SummaryDisappointment or perfection? ... Actually both.
The GoodAs the 7th from the series (only those series that have numbers, though) changed the world of Final Fantasy into fully 3D land, the 10th one changed not one big thing but many smaller ones bringing variety of teh same to the fans and an enjoyable experience to the newcomers. This game is without a doubt one of really-expected up to date of its release, so it was only logical to expect a lot from such a game. But guess Square didn't learn on mistakes made by some other company (Westwood with their Tiberian Sun, which ended up with game being loved almost only by the loyal fans of the series, yeah, like me, but in this case, I am no fan of neither Square nor Final Fantasy in general, but can't say I don't enjoy in moments of time).
The thing which I probably like the most in this game is the fact that you don't need senseless straying from the storyline to upgrade your characters, playing along the story is more than enough to upgrade your characters to needed strength for every incoming battle, and that includes raising your bahamut's strength to 99999 points of damage (yes, you heard it right, without training aside the main plot). Some battles are tricky but neat. It is all made to enjoy, so even newcomers to the series shouldn't have too much of the problem even with the toughest bosses (I suck at FF battles and I passed them all, so go figure the easyness :)
The upgrading scheme is completely new and consists of several types of spheres which upgrade your agility, strength, magic, and other stuff accordingly as you use them. This way there is no character level mentioned, but you will alone know how much did you upgrade someone by activating certain sphere slots.
The entire game shines gameplay-wise!
From the nice character movements, to the wonderful pre-rendered cinemtics that many of you probably loved (shame on me they didn't affect me as some of other games did, including Final Fantasy 8). For the first time, Square introduced voice-acting in the FF series which resulted in such a nice assemble with the characters, accents and tones marked them unique undoubtedly. On the contrary to all those dark-moody characters from previous FF series (I guess 9th one has exception, too), main character in this game, Tidus, is lively and funny as could possibly be, making the entire atmosphere rise in laugh whenever you may consider it boring ot too dramatic. He alone will never allow you to get bored, I assure you.
It is an overall nice addition that PAL version of Final Fantasy X comes as a Special Edition and includes an extra "Behind the Final Fantasy" DVD. There you can find comments by many Square's developers, and actors for the two main characters in the game. Plus some more nice additions, like music video of "Suteki da ne".
The BadHere comes something I never expected I will be writing for this game. In fact, I never expected to write anything against this game in general, and no matter I like its gameplay and wouldn't want Square to change it back to difficulty hard as the previous ones had, some things are still in the lack zone.
Ingame graphics are nice, but not something you would expect to see from SquareSoft, quality-wise. Having in thought this game came out almost simultaneously as Metal Gear Solid 2, and the fact that much more people are familiar with the Square than Konami title, it would be nice that Square prevailed with their game over MGS2 with the quality level, and not with their name. Well, that's their drawbacks, and although many players probably didn't play MGS2, the graphic of MGS2 beats the heck out of FFX's any effects used in the game. And for those who think that MGS2 has pre-rendered vides, you're wrong. That game doesn't have a single pre-rendered cinematic at all, everything is real-time and using ingame engine. However, it matches even the quality of Square's pre-rendered CG in FFX. But we just have to keep in mind that Final Fantasy does have the wider area of players hence must be playable even by little children, so the contents and graphic must use colorful scheme and not so realistic things, but hey, it has the fantasy word in its title, doesn't it?
The biggest disappointment, however, and don't hang me for this when I say it, is the story. Can't believe that I say it, but really, even story of obnoxious (by me, that is) FF7 is much better and more promising. But story as a story might pass for a short fairytale, but it has simply too many gaps and holes that are left unexplained and empty that it simply starts bothering. Maybe that's why Square's making FFX-2, maybe they got some objections so they're trying to fulfill the story, heh. Anyway, Final Fantasies are known to have touching story with many nice moments to encounter, yet this one simply lacks them. Maybe that's one of the changes too, but they just didn't manage to achieve the level FF8 or FF6 had to touch a player. What, a war against Sin, with heavy casualties on both sides, and now you go cry 'cos it's sad when everybody dies. Well, that's a crap. But I still like this game a lot more than most other Final Fantasies so I guess that gives me the right to criticize it a bit, too.
As for the music, well, fans, I understand you like Nobuo Uematsu, I like his music too, and I too have some favorite composers of mine. But still, don't you think there should be time to quit listening to the same stuff over and over again? I mean, themes are so similar and same-fashioned as those in previous of the series that it can't stop striking you that you heard it in some of the other FF games already. Exception goes to "Suteki da ne" which is really wonderful song, but hey, such themes usually differs. Maybe it would be time to finally change the battle theme and others, huh? Music as a music is perfect, but too similar to what we used to hear. I mean, take other game series, Gabriel Knight, WarCraft, Command & Conquer, they all have almost entirely different music score from each game in the series. Final Fantasy on the other hand, starts creating a powerful universe almost as powerful as Star Trek and Star Wars which also can't accept to change some of the songs that we all probably heard zillions of times, and will continu hearing them. Sure, soundtracks exist for that purpose, but let different games have different music. For sake, FF games aren't even sequels to each other. Why treating them as such.
Cinematics in FFX are most of time useless as graphic ingame doesn't differ that much. Well, for Tidus it does, but for most of others, not that much. Square should rather make the cinematics a bit longer than 2sec and use them at right needed moments, and not having them all over game you don't even know what's what.
This game isn't something that I expected it with so much joy to be - unique. (sigh)
The Bottom LineNot the finest game that came out of Square, but could be considered finest in the Final Fantasy series up to date quite easily. It brought so much more to the FF titles, many differences and kept most of stuff still the same (enemy types which probably drag their way from the early FFs, like that giant tomato from hell... hmm, did Id took it from Square or was it vice-versa). On the contrary to prequels, this one is much more linear and even gives you the mini-map that constantly points your needed direction. Hardcore fans might not like that change, but many of you probably will. I know I do. The truth is that you cannot find too big of a choice for PS2 games as you can for PC, so this one can be considered among the top of PS2 games so far. If you would exclude some really creative PS2 achievements like Metal Gear Solid 2, Silent Hill 2, or a few more rare, this one would be on top of it all. And you probably should have it in your collection no matter whether you like Square or not. Personally, I ain't so attached to them, but they made one of my all-time fav games, Parasite Eve. Gotta love 'em for that matter.