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Final Fantasy X

Publisher :Square  Developer: Square  Release Date: July 19 2001(Janpan)

Type:RPG   Console:PS2    #of players : 1


Final Fantasy X was moving at a steady 60fps, while featuring immaculately constructed 3D backgrounds. Much in the way Resident Evil: Code Veronica took the pre-rendered backgrounds and tossed them in the trash, so too does Final Fantasy X. While the demo shown only featured one character running around (a Squall clone in skate-punk clothes), the environments looked amazing and showed a production value that would make other developers weep. Another demo shown during the Play-Online session showed a Final Fantasy-like group of characters running around on pre-rendered backgrounds, but it is unknown if that was a tech-demo for display purposes only, or if it was related to one of the new games.

Final Fantasy X is significant since it is the first FF to be released for the PlayStation 2. While FFIX will be available in the summer of 2000, FFX should be ready by spring 2001. This will also be the first FF to be compatible with Square's Play-Online service. You'll be able to check your progress against an online strategy-engine, which will offer helpful suggestions if you have missed some important items for example. It was said during the presentation that Final Fantasy X will be "different from traditional play." If that wasn't enough to sate your appetite for all things FF, the perhaps the announcement that Final Fantasy XI would ship for PlayStation 2 in the summer of 2001, not long after the release of FFX, is sure to cause a commotion. In case you're wondering why exactly Square would release these two games so closely to each other, it's because Final Fantasy XI will be released as a "complete online game." What this means is that, like Ultima Online or Everquest, FF XI will act out its story entirely online. It's currently unknown if FFXI's game-world will be perpetual, meaning life in FFXI will go on even when you're not logged on, or if you can save and stop and have everything restart where it left off. What we do know is that the concept art that Square showed a whole pile of Final Fantasy characters in the midst of an epic battle, and every character had a different name on the top of their heads, indicating who's who and allowing you to keep track of your friends. From the logo Square displayed of FFXI, it said "Final Fantasy XI: Online Another World." While this is a far from confirmed final title, it completely aligns with Square's plan to offer a new level of interactivity to Japanese, and later, Western, gamers.

Again, it's unknown what impact this will have on the United States gaming community and how Square plans to implement this system here, since we're already familiar with what they're bringing to Japan. However, if their sheer effort is any indication, you can be sure, whether it be Sony or Square EA, an online presence will be formed to accommodate the introduction of Final Fantasy to the online world. We'll be here to report it when they do.

SquareSoft showed new video footage of Final Fantasy X for the PlayStation 2 at the Jump Festival in Tokyo  The thirty-second clip, which followed videos of The Bouncer, The Final Fantasy movie, and Square's WonderSwan Color games, was almost entirely comprised of CG sequences with snippets of real-time footage interlaced throughout. The main CG portion of the presentation showed a goddess-like figure walking on water. Her features were similar to previous Final Fantasy heroines such as Rinoa, and she wore a flowing blue gown and carried a staff. In this particular sequence, she came upon what appeared to be a fire god, who was similar in character design to the Ifrit from Final Fantasy VIII. One of the major plot points in FFX appears to be the conflict between the elements - the water goddess seemed destined to fight the fire god. Additionally, the story seems to take place in a post-apocalyptic world consumed by water. The continents have been flooded and their remnants remain only as small islands. In typical Final Fantasy style, the game world is a mix of fantasy and sci-fi elements. One of the examples of its sci-fi elements was a large airship equipped with an ion cannon.

The real-time sequences included a campfire scene, a scene where the lead character ran through a dungeon, a scene in a town where a summon monster was trying to break free of shackles and chains, and some battle scenes. The battle sequences looked like the ones from Final Fantasy VIII where the entire scene is shown full-screen without menu windows. In fact, the look of the characters and environments in Final Fantasy X is similar to the style of FF VIII, as it uses realistically designed character models. The lead character, who was originally shown at the Square Millennium event, looks very much like Squall from Final Fantasy VIII - he has brownish hair and carries a sword.

The entire game takes place on a real-time 3D map and seemed conducive to free-form exploration. The visuals were in high-resolution and the frame-rate stayed smooth, particularly in the scene where the lead character ran through a dungeon setting. However, perhaps because full-screen anti-aliasing had not been implemented yet, some of the character models had jagged edges. Although our first glimpse at Final Fantasy 

X consisted primarily of CG footage, we came away very impressed.In one of the scenes, the lead character says to the water goddess-like girl, "the beginning has ended and now the end is near. This might be the last time I see you, so I should probably tell you everything." Judging from their conversation and facial gestures, the two characters seemed to have some romantic ties.





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