Tag Archives: SquareEnix

Gamechangers: Final Fantasy X – The Last Great Final Fantasy PT I

Final Fantasy X Extended Trailer

Listen to my story. This…may be our last chance.

Tidus, Final Fantasy X

In 2001, SquareSoft released Final Fantasy X. It was a game of firsts for the franchise and for Playstation 2 console. Final Fantasy X was the first game in the series to have fully voiced characters and three-dimensional backdrops as supposed to pre-rendered scenes. Final Fantasy X was also the first Final Fantasy game featured on the Playstation 2.

Final Fantasy X was my first Final Fantasy game. For so many gamers, it remains not only a classic but rivals the story and characters of Final Fantasy VII. Now that’s saying something.

I first discovered Final Fantasy X in the CD compartment of our Playstation 2. I was eight years old then. My fingers pushed the eject button on the console and out came the game. The CD’s cover art featured Tidus, Final Fantasy X’s main character. Tidus stood in an ocean, knee deep in water. A mix of sun and cloud covered the sky as he stared forward.

The cover art didn’t make any sense to me. I thought it was weird, but my eight-year-old self gave the game a shot anyways.

It is true what they say, beauty truly is skin deep. Final Fantasy X is more than what the cover art could express. From beginning to end, Final Fantasy X is a masterpiece.

You follow and control Tidus in the Final Fantasy X’s world, Spira. The first scene starts the gamer off easy. Tidus runs across his hometown Zanarkand to a blitzball tournament, the game’s underwater sport. I gazed at the new and fantastical world. The colours were drab in brown and yellow tones. The mood felt solemn. A radio host spoke in the background about a man named Jecht, Tidus’s father and a beloved blitzball player. I reached the end of the map and a CGI cutscene begins. This beginning cutscene that sets the rest of the story into motion.

Watch the Final Fantasy X Story timeline to get a gist of the story.

My mouth remained opened the entire cutscene. Dark clouds surrounded Tidus as he slowly becomes sucked into it. The screen suddenly turns white.

“What’s going to happen now?” I thought. This is how it felt like to play Final Fantasy X.

The story surprised me and continued to surprise me.

Every character storyline and every plotline twist was unprecedented. SquareSoft gave the gamer a chance to get to know Tidus. By the end of the game, it felt like I traveled with a friend.

I’m trying my best not to spoil you. If you ever play Final Fantasy X, you are in for the ride of your life.

Finally Mourning The Loss Of Final Fantasy XV

Woman with glasses in an arcade
Photo by Ryan Jacobson on Unsplash

“Prompto, Gladio, Ignis. I leave it to you. Walk tall, my friends”.

– Noctis, Final Fantasy XV

Ten years – that’s how long fans waited for the next numbered Final Fantasy game. Boy, what a ride. What. A. Ride.

After multiple delayed launches, a name change and a complete story rework, what we got was Final Fantasy XV.

I remember driving down to my nearest GameStop to buy Final Fantasy XV Day One Edition for the PS4. The store’s midnight launch party only 12 hours before was cancelled. The winter storm died down overnight. My brother and I were surprised by the lack of attention the game got in-store.

Fresh copies of the game covered an entire shelf, waiting for its next gamer. I quickly grabbed the game and ran to the cashier. The game I waited ten years for was finally in my hands.

Final Fantasy XV – Stand Together Trailer

From beginning to end, I was enthralled by Final Fantasy XV’s characters and beautiful open world map. I was overwhelmed. I had so much to see and do. My eyes were going through a sensory overload. This is exactly how I want to feel everytime I play an open world game.

Noctis, Prompto, Ignis and Gladiolus are my favourite characters in any video game genre ever. These characters’ bromance are not only believable but enjoyable to watch. Their in-game banter is meticulously timed with every game play action and scene. These tiny, tiny details is why I still play Final Fantasy XV today.

My first few hours in FFXV took my breath away.

The next 20 hours or so, well, it wasn’t the best.

Final Fantasy XV’s main story felt rushed. To this day I still don’t understand the story. Some how daemons taking control of Eos (the game’s world) didn’t seem like such a bad thing. I loved the world but I wasn’t attached to the other characters that inhabited it. I only cared about four characters. So what if all the other characters disappeared? If my boys are alright, then so am I.

