Have You Played… Final Fantasy X?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

It only took 15 years for the PlayStation 2 game to come to PC, causing thousands of people to turn their heads and say, “oh right yeah okay”. The Final Fantasies have always been a bit daft, haven’t they?

This one is no different. Pro Blitzball player Tidus is minding his own business and being great at sports when a bloody great big thing sends him spiralling into a distant future. Thanks, thing. Although what unravels is a fairly standard tale of magic and world-traipsing, it still stands as one of only three FFs I have ever seen through to the end, the others being FFVII and FFXII (no I don’t know why). So there must be something about it. Maybe it’s the blue man who asks if you want to “ride ze shoopuf?” in a weird Dutch accent.

The HD remaster that came out on Steam this year (packed with fashionista sequel X-2) also has the option to speed things up or cheat with 99 of every item, something which is both against the spirit of grind and essential for anyone replaying who doesn’t want to traverse those fucking Thunder Plains again.

It has its weaknesses, certainly – and not all of them are simply signs of its age. There are long trips, annoying random battles, and all the expected archetypes you could roll an eye at. There’s brooding mysterious man, happy-go-lucky girl, gothic boobs lady, the chosen one. Yet despite all that its story of past vs present ranks on the better side of the series, before the dark times. Before Final Fantasy XIII.

It doesn’t have the same ‘classic’ status as its predecessors, but still, you’ve got to laugh.

From this site

72 Comments

  1. beforan says:

    Well done on getting the necessary link in at the end there, Brendan.

    • gwop_the_derailer says:

      Even better, providing the necessary context. It’s not a bad scene – the laugh is as awkward as it’s meant to be.

      • Fiatil says:

        Thank you! FFX has a lot of issues, but I’ve longed been confused by pointing out the HA HA HA scene as an example of terrible voice acting.

        It’s….supposed to be cringeworthy. It’s a scene in which they are dealing with terrible calamity and decide to force an awkward laugh to deal with it all.

  2. aepervius says:

    I am waiting hopelessly for ffxii to come on pc. Now that is one i woyuld reply gladly

    • Faults says:

      It’s still in development. There are some gameplay demos from a few months back. Looks like they’re overhauling a lot of stuff – per-pixel lighting and normal mapping on textures and that sort of good stuff. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too much longer!

      • Snargelfargen says:

        That’s good news!

        The game stretches out way too long, but the programmable AI is a really neat feature. The plot and characters are also pretty awesome, once you realize that the game is in essence Final Fantasy: Star Wars

        One day I will play to the end. One day…

  3. GeoX says:

    As a young’un, I loved the SHIT out of the Final Fantasy series. Played ’em all on consoles, and the ones that were at the time unavailable in any form outside of Japan (II, III, V), I played via emulated fan translations. Then FFX came out. And I dutifully played through it, and I thought it was perfectly FINE, and it killed STONE DEAD my desire to ever play a new Final Fantasy game again, and that was that.

    • demicanadian says:

      It’s not like you’ve missed much. FF XII was single player asian MMO, with story even more stupid than FF X. And FF XIII… was, just was.

    • theblazeuk says:

      Ditto, it was fine but killed my interest.

    • Jalan says:

      Something similar happened with me – except it was the combo punch of FFIX & X that put the boot to the throat that was my interest of Final Fantasy. I get why people love both games, but I am not one of those people.

      I did say not long ago that I would give IX another chance, but where I’m at financially at the moment and free time-wise I just haven’t been able to do so but if it hits a price I agree with during the end year sale(s) then I’ll at least make the purchase and then eventually block away some time to get to it.

    • geerad says:

      Same for me, more or less. I did eventually try XII, but I couldn’t stand it. I quit after only a few hours.

    • GeoX says:

      Like it or not–and it certainly has its flaws–FFIX is of a piece with previous games in the series. If they had KEPT being along those lines, I would’ve kept playing the series, flaws and all. But then, with X, the series just became something totally different and not interesting to me.

  4. satan says:

    I’ll grab it when its on sale.

