Friday, September 01, 2006

Retro Mixtape: Best of Non-Single Nirvana

Hey everyone, I've had a ridiculously busy day today, I was going to write my next album review, which is the soundtrack to the second series of True Blood, but my brain is nearly as exhausted as my body.

I have however just dug up another mixtape I did a good 4 years ago, this was a band mixtape, for Nirvana. A Mixtape is a playlist of a certain genre, band or era. The list is generally 80 minutes long, the same length of a blank CD, with further recommendations if some of the songs aren't to your taste. Remember kids, downloading is wrong! We all know of Nirvana's great singles, but they did some great work on all of their albums, which in some cases are actually better than their singles. I collected my favourite non-single Nirvana tracks and came up with this list. Remember this was 4 years ago, not that I'd change much of it now if I did it again anyway.
  1. Territorial Pissings (Nevermind)
  2. Very Ape (In Utero)
  3. Big Cheese (Bleach)
  4. Turnaround (Incesticide)
  5. Breed (Nevermind)
  6. Floyd the Barber (Bleach)
  7. Pennyroyal Tea (In Utero)
  8. Stay Away (Nevermind)
  9. Aneurysm (Incesticide)
  10. Serve the Servants (In Utero)
  11. Drain You (Nevermind)
  12. Negative Creep (Bleach)
  13. Dive (Incesticide)
  14. On a Plain (Nevermind)
  15. Radio Friendly Unit Shifter (In Utero)
  16. Downer (Bleach)
  17. Lounge Act (Nevermind)
  18. Scentless Apprentice (In Utero)
  19. Love Buzz (Bleach)
  20. Hairspray Queen (Incesticide)
  21. Milk It (In Utero)
  22. Endless Nameless (Nevermind) 
I usually have 5 extra songs that you can use as alternatives for the mixtape but for this list I've lost it unfortunately. Do you want to suggest me a mixtape theme? Let me know what you're interested in and I'll think about it.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Retro Mixtape: Best of Teenage Angst

Hallo peoples, I found this by chance, I doubt it will happen again, if it does it will be a while away because I don't know if I'll be able to post again for a few weeks, we'll see.

Mixtape: Teenage Angst

A Mixtape is a playlist of a certain genre, band or era. The list is generally 80 minutes long, the same length of a blank CD, with further recommendations if some of the songs aren’t to your taste. Remember kids, downloading is wrong! Anyway, this is the best of Teenage Angst, songs that either represent musicians moaning and groaning, or music attracted to teenagers who moan and groan. I haven't got much emo here, because the challenge in my eyes was to choose songs that are actually good, but that have moaning and cursing as well. It's a decent list, let me know what you think.

This Mixtape is now available to listen to fully on YouTube so subscribe to me if you want to listen to it properly.
  1. She Hates Me - Puddle of Mudd
  2. Last Resort – Papa Roach 
  3. Creep – Radiohead 
  4. Sic Transit Gloria... Glory Fades – Brand New 
  5. I Don’t Wanna Be Me – Type O Negative 
  6. My Generation – The Who 
  7. She’s Attracted To – The Young Knives 
  8. Anarchy in the U.K. – The Sex Pistols 
  9. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana 
  10. Outtathaway! – The Vines 
  11. Chop Suey! – System of a Down 
  12. I Hate People Like That – Jerk 
  13. Start a War – Static X 
  14. Die MF Die – Dope 
  15. Down With the Sickness – Disturbed 
  16. March of the Pigs – Nine Inch Nails 
  17. Duality – Slipknot 
  18. Institutionalized – Suicidal Tendencies 
  19. I Hate People – Anti-Nowhere League 
  20. Break Stuff – Limp Bizkit 
  21. Stupid MF – Mindless Self Indulgence 
  22. Killing in the Name – Rage Against the Machine 
I haven't got a 5 extra songs list because I've lost it unfortuantely. Do you want to suggest me a mixtape theme? Let me know what you're interested in and I'll think about it.

