Final Fantasy X (again)

Tell us about games you are currently playing. "Quick hit" reviews.
User avatar
Retro STrife
Posts: 1363
Joined: August 3rd, 2015, 7:40 pm

Re: Final Fantasy X (again)

Postby Retro STrife » November 1st, 2019, 5:10 pm

ptdebate wrote:So that's just the thing - and this is one of the reasons I'm struggling with which format to review - I'm realizing that based on the grading system of this site, FFX would merit a different score depending on the platform.

Granted, there are other PS2 games I think should be A+ (MGS3 for example), but the highest score in what is probably the best console library that ever was or will be? Maybe it would only be an A. PS3 or Vita? Definitely an A+. PS4? Could go either way with titles like Bloodborne sharing the same space. Xbox One? Maybe since that's the version played most recently I should review it there (even though it's a strange fit for Final Fantasy). It's probably my favorite version as well (for reasons I would explain).


At the same time, one could also argue that the scores would go down on the later systems. Like with most genres, we expect more from our RPGs today than we did in 2001. If you compare it against PS2 games, it makes sense why it would earn an A. Against PS4 games, our expectations are higher and you might not be as forgiving about the now-antiquated battle system, etc. For those newer versions, I think you have try to look at it objectively (like a guy playing it for the first time), and not fall into the trap of reviewing it as a FFX fan grading how well they updated it. With the PS2 version, it's more appropriate to rely on your old memories of the game, because those memories were formed in relation to other PS2 games.

I'd also lean toward PS2 just because that's the system it is most associated with. Think of your FF7 review... like if you reviewed the PS4 remaster from a few years back, but not the PS1 version. It might seem strange to have a PS4 review of it on the site, but not a PS1 review.

User avatar
ptdebate
Posts: 1071
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 8:39 pm

Re: Final Fantasy X (again)

Postby ptdebate » November 1st, 2019, 5:23 pm

Retro STrife wrote:
ptdebate wrote:So that's just the thing - and this is one of the reasons I'm struggling with which format to review - I'm realizing that based on the grading system of this site, FFX would merit a different score depending on the platform.

Granted, there are other PS2 games I think should be A+ (MGS3 for example), but the highest score in what is probably the best console library that ever was or will be? Maybe it would only be an A. PS3 or Vita? Definitely an A+. PS4? Could go either way with titles like Bloodborne sharing the same space. Xbox One? Maybe since that's the version played most recently I should review it there (even though it's a strange fit for Final Fantasy). It's probably my favorite version as well (for reasons I would explain).


At the same time, one could also argue that the scores would go down on the later systems. Like with most genres, we expect more from our RPGs today than we did in 2001. If you compare it against PS2 games, it makes sense why it would earn an A. Against PS4 games, our expectations are higher and you might not be as forgiving about the now-antiquated battle system, etc. For those newer versions, I think you have try to look at it objectively (like a guy playing it for the first time), and not fall into the trap of reviewing it as a FFX fan grading how well they updated it. With the PS2 version, it's more appropriate to rely on your old memories of the game, because those memories were formed in relation to other PS2 games.

I'd also lean toward PS2 just because that's the system it is most associated with. Think of your FF7 review... like if you reviewed the PS4 remaster from a few years back, but not the PS1 version. It might seem strange to have a PS4 review of it on the site, but not a PS1 review.


Hmm - that is a great point. I will say that I think almost every aspect of FFX has aged perfectly - the battle system feels surprisingly user-friendly and easy to jump into compared to plenty of modern turn-based RPGs - the only thing standing out as "outdated" being the character animations. Conversely, the quality of the soundtrack in this version strikes me as far better than the average quality of music in games nowadays which mainly recedes to the background (like a Marvel film) rather than bearing a lot of weight with the themes and motifs of the plot (like Star Wars).

I would like to review the PS2 version, but there are two problems. The US PS2 version is not as good as the International version and later HD updates which include the more flexible International Sphere Grid. Second, I've played - but not completed - the original PS2 version so I feel a bit less comfortable evaluating it.

