Final Fantasy X Impressions (again)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Yoshi Sugawara, Sep 21, 2001.

  1. Yoshi Sugawara

    Yoshi Sugawara Stunt Coordinator

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    I posted my impressions before, but after playing for a while, I needed to vent:
    I've played FFX for about 50+ hours (haven't finished it yet), and I'm fluent in Japanese (I've only played the Japanese versions of FF).
    After being let down by FFVIII and FFIX, I'm happy to say that FFX is actually - inspired.
    The major changes are the 3D rendered realtime backgrounds, speech and a new battle system.
    The graphics are without a doubt, the best I've seen so far on the PS2 - the detail in some locales is simply breathtaking. The surprising thing about the graphics is that the game relies more upon the realtime rendering engine for cutscenes rather than the CG generated video. There's still quite a few sequences with the CG-movies, and the quality of them is superb - easily surpasses the quality of the other FFs - DVD Video takes some of the credit for that.
    All the major characters are voiced by actors, and add much emotional depth to the story. They're well acted, as expected from Japanese voice actors - hopefully the same will be the case for the U.S. version.
    The battle system does away with the active-time system - and I think it's the game's best improvement. No more long load times for battles, no more waiting for your character's turn to come around. It's fast, easy and satisfying. Battles are actually more strategic as well - every character has their own attributes which make them useful. Summoning beasts have been integrated very nicely with the battle sequences, and are definitely one of the high points about the game in general.
    The story is much more inspired than FF8 or FF9 - it's definitely more original and well-executed. The first couple hours may seem slow (because you're not sure waht's going on), but things will pick up. There are slow and generic moments, but overall it's pretty solid. I felt FF8 was poorly executed, and FF9 was simply a mish-mash of the themes and elements from previous FFs. Not the case here for FFX, thankfully.
    The music is also much improved over FF8 and FF9. The music composer (Nobuo Uematsu) collaborated with two other composers for FFX, and the result shows. I have a feeling that Uematsu was rushed to complete the score for FF8 and FF9, explaining why the music in those games were unmemorable. The music has more "color" than the last two predecessors. FFX music approaches the quality of the earlier FFs - and that's a big compliment.
    That's not to say there aren't any drawbacks. The game is for the most part, very linear until the last 1/4 of the game. If you're expecting to roam around in vast 3D worlds, that's not the case (at least for 3/4 of the game). You are led from place to place, and it's logical in terms of story progression, but I wished for more freedom earlier in the game. The story is compelling enough to make you move forward, though. Also, there's still the random battles, even though if they're less annoying, but soemtimes the same enemies keep attacking you over and over.
    Another gripe I have is the fact that the CG-sequences aren't in DD 5.1 in-game (they're prologic in-game). You can view them individually in DD 5.1 EX at a specific place in the game, and overall they sound pretty good.
    But overall, I am pleasantly surprised with FFX - I'm close to finsihing it, but I don't want to end just yet
    My rating so far [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
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    [Edited last by Yoshi Sugawara on September 21, 2001 at 05:12 PM]
     
  2. AndyVX

    AndyVX Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the review Yoshi!
    I was really looking forward to FFX, but now I want it even more.
    Andrew
     
  3. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    I've been wanting it for a while. I have a bunch of videos from it (nothing like spoilers) and know a LOT about it (graphics, story, battle system, pretty much everything, but not too much story/plot, just basic info and a little extra).
    I have one question. In FF7, the entire world of the game had similarly themed styles. The castle's and medieval type idea really showed in places all over the planet, and the only places that didn't were things like shrines or temples. FF8 changed this and had a lot of diversity in styles and colors, from futuristic to tribal to mechanical to classical. There were even places that you didn't visit unless you completed a side quest and those places had styles of their own. FF9 had some diversity, but the majority of the societies were on the same planet, so the only thing that really changed was the environment (like the town that always rains and the city covered in darkness). In FFX, are there different societies and styles to them to create a diverse world? Does it feel like a full planet and not just a game world?
    I agree about FF9 being a mish-mash of themes and such, but I still think it beat out FF7 and 8 overall, and the ending just made it better. Just my thoughts.
     
  4. Yoshi Sugawara

    Yoshi Sugawara Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd say the style across the societies and people in FFX is pretty consistent. There is some diversity - one group of people are known to use a lot of high tech machinery, and their stuff looks a lot different. But otherwise it's consistent - nothing too drastic.
    The ending to FF9 was overall well done, but I just felt the whole experience was borderline exploitative...
     
  5. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    Yeah, FF9 felt like playing all the FF games put together rather than just a new FF game. I think that some of the elements from the older games came together well, like the 4 person battles and such.
    In FFX, around how many cutscenes are there? I know there are a lot, but I'm not sure how many.
     
  6. Peter Loan

    Peter Loan Second Unit

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    I was wondering how frequent the random battles were in FFX? It really bothers me when you get sucked into a pointless battle every few steps taken in a dungeon. That's really the problem with linear games. I'd rather have more exploration and staged battles.
     
  7. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    I heard that in order to go from town to town, you have to travel on a trail or through forests. If you stay on the path, you get fewer, if not no, encounters with enemies. I also heard the encounter rate is lower, but the battles are a lot quicker, so even if there were more battles, it would still be quicker than the PSX FF games.
     
  8. Yoshi Sugawara

    Yoshi Sugawara Stunt Coordinator

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    Peter, random battles seem less frequent, but still frequent enough to make you fight lots of battles. I'd say overall the random battles are less annoying than the previos FFs - but that's not to say you will be totally not annoyed by them - but overall the random battles actually didn't bother me. What makes them less annoying, like Morgan said, is that they go by pretty quickly, and they're actually somewhat satisfying...
    Oh, and if you're expecting total open exploration, it's not really like that...in the beginning parts of the game you essentially walk down a predetermined path to the next location. It's one of my gripes against the game, but nevertheless, I think the good parts of this game definitely overshadow the bad - I mean you don't expect Baldur's Gate gameplay when you play FF, right?
    But I do think FF should drastically evolve into less linear, more open gameplay....
     

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