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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Retro Mixtape: Best of Punk

Here is a Retro Mixtape I did when I did my Disaster Fanzine stuff. This was in July 2006, which made me 17 years old. I do like this Mixtape, and if you like Punk music I'd recommend you look at the list. If you think there are other songs that are missing by all means comment at the bottom of the blog and recommend your own!

Mixtape: Punk

A Mixtape is a playlist of a certain genre, band or era. The list is generally 80 minutes long, the same length of a blank CD, with further recommendations if some of the songs aren’t to your taste. Remember kids, downloading is wrong! Here is a list of The Best of Punk, and no that is not Green Day, The Offspring or Blink-182 but pure 1970’s and 80’s Punk. We’ve added some Post-Punk and New Wave in there too, aren’t I nice! So here is a recommended list for your Spiked or Mohican-bearing friends! 80 minutes of pure punk bliss!
  1. Babylon ’s Burning – The Ruts
  2. Automatic Lover – The Vibrators
  3. Into the Valley – The Skids
  4. Smash it Up! – The Damned
  5. Anarchy in the UK – Sex Pistols
  6. Ever Fallen in Love – The Buzzcocks
  7. Teenage Kicks – The Undertones
  8. Jilted John (Gordon is a Moron ) – Jilted John
  9. Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps - Splodgeness Abounds
  10. Who Killed Bambi? Edward Tuderpole (with The Sex Pistols)
  11. Oh Bondage, Up Yours! – X-Ray Spex
  12. Don’t Dictate – Penetration
  13. Typical Girls – The Slits
  14. Sweet Gene Vincent – Ian Dury and the Blockheads
  15. I Wanna Be Your Dog – Iggy Pop and the Stooges
  16. Psycho Killer – Talking Heads
  17. Jocko Homo – Devo
  18. No More Heroes – The Stranglers
  19. 500 Miles – Toy Dolls
  20. Teenagers from Mars – The Misfits
  21. Banned from the Pubs - Peter and the Test Tube Babies
  22. I Hate People – Anti-nowhere League
  23. Angels with Dirty Faces – Sham 69
  24. California Uber Alles – Dead Kennedys
  25. White Riot – The Clash
  26. Baby I Love You – The Ramones

Don’t like some of the songs? Here are some alternatives:

  1. Cool for Cats – Squeeze
  2. Dead Beat Descendant – The Fall
  3. Hanging on the Telephone – Blondie
  4. Spellbound – Siouxsie and the Banshees
  5. I Don’t Like Mondays – The Boomtown Rats

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Retro Review: Black Holes and Revelations by Muse

I'm on my partner's sister's laptop so this isn't me being back officially, but I do have the resource to put up a review or two. Vote on the new poll if you can be so kind. I'll be back officially, and writing officially hopefully in the next week or two. In the mean time, enjoy another retro music review.

Black Holes and Revelations by Muse

It’s safe to say that Muse have made a great impact on the rock scene and it’s undeniable that they have produced some of the greatest guitar riffs in rock history. “Origin of the Symmetry” has been called one of the best albums in the past ten years. But this is not about the past, this is about the future. Do Muse still have “it” or are they going to join a number of other bands who fail to maintain an impact on the music scene?

Of course they still have “it”, but it’s a different kind of “it” this time around.

