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Why don't I care about this story?

Nandemoyasan

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Johnny
#1
To me, it all falls horribly flat. FF9 got a little dodgy, but this was just utter tripe to me. It's been many many years since I last played it, but frankly, it all came off as the kinds of characters designed by a marketing firm trying *way too hard* to appeal to a teenage audience.

Tidus' issues with his father make him seem entitled and Jecht's character is not presented as a fleshed-out person but merely an object of Tidus' ire. The entire dynamic between them is shoehorned into a 'why weren't you there for me Daddy' plotline. They are utterly two-dimensional to me, and the entire idea of examining dysfunctional familial relationships is handled about as carefully as someone picking up a hot pan with tongs instead of potholders.

Yuna is also a character whom I have no desire to empathize with. The idea that she has to sacrifice herself to save the world seems like it should produce a lot of questions in her mind that simply never get asked. She comes off something like a guided missile that Tidus is trying to reprogram the guidance system to, in-flight. For her to only begin questioning her purpose near the end comes off as too little, too late.

Auron may be cool and have the best VA work in the game, but he still gets relegated to mostly being Mr. Exposition. The rest of the party have about as much personality as a doorknob, and I remember absolutely nothing about Seymour.

And that's the worst part of it all, is that I can't be arsed to care about the characters or the story much at all. It just doesn't have that quality that 'fictional histories' (Tolkein spoke of this in the foreword to his revised edition of Lord of the Rings) need to have to bring them across as living, breathing worlds in the reader's mind, but leans more toward allegory, which Tolkein said specificially LotR was *not.* His thinking on the subject was that (and I may be paraphrasing slightly here) "allegory exists in the purposed domination of the mind of the author over the mind of the reader."

That's a pretty good description of how FFX makes me feel. It's like it's telling me "this is the hero, and you're supposed to feel this way about him, and this is the heroine, and you're supposed to feel this way about her, etc etc etc." It doesn't seem like it was made for a person who wants to experience a story and think about it, but merely to sell merch and stimulate fandom.

So, that's my rough take on it all. What about its story appeals to you? Why do you like it? Should I give this another shot? X and X-2 Remastered are on Steam, and I've considered giving it another shot, to make sure I am not crazy. How does your take differ from mine? Or, are there other things about the game that I may have forgotten, which make it enjoyable for you?

AAAaaaand, go!
 
#3
Think I came to X too late to appreciate it. I'd already played FF12, F13, Legacy of Kain, a bunch of fantasy novels, and studied Kant in college, so the theme of rebelling against God had an 'oh, not this again' response.

Also, 'this is my story' was a really weird line, considering Yuna is actually the prime mover of everything.

Jecht might be fleshed out if you find all the crystals. I dunno, I never did.
 

wander

‪‫‬‭ ‮
#5
Final Fantasy X

Pros:

__________

Cons:
  • The plot
  • The setting
  • The script/dialogue
  • The characters
  • The aesthetics
  • The battle system
  • DODGING LIGHTNING HUNDREDS OF TIMES
  • Anything not mentioned above
 
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Nandemoyasan

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Johnny
#7
(...)the theme of rebelling against God had an 'oh, not this again' response.
The thing is, Final Fantasy Tactics had already done this angle, and much better, despite the horrendous translation hack job. FFX, viewed in a certain way, seems like it could come off as "Since the focus groups liked that, we'll give them more of it" instead of a decent story in its own right.

I started playing rpgs because the stories took my reading comprehension more seriously than the ones in games like Zelda or Metroid. This was a reversal of that, for me.
 

Cthulhu

Administrator
AKA
Yop
#9
I have to point out that while there's a lot of meh about FFX, for me it was my first PS2 game (and the first time I owned a console); I had a cheat sheet to go with it (which was a gift from an ACF forum memberer) and ended up with a 200 hour save game, doing most of the sidequests / activities. And I didn't even get the sphere grid full or made use of those extra dank EU version extras.

FFXII made up for a lot of the flaws in X, IMO. X-2, I tried it but ehhhh, I just couldn't get into it.
 
