You know the feeling, whether you’re at the climax of a great movie, or reading the last few pages of literary genius, the enthralling, hypnotic spell that gets placed over you, where there is nothing outside of what your attention is fixated on. I’d like to believe this happens more often when we’re younger, I hope, because I don’t really feel it much anymore. But this captivating trance has existed at certain points in my life. Mainly, moments where I’m truly passionate about what I’m doing. One of these moments in particular was when I was playing a certain videogame.
When Final Fantasy X came out I was 11 years old and I had just moved 2,000 miles away from everything I knew. My mom got me a sympathy PS2 for forcing me to compromise my 5th grade dynasty as the popular kid in a small New York public school. Once we arrived in Florida and my social life was diminished for the time being, I didn’t really have anything else to do at 11 years old at first, but play videogames. Now, I have always been a gamer, don’t get me wrong, but before I reached double digits I played videogames just like any kid whose balls were still in limbo, you know, I just invited my friends over, we would play outside until either someone got hurt or the sun went down, and then we would play videogames and complain about our bedtime. It wasn’t until I played Final Fantasy X that everything about gaming changed for me.
I could break down Final Fantasy X and allocate proper merit for the fluid, yet refined combat, or the innovative sphere grid that added an onion layer of complexity to character progression, but what’s more noteworthy is the story, and just how endearing it really is.
Now, for the sake of spoilers I don’t want to ruin too much about the story. You play as Tidus, a star blitzball (an underwater sport in-game that you also get to participate in) player who, after watching his city get destroyed by a formidable creature named Sin, finds himself in the world of Spira as a guardian for a summoner named Yuna. Yuna is on a pilgrimage to destroy Sin, the catch is that Yuna must inevitably sacrifice her life to defeat Sin, which only grants a decade of tranquility until he is reborn and the process must be completed all over again by another summoner. The romance that exists in-game between Tidus and Yuna is executed with such sincerity, by far the best I’ve seen in a videogame.
There are so many different angles and motifs that make Final Fantasy X’s story compelling. They find ways to sneak in social commentaries about abusing technology, racial boundaries, father-son relations, destiny, love, debt, responsibility, and most importantly, the preservation of human life. At 11 years old I wasn’t able to wrap my mind around it all, but from playing the game several times throughout my life, I can deeply appreciate the work that was put into this game, and completely contest that videogames are indeed art.
When I moved I didn’t have anything really, but when I played this game I knew my life wouldn’t be the same. I went from a casual gamer to finding something that I really am passionate about, and there’s no way I would be writing this article today if I didn’t experience Final Fantasy X. If you play this game now and enjoy this game a mere fraction of the enjoyment I’ve gotten out of it, then you would have spent your money wisely. Whether you purchase it online or find it in a bargain bin, you’ll be getting one of the better deals of your life.
Final Fantasy games haven’t really been too promising as of late, and it’s a real shame considering where they came from. If you haven’t experienced much of the Final Fantasy series, X is a great place to start. I take playing videogames seriously, and it’s easily my favorite game of all-time, hopefully that can be enough to get you to drop a couple dollars on a swell experience.
Do yourself a real solid.
Play That Game!
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