How nice to see you all festive or outraged at the Demo by Final Fantasy VII Remake landed on Playstation 4 and for the game coming soon. But a very serious destruction occurred days ago, such as to condemn an entire nation. Indeed, 468.654 people were asked to decide which one it was the best Final Fantasy ever, choosing from all the episodes of the saga and spin off.
And in first position we find Final Fantasy X. Perhaps the symbol of Japan's modern decadence. And modern gaming in general. When you have no ideas, when everything fails, just take abused clichés from the world and throw them in the middle and the world will respond with a thunderous applause.
We lived it with Fire Emblem, risen from the abyss of bankruptcy thanks to the power of the waifu. We have seen Monolith Soft adorn her important philosophical disquisitions about the types of ties that can arise between people and how these affect each other's boobs. Of many, phantasmagoric boobs. But today it is done in this way, in a more extroverted, more evident, more exaggerated way. At one time, it was done more calmly, to make it pass more quietly, it disguised itself better.
The hard difficulties of a teenager with a limited budget
Final Fantasy X was at the center of a very turbulent phase of my youth. I had been lucky enough to have both a Playstation 1 and a Nintendo 64. I loved Final Fantasy, but also The Legend of Zelda. Hours and hours of playing and replaying them. For the new generation, however, I had to make a difficult choice: I could have benefited from a single console. Playstation 2 or Gamecube? Playing the next Zelda or the next Final Fantasy? This thought tormented me for years. I finally chose for the console of the Kyoto house, with which I had a lot of fun were fantastic years, but the doubt of "will I have made the right choice?" he stayed behind me. I felt everyone praising Final fantasy X. And I felt like I was missing something.
After many years, I managed to throw myself headlong into the Playstation 2 backlog and Final Fantasy X was the game that I recovered first. And I cried. Of joy. Because I had made the right choice, all those years ago. Final Fantasy X left me nothing. He ran away, ending up in the most hidden meanders of my memory, together with the undifferentiated and the dates of historical events. And who praises it: you have truly horrendous tastes.
Changing home foundations is not an easy job
Final Fantasy X was an extremely breaking game for the series. It went to change many historical elements of the saga and there was not a single change that I appreciated, really too many were objectively pejorative, without going to add something new to the experience. Let's take something like Ocarina of Time as an example compared to A Link to the Past. Ocarina, if analyzed in depth, is inferior to A Link to the Past in the realization of many of its parts, but it is a concession that we leave to the game because it had the heavy task of having to make everything work in three dimensions for the first time.
Square didn't have this jump to do, took elements that worked and changed them in default. So where do you start listing all the title defects? I would say how the game world was built.
The old Final Fantasy all presented a world map that could be explored between the various main areas, be they dungeons or cities. In one way or another, everyone had scattered secrets, the ability to make breaking sequences and to discover elements completely accessory to the main plot, simply following their own instinct for exploration, to varying degrees from chapter to chapter. But above all he sold the idea of a game world. Final Fantasy X was instead a huge sequence of corridors. The player was bottled in a single street, with no detours. Which in itself wouldn't have been too bad either, if this system had allowed the hardware to be harnessed to create strong, iconic and high-quality scenarios. And yet it was not so. I hardly remember anything from Final Fantasy X visually. I don't have a point of reference to hold on to, apart from the opening sequence at Zanarkand. This is where the airship of the game engages. If before you could observe the map under new eyes, discover new secrets and give vent to a new sense of freedom, in Final Fantasy X we are relegated to a menu, more convenient to move from one place to another, but without the slightest magic . Without the player being able to have direct input.
Still on the surface, it's hard not to notice how the secondary characters are extremely less detailed than the main characters. It is common practice in the gaming world to create the cast of protagonists with a quality clearly superior to that of the less important characters, but when the quality gap is so high, in my opinion it breaks the illusion that they all live in the same game world.
