Apr 222014
 
Breaking the Spiral

If it were a new game today, rather than a re-release of one more than a decade old, Final Fantasy X might prove to be fairly controversial. JRPGs have lost some of their power with the expanded gaming audience, but Final Fantasy is still a widely-known name. There has also been a broader realization since BioShock that games can actually have something to say about social and political issues. TV news organizations have proven eager to exploit videogames for ratings-building, and at least one has a political interest in portraying traditional values as besieged by popular culture. In this context, [Read more...]

Apr 212014
 

Status: Finished with 91% completion Most Intriguing Idea: Save the world with cute outfits! Best Design Decision: Flattened world structure Worst Design Decision: Sidequestitis Summary: Final Fantasy X-2 is a decent game, but it feels like a huge misfire nonetheless. I can understand why many fans of Final Fantasy X hated the sequel — although it keeps many of the characters and most of the levels from the first game, it’s so radically different in its tone, mechanics, and overall philosophy that it almost seems designed to give lovers of the first game the finger. If I picked up X-2 hoping for more [Read more...]

Apr 022014
 

I’m not going to write a review of Final Fantasy X because I suspect most of the things I would say about it are going to be contained in the two posts I recently put up and the two other ones I’m working on. I understand why many JRPG purists don’t like the game, and whether it is actually any fun to play is as always a matter of taste (I happen to really enjoy it). However, in terms of a game design that helps tell a story and a story that’s worth designing a game around, I don’t think there [Read more...]

Apr 012014
 
These are his levels

“This is my story!” Tidus shouts in the last battle of Final Fantasy X, but that’s only half of it. Final Fantasy X is also his game. The minigames and some aspects of the battle system, as I mentioned in the last post, tie back to his athletic personality, but the game goes further than that. The level design of Final Fantasy X is a mirror to Tidus’ experience. In their classic form, JRPGs, including the previous Final Fantasy games, have a large zoomed-out overworld that essentially mimics walking across a map, studded with dungeons and towns that have greater [Read more...]