Final Fantasy X / X-2

I have owned at least a half dozen versions of this game.  Second only to Chrono Trigger (dozens on that one, I’m sure).


The Crew

There’s a special place in my mind for this game, as it was the first to (successfully) move away from the ATB model and really focus on the strategic combat portions.  Character swaps are an integral part of the gameplay, and understanding turn order is key for some battles.  The level of control here is where my issues with FF12/13/15 come into play.

I won’t talk about FFX-2.  There were some neat ideas tried here (notably the foundation for FF12’s kitchen sink approach) but it detracted too much from the previous entry.

I won’t rehash much here on FFX.  If you haven’t played this game from 2001 by now, there isn’t a whole lot more to say.  The PC version is the re-release from 2014, which is the international edition + cheat console.  That means Dark Aeons, expert sphere grid, turbo mode, infinite gil and so on.  What’s good here is that I can play it without any input lag, which is a problem with a lot of games nowdays.  Most games have compensation for it now, but older games were hardcoded and even a 0.1s lag was enough to detract from specific button actions.  Dodging lightning, or getting an Overdrive to connect is painful.

Some high level thoughts

  • The story is more resonant now than it was back then.  A world of continual sorrow, with small patches of hope.  People making choices for things larger than themselves.  Themes of self-sacrifice are all over.
  • The game is bug free and smooth.
  • For the most part, the RNG in this game is fair.  All the instant KO hits are telegraphed.
  • Blitzball randomness of stats is ever annoying.
  • This game is insanely linear for a very long time.  The variety of combat is what keeps it interesting (press A doesn’t work).
  • The FMV cutscenes are still solid (34gb install!!)
  • The in-game engine cutscenes have better art, but are even more jarring in HD.  The acting is bad, the writing is on-par with George Lucas, and the camera angles are all over the place.
  • The music is still captivating.  The Hymn of the Fayth is still haunting.
  • I really do love the chess match of each boss battle. It really is a thinking game.
  • It was smart having three villains – one for Yuna, one for Tidus, and then the general acceptance of fate.

FFX is one of the better in the series, and if you haven’t tried it for a while, or have yet to play any variant, it’s a solid pick.

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