Final Fantasy X

2001 was a simpler time. Brett Favre had no camera phone with which to capture his underwhelming penis with, Pluto was still our little 9th planet that could,  and the Square was still Soft instead of enix. Final Fantasy X takes me back to a time when I could truly get lost in an RPG. Lost in it’s world, its mythos, it’s story and really get involved and attached to the characters. FFX was the last game I can remember that drew me in and gave me this experience. I can’t say whether this really is  due to the loss of Square”Soft” quality, or if its just a factor of me getting older and more cynical, but both the former and latter are sad conclusions.

Square went back to its roots completely gameplay wise, featuring a turn-based battle system with enough new twists on the system to keep it  challenging and ultimately very strategically delicate. Even it’s extreme linearity is a throwback to the classic days. Which is something some people can’t seem to grasp. One of the main things people harp on when talking about X, or the most recent XIII, is how linear they are, and how Final Fantasy was always about adventure, and exploring, but that was never really the case. Sure, they featured traversable world-maps, but thats just a way to mask the linearity, you never really could go anywhere you want, your hand was always held and you’re always pushed along a very specific path. X simply doesn’t try to trick you, it ropes you along its path and takes advantage of its design to engage and tell you a story in the best way they can.

The visuals were top-notch at the time, and still hold up pretty well today. It’s still one of the prettiest PS2 games out there. Uematsu’s score is also another classic, ranking up there with his best efforts.

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The voice acting wasn’t great, maybe it wasn’t even objectively “good”, but to be fair this wasn’t a time when voice acting wasn’t widely done in games of this magnitude and they do an admirable job with it, though it certainly has its awkward moments.

It  spawned the first direct sequel of the series, X-2, which also turned out to be quite polarizing amongst fans, but I am pretty fond of it aswell. No, don’t worry, it isn’t my #1…

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