Scott Hardie | June 5, 2002
It's likely that I'm playing it too soon after "Final Fantasy IX" and very likely that I'm expecting too much since I've heard it's some kind of masterpiece, but I'm very disappointed in "Final Fantasy X" so far. (spoilers herein)

My biggest complaint, right up front: No pause during battles! My mom's phone rings constantly, and even though it's usually telemarketers, I have to answer because I'm waiting for potential landlords to contact me. So I let the enemies kill me, or I let the caller hang up on the answering machine.

On a larger scale, I don't like the game because it's taking me too long to get the story. I'm now six hours in, at Kakilla or whatever (the island town that gets smashed by Sin), and it's starting to come together. But for a long time, I wanted to throw the controller down because I was being fed way too much information with no context. The whole opening chapter in Zanarkand, the ruins, the time with the pirates, washing up on the beach where Wakka is, all that was extremely frustrating. It's a Final Fantasy tradition to open the game in medias res, but this one takes it too far. (IX was a pretty bad offender too, but not this bad.)

I'm also not liking the lack of exploration. I can run around small, enclosed areas only. If I try to run off, Tidus stops and says "I have to go the other way!" or some peasant tries to stop me. Even when I do get to explore those enclosed areas, I very rarely find any treasure. Previous games had lots of treasure, most of all IX, which often gave you 3-5 rewards per room. I'm lucky to get one reward in 3-5 rooms in X. Why even bother? Why not just run ahead to the next plot point? Because I'm sick of fucking plot points. This game is all plot points. It gives me a plot point, then lets me play, but the only thing I can do while playing is run three rooms to the next plot point. I want to feel like I'm really doing something in the game, but I don't. Player control is so limited, at least so far.

I have other complaints, but I think they'll clear up in time. I must say that the one really obvious achievement with the game, the graphics, are amazing. I just watched Yuna perform the funeral dance on water (the "sending" I think they called it), and I was quite impressed. But it's the age-old problem in video games, too much attention paid to graphics and too little to anything else.

Minor thing: I love switching in characters during fights. Finally, all the PCs can come with me while I travel! I only get three in a fight at a time, but since the newcomer immediately gets a turn when I bring him/her in, I feel like I can use all of my PCs, and I really love that.

I'll write about the game again when I beat it.

Brannan Conrad | June 5, 2002
Yeah, the exploration thinggets worse later too. My main complaint about all the newer FF games (with the exception of 7) is the lck of secrets and treasure.

Scott Hardie | June 5, 2002
Yes, generally annoying. FF9 had a great deal of hidden treasure in towns and dungeons, but 90% of it was stuff like potions and phoenix downs. I'd like to give you guys a lot of opportunities for treasure in my RPG, but since there's no real searching involved, just a random calculation based on your stats, I don't know if it will be worth it.

Matthew Preston | June 6, 2002
There are many treasures and secrets in the game, moreso later on. There were times when I was watching Kevin play that he found things I would have never even have begun to try and find. At the end of the game when you get the airship, there are whole new lands and caves and the such to explore that give you some of the more powerful and exotic items. You might need an online faq though.

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