06
Jul
14

Final Fantasy X Revisited

In my experience with the Final Fantasy series, you can draw a line roughly between two types of worlds that are offered by each game.  It’s not the most significant distinguishing feature between the games, but one that resonated with me when I was immersing myself in that genre.  Earlier in the series, you saw the games providing world’s that leaned heavily on mystical qualities to provide thematic coherence.  Derived from works of fantasy and myth, early Final Fantasy games constructed quasi-medieval worlds where legends were alive in contexts that we might understand them as children listening to a fairy tale.  They were compelling in a self-contained universe and captured the imagination by removing us from our own worlds.

By the time Final Fantasy VI rolled around, you began to see a stronger reliance on themes in science fiction to build worlds.  With VI, this had a dramatic effect to make it feel more real, even while retaining the fantasy trappings of magic and legendary creatures.  VII, VIII, and IX also pursued this direction in different ways, but each framed their world by pulling in speculative science fiction from our own.  It’s that quality that drew me into the series and captured my own imagination.  Final Fantasy X, I felt, began to turn the formula back towards the mystical again.  Colored by the plot’s attention to religion, the world of Spira was built around metaphysical qualities that was less interested in aliens, space, and technology.  Final Fantasy X was a fine game, and I stuck with it through the end, but I’ve held it in lower regard for not engaging me the same way prior games had.

But now I’ve got a PS3, and Square-Enix has put a lot of effort into polishing up FFX for the HD era.  It’s held in such high regard by fans of the series that I’ve decided to give it another shot.  With many of my teenage biases eliminated, I’m hoping to enjoy it for what it is and not I wanted it to be (which was apparently Final Fantasy IX given the number of times I’ve played through it.)  I’m not the biggest fan of some of its qualities, but if I could learn to love Final Fantasy VIII, then I really should give X more of a shot.  I’ve fired up my digital copy and decided to play through the expert sphere grid.  It’s got some great music, an interesting take on the turn based battle system, and plenty of content to keep me engaged and exploring for quite a while.

As far as Final Fantasy X-2 HD goes, well, perhaps I’ll play that in another lifetime.

IN GLORIOUS HD

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