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.