#10
I started with 7, played all the mainline ones up through then and skipped Tactics until way later (at the time, the battles were my least favorite part, so a game essentially going "Hey! How about we increase the depth and make the battles the focus of the whole thing?" was about as appealing as being smacked in the face with a wet mackerel). So, perhaps I was biased in not seeing the thematic repetition seemingly apparent to veterans of the series. But, for me...I loved the idea of the main playable character not being the focus of the story, but just a member of the team escorting her...this is Yuna's story. Also, the game coming out early into my adolescence, the concept of unquestioned religious zealotry slid perfectly into my awakening angst, lol, and other elements of the game that might otherwise not have worked ended up sliding in nicely because of that. Wakka, for example--terribly annoying character, but as he represents the Yevon devout, my distaste for him felt like it was SUPPOSED to be there...I sympathized with Rikku, and thought "who the hell does this jock asshole think he is??". As for Yuna not questioning things until too late, within the world of the game and her own personal history, questioning her destiny seems akin to, I dunno, questioning why one bothers to get out of the bed in the morning. Or maybe a better comparison would be, if you knew you could get away with it, why wouldn't you just steal whatever you wanted? Because "it's the right thing to do"?? Well, yeah, I guess, but...aren't laws just a system of human control? If a person has more than they could ever need, shouldn't you be justified in taking from them if you don't have enough, Robin-Hood style? These are all real questions, but once the average person doesn't ask because from moment 1, it sounds like you're just trying to justify being a thief. Just as, Yuna questioning things would be attempting to justify her being a coward, or selfish, or 'spitting in the face of God's plan'.

FFX certainly has its flaws, most of them in my opinion stemming from "First FF on a new system so we gots to show off", and/or "in trying to show off within a graphical presentation style we're still learning, we made some wonky choices". But as I've come back to it with age, I've softened on most of my early complaints as things that 'work within the universe'. Tidus IS a brat...but this isn't his story, he's just a young, overconfident star athlete in way over his head...this is Yuna's story. Yuna IS over-solemn, self serious, martyr esque...but that's the way she's been groomed to be in this world that needs to cultivate an endless loop of unquestioning sacrifice, and just as Tidus' outlandishness balances and brings out her humanity, so her personality teaches him a little damn solemnity. I guess that's really what it comes down to...I get the impression I see a lot of the same annoyances most people see, but they 'work' for me, and I let the plot tug me in those directions. But I can totally see just saying "No, this doesn't work", and so the blemishes never absorb, and the picture is soiled.
 
#11
Hang on, I should be a little more fair.

Actually, the playable cast were fine. It's not that Tidus' lack of importance was a bad thing. I like Penelo, who has a similar ish role. It's just that this was coupled with him repeatedly insisting 'this is my story' for no reason I understood. He's telling the story to people that were part of it, why does he need to say that? Why not 'our' story? That one sentence never stopped bothering me.

The rest of the team were solid and well drawn. I remember one noticeable conversation where Wakka and Lulu are talking on the boat and going 'wow, I wish I had a father to hate'. They're who they would be in those circumstances.

Seymour never mattered to me, and I don't really understand why. He was always more annoying than intimidating, despite being pretty dangerous. But my reaction was more 'argh, not you again' instead of 'oh crap' like Sephiroth, Kuja, or Barthandelus. I had some sympathy for Mika's 'you have just destroyed the only hope this world has WITH NO ALTERNATIVE PLAN WHATSOEVER and doomed us to an eternity of Sin rampages. Thanks a lot, kids' viewpoint.

I've never played tactics, so the thematic repetition wouldn't have been so apparent had I played this in 2001. It was my experience, but isn't an objective criticism.

The battle system was really boring up to Macalania temple, and then got pretty good once you got to really dangerous enemies and could stop playing rock paper scissors. But that's 2/3 of the game fighting the same four enemies in different colours.

Music, generally great, especially the 'walking in the ruins of Zanarkand' theme. Jecht, the Maesters, the Al Bhed, were interesting. Yuna's kidnappings didn't annoy me the way Rinoa's did, because she had actual reasons for being targeted so often.

Sin was a great antagonist and boss battle.

