Hello gamers and welcome to the second half of our 100 reviews in 100 days! We’ve seen some incredible titles come and go through this list and we’ve got 50 more to go!
Jumping the Shark in the #50 position…
Every franchise jumps the shark at some point. Shit, in the world of video games some franchises are built around jumping the shark. When the guys behind Saints Row figured out that people already had a Grand Theft Auto and didn’t need another one, they basically said “Fuck it. Let’s just throw together a bunch of ridiculously psychotic bullshit and release it.” Fast forward to a gang member who can fly that’s also President of the United States because why the hell the not? Final Fantasy X, was, in a lot of ways, the Final Fantasy franchise jumping the shark. After the original Final Fantasy, (which was a damn near perfect dungeon crawler), the series kept getting wackier and steam-punkier. Up to a point, this was fine. Actually, in some cases it was completely bitchin. Final Fantasy VII, to most fans of the franchise, still stands as the high water mark for Final Fantasy, and it was basically a steampunker’s wet dream. But Final Fantasy X, while it does have a couple good things going for it, didn’t have the coherence, story, and characters that elevated FFVII and I can’t sit here and tell you honestly that it’s worth your time. As a matter of fact, I can’t sit here and tell you it’s even anything approaching good. So let’s break out a nice tall glass of Haterade and tear this thing to shreds.
WHOEVER HIRED THE VOICE ACTORS FOR THIS GAME SHOULD BE EATEN BY RABID SQUIRRELS THAT ARE ON FIRE
More than anything else, this is what drives me absolutely fucking nuts about this game. This was the first Final Fantasy to feature heavy voice acting, and sweet mother of monkey I wish they hadn’t bothered. The dialogue in the Final Fantasy games was never good, but at least when you were reading it you could kind of make it listenable in your own head. Not this time. Be assaulted by Wakka’s dreadful (and slightly racist) Polynesian accent! Quiver in horror whenever Tidus opens his stupid mouth! Roll your eyes at Yuna’s unlistenable platitudes! It’s just the worst. Seriously, try sitting through this without wanting to eat your own face. The voice acting is so bad it completely rips you out of the story and kills any suspension of disbelief you might have been able to muster. While we’re on the subject of things this game sucks at, let’s give an honorable mention to the fact that the big baddy in this shitshow is actually called Sin. What, did the metaphor department at Square all have the flu the day they were naming this thing? Seriously, why not just change Tidus’s name to Jesus and Yuna’s name to Mary as long we’re fucking around here? Ridiculous. It’s like they’re going out of the way to insult the intelligence of their players.
Oh, I’m not done. Let’s put some icing on this cake of shame. The actual gameplay is so linear it makes you feel like there’s nothing, and I mean nothing, to actually discover. You basically go from closed in path to closed in path and bounce between cut scenes until the game is over. There’s no sense of mystery, no sense of adventure. What was so great about the Final Fantasy games is that they always felt massive. Keep in mind, this is before MMOs went mainstream with World of Warcraft, and before Elder Scrolls became the Fantasy RPG juggernaut it is today. We didn’t know what a truly massive world in a game really felt like back then. So Final Fantasy was basically it. And they had always felt big, even when they weren’t. This one made everything feel a little bit smaller, and maybe that’s this game’s biggest crime.
EVEN IN A PILE OF GARBAGE AND FIRE-SQUIRRELS…
There are still a couple of good things to be found. Final Fantasy X is Gorgeous with a capital “G.” The graphics and animations were fantastic for their time. Mind-blowing, even. And they still look pretty good today. I think a big reason that so many of the release-time reviews glossed over this game’s glaring failures is because it was just so damn pretty. It’s like meeting a jaw-droppingly gorgeous person at a bar, and then overlooking the fact that they can’t stop talking about how awesome Hitler was. Final Fantasy X also earns points for taking what could have been an insanely boring turn-based combat system and making it exciting, and for having a really interesting Sphere system for character upgrades. That’s not enough to save it, but it is enough to make me say it’s just terrible instead of a crime against humanity.
SHOULD YOU PLAY IT?
How could you even ask me that? Did you not see all the ranting? No. Do not play this game under any circumstances. Do not be friends with, associate with, talk to, or be in the same room as anybody who tells you differently, for they are trying to cause you anguish. If you want a good memory of Final Fantasy to hang on to, go play FFVII instead. There are so many other amazing role playing games available today that if you spend a single moment of your time on this clusterfuck you should probably be institutionalized for your own good. I don’t know if I’ll ever forgive this game and it’s hideous sequel (Final Fantasy X-2, which may very well be my most hated game of all time), for ruining Final Fantasy for me. Up until I played them, I loved the Final Fantasy franchise. It’s a huge part of what turned me into a gamer in the late 80s and early 90s. I tried really hard to like them. I mean it, I did. But you can only fight reality for so long before you have to acknowledge the facts. And the fact is that those two games killed a piece of my soul. So fuck you for that, Square. I don’t have it in me to give a 1 to a Final Fantasy game, even one I absolutely can’t stand, so we’re leaving Final Fantasy X with a 2 out of 5 purely because I loved it’s predecessors.