Another game in the list of HD remakes, and it’s by far the best High Definition title to date! This week’s Retro Recap is, of course, Final Fantasy X
I tried to stay away from writing about the Final Fantasy titles, purely because I could go on and on about each and every one of them, however, there is one particular game that is very dear to my heart. Can you guess? It’s is Final Fantasy X. Widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best Final Fantasy games ever made, X bought a number of classic FF elements to the PlayStation 2 era of consoles, as well as introducing some staple mechanics that are still rife in the RPG genre today.
Set in the world of Spira, Tidus, our man protagonist, is a star Blitzball player who gets cast 1,000 years into the future by the perilous entity known as Sin. From here, Tidus meets with Yuna, a local summoner tasked with bringing down Sin and bringing the Calm, a brief window where the masses can live in peace. Along their journey, they encounter a number of friendly faces as well as some of the most truly hateful characters in video game history (“Seymour!”). Tidus discovers the truth about Sin and the lengths which Yuna must go in order to stop its destructive ways.
Unlike all other Final Fantasy games, X utilises a CTB system (Conditional Turn Based), as opposed to the traditional Real Time fights. This allows players to plan their actions accordingly, instead of rushing to select commands and allows for further strategy on defeating fiends and bosses alike. The level up system also differs greatly from previous instalments. The Sphere Grid effectively allows any of your characters to play whichever role they choose. Yuna, the designated White Mage at the start of the game can be taken down a completely different path and become your powerhouse, whereas Auron can become your resident Black Mage within a few simple moves. The Sphere Grid determines which moves are available to each character and what stat bonuses they get, and with the inclusion of the Expert Grid in the International and HD remake, even more flexibility is added with each character starting at a centralised location, rather than in their specific portions of the grid.
As with any large scale RPG, there are bound to be a number of interesting facts and Easter eggs:
- During your first trip to Kilika, there is a small child running around in inn who incorrectly states that “I want to be a blitzball when I grow up!”
- During the invasion of Home, the voice over the tannoy is repeating “I’m annoying, huh” over and over again. (Yes, it’s annoying…)
- FFX marks the first Final Fantasy games that Nobuo Uematsu didn’t exclusively work on the soundtrack. He was accompanied by Masashi Hamauzu and Junya Nakano
- Spira is actually set on the same timeline as Final Fantasy VII, with Shinra in FFX-2 being the original innovator of the Shinra Electric Power Company in VII
By in and far one of my favourite games of all time, Final Fantasy X was pretty much my teenage years. Completing it time and time again, even now it’s an annual thing to go back and clock a good 40 – 50 hours replaying this fantastic game. FFX was my first real Final Fantasy game I picked up and instantaneously got me hooked to the franchise. Even some of the more tedious tasks, such as lightning bolt dodging or Blitzballing for hours on end still entertains me to this day and I could not ask much for from a video game (and it’s not even 60fps, 1080p! Scandalous!). If someone is looking to get into RPGs, look no further. If someone wants to relive a classic story-driven game, this is the one. If you want a game that simply still holds its own even in today’s era, 2 generations of console gaming later, Final Fantasy X still shines incredibly bright. Pick up FFX and have a fantastic few days of fun and excitement, Square(Soft) Enix delivered amazingly and pioneered the way we see 3D RPGs in today’s marketplace.
Fellow Koalition member Jakejames Lugo wrote a fantastic review of Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD. Check out his opinions on the game and the changes from the original here -> Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster
Did you play Final Fantasy X when it came out over 10 years ago? Did you pick up the HD edition and what did you think of the graphical improvements and remixed soundtrack? Let us know in the comments section below!