If you have heard “Supermassive Black Hole”, the thundering tech-rock (and, in a slightly amusing way, very Prince-esque) new single by the trio from Devon then it’s clear that they have took a new route into their music. There is a lot more dance and pop in this album, and as much as it sounds like a bad thing for the rock scene, it surprisingly enough isn’t. Muse’s previous attempts have all sounded slightly similar; their powerful riffs and pianos were the two diverse but recognisable trademarks on all three albums. However there is no main sound on this album, some of their trademarks are visible; the piano makes a reappearance in the beautifully tranquil “A Soldier’s Poem” and powerful ruffs are easily evident in the ever-so-slightly “Bohemian Rhapsody” influenced “Knights of Cydonia”, “Starlight” represents similarities to the previous Muse sound with Matt Bellamy’s bellowing vocals, the deep bass and passionate lyrics. However the rest of the album sounds very different. “Map of the Problematique” is a great example of their new direction its rumbling drum solo and its electronic sounds make the whole song sound so otherworldly it cannot possibly be compared to their previous attempts; whilst “Hoodoo” is completely different again, starting off with a mixture and Indian and Mexican sounds before building into something resembling an early twentieth century opera.

Despite all this, change is still a debatable subject, even in music. A change in sound can also mean a change in appreciation; many people may think this is a poor attempt from the trio because of its diversity. I personally found this album hard to get into at first because of how different its sounds were and how much anticipation I had for hearing new tracks with amazing riffs like “Stockholm Sundrome” and “New Born”. This album for previous Muse fans may be hard to absorb at first but it’s definitely worth trying to do so. For new fans and listeners, it is hard to say “But this album now!” because of how different it is. If you like “Supermassive Black Hole” and are expecting ten other mind-blowing tech-Prince-pop-Prince-rock-Prince-electronic tracks then don’t bother. If you are expecting songs like “New Born”, “ Muscle Museum ” and “Time is Running Out” then listen to one of their previous albums. BUT if you are looking for a new musical experience that can mix in so many influences and sounds, then you are in the right place. This album is definitely a new, complex, diverse and fascinatingly difficult route into Muse’s world.

Rating: **** stars
Stand-out tracks: Supermassive Black Hole, Knights of Cydonia, A Soldier’s Poem

This is more the type of layout I'll be leaning towards in my new work, the review is quite short, but in terms of what it covers and how well it's written, it's probably the best review I've ever posted in the past. Feedback would be most welcome. Have a good day.
Another note: If I were to review this again it'd get a much higher rating, around ****1/2 stars because it's a brilliant album.

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Retro Review: Final Fantasy VIII

8 days to go...

Hey there, I found two game reviews on my GameSpot account, horribly named "TheManThatYouFe", I didn't even post these on GameFAQs which is bizarre. I'm not going to post it there now either, I'm not satisfied with my older work, I'd rather re-review it. Anyhoo, this is the first one, my review on Final Fantasy 8, an interesting read nevertheless. I did this review in February 2006, that would have made me 16. Enjoy.

"It's one of the best games out there, and some might say better than VII."

Final Fantasy games have been going since 1987. They have been very successful every since its first release. However its major breakthrough was in 1997, when Final Fantasy VII was released. This game, Final Fantasy VIII followed. After a dramatic change of style, graphics and sound from VII, which was the first Sony Playstation release of the series, people wondered what Final Fantasy VIII was going to be like. Was it going to be like the old games? Or like Final Fantasy VII? The answer was, neither.

First of all, unlike the previous Final Fantasy games, there is a minimum of characters available to play. Final Fantasy VII had nine characters, where VI had too many to count. Final Fantasy VIII has only six characters. However, the six characters have all got a strong personality and presence throughout the game. Maybe having only six main characters in a game, could be in a negative view a little tedious and not as in depth as other games. However, having a minimum of characters concentrates on these characters individually, and lets you get to know them a lot more than twenty. 
Every other Final Fantasy before VIII had many shops, selling weapons, armour and even magic. This is completely different in VIII. Yes, there are still item shops in the game. However there are no magic shops, or armour shops. There isn’t even any armour in the game at all. As for weapons, there is a junk shop, where you can remodel your current weapon, to a stronger one by getting items. Some of these items are hard to get, so it adds complex searching in the game. As for magic, another new addition to the series is the ‘Drawing’ system. This new command allows you to extract different magic from enemies. Also draw points are scattered around the world. The magic you receive can be cast on the enemy, however more importantly you can ‘Junction’ your magic. The new Junction system is essential to Final Fantasy VIII. The stocked magic can be stored on a characters stat. An example would be your ‘Strength’ stat. You can put a magic (example, Bio) to your strength stat and your strength will increase, depending on how much of that certain magic you have stored. 
Another change in the game is the monsters. As you level up throughout the game, so do the monsters, so the fights will become more difficult and more in depth. In Final Fantasy VII, there was a limit break bar, which increased as you got attacked. This has also changed in VIII. The lower your HP (hit points), the higher the chance you can use your limit breaks. Limit breaks are special moves that can be used only at rare times. Each character has their unique limit break, like the other Final Fantasies. 
In general, the gameplay is magnificent in Final Fantasy VIII. Final Fantasy VII is a very different look at basic FF gameplay, which is very effective from start to finish. 
Gameplay: 24/25