Alucard1191
Posts: 237
Joined: November 16th, 2016, 12:55 pm

Re: Final Fantasy X (again)

Postby Alucard1191 » November 1st, 2019, 5:33 pm

Being super quick here, but FF10 is firmly where I stopped with this series. (X-2 to be exact.) My thought at the time, "You're finally giving a final fantasy game a sequel and it is for the game I genuinely think didn't need it, and with a job change system that even young me thought was sexist as hell, and meant purely for young boys to get off too. (Sorry for the blunt language.)

Anyway I honestly have a hard time with these as it goes. I love 4,5,6 and 7, 8 is alright... never got into 9. Tried and just didn't enjoy it. And 10 was even worse for me. SO MANY LONG ASS FMV SEQUENCES!

Honestly, this era of RPGs in general, (meaning PS1-PS2) I feel isn't as good as I remember it being. I really am struggling with Xenogears as well, 40+ hours into that and I'm almost done with disc 1 and I feel the game literally just started.

Back on topic... I know not a very popular opinion, but FFX and X-2 were it for me with Final Fantasy. Really, really didn't enjoy those 2.

User avatar
ptdebate
Posts: 1071
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 8:39 pm

Re: Final Fantasy X (again)

Postby ptdebate » November 1st, 2019, 7:24 pm

Alucard1191 wrote:Being super quick here, but FF10 is firmly where I stopped with this series. (X-2 to be exact.) My thought at the time, "You're finally giving a final fantasy game a sequel and it is for the game I genuinely think didn't need it, and with a job change system that even young me thought was sexist as hell, and meant purely for young boys to get off too. (Sorry for the blunt language.)

Anyway I honestly have a hard time with these as it goes. I love 4,5,6 and 7, 8 is alright... never got into 9. Tried and just didn't enjoy it. And 10 was even worse for me. SO MANY LONG ASS FMV SEQUENCES!

Honestly, this era of RPGs in general, (meaning PS1-PS2) I feel isn't as good as I remember it being. I really am struggling with Xenogears as well, 40+ hours into that and I'm almost done with disc 1 and I feel the game literally just started.

Back on topic... I know not a very popular opinion, but FFX and X-2 were it for me with Final Fantasy. Really, really didn't enjoy those 2.



FFX made the bold choice of forcing the player to watch all of the cutscenes at the set p. They are not skippable. I seem to remember reading that this was due to loading issues with the DVD-ROM - A common approach would be to have some of the area data loading into RAM while the cutscenes are running.

Obviously, if you're not invested in what the story is doing it makes sense that the non-skippable scenes would be an annoyance. Personally, I love the story and enjoy watching it unfold whenever I replay it.

Don't forget though that while FFX has more cinematic scenes, FF4-7 also had their own share of lengthy dialogue sequences and flashbacks. 4 is probably the least offensive in this regard. But you have to admit that all FF games do this.

Do you think you'd have enjoyed the gameplay itself without the lengthy cutscenes? Because gamplay-wise, even though they ditched the ATB system, FFX is just a joy to play.

User avatar
Matchstick
Posts: 285
Joined: October 26th, 2017, 6:45 am

Re: Final Fantasy X (again)

Postby Matchstick » November 2nd, 2019, 12:06 am

Great replies so far! I've only been off this board for a day, but I already feel like I have a bunch to get caught up on.

Based on your replies, pt, I can safely say that you've answered many of the questions I had for you in my first post. I do feel that you've given the game an honest look based on your reflections and comments on your experiences with the different versions of Final Fantasy X.

In short, you're not a "homer." I have read some of the reviews you've posted on this site, and I knew you were quite capable of taking a critical look at the games you've played. Sometimes, though, it can be hard to be critical of something that you hold close to your heart. It is such a rare trait to find on the Internet these days! More often than not, you get someone posting to YouTube or the like with a very one-sided take on a subject, often times telling the audience why they love / hate the item in question without providing any sort of differing point of view. Many things in life are not as simple as "this rules" or "this sucks," and typically there are some redeeming qualities to even the worst of the worst. To be able to take a look at something and provide accurate feedback is a skill many people lack, especially in regards to a subject that they favor, such as defending their favorite sports team or favorite film.

I appreciate that you can find fault with the game. In my eyes, it shows that you have given it a fair look and helps to make your opinion all the more valid and understandable. Being able to love something, despite its faults, is a true test of critical thinking and analysis.