  5. Eight Rooks says:

    I have, yes. I played the PS2 version just recently (original disc and everything), and it was mediocre. The people who lionise it don’t know what they’re talking about. The combat is simply loading up on health potions and flicking through the exact same options from the menu over and over again. The cast are utter ciphers: Tidus is a 1990s Pepsi ad gone mad, Lulu is Tits McGee, Auron is worse than Sephiroth – he has one line of backstory, he’s literally “This guy is cool because he doesn’t say much and has a giant sword” and nothing else – that is not a good thing! The plot is so tissue-thin it turns up new holes the moment you think about it for more than five seconds, and the central love story is so dull and trite The CW would reject it. I’ll take FFXIII any day – the cast are still daft, but far more likable; the soundtrack’s much better; X is every bit as linear, and at least XIII actually goes open-world for a bit. XIII wasn’t great, but X scrapes a 5/10 at best – it’s comfort food for people who want the same old tired tropes, awful voice acting and technicolor world design with no real thought put into it at all, and like to rate it up because ALL HAIL THE GLORIOUS EMPIRE OF NIPPON.

    Sorry, Brendan, I know you’re hardly praising it to the skies to begin with, but jeez, there was just nothing there I could bring myself to praise. I could count the number of genuinely good “classic” JRPGs on PC on the fingers of one hand, and none of the Final Fantasies qualify.

    • batraz says:

      Music, music, music. This game was just beautiful, and I would take its corridors over FFXII’s or Elder’s Scroll’s freedom any time. But who cares about beauty ? Boys just want to play.

      • Fiatil says:

        Yeah, the music is fantastic. Everyone knows that music is scientifically proven as most tied to your sense of video game nostalgia.

  6. Premium User Badge

    shevek says:

    For all its flaws, X-2 is one of my favourite RPGs. It’s so refreshing to find a game that’s cheerful, picaresque, and all about women, even if it was intended as fanservice.

    • Faults says:

      “all about women, even if it was intended as fanservice”

      I felt like that too. Going back through it today feels genuinely cringey in places – that massage minigame in particular.

    • Ashabel says:

      “all about women”

      Can we really use that as a compliment in the case where the game is entirely about how women instinctively hate each other and can only get along when their lives are so out of control that they’ll take any help they can get?

      • Premium User Badge

        shevek says:

        I don’t really follow your reading there, but I’m happy to be corrected? Really all I had in mind was that all three protagonists in X-2 are women, travelling the world and having adventures together.

        • Ashabel says:

          It’s not really my reading though? Although it was released separately on a mini-disc, the final mission in the game is spent entirely on the main heroines bickering constantly and concludes with Yuna literally saying that she finally realizes that they actually always hated each other and were never meant to get along, but managed to do so because their lives were that far out of their control at the time.

          The main writer of FFX-2 has literally never written a game where women are something other than incompetent, malicious, dependent on men to the point of irrationally self-destructive, or violently murdered. That was kind of a big deal when he was announced as the chief writer for FFXV (which incidentally proved to change absolutely nothing about his resume).

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            shevek says:

            Sounds like the game I played and the ending I saw was much nicer than yours. Maybe you should give that a try instead?

          • Ashabel says:

            Or maybe you should stop defending a game that is literally “lol them women and their awkward attempts to solve their own problems amirite” for 60 hours.

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            shevek says:

            …and it turns out the difference is that I’d forgotten about the add-on Last Mission, which I didn’t have on the PS2 and haven’t gotten around to in the remastered version. From what you’re saying, it sounds like I should avoid it.

            I didn’t find the tone of the rest of the game as condescending as you evidently did, which probably explains why it didn’t annoy me. I’m going to stand by my assessment of its strengths (a lighter tone and a less portentous story than most Final Fantasy, a fun combat system, and all the main characters are women) but that’s not a rejection of your criticisms.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      X-2’s combat system was really, really fun. Folks skeptical of the game should try it for that alone.

      The girl-power theme was, well, probably done with good intentions. If you assume the developers were completely clueless, which is likely. Boy howdy, is it cringe-worthy though.

      • iviv says:

        Glad I’m not the only one. X-2 has the same job progression system as V as well which I loved, being able to completely multiclass and switch classes between all the characters as much as I wanted. Lots of enemies weak to magic coming up? Sure, I can just roll everyone as black mages for this section. And the dress grid giving you different bonuses for switching jobs mid battle was an interesting idea.

        Unfortunately, it wasn’t a game I played through too far because the PS2 I had was hooked up to the TV in the living room, and I couldn’t bring myself to play through it with my parents walking around. I could feel the judgement!

    • Simbosan says:

      X-2 was so terribly cringingly awful, I had to give up in case someone saw me playing naff Barbie-rpg. The horror of the music scenes still haunts me, I would turn the sound down and go make tea as you couldn’t skip. Awful awful, one of my standout most horrible embarrassing games of all time. All the cool factor of X-Factor.

