FFX Thoughts on Replay

There’s this thing about replaying an old game where you suddenly notice everything that was wrong with it originally that you didn’t notice the first time (or overlooked) because at the time it was amazingly gorgeous and the story was fresh. But when you know the plot, every plot twist, and the graphics no longer hold up, even after being remastered, the actual game has to stand on its own. While FFX is still a reasonably fun game some of its flaws are definitely more irritating this time around.

Originally I played this game on the PS2 and its one of the few PS2 games I completed (at least twice all the way through). It really was a beautiful game. And, in fairness, the remastered PC version still has absolutely beautiful cut scenes, and then there’s everything else.

I’ve stopped playing this in full screen mode for two reasons. One, it looks even more hideous when it is spread across the entire monitor. Two, despite providing a function to skip some cut scenes, it never lets you skip the ones you need to. You know, like the ones right before a fight with Seymour that is so much harder than every other fight you’ve had that you are pretty unprepared for it and end up dying over and over. Which means sitting through that cheesy dialogue in the cut scene over and over.

There was a reasonably easy solution to this. Stop plunging into the fight until I did some grinding and levelled my characters up but this brings out the other issue I’ve encountered with the game. The enemies you fight as you move around the world are ridiculously easy. And then the boss fights are ridiculously difficult compared. We get that a boss is supposed to be challenging but when he can instantly K.O 5 out of 7 of your characters with one attack it really doesn’t leave you many options on attack formations. Hence the grinding to get the other characters to a point where they might be all wobbly but at least they won’t keel over from a single hit.

But this breaks the narrative. Utterly and completely. We’re heading to Zanarkand to get the final Aeon, etc, etc, so sure we’ll waste some time running up and down a mountain fighting low level enemies that we can mostly defeat in one hit just to unlock one more health sphere in the sphere grid. That makes sense.

Anyway, after finally getting through that battle and moving on the issue becomes that now my characters are even more ridiculously overpowered when facing random encounters which makes them kind of pointless. The version I’m playing has the ability to turn these off, or if you are grinding up the frequency so you don’t have to walk so far, but you don’t get any experience if you turn them off and if you aren’t grinding why on earth would you want a random encounter every other step.

I still love the story of FFX and enjoy watching the characters grow, but the game itself hinders the progression of the story at times, unnecessarily so, and that takes a bit of the fun out of it. I’d still recommend FFX as one of the better Final Fantasy games (of course I’ve only ever completed two of them, I usually drop them at the mid-way point because I just get bored), but as a game itself I’m not sure it has lasting appeal. That said, I’m not through the replay yet and hopefully I’ll reach the end within a couple of months and can think about my final thoughts on this game.

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Karandi James.


9 thoughts on “FFX Thoughts on Replay

  1. Here is what stuck with me about FFX, they should have never made a sequel. I thought it was a fairly enjoyable game. I skipped number 9 and went straight to 10 after finishing 8. I have completed maybe 5 Final Fantasy Games? That sounds right. I never did finish 12 the story bored me to tears. Funny thing is watching the cut scenes on youtube years later I was right there at the end but I was uninteresting in finishing.

    Here is the thing about those old JRPGs that took up way too much time. Sure I had it back then when I was a teen but now I don’t. Matter of fact a really good PS2 era JRPG that didn’t take forever was Breath of Fire 5 and it was shunned because it took 10 hours or less to beat. I say it was ahead of it’s time it would have been perfect for the busy gamer lifestyle now and it had a new game+ you could play it over with all your items and weapons from your previous play through if you wanted.

    Here is what made FFX special it wasn’t the story, it wasn’t the sphere system or the voice acting. it was the ending. It was the first Final Fantasy i ever played that ended in a tragedy. The ending shot it up on my list of top JRPGs it was never number 1 but it was memorable. To bad they had to ruin by making a sequel. It was much better off as a tragedy that reminded you that even if you banish Sin there was no happiness without sacrifice.

    As a side the Final Fantasy with the best story is probably 7. I bet they’ll screw it up in the remake but it was and still has the best story. The best overall game in the series is Final Fantasy Tactics. You can still play the original PSX version today the game play holds up so well. I did just recently that’s why I posted articles about character builds. The story is a bit linear but so is every Final Fantasy game in existence. But between the art and the game play it’s still playable now.

    1. I really like the battle system (then again I really like turn based combat because I can walk away and think about my next series of moves if I want mid-battle).

    1. He is such a pain in the neck. The whol using the staff of atrophy followed by full life and instantly knocking out a character followed by his cross cleave was just painful. So happy I was able to take him down relatively quickly this time.

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