Hello VGChartz! BIG POST incoming :P
So, almost 10 days ago I started the thread about my first impressions about this game, that you can check here, and now as you are probably getting used to already if you saw my other threads, it's time I do the second thread about my final feelings about the game, breaking it at 5 major sections and giving it a score in the end (not for each section), but again, the score is merely there to make it a numbered short way of telling what I thought about the game, so I suggest you to read the thread and pay attention to the points I'll make rather than just looking to the score, but if it is what you came for, please scrool down and go for it.
As usual I'll try to avoid giving spoilers here, but they'll end up happening anyway in some form, maybe not for me, not for you, but for someone it'll most likely happen, so I strongly recommend to you to ONLY READ THE THREAD IF YOU DON'T THINK YOU CAN BE SPOILED AND HAVE ACTUALLY BEAT THE GAME, IF YOU THINK THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY, PLEASE JUDGE WISELY IF YOU REALLY WANT TO READ IT OR NOT, THERE WILL BE NO SPOILER ALERTS ON THE ACTUAL "REVIEW".
Now I think we are able to start it, so let's go for it!
The first aspect I want to talk about are the graphics.
Now, I usually start with what standed out the most to me, and that was definitely the "graphics", because to me it was clear that the game tried constantly and strongly to be beautiful, and damn it nailed it.
It's not the best looking PS2 game, but it's not actually the graphics that stood out the most, even it being great for a game so early in the PS2 life, it was the always constant feeling that the game was beautiful, what I'm calling here "graphics" to get it short is actually the combination of the graphical quality, environments and artstyle, the "feeling" it had it was mostly a beautiful world.
The CGs are gorgeous, it shows a clear step ahead of the already great CGs from the PS1 games, you can see details in the skin of the chars, specially Tidus, and the way the game use the water there, both in the normal in-game graphics and in the CGs is great, it's always glowing and feeling full of life, that's actually a good description for a good chunk of the game. I also liked how the main chars were more japanese looking in the CGs, specially Tidus and Yuna (Rikku was a bit strange), I think more FFs should have this approach as some others JRPG, as they do come from Japan, and I know a more western look make it more welcoming internationally, but they could keep it at some games.
Final Veredict: Mixed between Amazing and Impressive (in-game graphics and CGs respectivelly)
The second aspect I'll focus here it's the gameplay.
Was a strong point to me from the beggining to the end, an actually turn-based system instead of the series famous ATB.
If you didn't know, now you do, I love turn-based games, always did, always will, I also liked how the ATB made you have to be there always paying atention to the battles, but my favorite was always the turn-based approach, I love having all the time I want to think before doing my moves, the strategy can flow the best that way and if it is to change it doesn't need to be a so quick change and you can take the most from it, again, I like the ATB and it's approach, it's a nice go between turn-based and total action battle, and I like to feel like I'm more involved with the battle and that makes it possible, but turn-based was always my thing.
That being said, it also does a great job by letting me change my equips during battles and also between all my chars whenever it's my turn, it opens a whole lot of possibilities and ways to approach the battles, even as the game points a way to you as each char has it strong and weak spots very clear to you so you know how to approach each situation from the beggining, but anyway, it's great. I just wanted that this games would have more gear, only one weapon and one acessory seems a little less than it could, I mean, it's probably to prevent to change the way the characters look, but they could keep the normal style the chars have even when changing armors and boots and stuff like that and only weapons changing in battle as usual.
This game doesn't have a world map (ok, it does, but not an open one that we can explore), just a map that only in the very end we can actually go freely from place to place, but only with dots on it, not actually leting you do it, but hey, it doesn't need a open world map, the game is pretty straight foward and it's how it wants to be, but it's worth mentioning as the previous games were all in the open map model. The sphere grid was intimidating in the beginning wbut was actually fun in the go, I could get all the abilities there and managed my chars well in the path I wanted, it was fun to deal with, but I disliked the way we had to spend points to get back on places we already were so we could get some other path, it didn't affected me because I took care with it, and the game does give you some sspheres to don't need to do it later in the game, but it can mess up chars, as you would be expending levels for nothing, and would need every time more experience to get more points.