This is another epic storyline from another Final Fantasy game. Many twists and turns during the whole game. Square Enix developed the characters perfectly. The main character is Squall, a student in Balamb Garden (kind of like a fighting school), who is completely isolated from everyone else around him. He meets Rinoa, and falls for her, with her free attitude and social life sharing her emotions. These two are the main characters throughout the game, along with four others. The love story, like in every Final Fantasy is very emotional with a twist around each corner. In the start of the game, not much depth is in the characters. However you get to know them more and the story gets bigger and more complex the more you play it. I can’t really explain the story too well, as the first disk isn’t very deep. Disk two is when the game starts to blend in. In the end you have an amazing story, full of realistic characters, interesting events and it will make you feel emotional throughout. A masterpiece. 
Story: 20/20

The Playstation at the time had the best graphics a console could get. Before Final Fantasy VII, the Nintendo Company had the Final Fantasy games, on the NES and SNES in particular. The graphics on these consoles weren’t as strong, as it wasn’t as developed. Then, the Playstation came out. The graphics improved immensely, and Final Fantasy VII was one of these games that had an amazing improvement. However, even Final Fantasy VII can’t compare to the graphics Final Fantasy VIII has. Final Fantasy VIII has quite possibly the best graphics on any game on the Playstation console. The characters look very realistic, and the FMV’s are totally mind blowing. 
Graphics: 15/15

The music blends in perfectly with each location, and event. As soon as you press the ‘New Game’ button in the start, the music draws attention. The fight between Squall and Seifer, who is Squall’s rival in the game, fits in perfect with the classical music in the background. The whole musical score is an instant classic. The music is another brilliant aspect of Final Fantasy VIII. 'Liberi Fatali' is the name of the song played in the start of the game. 
As for other small things, while fighting the weapons clashing against the enemies fit in perfectly. Unlike Final Fantasy VII, the sounds of footsteps are heard as you walk and run. The audio and sound in the whole game is completely perfect. 
Sound: 10/10

The controls aren’t that much different from Final Fantasy VII. Final Fantasy VII had very unique controls, as the circle button on the Playstation control pad was the main action button, and the cross was the cancel button. Most games on the Playstation use the cross as the action button. This is what Final Fantasy VIII uses. The flow of the buttons is quite impressive, and every button on the whole control pad is used throughout the game. Zell’s limit break ‘Duel’ makes you press certain buttons in an order, before the time runs out. The more advanced you are with the control pad, the more moves you can fit in the timer. If you don’t like the controls you can always change them around in the ‘Config’ menu anyway. Overall the controlling system is very good, not many negative aspects in the game. 
Controls: 4/5

The side quests in Final Fantasy VIII are immense, like every other Final Fantasy. The series have always let you access the world map, and navigate and search around it for side quests. There are both obvious side quests, and rare ones that are very hard to find. The most fun side quest would be ‘Triple Triad’, a card game. You can collect cards in the game by beating certain enemies or winning games against other people in the game. ‘Triple Triad’ is addictive, fun and complex all in one. There are other side quests in the game, but I’ll let you find them out for yourself. The extras in the game are ranged, and there is almost always something to do. 
Extras: 10/10

