Final Fantasy X is the role-playing video game developed by Squaresoft for PS2 in the year 2001. The game marked the transition era of Final Fantasy series to pre-rendered backgrounds to completely 3D regions and featured voice-acting. Also, Final Fantasy X replaced the older ATB (Active Time Battle) system with an innovative CTB (Conditional Turn-Based battle) system.
This new battle system was developed by Toshiro Tsuchida, a famous battle director who had FFIV in his mind while creating this system. While ATB is based on real-time elements, CTB is based on turn-based attacks which pauses the battle during the turns of each player. Thus, CTB allows players to fight without any time pressure and there is a graphical timeline in the screen which illustrates which player will receive the next turn and how difference action could affect the order of the subsequent turns. Every player can control a maximum of 3 characters during the battle and a swapping system permits players to replace any character with another one outside the current party whenever required. There is a special type of attack called “Overdrives” which is renovated version of “Limit Breaks” attack used in earlier versions. Many of the fighting tactics are interactive and require button input from user to improve their effectives.
Tidus is the main protagonist of the game, who is a blitzball star moving around the fantasy world named “Spira” trying to defeat the evil monster named “Sin” who destroys his home city called Zanarkand which lies in northernmost edge of Spira. Like earlier versions of game, it is presented in 3rd person perspective and the town and world maps have been integrated completely in this new version. When you encounter an enemy, the environment is converted to turn-based battle region in which enemies and characters wait for their chance to attack.
Final Fantasy X has a game play different from earlier versions of the games and does not have a top-down world map perspective with miniature illustrations of extensive areas in between towns used for traveling long destinations. In this version, all the locations are continuous and do not fade out from the world map with linear connections between regions.
Music in Final Fantasy X was composed by Nobuo Uematsu along with Junya Nakano and Masashi Hamauzu. The game includes 3 beautiful themes with vocalized elements which includes a J-pop balled titled “Suteki Da Ne” which is translated to English as “Isn’t it wonderful?”. Kazushige Nojima has done the lyrics of the game with Uematus composing the instrumentals. Rikki, a Japanese folk singer has performed this amazing song which appears in an orchestrated version during the end of the game. “Otherworld” is the opening theme based on heavy metal instruments which was sung by Bill Muir in English. The original audio track had 91 tracks in it which came as 4 discs.
The game is colorful with beautiful background texture as the graphics engine of Final Fantasy X has improved very well compared to its earlier versions. Field explorations and dungeons have visualized in 3D completely which appears like real-time environment. The extra space has many atmospheric effects like flames or mist and multicolored particle effects which appears beautiful during navigation. The characters animations are excellent but sometimes when there is spoken dialogue in the scenes the animations are not good enough to match the dialogue. The game has a new summoning system which improves the game play along with character maneuvering and high-speed combats. The cinematic sequences and character models are highly detailed and very beautiful. The visual styles of the game resemble Final Fantasy VII for Sony play station which was the first version of the series to have life-like character appearance. The appearance of sphere grid is beautiful with several groups of spheres with many tine nodes connected to each other through linear paths. The characters progresses across the sphere Grid one node at a time, and gain new skills, hit points, action points, new spell etc as they move through each levels.
The 40 hours game play of Final Fantasy X along with plenty of side quests make the game interesting for beginners as well as hardcore gamers. The story line is engaging with interesting characters and beautiful soundtrack.