First ImpressionsFinal Fantasy X

SquareSoft showed new video footage of Final Fantasy X for the Sony PlayStation 2 at the ongoing Jump Festival. GameSpot was on hand, and we bring you our first impressions of the next Final Fantasy game.

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SquareSoft showed new video footage of Final Fantasy X for the PlayStation 2 at the Jump Festival in Tokyo today. The thirty-second clip, which followed videos of The Bouncer, The Final Fantasy movie, and Square's WonderSwan Color games, was almost entirely comprised of CG sequences with snippets of real-time footage interlaced throughout. The main CG portion of the presentation showed a goddess-like figure walking on water. Her features were similar to previous Final Fantasy heroines such as Rinoa, and she wore a flowing blue gown and carried a staff. In this particular sequence, she came upon what appeared to be a fire god, who was similar in character design to the Ifrit from Final Fantasy VIII. One of the major plot points in FFX appears to be the conflict between the elements - the water goddess seemed destined to fight the fire god. Additionally, the story seems to take place in a post-apocalyptic world consumed by water. The continents have been flooded and their remnants remain only as small islands. In typical Final Fantasy style, the game world is a mix of fantasy and sci-fi elements. One of the examples of its sci-fi elements was a large airship equipped with an ion cannon.

The real-time sequences included a campfire scene, a scene where the lead character ran through a dungeon, a scene in a town where a summon monster was trying to break free of shackles and chains, and some battle scenes. The battle sequences looked like the ones from Final Fantasy VIII where the entire scene is shown full-screen without menu windows. In fact, the look of the characters and environments in Final Fantasy X is similar to the style of FF VIII, as it uses realistically designed character models. The lead character, who was originally shown at the Square Millennium event, looks very much like Squall from Final Fantasy VIII - he has brownish hair and carries a sword.

The entire game takes place on a real-time 3D map and seemed conducive to free-form exploration. The visuals were in high-resolution and the frame-rate stayed smooth, particularly in the scene where the lead character ran through a dungeon setting. However, perhaps because full-screen anti-aliasing had not been implemented yet, some of the character models had jagged edges. Although our first glimpse at Final Fantasy X consisted primarily of CG footage, we came away very impressed.

In one of the scenes, the lead character says to the water goddess-like girl, "the beginning has ended and now the end is near. This might be the last time I see you, so I should probably tell you everything." Judging from their conversation and facial gestures, the two characters seemed to have some romantic ties.

GameSpot will have more coverage of Final Fantasy X as further information is made available.

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