Final Fantasy X is the tenth installment in the Final Fantasy series. It follows the story of Tidus and Yuna. It was the first Final Fantasy to appear on a sixth-generation console (i.e., the PlayStation 2, Xbox or GameCube).
Due to Final Fantasy X’s success and popularity, it spawned the first-ever direct game sequel to a Final Fantasy game: Final Fantasy X-2, released in 2003-04, and continued the events of Spira two years later through the eyes of Yuna. This came about as the result of an initial concept of spinning off Yuna and Rikku into individual titles of their own, which was later combined into one game.
It is also the first in the series to use voice-overs, instead of the previous method of scrolling subtitles. The implementation of voice-overs limited the player’s ability to change the name of the characters, however. Tidus is the only playable character whose name you, as the player, are able to change. Aeons can also be renamed. It is the first installment in a long time in which most of the main characters do not have last names.
- Blitzball – The feature minigame of Final Fantasy X is Blitzball, a cross between soccer and water polo, played entirely underwater in a giant sphere pool at Luca. Recruiting is another big part of Blitzball. Getting new and better players, and knowing who to cut and when, can be the thing that makes or breaks your team.
- Chocobo Racing – Featuring less predominantly than previous games in the series is a Chocobo training and racing game. Situated at the Calm Lands, the player can participate in several challenges to train a Chocobo, and then use those skills to race another chocobo at Remiem Temple.
- Monster Arena – When fiends from all over Spira are captured using special weapons, they appear in the Monster Arena, also located at the Calm Lands. These fiends can be fought at any time (for a fee), and certain combinations can be bred into much tougher enemies.
- Celestial Weapons – Each playable character in the game has their own distinctive Ultimate Weapon, which require some hard work and traveling to acquire.
- Most locations also have their own smaller minigames, such as the Butterfly Hunt in Macalania, and the Valley of the Cactuars in the Bikanel Desert. Character growth in the game is undertaken by use of the Sphere Grid. By gaining AP from battles and collecting different types of spheres, characters move through the grid, raising stats and learning abilities. The sphere grid allows for the player to evolve and take on “mixed” abilities meaning they can learn a wide array of Black Magic, White Magic, Defense, and Attack skills. This allows the player to not be confined to just a master of White Magic etc. An extra grid was included with the International Version (see below), which had 45 fewer nodes, and undefined paths for each character. Unlike the past few games where the battle system used ATB, Final Fantasy X used the Conditional Turn-Based Battle (CTB) system, or the Count Time Battle system in Japan.
At its most basic, CTB is a turn-based system which does not operate in rounds. That is, the order of the turns does not guarantee that each participant in a battle will have an equal number of turns. Characters with higher speed will be able to take more turns than slower characters, thus making speed much more important than in other turn-based battle systems. Furthermore, spells and abilities (such as Haste) can modify the turn order (called the Act List), as some abilities require a longer cool down time. In general, weaker abilities tend to require less cool down time, thus introducing a trade-off between speed and power.
The system is distinguished from Active Time Battle system by the fact that when a character’s turn begins, all action stops while the player decides upon an action. This shifts the focus from reflexes and quick decision-making to strategy and careful planning.
Development of Final Fantasy X began in 1999. Although Hironobu Sakaguchi showed doubts about the transition from 2D to 3D backgrounds, voice acting, and real-time storytelling, he also stated that the success of the series was due to constantly changing development and trying out new things. Final Fantasy X was initially going to incorparate online elements, but were later dropped, and added into the next title in the series, Final Fantasy XI.
Many features were added, such as the Conditional Turn-Based Battle (CTB), a new battle system replacing the Active-Time Battle (ATB) system. The implemention of the World Map concept was dropped, because the developers wanted a more realistic approach, as well as realism of the game’s 3D backgrounds and the animation of characters.
Development of Final Fantasy X began in 1999. Although Hironobu Sakaguchi showed doubts about the transition from 2D to 3D backgrounds, voice acting, and real-time storytelling, he also stated that the success of the series was due to constantly changing development and trying out new things. Final Fantasy X was initially going to incorparate online elements, but were later dropped, and added into the next title in the series, Final Fantasy X-2