If your problem is the overly forceful themes, maybe try it again and wander around exploring the world, find the NPC stories that aren't so pointed. The worldbuilding beyond the main plot itself isn't so bad.
 
#12
You know what, I never considered the repetitive "This is my story" other than just a dramatic sounding voiceover narration, or maybe a bit of narrative misdirection at best. I might be stretching here, but considering the fact that
Tidus essentially doesn't exist, it could be an attempt to claim some kind of identity or ground, a way of claiming the story as a way of claiming existence
. I mean, the semi-fourth-wall-breaking referring to one's role within a game narrative as 'their story' is a bit odd to begin with, no?

Seymour is a weaker villain, no getting around that. But then, in a way, he's not really the villain...he's essentially unnecessary, but serves merely to fill the traditional role of 'repeated nemesis guy' that FFX lacks, because the villain is really Sin if you want to be literal about it, and the world itself if you wanna get a bit more abstract (I realize that sounds meaninglessly philosophical, but I'd rather not use more spoiler tags, and I think those who've played and know the twists will know what I mean).

I LOVED the way the battle system tied in narratively, in the sense that, in pretty much all FF's, barring a few specific scenes, you're always supposed to be traveling with the whole party, but it never feels like it. This let the battles blend into that feeling of the whole 'Summoner Protection Gang' being along for the ride. As far as the actual mechanics, it does hold your hand a bit too long, but even as I've grown out of the "RUN FROM ALL BATTLES" days of my youth, I'm more one for just the battles being fun rather than notably and particularly challenging, and I felt like this overall delivered.

Oh yeah, BLITZBALL!! Only sidegame I've ever bothered with besides Triple Triad.

I realize I probably sound like I'm super hardcore into this game...I guess my ranking is 7,8,10, 9. I've still never beaten 6 (sacrilege, I know), all of them since 10 have disappointed me, the first few and 5 put me to sleep, and I guess I'd put 4 behind 9...although I strongly suspect that if I beat 6, it'd definitely beat it out. I'm a little ashamed to admit this, but even though I grew up with the Super Nintendo era before launching into the PSX, I still find Super Nintendo-era graphics hard to get into a narrative based game. I suppose the same way gamers of one generation later laugh their asses off at scenes in the Playstation-era FF7 that we sobbed at. Strange, eh?
 

lithiumkatana17

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Lith
#15
I like X, but not to the degree I like XII or VII. Or even XV.

As I've grown older, Tidus feels more and more like a character I can't relate to. It really is Yuna's story. Yeah, Tidus has a connection to Sin and all that, but it just would've made more sense for Yuna to lead the way. She's a naive child who's trying to save a world she barely knows. Finding out her religion is a lie and her father died for it would've made a better turning point for a main heroine. And if they'd reworked the story that made Sin Braska instead? How much would that have sucked?

And Blitzball can suck a fart out of my ass. I hated that mini game with a passion. And the fricking lightning bolts. Blegh.

Bottom line, love the game, but it's not in my top 3.
 

Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
#20
I always loved the team building in Blitzball, and how so many random NPCs you run across randomly turn out to be into playing Blitzball, and not only that, being really fucking good. Like, it blew my mind how many randoms in the game were not only DTB (down to blitz) but were badass at particular roles.

It really brought to life the NPCs of the game, and really made the game so much fun and immersive. I'm sorry, but I Blitzball was one of the best FF mini-games that really helped X not feel too painfully linear. Along with its awesome, albeit challenging as hell Monster Arena.
 
#21
I never paid much attention to the Blitzball minigame over the years until I played the HD Remaster on PS3. For whatever reason, I got completely hooked on that playthrough. The length of contracts and waiting for players to become free agents, it was so funny how it managed to wind up feeling like a sports sim game. I had a great time :monster:

Not such a great time that I played enough to get Wakka's celestial, I'm not insane. But I still had a lot of fun.
 

Volvatta

Sincerity-Genuinity & Comedy
AKA
Crazy-Sane
#23
I found FFX was written in an odd manner. The conjoining of the world with the monsters was out of place i found. Enemies didnt match the environment. I love the lore and the overall atmosphere with the blue/water aspect revolving around the story. The airship was imo super ugly though.
 
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