Written by  :  Chris Martin (1204)
Written on  :  Feb 15, 2002
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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It's not a game, it's a work of art....

The Good

First off let me say that I've never played ANY of the previous Final Fantasy games before. I have no clue how they worked, or how this one matches up to the previous ones.

I do know that after playing FFX for a day or two, that it is the most gorgeous, intense, and incredible game I've played in a while.

The plot of the story encircles Tidus - the star Blitzball player from the Zanarkand Abes. After the being known as "Sin" attacks Zanarkand, Tidus is thrown 1000 years into the future - to a land known as Spira. He eventually ends up with a beautiful summoner named Yuna, and is then wrapped up in her quest to defeat Sin.

The graphics in this game are breathtaking. The movements of the characters are fluid, and ultra-realistic. The Aeons summons alone are enough to make our jaw drop. But what I found that set the game apart, is that in most cases, you can't tell when the pre-generated cutscenes stop and the in-game engine takes over. The cutscenes' quality is equal to that of the FF movie that was released last year, and the transition between cutscene to in-game in flawless.

The sound is fantastic. This is the first FF game to feature full audio voice for all the main characters, and the localization team did a top-notch job with the translation. Although I find Tidus' voice a little whiney, I think it sounds great. The music, although repetative in the battles, is great as well.

The controls, once you learn them are extremely intuitive. You can either use the analog joystick or the D-pad to control you character.

The gameplay itself is a blast. One of the newest features to the series, is the ability to "hot-swap" your characters while in combat. This makes for more strategic planning of your battles and allows characters with healing abilties to jump in - heal your wounded - and then jump out as well.

Another interesting change is the sphere grid. Gone are the days of experience points. It's little complex but the jist of it is this. You have a HUGE grid of spheres, that allow to you branch out and level up your character. You advance in spheres by defeating creatures in battle, and you level your characters up by collecting spheres that you collect at the end of each battle.

Overdirve stirkes are also done well. In most cases and Overdrive strike happens when you've battle enough creatures to fill you Overdrive bar which unleashes a very powerful attack. But the way the attack are done is cool. Instead of just hitting a button, you have to do a certain pattern on your controller. For instance when you use an overdrive attack with Wakka you have to line up 3 colors on a slot machine type display. The quicker you line them up the more damage you do. Or with Kilmarhi's attack you have to do a certain sequence of button pushes, and the faster you complete the sequence, the more damage it does. I find this technique is very cool. I means that overdrive attacks don't automatically hit your opponent with your full strength, the same as real life, your strongest attacks might not do the damage you hope for.

The Bad

Not much so far. It's an awesome game.

The Bottom Line

Bottom Line: If you've never played an RPG before and you happen to own a PS2, then this game is for you. If you've ever seen screenshots, they don't do the game justice. The plot, controls, graphics, sound, gameplay, are so finely tuned, that it's impossible not to like the game.

A must-buy for any RPG lover.