  7. Misaniovent says:

    This was the final Final Fantasy I ever played and I have almost no memory of it except that it was annoying, ugly, and terrible voiced.

  8. Sardonic says:

    I’m replaying it right now actually, it held up a lot better than I would have expected. The story is still goofy af though, but I can dig it. It was the first Final Fantasy game I played, and I consider it to be the big dividing line in my gaming history between what I think of as ‘childhood gaming’ and ‘modern gaming’.

  9. Esin12 says:

    Oh no, the laughing scene… It was so cringe-worthy even as my fifteen year old self playing on the ps2. But X is great overall. I think it gets a bad rap for some legitimate reasons (annoying-as-shit main character, goofy voice acting, sphere-grid system that left some to be desired, etc…) But I think the story, though convoluted (as per usual) is pretty cool. Some of the characters are rad, and I always liked the updated battle system.

  10. Veles says:

    I booted up my PS2 the other day and noticed I still had the save on my memory card from when I had gotten to the final (or penultimate) boss but despite grinding for hours, had not done enough in order to beat the game.

    I don’t think I would ever bother playing it again. I have fond memories of the game but also bad ones and I think this is one game I think should stay in my past.

  11. Risingson says:

    Final Fantasy games until X were about the comfort zone. Lying in your sofa, gamepad in your hand, lazily going one random battle after the other, or overlong text that basically said nothing, or overlong non interactive scenes. Just routine. Even the same music for the battles, in case the player gets scared by some variety.

    They had the worst of the oldschool crpgs and the worst of the low common denominator japanese anime tropes. I played X, yes, for one hour, enough to decide that it was better to keep away from it and never give another chance to any other game in the saga.

    • Fiatil says:

      “Just routine. Even the same music for the battles, in case the player gets scared by some variety.”

      You can’t actually believe this is true right? That’s some high level pretentious BS even by RPS comment section standards.

      • Risingson says:

        In what language are you writing there? Do you understand the words you use? Can you use the comment section in any other way that throw an ad hominem and then run to hide?

  12. floogles says:

    Loved this game, finished it twice, cried a lot.

    I tear up at the hahahaha scene, which seems logical to me given its relevance to the story. So many beautiful touches to this game.

    I loathe the chocobo riding minigame though, ughhh. Emulator with save states and slow down fixed that right quick.

  13. gwop_the_derailer says:

    Shamus Young recently concluded a 20-part series dissecting why Final Fantasy X works so well dramatically. I’d highly recommend it!

    link to shamusyoung.com

  14. Chewbacca says:

    FFX is the reason I wanted (and got) a PS2 as a kid. I really enjoyed the hell out of it besides the stupid optional endgame where you could easily defeat the last boss but needed to grind for another 100 hours or so just to defeat the dark aeons. Or you could just pay 1 million Gil to Yojinbo (which was very easy with Rikku’s special weapon) which made him instakill every group of enemies. That balancing…

    And “Evade 200 lightning strikes”??? Really? Who made that stupid decision?

    • Chewbacca says:

      And I played the game with German subs and (SPOILER!!!) at the very end when Yuna says “I love you” the subs say “Thank you”, which apparently is closer to the original dialogue but that was just a crazy moment for me as a kid. ;)

    • Rizlar says:

      Lol and yes.

      Also I didn’t fully appreciate how good FFX is until I tried to play FFXIII (for my money FVII is in fact the best, closely followed, outdone in certain regards but not beaten, by FFVI).

  15. wcq says:

    Even though I hold warm memories of playing Final Fantasies VI and IX in particular, I’ve come to hold the opinion that no game in the series holds up very well today.

    Except Tactics.

    • wcq says:

      Delayed introspection: rather than the games being somehow objectively bad now, this might also be due to my own tastes in games and stories having changed a lot since.

    • HothMonster says:

      I replayed VI (also known as FF3 for SNES to Americans) not too long ago and thought it was still pretty great. It’s always been the highpoint of the series to me though so I’m probably too biased. I especially like how the plot forces everyone to split into subgroups and go on separate missions. I’m surprised that doesn’t come up more often instead of just having the majority of the party hide on some ship or something while 3 people do all the fighting and exploring.

      • wcq says:

        VI is my personal favourite as well. I actually tried to replay it earlier this year too, and while some parts were still as great as I remembered, e.g. the music and the opening credits sequence, on the whole the game began to grate on me pretty quick.