I don’t really consider Final Fantasy VIII a difficult game. Once you have found out the easiest way of playing, you can develop your characters very easily. The side quests can be difficult, however the main plot of the game is very easy, if you collect the correct magic and Junction them to the right stats. The challenge in the game is probably the downfall, as it should have been a lot harder. Final Fantasy VII and VI have a stronger difficulty level, and probably more ranged. 
Challenge: 3/5

Once you have completed this game, I’m almost certain you will want to play it again. Unlike other genres, RPG’s are very long and enduring. Once completed, you will probably not play that certain game for a few months or years. When you feel like playing the game again, you would have missed the game and want to play it all again. This game will stick with you for years, as one of the best classic Playstation games of all time. You might have mastered the game by then, but even so, you would want to do it all again. 
Replay: 10/10

In the end, it’s all the matter of opinion. The Final Fantasy series is one of the most popular RPG series’ out there, and probably the best. Final Fantasy is like no other. The gameplay is completely different, the sound is perfectly matched, the graphics are beautiful and there is always something to do. The story is worth following, as it twists a lot during the game. Getting everything in the game will take along time, as it took me nearly 80 hours to do so! The card game is one of the best side quests in a game, and there was nothing like one at the time. This game is definitely worth the money, and if you have played Final Fantasy VII and thought about getting VIII, then do so! It’s one of the best games out there, and some might say better than VII. As the game has been out for a few years now, the prices are very cheap, and its definitely worth getting to add to your vintage collection. A Final Fantasy in perfection. 

Overall: 96%
Posted: 4/2/06

I was very particular about how I reviewed games back in the day. I like the star system much more, I don't want to get too technical when reviewing now. I just want to think of the pros and cons of a game, and think also outside the box, about how other people would view the game. FF8 was a very good game, but I prefer other FF games to it, those being 6, 7, 9 and possibly 13. I think I was too nice in this review, if I re-reviewed it now I'd rate FF8 as ****1/4 or ****1/2, but I don't see me re-reviewing it for a while. I'll post the other retro review tomorrow.

Retro Review: Final Fantasy VI

7 days to go...

Hey there, I posted my old FF8 review yesterday, the other old review I found on my GameSpot account was this little baby, a review of Final Fantasy VI. I posted both my FF6 and FF8 reviews on the same day, February 4th 2006, so I don't know when I actually reviewed either of them. I would have been 15 or 16 though, probably 16. The title of the review is really ironic, as I did an article for this site explaining why I want a remake (you can read that here). Anyway, enjoy.

"If they remake this game, it will probably be better than any other game I have ever played."

Final Fantasy VI was the final in the series to be released on the SNES for Nintendo. It was called Final Fantasy III in the U.S., which lead to a lot of confusion. This game was never released in the U.K., until it was re-released eight years later in 2002 as a stand alone Playstation game. No changes were made to the actual game. (This is how I played it by the way.) 