I have a much better understanding now why Final Fantasy X means so much to you, and I thank you for sharing your views as you have on this forum. If you do decided to go forward with your review, I will be reading!

On the topic of an A+ rating versus the concept of perfection, it is worth pointing out, like DrLitch and Stalvern said, that many academic fields and institutions have different standards. At my current university (Arizona State - I know, I know...) most classes award an A+ grade starting at a score of 97%. Indeed, I have earned an A+ in several classes with a score of 98.x%. I missed questions on tests. I failed to properly document a few sources. Missed a few easy points. Still got an A+! Therefore, given this simple real-world example, it is quite possible for something that is less-than-perfect to still earn the A+. It all comes down to how points and measured and weighed.

In your eyes, Final Fantasy X still earns the A+ despite unskippable cutscenes, poor mo-cap, and missing features versus other versions. Seems fair - if the main game excels at what it sets out to do, a few blemishes here and there will not be enough to detract from the overall experience, particularly if those blemishes are minor in comparison to the so many other things the game does right.

I often wonder why I never played this game. Granted, it kind of came in like a "ship in the night." At the time of its launch, yes, I was in art school, and yes, I was up to my neck in projects and classes. I didn't own a PS2 and just didn't care about gaming, as I had way, way too much to juggle as it were. I think the most gaming I did at the time was in one of the local dining halls, which had a Joust machine as well as the original Marvel vs. Capcom, among others. Sit-down console gaming, though? No way, man!

The game's release just passed me on by, though I do remember seeing ads on TV and can recall how a few friends and classmates were obsessed. A gal in a neighboring studio class was such a fan that she set out to craft a replica of Tidus' water sword out of a solid piece of blue tempered glass. I would be working in the ceramics studio late at night (24 hour studio time during the regular school year, baby!) and would often take a look in the neighboring classrooms while waiting for pieces to fire in the kiln. I'd hear this gal screeching away at the glass blade with a Dremel for all hours of the night, that whining and scraping sound carrying through the mostly-empty hallways like an absolute banshee.

We started talking during those late nights, comparing notes on projects and struggling to stay warm in the ceramics studio during the awful Chicagoloand Winters. Got to be pretty good friends (and even shared some classes as time went on) and are still close to this day. I even dated her sister for five or six years at one point, despite her warning me not to. Let's just say she was right in the long run, but hey, live and learn! We're both married now and have the occasional double date from time to time. She's kept up with the cosplaying and prop-making over the years, while I never even got started. Just not my scene.

I actually wound up taking that same "glass class" that she had taken a few semesters later. The professor would give the class a broad subject on the first day of class, giving the students the entire semester to sculpt whatever they wanted with free-reign given to shape, complexity, and size. For her class, the subject was "hand-held objects," which is where the sword came in. My class got "living things," with the bonus that it could be a plant or animal, real or fantasy. I sculpted one of the one-eyed "mastodon" enemies from Space Harrier, more or less recreating the title screen complete with a waving "Harrier guy" sitting on the mastodon's shoulder. OK, so he was sitting on a robot on the original title screen, but work with me here, robots aren't living things! The final project wasn't very big (it could fit on a desk) but I went the extra mile by working a lamp bulb into the base so that it would light up, and when another switch was flipped, it activated a tape deck and speaker set hidden in the base which would play the game's theme song.

...GD, I haven't thought about any of this in forever! It was almost twenty years ago!! Can't even remember the grade I got on it, but I think it was a B. One of my buddies at the time was a big-time Sega collector and just loved the sculpture when it was done, so I let him keep it. I wound up giving away the bulk of my art projects over the years, but that's part of the fun of it, you know? I have the most fun creating and working under pressure, but once the project's done, it's onto the next one.

What's the point of this story? While I've never played Final Fantasy X, I have it to thank for my making a lifelong friend. I may have never talked to her if she weren't working on that sword at 3 in the morning. Because of the effort she put into it (she *did* get an A on her project) it motivated me to try harder on my own projects, including that Space Harrier sculpture. We would have regular critiques and take a look at each other's work, spending entire weekends sharing a studio space and just cranking out sketches, plans, and ideas. I feel like I grew so much as an artist and an individual by getting to know her and working on projects together, and I have that damn glass sword to thank for it all.

