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FFX – Perhaps I Was Too Patient As It Now Feels Incredibly Dated

I write this (quite long) “review” as a long time RPG lover. I started gaming as a kid in the SNES era when I last had a console but since then I have been a computer only player for the better part of my life. Recently got a Switch and have begun catching up on the FF titles I missed and FFX always held a sort of mystique for me ( The switch version lacks some of the modern day “fixes” I am other editions and FF games have gotten, inexplicably )

I won’t write about the good parts of the game because those are all over the net, instead I’ll write about the parts I can no longer stand about it’s gameplay that perhaps I enjoyed 25 years ago when I was playing SNES final fantasy games but now seem so incredibly dated I can’t stand them compared to where the genre has gone.

  • Random Encounter Rate: not a horrible mechanic in and of itself (although I hate it personally I understand it’s utility and tolerate it to play certain classic titles )… but this game literally has a random encounter every 4-8 seconds. Yes, I timed it. It’s bonkers how often you end up fighting and at some place like the Calm Plains this makes exploring go from something that should be exciting to an utter chore. There desperately needs to be a way to turn the rate way down or just off for a brief period.

  • Non shared AP means the battles take twice as long because you have to make sure to rotate everyone in even if it’s just to block. Completely an utterly annoying. Sure I could easily kill these 3 enemies but now I have to rotate my healer and thief in just because. Oh and you want your Aeons powered up so don’t forget to rotate all 5-6 of those in too.

  • Sphere grid: what seems interesting at first just turns into what essentially amounts to “here you do the leveling up yourself” … there really is only 1-2 paths that make sense for anyone and instead of leveling up old school RPG style where a new levels gets you some health and power and magic, you now half the spend 10 minutes at a time clicking circles to do it. Wow, so fun.

  • Enemy Cheese moves : the enemies are generally leveled well, but often they have a cheese hit or move that 1-2 shots anyone in the party or reduces everyone to near death. Fine I suppose but it turns half the battles into heal-a-thons

  • Aeons should be cool, powerful summons but are SO squishy they can easily be killed by a duo or trio of strong hits if the enemy gets 3 in a row.

  • Boss battles with unskippable cut scenes, cheese moves, and nigh invincible bosses: Brutally long cut scenes you can’t skip, shoot me. Boss battles that, unless you use a guide, take 3-5 attempts to figure out (watching the cut scene every time) and often the bosses have extremely annoying cheese attacks. For example Seymour Flux can just flat out kill your Aeons with a single attack, which doesn’t even count against his turn… oh and he’s immune to damn near every nerf spell you have so fuck you for using a turn trying, and now here’s your one unblockable one shot death hit

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I think FFX essentially ended my desire to play any other turn based RPGs for a good long time, and I utterly despise random encounters now. Perhaps the PC version has mods to fix some of these things but there’s no way I can revisit this game on the Switch.

I wanted so badly to love this game because of its pedigree, history, nostalgia, and general mythos in the RPG genre but I hate it. Perhaps I was too patient and playing it in its era would have blown me away, but I just don’t have the patience for this type of game any more, and I think the QoL improvements in the genre have spoiled me.

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