Kazushige Nojima drank too much
Then we start looking deeply and much more serious problems come up. Are any of you able to summarize the story behind Final Fantasy X and the background of Tidus without laughing? What then all those shits to what the hell are used to characterize the character? Tidus is the fish out of water, new to how the world works and naive, but its propellant motion is its problems with the father figure, both elements that can be examined without having to create such complicated vaccines. It must be said that much of its characterization creates more perplexity for us than for the Japanese, because the concept of filial Piety is different.
By the way, I played Final Fantasy X after Tales of Symphonia. A game that has the entire Final Fantasy X storyline applied to 1/3 of the adventure. So you can imagine how much similar themes have shattered me applied to an entire game, practically needing triple the time to be solved without any additional complexity and finesse.
Cleaning with sandpaper is more pleasant than the cast of Final Fantasy X
What then the problem is not only with Tidus. He is the naughty boy you would like to punch every time he opens his mouth, different from the previous protagonists who were marginalized emo, but we have exchanged one stereotype for another. Yuna is the good virgin and good doormat with the weight on her shoulders, Wakka is the energetic YES WE ARE GOING PEOPLE, Lulu is the Japanese "milf" with a broom in the ass and a dress built on Theiss's theory, Kimahri is the furry mascot that it serves no purpose in the game, Auron is the silent and powerful fighissimo warrior that everyone likes automatically even if he had 0 characterization and finally, Rikku is the little girl who thugs us. PLEASE SHUT UP.
There is not one who saves it. The three female appearances are straight from dating sims, the males adhere to their role without interesting variations and if we removed some characters from the party, the story would continue without the slightest problem, to underline their general uselessness. Some of their backgrounds are also interesting and give a sort of explanation of some of their character traits, but in the dialogues moment by moment, they follow the script too much. And how many dialogues are there in the game: cutscene on cutscene, inserted in a linear game, creating an obscene rhythm to say the least. Now, since dubbing was new and becomes central to the exhibition, you cannot even take advantage of your ability to read quickly to make the scenes go faster. And then the antagonists? Not received, neither as charisma, nor as threat, nor as characterization.
When you can have it all, it's like having no choice
But the destruction continues. I am convinced that Square Enix has never created really interesting combat systems, since they rely more on the possibility of being broken by abusing the mechanics rather than applying sensible tactics to overcome obstacles, but with Final Fantasy X they perhaps reach a new peak. Turn-based combat itself is not bad. There is the list of shifts well highlighted and this changes dynamically based on the actions taken by the characters, allowing in theory to plan their actions to always be ahead. Too bad that this is exploited a few times in an intelligent way by the game. The generic fights are the party of the auto attack, the bosses of the story are mainly ugly very forgettable monsters and the tough ones are almost all confined in a post game however made of grinding and abuse of mechanics. Not to mention the mechanics of the ambush by the monsters, who transform normal and feasible combat into "no you are dead because you are loser, hello and thank you".
Spherography is also another example of how the game is not particularly balanced. The idea itself is not that bad either, but it is poorly executed in the final execution. Character evolutions are all found on a single map of talents, passive bonuses and abilities. Each character has its own path on this map, which practically creates a class for the character. At the end of the game, without going into extra content, each character will have ideally completed his path by offering each one his own tactical contribution to the battle. But there is the possibility to unlock the closed parts of the map and then go to maximize the statistics of all the characters. And this leads to flattening them by creating the famous Tidus - Wakka - Rikku party for their broken Overdrives, while the other characters become undersized to face the extra challenges.
What else is missing? Ah, yes the minigames. Blitzball sucks, nobody likes it, it's indefensible.
He therefore has all the ingredients to finish first in such a ranking. Tropes more favorable to oriental tastes, themes that are more felt by them than our western vision. Endless grinding. Spastic mini-games. The perfect dish for mediocrity. He didn't offer me interesting characters, well-written dialogues, epic or at least interesting battles, puzzles that weren't bale choppers.
To see the first good final fantasy in that damned ranking, we have to get to the end of the podium, with Final Fantasy VI. But the best of all, for the Japanese, is only 11th: Final Fantasy Tactics. The only thing that saves you from all Final Fantasy X? To Zanarkand.
I wait for the pitchforks.