        I think the main problem was the gameplay. The random encounter rate in FF6 is turned way past anything I’m willing to tolerate nowadays, and the battle mechanics are just too standard to keep my interest. Some other niggles turned up too: the writing seemed a lot more curt and rough than I remembered, maybe because of the translation.

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          zapatapon says:

          I still watch the opening sequence every once in a while. It’s fantastic.

    • gnalvl says:

      100% agree, mainline Final Fantasy gameplay when looked at objectively as an adult, is just bad gameplay.

      First off, let’s bear in mind that there is zero gameplay aside from combat. No platforming, very little in the way of puzzles or exploration compared to other genres, really the only thing you do besides traveling from point A to point B to watch cutscenes – is fight.

      And yet the battle systems in these games are not really strategic, nor apparently are they meant to be. There are occasional moments where you can’t win without knowing a boss is weak to a certain spell, but beyond that it’s just about selecting the same “attack” and “heal” options over and over again whilst farming resources any time you lack the raw strength to win.

      Granted, if every battle had the rudimentary strategy of some of the series’ harder-yet-fairer boss fights, it might be somewhat playable. But instead, 99% of the time you are fighting worthless random battles. Exactly NO ONE thinks random battles are fun, and yet they always comprise the vast majority of any gameplay in the series.

      It’s downright stupid. Literally the only reason anyone ever played these games is because they lacked the access or attention span for other storytelling mediums as children. As much nostalgia as I hold for the cast and story of FF4, FF6, Chrono Trigger, and so one, I can’t for one minute as an adult stand all the awful treadmill filler gameplay it takes to experience those stories again, nor recommend it to anyone else.

      FFT is the one game that took the combat further, making it actually strategic and actually fun to play, yet the genre seems to have learned nothing from it. The mainline FF’s never got any better, and other TRPG’s before and after always possessed worse AI with even more of the XP grind that has no place in a strategy game.

      Going forward, the only way any combat system of this sort will ever hold up to hindsight is if it has the balls to actually function without an XP system. After all, there’s no XP in Chess. But no one has the balls to do that; they’re afraid their games won’t hold up without a skinner box to keep players addicted in spite of the game’s flaws.

      • GeoX says:

        It’s downright stupid. Literally the only reason anyone ever played these games is because they lacked the access or attention span for other storytelling mediums as children.

        You MUST have known this wasn’t true even as you wrote it, yeah? I was obsessed with JRPGs as a lad, and I also read novels constantly. My friends were mostly the same. Your analysis is flawed.

        • gnalvl says:

          I wrote a lengthy reply, but it got funneled off into the wrong comment thread and now I can’t delete it, so fuck it. If you want to read it you’ll have to go looking.

      • emertonom says:

        Did you ever play Advance Wars? It’s pretty much exactly what you’re describing here.

  16. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Maybe I’m getting old – I neither got story nor fighting system of XIII, wonder about X. But need to play both before they’ll port XV eventually.
    BTW VII is a must-play for an expert on games. Or at least watch the final battle on youtube.

    • Risingson says:

      Please, no, don’t torture people like that.

      • Chaoslord AJ says:

        They appeal to a lot of people and have a die-hard fan base.
        So have Dark Souls or Myst while others hate them.
        Strong emotions are fine.

  17. Konservenknilch says:

    About halfway through, this was the game that turned me off the franchise actually (later, I also tried XII, didn’t help). Not because it is a bad game as such, but the series was simply developing in a direction I was no longer very interested in. So I’ll stick with the SNES and PS1 era as “my” FFs. Loved Lost Odyssey though, that really scratched the old FF itch.

    • LewdPenguin says:

      Whilst I played and quite enjoyed X whilst finishing it I’m also in the same boat in that it marked the start of the series turning a very different direction from what I wanted.
      Had it been a one-off experiment and the series had gone backwards a bit towards the PS1 era I’d probably still be playing them, as it is I also tried XII, no idea how far I got but don’t think I was anywhere near the end before packing it in. And when I watched a bit of XV the other day I came to the realisation after a few minutes that it was pretty much a God of War game playing a bit of dressup in some FF cloths, it doesn’t look outright a bad game, but it’s certainly not the FF I enjoyed so much way back in the PS1 days either.

  18. thekelvingreen says:

    My wife and I played it together on PS2 but then we divorced. For some reason I have never got around to finishing the game.