In that regard, I guess the game holds a pretty special place in my heart, despite the fact that my playtime is currently 00:00:00. Funny how that all works out, sometimes.

User avatar
DrLitch
Posts: 342
Joined: July 19th, 2017, 12:57 pm

Re: Final Fantasy X (again)

Postby DrLitch » November 2nd, 2019, 10:56 am

Matchstick wrote:I failed to properly document a few sources. Missed a few easy points. Still got an A+! Therefore, given this simple real-world example, it is quite possible for something that is less-than-perfect to still earn the A+. It all comes down to how points and measured and weighed.


It is not uncommon to see evidence of curving, this usually will be applied for sake of fitting grades around a reasonable mid point. If a professor has to curve it is actually his/her fault - the paper was set too hard or too easy. Usually curving should only be applied if the professor set the paper too hard - i.e. a class of 30, zero A's, four B's, a bunch of C's and D's, and then another batch of F's. Bump everything up a letter grade. Bumping down is questionable because not student's fault paper was too easy.

If you get an A on a paper with lots of mistakes you can be sure a student who should be F under any reasonable measure got curveballed to a C. Sounds like that professor is curving weak students and then keeping consistency in bumping up across the board. I have heard of extreme marking practices for sure. Florida school you get a D just for showing up. No child left behind.

While curving sounds nice on paper be rather careful here buddy. Make sure your degree is accredited. The process of Peer Review can be a capricious one. Professor's must evidence grading of work and if they do not like the curving practices........

Alucard1191
Posts: 237
Joined: November 16th, 2016, 12:55 pm

Re: Final Fantasy X (again)

Postby Alucard1191 » November 2nd, 2019, 11:53 am

To answer PTs questions, I have an easier time in general with reading lengthy scenes than with watching them, but even then I don't have the patience that I used too. Xenogears is my biggest example for written dialogue going too far. Some of those cutscenes are well over 15 minutes. (Which jesus... literally made me late to work one day because you couldn't skip it... and it was after a hard boss fight so I needed to save...)

FFX does that sin as well, and it didn't grip me then, so any positives of the game I have a hard time with.

The battle system is good, but it isn't enough to make me play a game that storyline wise I am just not interested in. (And life wise too, that game requires long gaming sessions to get anywhere, which most of my console gaming is done in short bursts now.) The battle system in Xenogears, my most recent square RPG I've been playing, has a fantastic combat sytem, and that is still just barely saving it... and lately my progress has been really slow.

User avatar
ptdebate
Posts: 1071
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 8:39 pm

Re: Final Fantasy X (again)

Postby ptdebate » November 2nd, 2019, 1:58 pm

Alucard1191 wrote:To answer PTs questions, I have an easier time in general with reading lengthy scenes than with watching them, but even then I don't have the patience that I used too. Xenogears is my biggest example for written dialogue going too far. Some of those cutscenes are well over 15 minutes. (Which jesus... literally made me late to work one day because you couldn't skip it... and it was after a hard boss fight so I needed to save...)

FFX does that sin as well, and it didn't grip me then, so any positives of the game I have a hard time with.

The battle system is good, but it isn't enough to make me play a game that storyline wise I am just not interested in. (And life wise too, that game requires long gaming sessions to get anywhere, which most of my console gaming is done in short bursts now.) The battle system in Xenogears, my most recent square RPG I've been playing, has a fantastic combat sytem, and that is still just barely saving it... and lately my progress has been really slow.


Man, I'm glad I beat Xenogears back when I was young and had no obligations because I'll be damned if I can finish it again! I've restarted probably 5 playthroughs since my college days and I just can't manage to push myself through the dialogue and the high encounter rate. It's a legendary game in its own right, but replaying is a tall order. I still have a lot of respect for what it aspired to and partially achieved though.

User avatar
ptdebate
Posts: 1071
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 8:39 pm

Re: Final Fantasy X (again)

Postby ptdebate » November 2nd, 2019, 2:10 pm

Matchstick wrote:Great replies so far! I've only been off this board for a day, but I already feel like I have a bunch to get caught up on.


