25 April 2007 | Aaron1375
Final Fantasy's first entry on PS2 a winner
This entry into the Final Fantasy series came as the last entry in an incredible run of games in a very short span of time. In 1997 Final Fantasy VII would erupt onto the scene, in 1998 no FF, but we got Xenogears. In 1999, Final Fantasy VIII, 2000 Final Fantasy IX and then this one was released in 2001. Then we would enter the dark ages when they would release fewer games and they would not be as good as these four of the ones released on the SNES. Sure, I sort of liked Final Fantasy X-2, but it seemed some of the things they did in that game were kind of lazy such as not changing the appearances of some of the characters and not really adding a few more locations to explore in Spira. Still, I found that game more enjoyable than Final Fantasy XII (never played XI) which had a combat system I did not care for at all and characters that seemed like rehashes of characters in this particular game. This game is the first entry of a FF game for the PS2 and it was a great entry in my mind. That being said, it was not quite as enjoyable to me as part IX, but that FF game still ranks as my favorite game in the series because it has the look and feel of the old SNES ones, but has a wonderful 3D world crafted around it. This one takes a bit more realistic approach as far as character design, but it works and this one also features actual voices for the characters during cut scenes and all through the adventure.
The story has a young man named Tidus who is the son of a man who was a star blitz ball player (the popular sport of this world). He lives in a city called Zanarkand and his father is missing. He too, has become a star blitz ball player and he is doing his thing when the city comes under assault from this creature called 'Sin'. A man named Auron assists Tidus battle monsters that emerge from Sin and soon the young man is transported away from his home. He awakens in a cold and old abandoned temple where he meets these people who speak a different language and he assists them and soon finds himself washed away again to a small village that is home to a person called a summoner. Soon Tidus joins this girl and her guardians as they go on a quest to Zanarkand to defeat the all powerful Sin as the summoner must go to various temples to gain the power to summon the final Aeon.
This game does a couple of things differently than other FF games as there are several playable characters and like most FF games only a certain number can be in the battle, in this case three. However, what it does differently is that you can switch out characters so that every character can be instrumental in defeating the enemy. This comes in handy as this helps you level up everyone in the party. That is another difference as it incorporates something called a sphere grid as opposed to the normal experience points and level ups. In this one, you traverse a grid to gain more strength, hit points, magic etc. It's great and you can have all your characters powered up to the extreme and using magic. They still retain differences and are unique as each of them uses a different weapon and armor piece. They also have different special attacks called limits so all the heroes are distinct in this one.
So, I enjoyed this Final Fantasy game quite a lot. A lot of people these days like to crap on the character of Tidus, but I thought he was a rather good hero. The main reason for the hate is that stupid laughing scene, which does not encompass but a small fragment of the game. My favorite character though is Auron as he is so mysterious, so cool and so powerful! The villain in this one is a bit different in that it is almost a mindless creature (Sin); however, like many Final Fantasy games a true enemy will be revealed at the end and there is another villain named Seymour who just oozes bad guy from the moment you see him. This game could be considered linear in nature to an extent, but nothing like XIII. Here you actually stop in towns and interact with townsfolk and such, but there is a lot of journeying through different areas. The scenery is nice so I actually liked the way it played out. They remastered the game and I guess it looks better, but it was not as if this one really needed that major of an upgrade as far as graphics. Honestly, the PS2's graphics hold up well as the newer systems simply add more details such as better sweat or stuff like that rather than character models. So, this one would be a great addition to the FF series, too bad it hasn't been as good since it debuted, but FFXV was pretty awesome.