After reviewing Final Fantasy X a few days ago, I stoped and kept thinking to myself, "okay, so were these 30 hours worth playing?", or does the crap the game throws at you too much? Well, I want to expand some thoughts here.
First and foremost, I love watching internet reviewers. And one of these that many of you may know is Spoony One, who contributes to his own website and a to That Guy With the Glasses (where the Nostalgia Critic is made), and he made some very notorious reviews of three games in the series, VIII, X and X-2. And they were all negative, specially the X one. He deried the story completely, even though he liked the gameplay. Now, when I watched his videos, I hadn't finished the game yet, so I was opened to the opinion of others. And his negativity made me see the story in a different manner. Not only him, but many other internet celebrities I follow dislike the game, so I did not go into the game expecting to like the story.
Even with the resistance I went into the game with, I did enjoy the begining of the story, probably up until the Blitzball tournament. But then we had to sit though Wakka being prejudicious against the Al Bhed and being a religious fanatic, Tidus incessant complaining, Yuna's naievity which led to her almost being killed many many times and to many unnecessary bosses and to an incredibly cliched antagonist, who wanted to destroy the world to end its suffering. Ugh.
So as the game progressed, I became all the time the more impatient. It does not help that you can't skip cutscenes, and you have to sit though their bullcrap even if you are pissed off. When the game was ending, I was actually kind of interested in how we would go to defeat Sin and all, but there is not that big of a pay off in the end in my opinion.
I also could never get attached to the romance between Tidus and Yuna. They only kept flirting ocasionaly, and had a make out scene towards the end, which was more weird than anything. Belive it or not, but I felt more attached to the romance between Shuyin and Lenne in the 4 minutes "1000 words" concert in X-2 than I ever felt with Tidus and Yuna (just as a side note, that scene was amazing. Too bad it was not in this game).
So, the story was never great to me, and just kept getting progressively worse over time. Why did I keep playing the game? Two reasons. 1) I wanted to beat this game, since I had bought it over a convention and was eager to play it, even though I didn't enjoy it that much, I still felt the need to beat it. 2) and most important, the gameplay is amazing. Really, really fun and the game poses a nice challenge onto you. Even though the encounter rate was at times too annoying, grinding was never a problem, since I was engadged to those battles I was doing.
So, much like I eveded the review with. It was worth playing the game for the gameplay, sicne it was really fun, but the story was a constant let down. Much like I said, it is a game you have to take what you can get.