I have my own Final Fantasy-adjacent story. When the PS1 games were coming out I was barely a teenager. My parents were very strict (this was the Bible belt, circa Harry Potter-mania days) and wouldn't let me play any games that had a "T" rating (nor would they let me touch anything that resembled magic or sorcery).

I mainly experienced FF7 through anecdotes and quotes from my friends - "Sit down and drink your God d----- TEA!" and the like...

It wasn't until I left home for college that I finally got a chance to play all of these games.

Wanting to play FF7 and FF8 and not being able to for so long - and hearing about how amazing they were - dramatically inflated my expectations. I finally "beat" FF7 in 2009 and it didn't underwhelm - I thought it was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen in video game form. This was the beginning of the "HD Era" when most console games coming out were grey and brown shooters with gritty protagonists. FF7's baroque maximalism was so refreshing I credit it for getting me back into video games after about a 5 year hiatus (since I stopped playing PSO on Gamecube).

I then blew through FF8 and to me it was even better than 7. In 2010 I played FF13 and initially hated it - later went back and ultimately enjoyed it but not as much as 7 and 8. Played 10 much later after I graduated and it had already been re-released on PS3 as part of the HD collection. I went into it thinking it would be similar to FF13 - linearity and all - but it ended up being my favorite both in terms of gameplay and story.

User avatar
Matchstick
Posts: 285
Joined: October 26th, 2017, 6:45 am

Re: Final Fantasy X (again)

Postby Matchstick » November 2nd, 2019, 7:39 pm

I am loving this thread.

DrLitch, I never really thought about how a grading curve could apply to research writing. Most courses I've had over the years have been pretty strict. When I mentioned failing to properly document sources, I meant that I had lost points on improper formatting, APA vs. MLA and whatnot. My sources were valid and quoted properly, but I lost points on the bibliography for not having dates in parentheses, or not having certain words written in italics. That sort of thing. Like I said, easy points.

I did have a massive 28-page research paper I wrote years ago concerning the origins of Japanese woodblock prints and the medium's application to modern media and advertising. I turned in my rough draft and got a D. The professor circled my opening thesis statement and noted that it just didn't jibe with the rest of my body of text. She simply circled the statement, then wrote to the side, "Needs work. Fix it." I rewrote the thesis statement - one sentence, mind you - and made some other slight formatting corrections to the piece. Submitted that work as my final draft, and got an A.

It was a good example of how something can be fundamentally sound overall, yet has that one nagging issue that just holds it back from greatness. Kind of what pt was describing in regards to Xenogears' cutscenes and encounter rate.

pt, I applaud you for your take on FFX even more now that I know it wasn't the first game in the series that you played. So often, it seems, we latch on to our first exposure to something as the high point, which is how I feel many gamers view FF7. While that game passed me by at the time, I understand now that it was many gamers' introduction to the FF series overall. The fact that X was one of the later titles you played, and you still hold it in higher regard than 7 or 8, says volumes about your ability to look at things fairly. So many people out there seem to fall into the, "I played 7 first, so I like it the best," camp, and it just gets so played out after a while.

In my experience, for those that started with the original game (such as myself) the 7th entry doesn't seem to have quite the legendary status. I progressed from the first game to the second (or, you know, the 4th) on the SNES followed by the third (or, yeah, the 6th) a few years later. I hold FF3 / 6 in very, very high regard, though I struggle to replay it. I just wish you could skip ahead to the second half of the game and start out in the World of Ruin.

Why the concept of a fast forward / reset button is so hard to apply to role-playing games, I will never understand. Nothing is stopping you from skipping ahead in a book or fast-forwarding through a movie. I guess the developers just wanted you to experience the game as if you were watching a film in the cinema, or a play in a theater, unable to skip ahead. A shame, as these games take so very, very long to get through.

(On a side note, can I also applaud you for your use of standard number for the series as opposed to Roman numerals? It makes it sooo much easier to read, especially when I don't have to do a double-take between "IV" and "VI." I'm glad I'm not the only one who does the same thing! Although I still like writing "X" in this space as opposed to "10." Hm...)

Also, bonus points for the PSO shoutout. Lost a good amount of time to that one on both the Dreamcast and the Gamecube. I think my Dreamcast character has something like 300+ hours of playtime on the savefile. Oh, the days of dial-up modem gaming!


Return to “Now Playing”