Final Fantasy VI was the best in the series as far. The gameplay was improved pretty much in every game made, and VI reached the climax where Squaresoft/Square Enix knew what would make their games successful. In VI, this was the last game until Final Fantasy IX that would use four characters battling on screen at the same time. However, this game has the most playable characters out of all the others in the series, prior and subsequent to this title as far. Not every character in the game has an in-depth storyline, and this may be the downfall to the game. The majority of the characters have one main scene direct at them, of course excluding the more popular, used characters. 
The main rule of getting experience to level up is still used in Final Fantasy VI, like most if not every other Final Fantasy game. One difference however would be the Esper system. Esper is the name of the “summoned monster” of Final Fantasy VI (like Eidolons in IX, Guardian Force in VIII and Aeons in X). Espers are the key to learning magic, and the Esper system consists of a piece of Magicite (the remains of an Esper before passing away), that a character can equip, and thus leading to learning magic. For example, the Esper “Ifrit” allows you to learn the magic “Fire”, and points are gained from battles. One battle point is multiplied by the number next to the Fire move, in this case it would be 10, so if you gained 4 battle points, this would multiply to 40, meaning an extra 40% of Fire has been learned. Once reached 100%, the spell would be available for use. However, spells can be learned at different paces, for example, Fire can be learned 10 times as fast if equipped with Ifrit, however it can be learned 20 times as fast with the Esper “Bismark”. 
The gameplay has its advantages in some ways, and disadvantages in others. Some would say this game is a lot easier than any other Final Fantasy, for instance the magic system is far too simple to use, and makes the game a lot easier. Others would say that they do not like the fact that some of the character’s possess abilities that far outdoes other character abilities, meaning that the characters are not balanced. On the whole, I love the gameplay in Final Fantasy, and even though dated, the gameplay has an amazing flow throughout the game. 
Gameplay: 23/25

As a story, this is slightly weaker than other Final Fantasies. The thing that drives this games storyline so well is the characters. There is not a main character in the game, but there are three characters that are higher than the rest. First is Terra, a half human, half Esper who has the power of magic. She wants to understand love. Secondly is Locke, who likes to be called “a treasure hunter”, and who has had a tragic past. He vows to not make the same happen again, by protecting Terra. Thirdly is Celes, an ex general for the mighty Empire, who was born infused with the powers of magic. She is also taken for Locke’s determination. The fact that there are so many characters in this game either puts people off or makes them like it even more. Quite frankly I think the characters blend in the game and they actually “make” the story. The storyline itself in my opinion is a lot weaker than other games in the series. And do not get me to the main villain… Ooooh boy… 
Story: 19/20

It is hard to rate the graphics of this game. It was on the SNES, and only until the Saturn, N64 and Playstation came out, graphics did not make the game. Compared to previous Final Fantasies before this date, the graphics have improved in terms of colour use and scale. The characters are a lot bigger on this game than in FFV and IV. That was the problem of the previous FF games and VI sorts that problem out. 
Graphics: 13/15

Once again it is hard to rate the sound in this game, as very simple melodies were used as the musical score of the game. However there are great tunes to play, and to compare the sound to other games around this time, it’s a great sound, and some tunes are still great to hear now, 11 years later. 
Sound: 9/10

Well some might criticise my opinion, but I consider the controls perfect. Yeah it is true that in FF games in general it only takes one button press (on the Playstation it’s the X button) to do a whole lot of commands, but there is some good use of the other buttons too. I always enjoy using Sabin’s Blitz, because of the fact that there is some decent use of the control pad in there. 
Controls: 5/5

This game, out of all the FF games in my opinion, has the most side quests. After the first half of the game, something happens and you have the whole world to search again, with sidequests to do all over the place. Characters to find, Espers to obtain, loads. There is a lot to do in FF VI that will keep you going for hours. 
Extras: 10/10

The thing about this game is that it has a lot more variation in difficulty than others. You can challenge yourself, or you can go the easy way. There are simple methods in the game that lets you defeat bosses in two hits. You can limit yourself to make the game easier. That is what I like in a challenge. Variation. 
Challenge: 5/5

I will probably play this game again in a few years. After only going through the game deeply once, it will probably creep back into my console again. I am going to knock down one mark however, because the game is very dated, and it can put people off at times, unfortunately. 
Replay: 9/10

Well this got a smaller percentage than the other two FF games I have reviewed before. This is probably because the game is very dated, it is eleven years old, but it was such a classic. This is considered the second best FF games of the series, even dated with 2D models. If they remake this game, it will probably be better than any other game I have ever played. It is a shame that the vintage dust on the covers brings it down.

