Originally Posted September 2, 2009
The day of reckoning has FINALLY come. Vanlandw has defeated Final Fantasy X! This has been a long, painful, time consuming expedition but this evening I was finally able to overcome “Braska’s Final Aeon” on my third try after some tweaked buffing and a dinner of tater tots. As I sit back reflecting on past feelings brought fourth because of this game I listen to the Final Fantasy X Soundtrack and in my own way truly try to put my life into perspective after what has transpired here.
My thoughts on the game mirror on the tone of jjafuller’s. He wrote two posts (one / two) mostly as rants but rants that are all valid. After reviewing these posts I believe I agree with everything he said. The cut scenes from 2001 do not hold up with recent offerings and the stutter on multiple characters when they speak (Yuna, Auron, Lulu in particular) is borderline annoying. The voice actor for Wakka (John DiMaggio) is the lone standout but he is almost non-existent towards the final act. Also the guy for Seymour grew on me as the game moved on, he played a good asshole.
The main gripe I mean to touch on is the unskippable cut scenes and the genuine pacing of the game. In Final Fantasy X you CANNOT skip cut scenes. Now, I love cut scenes. The Metal Gear Solid series is my favorite series of games and those games are LOADED with cut scenes. The thing with FFX is when you are having problems with bosses sometimes you will have to watch a five minute scene over and over again. Before you fight the final boss you have to go though the dreaded “Crystal Room” then sit though a long cut scene before the battle. On my third attempt on the final boss I put the controller down and made food. Earlier sections of the game I was cleaning my apartment during the cut scenes. The pacing of this game drags it down so much. There is so much time twiddling your thumbs and rewatching scenes it ruins the impact the game is trying so hard to bring. After looking at videos for Final Fantasy XIII it looks like the battle pacing has been radically changed.
Another thing to be discussed is the absolute broken combat. In this game your characters can only gain “AP“ by being “active” in combat. That can be, defending, boosting, or pretty much any action during combat. Your party in FFX can have up to seven characters. Some battles could be won in as low as three actions. There are so many times I had to have my characters be brought into battle to do nothing that required nothing to be done by them. My strategy for a large amount of the game is “how can I defeat my enemies so all my guys can do something”. This also gets you into a bind at some points. You bring in somebody to do something then one of your guys dies, then you need to bring them back to life to get AP. This drags battles way longer then needed and then in turn makes them more frustrating then need be. Keep in mind I used only three characters to defeat the final boss and swapped nobody.
There is a lot of “good” in this game but sadly to a 29 year old male this was the only game aside from World of Warcraft I’ve ever played that felt like “work”. After a point I was listening to my iPod just to make the time go by faster. Honestly I like the music a lot in this game. It’s not as “iconic” as many of the Final Fantasy soundtracks from when I was younger but the “To Zanarkand” track is fantastic and I like how throughout the game many variants of this song was used. Moreover, the “Tutorial” section at the start of the game has a very fast pace and has a great “frantic” feel to it. I wish more of these style of battles and exploration was used rather then the countless “Trial” rooms.
This all started because vanberge and vanbergs made fun of me for never defeating this game when I was in college. As a “van” part of being a “van” is being stubborn. I made it a very firm point at this junction in my life to once and for all conquer this game so I will never receive any additional grief about it EVER again. As my favorite track from the game plays in the background to a degree it makes me sad that I did finally defeat this game. As myself and everybody around me gets older will there be another game that I’m driven to the brink of insanity to defeat? Will any outside forces ever again fuel my desire if only for spite to be victorious in a electronic medium? This post and these thoughts are forever timeless. As my final image to a “vanlandw” I leave behind in my past along with Final Fantasy X I leave you my readership with this……
Glad to be able to recover this post. I’ve referred to it many times over the years. Such a nice time capture of how I was playing games in 2009. All the pictures were taken with a quick snap camera. All photos edited on a tiny eeePC. I had no capture device and this is prior to consoles having direct screenshot capabilities. Come a long way from my 40 inch Samsung housed in my 400 sqft apartment.
Regarding Final Fantasy X, I’d be curious if the remastered versions are more digestible. This was played on a PS2 Backwards Compatible PS3. Over time I’m not as sour on FFX and overall since then have only become more fond towards the entire series. Would be an interesting exercise to go finish X-2 and make blog out of it.