On this day, 21 years ago, we first visited the fantastic world of Spiro in the Pacific-inspired game Final Fantasy X. This large project by the Japanese company Square was made for the then-new PlayStation 2 console and enabled numerous advances in the technical aspect.
The world of the tenth Final Fantasy was complete, which meant that the environment was fully modeled and that there were no fast-travel miniature maps outside of cities.
The traditional ATB combat system from previous Final Fantasy series was replaced with a CTB system where the combat took place in turns, with pauses between each player's move. Three characters (out of seven playable) could participate in the battle at the same time, but they could be changed during the battle.
Final Fantasy X also brought a new character development system and a notable mini-game called Blitzball. Blitzball is practically water polo underwater and it was performed very similarly to the fight itself - in moves. The main character Tidus was described as one of the best blitzball players and had such a stable hairstyle that his hair didn't move at all underwater.
Bizarreness aside, Final Fantasy X was a technically impressive title in its day. One of the most significant developments for the entire FF series in this sequel happened with the introduction of voice acting for the characters. Players no longer had to read a mountain of text but could listen to the characters talking.
Interestingly, Tidus was voiced by actor James Arnold Taylor - the same actor who voices Ratchet from the R&C series and Gabe Logan from Syphon Filter.
Final Fantasy X is ultimately remembered as a visually bright game with some scantily clad characters, and romantic due to Tidus and Yuna's relationship. But originally, the story was conceived in a much more serious tone and we were supposed to play with a character who would travel the world and look for a cure for a pandemic from which people die when they turn 17.
In any case, the Final Fantasy X we got was a huge hit. The game became the fastest-selling console RPG at the time and was the first PS2 game to reach two million copies sold. It was also the first Final Fantasy to receive its direct sequel – Final Fantasy X-2 followed two years later.
At the end of 2013, the game received its remaster for PlayStation 3 and Vita. Later, that HD remaster appeared on almost every platform, including PC, Xbox, and Switch.