Final Veredict: Great
The third aspect will be the story.
Yup, you like it or not, I loved it, it started really messed up and strange, it showed a really weird problem of how it would tell it to you in the start and that was really clear in the initial conversations, it felt out of place, strange, weird, but hey, wait, it gets better, a lot better, the story telling gets a lot better but it still seems like it had some kind of barrier that prevented it of fully telling itself to you in the game, but the lore behind it was shows itself to be way more than the game is telling in the end, to me after the part that Tidus has the first revelation, about Yuna (will hold to say what it was, but you know it if you played the game) it started to get really good, and after the second, about Tidus (same here), it got great to me, it shows how strong the duo (Tidus and Yuna) actually were and that behind the common knowledge of the very ruled world the people lived there was actually a totally twisted view, that plus Auron being such a badass from the very beggining was great xD, so in the end, the thing I disliked the most about the game in the beggining actually turned out good. That made it probably the game that made me change my mind the most after the first impressions, gladly in the good way.
The ending was sad, I do like to see love to end up without that "happy ending", because it does make up for a strong point, but it's always a love and hate relationship, as I appreciate how the sadness can be a strong and thus beautiful feeling but it also let a hole hoping for the happiness, as it should be.
Final Veredict: Good (a little messed up story telling, a good lore and some good improvements in how I felt about it)
The fourth aspect will be te music.
I'm ready, come at me, I'm sure a lot of you were expecting it to be the first point and by far, but to me it was actually the least of the main four (outside of difficulty that you should have noticed is more of a comment than a whole point in my thread about FF), but hold your horses, it doesn't mean it was bad or anything close to it, it was actually good, and even as I think it's stronger in the game than the story telling, in the end it was just what had the least weight on my experience. It had some really good tracks, and specially the two rock focused ones, in the beggining in the CG when Sin comes to Zanarkand and in the last battle in the game (not actually the last, but it's the last where you can actually lose, so it's the last to me), the one with the "giant" (won't name it), where really cool, specially the second, as it's a battle music and just feels great to hear while you are doing it.
The general thing about the soundtrack seems to be a calm tone, which suits the game indeed, but the more "agressive" ones give it another energy, and as I do appreciate that last kind of music the most it stood out a lot to me. Sadly it was just two tracks. But don't get me wrong, I also like more calm and sentimental music, the japanese voiced music was also great, well, I like what I like xP
Final Veredict: Good (with some Great tracks)
The fifth and last aspect will be the difficulty. (as always)
None of the FF games I played were actually hard, but this one ended up being pretty easy, I mean, I did went for the "superbosses" there and I killed them with 2 hits each! And I did avoided the final weapons because I was told it would make me hits up to 99999 rather than 9999, but Bahamut and Anima were not there to kid, and they did it anyway. Was with anime that I put down both Ultima and Omega with 2 hits each, one hit + Oblivion (Anima's overdrive).
I was so socked that I actually turned off the console after beating Ultima so easily so that I could go back to try it again without it, but even so it didn't posed any kind of major problem, so much I did wanted to do the same with Omega after but after I killed all the monsters in the platforms in the way to it and went back to save to try it when I went back I would have to beat all of the again... which made me Anima-kill them with no mercy and I didn't bothered trying to beat Omega without it as I had just spent a lot of time there killing two times that monsters in the way, so yeah, it was very easy.
I didn't lost a single battle in the entire game, but worst was that none of them actually posed the challenge needed to it anyway, well, the battle with the 3 sisters in the very end would have being a problem as they hitted 9999 easily and that was the max HP I could have, but the game gave us Auto-Life in all the battles there, so yeah, seems like the game wanted to be easy.
Final Veredict: Easy (seems like it was the intention, so it's cool)
Well, that's it guys, that was my impressions about the game!
The game does have it's problems, it does, and takes a while to fix them, but to the hell with it, I liked it and that's what matter xD.
And to everyone that came all the way down here, reading the thread or just to see the score, here it is: 8.5/10
I recommend it to everyone, and also to keep playing it, because it does get's better in the run, a lot better.
Thank you all.