Reviewed on PS2


Reviewed By: Bryan Horvath

Computer Platform: PlayStation 2
Produced by: Square
Price Range: $50
Learning curve time: 2-3 hrs. (w/ Sphere Grid)
Age level: 13+
ESRB Rating: Teen

Genre: RPG
Christian Rating: 3 of 5
   (some objectionable elements)
Gameplay: 3 of 5
Violence: 3 of 5
Adult Content: 3 of 5

Box art for 'Final Fantasy X' This game was added to my collection just hours after it was released. I beat it in around 50 hours, and even found all the summon spells in the game. But I was disappointed with this game. Why? Because I have learned to expect better from the Final Fantasy series. This game is good, but does not live up to the name.

“Final Fantasy X” involves a young “Blitzball” player named Tidus in a futuristic city called Zanarkand. After a rather long cinema introducing you to his world, Sin, the game's main antagonist, sucks Tidus into a world called Spira where technology takes a back seat to "the teachings of Yevon". Stuck in the middle of the ocean, the player is rescued by the Al Bhed, a race of outcasts who use machinery. Sin then attacks again, separating you from the Al Bhed. You then go to the Isle of Besaid and meet up with Wakka.

Screenshot from 'Final Fantasy X' Later, you meet Lulu and a monster summoner named Yuna, who is starting a mission in hopes of gaining all the Aeons (summoned monsters) of the world. Their combined power is intended to be used to defeat the evil Sin who has been terrorizing Spira for a thousand years. Tidus agrees to help her, and they all go off on there merry way…

The problems some Christians may have with this game are as follows:

  1. Minor cursing. There is some minor cursing throughout the game, but this may be minor compared with the more bothersome concept in
  2. "The Church of Yevon". This church is an homage to the Roman Catholic Church and it's powerful rule over the common people during the Midieval era. **Spoilers** As a matter of fact, you must eventually go against the church. The truth surfaces that the church is actually based on greed, lies, and hypocrisy. At one point, you must actually kill a high ranking religious official.
  3. The character Yuna has the power to mystically summon beasts (one of which resembles a devil). From where do they originate? They come from souls trapped in small chambers (called Fayth) for all eternity. They are forced to give their powers to any summoner that enters the Chamber of the Fayth.
  4. Anyone who sits through this game will also notice that one of the women in the story (Lulu) is quite "well endowed". Numerous cleavage shots are present. Later in the game there is a boss that wears nothing but a thong and a bra.

While this game isn't meant for the young, I personally feel that a more mature 13 year old or above can handle this game. A parent needs to develop trust in their children, but this game will not be for everyone.

Overall, is “FFX” "good"?

Yes and no. Yes—the visuals are absolutely stunning and the music is very classical, but I've been playing the “Final Fantasy” series since I was 6 years old and I have come to expect certain things in this series. First of all, the world map where you can walk between different important areas in the game has been taken out of the game. Secondly, the producers have taken away the old “Leveling Up” system and replaced it with the inferior, overcomplicated “Sphere Grid” system. And lastly, they have scrapped the old Text Boxes and are now using subtitles and voice actors. This frustrates me because I always preferred imagining the voices in my head.

Other then these caveats, the game is pretty good, though the ending is a little weak. It's a decent game but no means the best of the series. Most fans will enjoy it.

Year of Release—2001

Neutral—I read the main review to FFX and I'm a little sceptical about the similarities between the cult of Yevon and the Catholic Church, since this is the most oriental style FF and Catholicism and Christianity are not important in their culture as in ours. It may be that the authors accepted anti-Christian propaganda (like Berserk! and Bastard) without verifing it, but I suppose that, if there is a target, it is not Christian. Anyway I had to read the review to think about that interpretation, since FFX is about the search for what is true and what is false. When I (SPOILERS AHEAD) learned that the Yevon cult was a cult of death projecting a spiral of death on the world of Spira I thought about what satan and his adept (if they know it or not) are doing in the real world, and the courage of Tidus to fight lies even if his life depended on these had a moral sense to me. Even with that I'm not so sure there weren't any anti-christian propaganda in it, so I take it neutral. About the game I think that the RPG formula is a little aged, and that wasn't your adventure but rather a movie, you couldn't do anything to change your story. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Lorenzo Vocaturo, age 29

Positive—This game is amazing. I've got to give kudos to Square for being one of the only game developers with the guts to touch religion. Obviously, they are not Christians. But I think the things they do say in the game should give us hope. Take the main boss, Sin. The only way to defeat “Sin” is through a sacrifice, you are told early in the game. Sin is death, one character even says. It is the cause of death in the FFX world. It's true that the church of Yevon resembles the Catholic Church in many ways, but as the review says, the characters turn to fight it as an evil and corrupt church. Perhaps some Christians of our day could take that lead. Overall, instead of bashing this game for its imperfections, maybe we should use it to demonstrate the gospel to our friends - all the elements are there. Life is a battle against Sin. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Galen Wood, age 18