Overall: 93%
Posted: 4/2/06

It's funny looking at my FF8 and FF6 reviews from 5 years ago, I appreciate FF6 much more than FF8 now. FF6 for me would be a ****1/2 or ****3/4 game, it was brilliant. If you haven't been following my blog for long, I want an FF6 remake, and did a huge article on it for this site about 3 months ago. Once again you can read it here, it's a piece of work I'm really proud of. 

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Monday, January 30, 2006

Retro Review: Final Fantasy X

Morning everyone, I think this is going to be the last retro review. I can't find any more at present, but if I do I'll post them in the future. This is a review I did in 2006, so that would make me 17. It's a decent read, I hope you enjoy it.

"A great game overall, but not the best Final Fantasy, well at least I think not."


If you are a video game fan and never heard of Final Fantasy you are blind. I am serious. Final Fantasy is the most successful Role Playing Game series of all time. It is possible the best selling series too. Final Fantasy had reached its peak in popularity in 1997 when Final Fantasy VII came out fresh on the Playstation. The series continued with Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy VIII and finally Final Fantasy IX. Final Fantasy X is the first FF game to come out on the Playstation 2. With the system's new generation graphics, people were astonished with the graphics this game contained. But can the gameplay live up to its graphics? Many think so. Here's what I think.

Final Fantasy IX went ‘old school' with their system, changing their way of having three characters in battle to four. FFX reverts back to three characters on screen, but with a little twist involved. You can ‘tag' a different character into the battle for one that you do not want to use for the time being. For instance, if you have three attackers in your party and they are starting to lose out on HP, you can ‘tag' in one of them for a healer, and this character than use curative spells on your other party members. This new addition makes gameplay a lot more fun and tactical, like what characters to use and when.

Also the enemies in this game, as minimum in design they may be in comparison to previous titles, have their own weaknesses. For instance, a species that is wolf looking is very fast. It also has an average amount of HP. A slower attacker like Auron will more than likely miss. A more accurate but less powerful attacker like Wakka can attack it, but it takes more than one hit to do so. So Tidus is fit enough to do the job; he can take them in one hit as he rather accurate and more powerful than Wakka. Another example being little birds and insects; these are even faster than wolves but contain less HP. So Tidus' accuracy is too small to attack these, but Wakka can hit and kill them in one hit. See where this is going? Auron is best to use against hard-shelled, slow and high HP enemies, as Wakka and Tidus cannot hit these as hard where as Auron will deal with them no problem. Magic flans cannot be attacked at all by these, as their bodies are absorbent to weapons. Magic is used against these, and Lulu does this her part here. So most of the basic monsters in the game have their weaknesses, and these are a certain character that has abilities that other characters do not posses. This little factor makes battling a lot easier and a lot more fun.

Like previous Final Fantasy titles, levelling up is the key to success. But there are no character levels in this game, a new sphere grid system has been replaced. One level up that a character gets lets the character move one step further into the sphere grid, and in the more the character goes through the grid, more abilities the character can get. Most spheres contain attribute point increases, like a “Speed +4” or “Vitality +1”. Abilities are also accessible, like in Lulu's main pathway magic is learnt, and in Rikku's thievery abilities are there to learn.
Summons on this game are also included, and are called Aeons. These magical beasts are only used by one character, and that is Yuna. As well as casting healing magic, she can call out these monsters. They get stronger depending on how strong Yuna is. They can also learn their own abilities by certain items later on in the game. However unlike other Final Fantasy games, you can actually use your Aeon as a normal character; they have their own signature moves but can also attack and cast magic too.

Limit breaks, trance… nope. Overdrives, basically the same principle as previous titles, but in this case you can choose (as you progress through the game) how you want your Overdrive bar to increase to its max. You may want it to increase every time you attack, maybe every time you kill an enemy or when they kill you. It is up to you this time, and this is definitely a plus point in the game.