  19. wackazoa says:

    FFX is one of the few games Ive ever finished. About 80% of the games Ive ever played have been either strategy types you dont really finish or sports/FPS shooters that you play with others that again you dont really finish. The things about the game I liked where the blitzball segments for their little bit of strategy and the music. That was the thing about the PS1/PS2 Final Fantasy games (FF8,FF9,FF10, & FF10-2 are the only ones Ive played) I really liked, their music was pretty catchy and fit the games really well. I can almost remember what happened in the games just based on what music is playing.

  20. MikoSquiz says:

    It never bothered me in itself that the Final Fantasies are silly nonsense, but they could often temporarily get terribly po-faced and serious about their silly nonsense, and be bizarrely tedious to play when the visuals and “story” suggested they should be hilarious hyperactive bash-a-thons.

  21. Kitano1314 says:

    Am I the only one who liked FF XIII?

    • Premium User Badge

      bsplines says:

      No, it is a terribly flawed game, even more than VIII but it has a far worse reputation than it deserves (my opinion, of course).
      It is something more akin to a dungeon crawler than anything resembling Final Fantasy though…

    • floogles says:

      I really liked it. Story and characters were not what I hoped for, but the battle system was excellent and fights were fun ask the way to the end. I really like the high level commander emphasis as opposed to micromanagement, and this just got better and better as the game went on.

      I think my favourite is still Last Remnant though for this battle style.

  22. waltC says:

    That “laughing” scene is horrid…;) What are they…11,12 years old? The speech is so stilted–all the things I dislike about that style of animation. It just screams–“not real, not believable” to me. It’s like everything is way over the top, etc.

    • TheLetterM says:

      The thing about that…I commented in a previous RPS article about FF that I believe they didn’t have the time to re-render the scenes in FFX for the English release. Therefore, all the translators and voice actors had to match their dialogue to something that at least vaguely matched the already-rendered video. It’s the same tortured dialogue problem you run into watching dubbed anime or old kung fu movies.

      Sometime around the first Kingdom Hearts, Square starting investing in redoing all the cutscenes so the lipflaps matched the English script, as opposed to the other way around. FFX-2 feels more natural

      Take all this with a big [citation needed], as I can’t be arsed to look up my sources.

    • Idealist says:

      The laughing scene was meant to seem forced and awkward though. That’s the whole point. It’s actually even worse in the original Japanese. I don’t understand the criticism of this.

      • Longestsprout says:

        The same. There’s a lot to rip into in FFX, but because of the context of the situation the scene has never bothered me. Seeing people bringing it up as an example of the hamfisted nature of FFX’s presentation leaves me scratching my head. There are a lot of other places where devs legitimately screwed up, using this scene is just confusing the issue.

  23. Sin Vega says:

    These games are so gorgeous it only makes it sadder that they’re unspeakably terrible in every other regard.

  24. malkav11 says:

    My favorite of the main series Final Fantasy games (with the caveat that I haven’t played nearly enough of anything past it to judge). At the time it was incredibly gorgeous, had great music, a pretty intriguing world and plot, and unlike virtually the entire rest of the franchise it had actually turn-based battles (instead of ‘active’ turn-based i.e. real-time with cooldowns between acting) with enough info about timing to be actually vaguely tactical and require some thought. Plus it let you swap characters mid-combat, something I desperately needed in most of the other games (of course, the characters got more and more interchangeable as you levelled, so it wasn’t all that it could have been.) Heck, I even liked blitzball, both the only time I’ve ever understood enjoying sports and the second ever time I’ve liked a Final Fantasy minigame (the first being FFVIII’s Triple Triad card game). People criticize it for being linear, but so is pretty much every other game in the franchise. They just let you wander around and get lost for no reason.

    I was excited when they for the first time ever decided to go back to an existing FF setting and do a direct sequel. Silly me, I was imagining this would be more FFX, just with a new plot and bad guys and such. Instead they basically did the opposite of everything I liked about FFX, mechanically. It might be an okay game in its own right but man, did that not endear it to me enough to find out. That was also about when I stopped really having time for JRPGs and FFX remains the last game in the franchise I ever finished.

  25. bishmanrock says:

    I find the first half hour a bit cringy, but other than that I really enjoy it. I think the linearity of the pilgrimage really help the flow of the game.

  26. frobishlumpkin says:

    FF hasn’t been the best-in-class JRPG for a while (see: Persona), but I think I give FFX a bit more credit than you do. There are some bizarre, but pretty unique wrinkles to this normal ol’ save-the-world story, mostly to do with the cyclical death and rebirth of Spira, and the weirdness of trying to figure out how Zanarkand and Spira relate. Lots of groany nonsense, sure, but an interesting-enough world to make it work putting up with.