Positive—I honestly believe that Final Fantasy X is a great game to which many Christians cannot take serious offense. Honestly, I think that the reviewer here is nit-picking. First off, the Final Fantasy games (especially on the Playstation and the PS2) have always pushed the envelope in a very creative and artistic way. If the reviewer can seriously take offense at the use of the Aeons, then how can they defend playing as mages or summoners in games past? It really doesn't make sense. As for the Sphere Grid, it is very free flowing, and gives you the option to create a Tidus or a Yuna all your own. Okay, so Lulu's chest *was* overflowing, but is that as bad as what you can see on prime time television? All in all, I think that the game teaches the player not to take life for granted and to teach and experience all that they can; as long as in your heart you know what's true, your faith in that will guide you. My Ratings: [4/5]
   —IMR, age 21

Negative—This latest installment of the series is the most offensive yet. Lulu the black mage has bad taste in clothes. Yuna summons beings of the "fayth". Wakka, the most religious character in the game, is portrayed as a prejudiced bully and turns on his faith under peer pressure. And tidus, the hero who is supposed to save spira (and is actually sent from his father), is ultimately described as "a dream of the fayth". There are too many play on words, such as: “Maester” (pastor), “yevon” (heaven), "fayth". The game eventually comes down to saying atonement is futile, the church is corrupt, the faith is a dream of the past and humans can have heaven on Earth. And it's all wrapped up with pretty graphics and nice music. My Ratings: [1/4]
   —Sara, age 26

Positive—I rented Final Fantasy X THE SAME DAY it came out in the movie store. I haven't finished it, but I'm about half way there and its just incredible. The gameplay graphics along with the FMVs are literally breathe taking. I got so hooked on this game, its one of those stories that takes you out of your everyday life and into something wonderful. I've always loved fantasy-type games and movies for that reason. I love the feeling of being involved in a story where every day of these characters lives actually matters to there existence. Its filled with adventure, romance, and action. As a Christian, I personally have no problem whatsoever with this game. I think people read WAY to deep into these sort of things. I mean, yes you do eventually have to go against the Church of Yevon which can possibly stand for the Catholic Church, but that's not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination. I mean look at history, where did the Catholic Church come from? It was more of a governmental system in the Dark Ages that kept the people ignorant so it could control them. That's a fact, there's no way around it. But anyway, I found this game just amazing and I believe we need to understand its not reality and not worry about it too much, its just a story like Lord of the Rings. Thanks and God Bless! My Ratings: [4/5]
   —Johnny Biscuits, age 20

Comments from Young People…

Positive—I would have to agree and disagree with the reviewer on this beauty of a game called Final Fantasy X. The graphics are amazing, hair waves in the wind, clothes conform with how the wearer moves (little details that make the game that much more enjoyable) About the cursing: I hear worst stuff on a daily basis at school, or even talking to some of my friends on the phone. As far as the church goes, the church ~should~ have been gone against, it was evil (keep in mind this is a GAME, I'm sure, no wait, I'm positive there are corrupt churches out there and you people know it as well as I do) Yuna's power to summon “beasts” was never used in a BAD way, they were collected to ultimately destroy the evil entity “Sin” About Lulu being “well-endowed” and the women being scantily clad, again I see worse things at school or at the mall. It's nothing knew to anyone my age, much less someone older (Unless you're parents have kept you locked up in a basement your entire life =)… My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Justin, age 15, non-Christian

Positive—This game is second only to Final Fantasy VII. It one of the best because of the graphics, because of the story and because it is more complex. The only thing that isn't great about it is the characters costumes and the game is too short, it should have been multiple discs. As for going against the church, as far as I can remember the church is corrupt in this story, so should we blindly follow it? So I wouldn't see that as a disturbing element. Any thinking person will not have their faith challenged by a video game, if this presents a moral problem, then you might as well stay home from college. Now that I've played this game I am having a lot of trouble finding new games that even come close to measuring up to this new standard. My Ratings: [2/4]
   —Michael Reid, age 17

I personally havn't played it, but I have watched enough of it to understand the plot and characters. The gameplay looks smooth and the graphics are the nicest I have seen for PS2. However, I've noticed that in the game there are many scantidly clad women (Lulu, the girls at the blitzball tournament, etc.). There is quite a bit of magic and conjuring used during battle and I found the scene when Luna does the “sending” for the villagers very disturbing. There is also occasional cursing. My Ratings: [2/4]
   —Anon., age 13

Positive—Where is all the negative propaganda coming from? It sounds as if no one sharing an opinion, including the reviewer, played the game thoroughly or at all. For 10 years I have played several different games, but usually RPGs. This marks the best for the PS2. I spent 120-hours, which makes me sound like a freak, on FFX getting everything and just having fun. It seems that everyone here gave FFX no chance. It is better than most PS2 games and deserves more credit than a 3 in the gameplay area. My Ratings: [3/5]
   —Arthur, age 16

A Response from the Reviewer—I wish to respond to the user above who says that I (the reviewer) didn't give this game a chance… I [did] beat this game, played Blitzball, beat the Chocobo Lady in all her tests, gained a few of the ultimate weapons, and found all the summons. So please, don't tell me I didn't “Try” to like this game. If I didn't want to give it a chance, then do you think I would've dropped $50 on it when it came out? Also, I went into detail about the Christianity-Yevon comparison because I was asked to mention ANYTHING that might be objectionable…
   —Bryan Horvath, age 17

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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