The sidequests were boring and unfulfilling. NPCs were also boring. After I finished the main game and extra dungeons, the game replay value drastically plummeted.

I was sold on the world but not the story.

First 12 minutes of Kingsglaive Final Fantasy XV movie

I still love the game in spite of all the criticism. Even when Square Enix cancelled their second set of DLCs, Final Fantasy XV: The Dawn of the Future, I was still supportive. I even bought the other four DLCs and Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition for the PC. I watched the Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV movie and all five episodes of Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV anime. I also plan to buy the Final Fantasy XV: The Dawn of the Future novel. I was a mega fan from release date to the DLCs cancellation. I was loyal to the bitter end and I didn’t mourn the loss of the game until now.

Square Enix, FFVX’s game developer, are masterminds in creating video game worlds. They revolutionized the RPG video game genre. FFXV is still a good game but honestly, it isn’t their best game. I know this, other gamers also know this and video game journalists also know this.

Final Fantasy XV is a perfectly unfinished masterpiece. I’m sad the game fans were promised is gone. The original story ideas are probably sitting in a game dev’s computer right now. We’re never going to know the true potential of Final Fantasy XV’s gameplay, characters and world.

As for me, I still need more time to mourn the loss of Final Fantasy XV. After ten years of patiently waiting, I’m not sure I’m going to get over this disappointment anytime soon.

Gamechangers: Pokémon and Final Fantasy VII

Grey Nintendo Game Boy
Photo by Dean Cook on Unsplash

I believe that there are still people who believe that game music is something equal to just an effect incorporated into the game, something like a BGM. And therefore this is something that I would like to show that is not true.

Nobuo Uematsu

Before Pong (1973) days, there was no emphasis on gaming and electronics as an entertainment medium. As the industry grew, so did its impact. Two major video game legends, Pokémon and Final Fantasy VII, remind us good gameplay will always stand the test of time. 

Pokémon started in 1996 with Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue for Game Boy. Only three years after its inception, Pokémon became one of the most popular children’s toys. Pokémon sported merchandise, video game sequels, books, a children’s television series, movies, a card game – the whole gamut. Pokémon marks many adult’s childhood years; even children today will look back on Pokémon. 

We can’t forget Niantic’s augmented reality (AR) venture with Pokémon Go (2016). Although Pokémon Go is not the first AR game, it did popularize gaming for this technology. It redefined “hanging out with your friends outside.” 

Two years before Pokémon, video game company, SquareSoft created RPG’s most influential game, Final Fantasy VII. Now, this game was difficult to research without landing on any spoilers.  If you play video games at all, you may have played Final Fantasy VII.

Yes, I have not played Final Fantasy VII (absolute grounds for a future “Let’s Play” series but more on that another time). But it doesn’t take a genius to know the effect of FF7 on gaming.

Final Fantasy VII, in my opinion, introduced three important elements into the RPGs and gaming as a whole: storyline, music and graphics.

Storyline 

I am not even going to attempt to explain this game. YouTube channel ArcadeCloud does a wonderful job explaining, though.

The storyline, although complex, was terrific. The abridged version barely cuts into the deep, rich storyline. The main storyline is reportedly about 40 hours long. 

Final Fantasy VII used the unreliable narrator, a literary concept used from Fight Club (1999) to Sixth Sense (1999). 

Music

I can confidently say the Final Fantasy VII soundtrack was among some of the best in the Final Fantasy series. Heck, it may even be some of the best video game soundtracks period. 

Nobou Uematsu, the Final Fantasy series sole music composer (well, the most famous composer for the series), created the soundtrack in less than a year. Talk about impressive. Aside from the game’s popularity, the music was beautifully composed. Each soundtrack was unique to a character or a cinematic cutscene. It told gamers how to feel about certain plot points. Uematsu set a very high standard for video music soundtracks after that. 

Nobou Uematsu speaking about how he composed Final Fantasy VII’s One-Winged Angel 

Graphics 

Final Fantasy VII didn’t have incredible graphics, but for the time, it was some of the best. It was the first 3D video game and the first video game to introduce cinematic cutscenes. Almost every RPG in existence today includes these staple elements. 

What are some of your best memories with Pokémon and Final Fantasy VII?

Let me know in the comment section below.