  27. CaptWaffle1 says:

    Oh My God I hated this game….. I was always a HUGE Final Fantasy fan…. one of my first ever games, possibly THE first game I’d ever played was FFI…. but the complete lack of exploration killed this game for me. I kept waiting for the part where I get the world map and can explore freely. And I kept waiting. And waiting. When those credits rolled I literally wanted to hunt down the design team and write them a strongly worded letter…… I was SO PISSED!!!! I can safely say that FFX killed the series for me. I did end up liking XII quite a bit… and then XIII sucked whatever respect I had for the series away, never to return. But wow…. never has a single game ruined the legacy of a beloved series for me like X did. What a pile of crap.

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    Alfy says:

    It might have been silly as any other FF, but man, the story one of the darkest I had experienced then. The whole premise – minor spoiler – is that your are accompanying, safeguarding and falling in love with a young lady who basically is on a pilgrimage to commit suicide (albeit for a good reason). It’s one of the most tragic stories I ever got to play.

  29. Bury The Hammer says:

    Played FFX on and off as a kid at a friend’s house, but never really got too far. Gave it a proper go again a few years back – and I’ll admit, I enjoyed it, despite all the really tediously obvious flaws it has. The dialogue, is frankly, dogshit. The overall plot.. well, it doesn’t make a huge amount of sense, but I liked parts of it. I like the fact that the bad guy is a massive fuckoff godzilla monster that likes tearing stuff up, rather than the normal stereotypes. I also like the puzzle elements in the temples, and how there was an optional harder bit you could do for treasure. And figuring out a language a symbol at a time as the game went on – wonderful.

    Still. I agree with everyone else that it put me off FF afterwards. The plots were only going to get more tedious and drawn out, and start overbearing on any interesting gameplay at all. When both the gameplay *AND* the story start becoming filler, then you know it’s time to quit.

  30. gnalvl says:

    You must have known that a few people having read novels during their SNES days would not excuse any of JRPG’s flaws before you posted, yeah?

    Sure, we all read novels when we were kids, but any JRPG played during that time is 20-40 hours spent NOT reading books. Regardless of the fact that JRPG players aren’t all ACTUALLY illiterate, the point remains that JRPG’s held an attraction to kids over books that was largely superficial.

    For my part, I know that in spite of enjoying JRPG’s, I was never much for fantasy novels. There were parts of Tolkien, Redwall, and Narnia that I liked, but on the whole they always felt tedious enough that I never pursued them further than one book. Presumably there were other fantasy novels out there with less time spent on “boring details” which I would have liked better, but I never found them and no one ever exposed me to them.

    And it’s not that I didn’t read other stuff (mostly Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke) but nevertheless, at that time, wasting 20-40 hours on shitty random battles seemed like the best fantasy storytelling experience at the time.

    And mind you, that’s just books. There’s plenty of film and animation out there then and now, plus today’s genre television, which despite some flaws, still deliver superior fantasy storytelling to the grindy, stilted experience that is JRPG’s. If I’d had access and exposure to those things back then, I don’t think I’d have wasted as much time on JRPG’s.

    It’s no coincidence that FF7 lead so many kids to anime in the late 90’s, at which point their enthusiasm for JRPG’s became a footnote to their enthusiasm for anime, manga, and other Japanese media. Anime and manga is filler and trope-laden in its own right, but at least it never asks you to fight hours worth of mindless menu-based battles to get to the next hackneyed plot point.

    So this all comes back to my point – we weren’t attracted to JRPG storytelling because it was the best, merely because it’s what we had the access and attention span for at the time. For my part, I know that if I’d been introduced to Miyazaki, Airbender, or 21st century genre live-action stuff back when I was 10, JRPG’s would no longer have looked like the most attractive use of my time.

  31. Idealist says:

    My, so much condescension towards a game that does something that even the most beloved cRPGs rarely do. What I’m referring to is this: if you have the single-mindedness to backtrack to the beginning areas of the game every time the story progresses, you will find that ALMOST EVERY NPC HAS NEW DIALOG REACTING TO THE CHANGING WORLD.

    I’m not talking about party members. I mean all the nameless background characters in every town.

    What the hell, Square? Now that’s daft. I’d be surprised if even 1% of people who played the game have actually seen this dialog.