero as he said goodbye to blitzball, the trek through the seemingly
endless Mi'ihen Highroad, spending my time dodging lightning bolts and racing
chocobos for ultimate weapons, and watching Wakka and Lulu come to terms with
the loss of his brother. I will admit I was more engaged with blitzball in my
previous years. I just don't have the patience for it now; it's too slow-paced
for my taste. But that doesn't take away from what it does for the world. Part
of what I love about Final Fantasy X is that it takes common staples of life,
like spirituality and sports, and creates its own takes on them. That's part of
what's so immersive about it; you're doing all you can to understand this
world's rules and how it plays into the main storyline. The sense of discovery
of the foreign land speaks for itself.
Revisiting this high-definition Spira
is thrilling and brings memories flooding back, but I'm also taking away new
insights. Even more powerful is seeing how some elements remain their full
potency. I still find that Yuna's role adds a sorrow to the journey that's
hard to ignore. As a spirit summoner, she has to dance when people die to help
their souls move on. She can't be her own person; she's strapped to this role.
Going through the Cloister of Trials and seeing Tidus ascend from a selfish kid
to her guardian still greatly impacts me. Every so often, it's great to revisit
games you loved as it further cements why you fell in love with them in the
first place. The beautifully remastered continent of Spira
and the dark story it carries are just as enthralling as ever.
Email the author Kimberley Wallace, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
I still need to play X and X-2. I have X for the PS2, but I don't know if I should just buy this and play it remastered. Plus, it comes with X-2.
Looking forward to revisiting this. FFX was my first Final Fantasy, and it captured me like no other RPG has since.
I never played the original version, so I think I'll take this opportunity to give it a try.
Will you please do a test chamber with this, Kim?
My favorite game of all time. Can't WAIT
Thanks Kim! I can't wait to step back into Spira as well. So many great memories. I hope my experience mirrors yours.
Looking forward to playing this, I also just ordered FF12 for a replay, I never finished it.
Love this game. I have a lot of good memories tied to it and the years I was dating my now wife. Looking forward to having it in HD glory on PS3 and Vita.
Auron is just about tops on the list of FF party members you pick up through the whole series of games, and it does all start with that opening scene-what an entrance!