Monday, September 13, 2010
Final Fantasy 10 for the PS2 review
As you all may know, Final Fantasy 6 and 9 happen to be two of my personal favorite games of all time, right up there with Brutal Legend, Psychonauts, Heavy Rain, God of War 3, and Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2. I really love the characters, the story, and the design of both games. You will all also know that I HATE how the fighting system has changed in the more recent games like Final Fantasy 12 and 13. I just don’t see the point, when the entire series has based itself on the turn-by-turn active time battle system. I don’t understand them making the game look like Engrave or Demon’s Soul. When I play a Final Fantasy game, I want active time battles with turns. I don’t want this Kingdom Hearts-style game play that requires a lot of multi-tasking. It all seems like it went downhill right after the release of what I think was and is the last great Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy 10. The first official Final Fantasy title to hit the PS2, it was considered to be one of the greatest RPG games of all time. I still stand by that, even though some things didn’t age well throughout the game, but I still consider it better than Final Fantasy 7. So, let’s dive right into what I think is the last great title in the Final Fantasy franchise.
The story weirdly starts us off with all the characters together, who will all be seen later in the game. The main hero of the game Tidus starts to tell us what has happened. It then takes us to the high tech city of Zanarkand, where Tidus made a living as a famous Blitzball player. While playing through a game for the multiple fans of this underwater soccer, something starts to attack the city. The thing that is attacking is a monstrous being called Sin. As Tidus escapes the stadium, he meets his mentor/guardian named Auron. They try to escape the city, fighting off Sin’s scale monsters and a killer sea cucumber, Sin. Something goes down where Tidus is sent years, and I mean like 1000 years or so, into the future. He is then is found by a young woman named Rikku, who is a leader of a group of thieves. They finish a mission, and then Sin attacks. To make this shorter, Tidus then wakes up on an island, meets other warriors, and he meets this young summoner named Yuna. He then joins Wakka, a Blitzball warrior. Lulu a curvy black mage, Kimarhi a dragoon/blue mage, and Rikku and Auron also join the party. They must protect Yuna so she can use her powers to defeat Sin. I’m not going to spoil who the main bad guys are, since some people already know or haven’t played this game yet. This is for people who haven’t played the game or are just curious about what I think about it. Well, read on and you will find out.
The game play featured in Final Fantasy 10 is just how I like it. It’s turn-based, where you can take all the time in the world to plan out your strategy to take out the monsters. Sadly, instead of 4 fighters, you get the Final Fantasy 7 and 8, a 3-person party, where you need to plan who you want out during the game. They basically all have their unique classes and abilities. A good example of this is when Yuna can summon a guardian monster that will take the place of the two other fighters, but will stay in battle unless killed. Other good examples are like Wakka has a slot machine-style special ability, Lulu can cast offensive magic, and Kimarhi can absorb some energy from enemies and sometimes learn different abilities from the monsters he fights. Just like other games in the series, there are limit breakers where the character can perform super powerful moves, like Lulu can cast multiple spells and Tidus and Auron have super powerful sword attacks. The main mini-game for this game is, of course, the Blitzball sport. To be honest, I don’t like it that much and I’m just going to say that you swim, make a move, and repeat.
The graphics look pretty good even though by today’s standards, some of the facial features look a little weird, but it can’t be helped. I do like a lot of the monster designs, especially the robots. Now, in a second, I’m going to say my thoughts on the whole “future theme” that the later Final Fantasies have been using. The robots are especially cool looking, since they look like steam punk or some kind of earth robot thing like from Castle in the Sky. I also like the design of Sin. They could have easily gone cheap and made him a ghastly figure or the reaper, but I like the whole giant whale look. The music, while not as good as Final Fantasy 6 or 9, still holds up well, with entertaining battle music, creepy villain music, and great ambiance to the area music. The voice acting is, well…on and off. Sometimes, it’s good, but sometimes it’s just bad. Granted, this is the first time the series uses voice work and it does get better, but still. I also like the giant guardian designs that Yuna and the main villain use. They all have a creative look to them that still show flair. One of my favorite designs is of Yojimbo and Bahamut. I also like the design for the main villain’s guardian. It’s very creepy and threatening with an overdrive that I got handed to me first hand. Now, I’m going to talk about the villain, then I am going to talk about the whole future looking aspect of the games. While not the best villain, Seymour Guado is very threatening with his library of powerful spells, forms, and guardians that he can summon in battle. He is a very tough opponent and has some of the toughest battles in the game. To be honest though, his hair is quite silly looking, but it’s Final Fantasy, so characters are going to have weird looking hair. Now then, let’s talk about the whole future aspects of the future games and why I H-A-T-E them. When you think of the name, Final Fantasy, you think of magic, swords, and dragons. I don’t think of airplanes, helicopters, guns, and freaking tanks! If I wanted a future RPG, I would call it Final Science-Fiction Fantasy. What the heck is up with the future look? I like the better designed steam punk look of Final Fantasy 6, 9, 10, and any other games that don’t use modern technology theme. Yes, they have used uniquely designed future-looking vehicles, but it still doesn’t change the fact that they have totally messed up the fantasy look. This is what happens when you don’t have the original people who made the franchise so great. I know some ideas why the combat has also changed is because people want fast-paced action, but does that mean that kids these days don’t have the freaking patience to go through turn-by-turn to wait and attack? I mean, that is what made the series so great and fun. Sometimes, I wonder why I still like the series. I probably won’t review any of the future FF games, unless people send like 100 emails telling me to review it or something.
Anyways, let’s get to the bad parts of the game. I know I said this already, but it’s a big issue, the voice acting is horrible. I know they did get a good amount of talent like Tara Strong, and the guy who does Ratchet from the Ratchet and Clank games, but still it sounds horrible. The sphere system is also rather pointless and here is why. You can actually cheat the system and make characters like Tidus learn Ultima before Lulu does. How is that possible?! Why can’t they just stick with job systems like Final Fantasy 4, 6, and 9? What is the whole point when Yuna a white mage can learn firaga? I mean it works in Final Fantasy 6 since the guardians you equip to each character have specific magic powers that the character can gain through time. They should have just made job spheres where Lulu only learns black magic and so on for the other characters. It’s just all kinds of brokenness, like the leveling system in Final Fantasy 2.
While this review is a little shorter than my other Final Fantasy reviews, I still find this game pretty good. Yeah, you could find holes in the story, but who cares? You would sound like a guy who doesn’t have much of a life if you spend all your time making videos about all the plot holes in games. No offense to the people who do this like on Internet sites. However, I think people should still pick this game up and play it. It’s still one of the better games in the series and stands as one of my favorite games. It still annoys me that Square Enix just doesn’t go back to what made the old games so great. I’m not saying that new games don’t hold up to modern games, since well, I think modern games hold up better than some older games, but I guess I’ll make an argument about modern games over retro games in the future. Oh well, all I can say is just check this game out.
This game gets a 8 out of 10