May 14, 2001
Final Fantasy X takes place in the world of Spira - a land under constant threat from a mysterious entity known as "Sin". Sin emerges without warning to cause mass destruction, leaving communities devastated and lives ruined. In this land of constant fear, there is hope in the form of the Summoners - gifted individuals with the ability to summon aeons, powerful sprits of yore.
Of course Final Fantasy wouldn't be true to itself without foes. In Final Fantasy X you will fight a vast array of despicable monsters of varied strength and sizes. The game features a turn-based battle system, allowing time for strategic thinking, and is enhanced by the ability to switch characters during battle. In order to survive each new challenge, Final Fantasy X introduces the Sphere Grid - a brand new system which allows greater control over how you develop characters. Mastery of the Sphere Grid and battle techniques is essential if your characters are to succeed in their quest.
So what is so different between this game and previous versions? Well apart from the obvious improvement in graphics thanks to the Playstation 2 there are three other main areas of improvements. The first and most noticeable area of change will be the voices. Yes, Square have finally decided to add voiced characters in the game. No doubt this decision has come about due to the higher data capacity of DVD discs, which will also allows several languages on one disc in Europe. If Final Fantasy 8 had of been fully voiced the game would more likely have been 10CD's in size. Another area that has been dramatically improved is the facial motions and animations. Characters all now smile and frown in reaction to the happenings around the character. It's a great addition that makes the characters so much more realistic. The final improvements are with the games maps. These have been fairly standard SNES Mode 7 styled since the Super Nintendo days and Square have enhanced them considerably (in 3D) for Final Fantasy X.
To top off the release, and as a partial gift to PAL Playstation 2 gamers our version of the game, which is the slightly expanded International version which was recently released in Japan, also comes with a second DVD choc full of extras. Here's what to expect on the bonus DVD:
Final Fantasy History (V through to IX with preview of FFX footage)
Final Fantasy X trailer 1 (FMV + gameplay)
Final Fantasy X trailer 2 (FMV + gameplay)
Kingdom Hearts Tokyo Game Show 2001 preview (FMV + gameplay)
Kingdom Hearts E3 2002 Preview (FMV + gameplay)
Interviews with the development team:
Producer - Yoshinori Kitase
Character Designer - Tetsuya Nomura
Event Director - Motomu Toriyama
Battle Director - Toshiro Tsuchida
Scenario Writer - Kazushige Nojima
Sound Producer - Nobuo Uematsu
Executive Producer - Hironobu Sakaguchi
Interviews with voice actors:
James Arnold Taylor (Tidus)
Hedy Burress (Yuna)
Yoshitaka Amano profile
Storyboards, 16 Image boards (original character design, original background design, concept art)
FFX Theme song 'Suteki da ne' promotional music video featuring Japanese pop star Rikki
There can be no denying that Final Fantasy X will sell by the truckload when it is released on May 17, the same day as Gamecube strangely enough. This could be the series (Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XII are also in the works for the PS2) that swings consumer favour back to Sony in the console race with the Gamecube and XBox. One thing is certain, with the amount of time and money that Square have invested in this title there is little chance of this game being mediocre. In fact, I can guarantee it's a winner.