Gameplay on total is great. But this is by far the easiest battle system that the Square team have ever used (until later on in the game… talk more about that later on) and some would say it is too easy. Battles may get repetitive at times, even though its simplicity makes the game more fun, it also makes it more boring in the long run to some people. Using Aeons they way you wanted to can be like a dream come true, other titles have the summoned beasts perform one attack on them and that is it. This is more of the way you want to use them, which is great.
Gameplay: 9/10


There is a great storyline in FFX. A young, overconfident sports player called Tidus was playing Blitzball (the games favourite sports; a mix between many sports, underwater) when a huge unknown creature called ‘Sin' attacked the stadium and the city in its entirety. With the help of a strange man named Auron, Tidus manages to escape the millions and millions of little creatures that dropped of Sin's body. They cause a huge explosion that rips one of the roads in two, Tidus struggles to jump up to the other part of the road, which was by now being sucked into Sin's body. Auron asks Tidus if “he's sure” if he wants to be helped up. Auron then lifts Tidus into Sin's body, and Tidus finds himself in a completely foreign world, where he knows no one and the only thing he wants to do is go home. He finally meets a party of people who are on a journey to kill Sin. Tidus decides if he helps them on their journey he might be able to go home if he gets near Sin again.

The fact that Sin being a big, demolishing creature who does not talk or stalk your character does make the games main villain a bit weak. Seymour being the second main villain is also not as good as previous, like Seifer and The Turks.

It is not the main story that I like the most.

No spoilers involved, but what I do like is the complexity around the theme of religion. A religion called Yevon is involved in this game. I will say nothing more. Play it and find out =)
Story: 9/10


This game came out around a year after the Playstation 2 had been out. And when it did come out, not one game could compare to the power the graphics in this game contained. The character designs were amazing; the movements of eyes and mouths were almost top notch. But what was so amazing, so fresh and beautiful about the graphics in this game was the landscapes. The world of Spira, as fragile as it is, is a stunning world.

Graphics: 10/10


A great soundtrack was involved in this game. It is not personally my favourite, but it is really good. The background music in the game really blend in with the events and locations of the places. Weapon clashes, monster squeals, you name it FFX has it. But what was new in this game was voice acting. The voices that are included in the game fit almost perfectly within each character.
Sound: 9/10


Almost the same principle as all Final Fantasy games, controls work really well. The use of controls in special events like Wakka's reels and Auron's overdrives add a lot of nice gameplay.

Controls: 10/10

It is not that there is a lot of extras in this game. It is that the sidequests involved are so complex and long, that it makes this game very good with its extras. The game's main sidequest is its Blitzball game. While this is not as fun as Final Fantasy VIII's card game, this is a great game to take your mind off the main game for a bit. Other sidequests like the battle arena makes the game a lot better, as you basically have to catch all the monsters in the world. This can be quite fun, even though some say that it is repetitive. If you have the International version of FFX, you can also battle the Dark Aeons. These monsters have over-the-top statistics and can probably kill all your characters in one hit. You have to really level up hard to even come close to being able to fighting them. This sidequest is a great challenge, if you have the patience.

Extras: 9/10


This is primarily a very easy game, of course the difficulty increases as you get further into the game. But the fact that this game is so simple and easy makes the game accessible to most people. Also for the people who love a good challenge, the Dark Aeons are there for that. So this game is great for almost anyone.

Challenge: 8/10


Like all Final Fantasy games, this will definitely jump to the top of your pile of games standing up shouting “play me again!” Well maybe not do that but you will definitely want to play this game again, give it a year or two and you will want to play it all over again.
Replay: 10/10


This is far from my favourite Final Fantasy game, despite it getting a really high score in the review. The game however is amazing; the graphics put shame into other games, the side quests can keep you going for hundreds of hours (literally) and that fact that its simplicity within battles makes it for many groups of people. The storyline although on its own not the best, the dark theme of religion makes this game one of the most debatable game storylines of all time. A great game overall, but by far the best Final Fantasy, well at least I think not.
Overall: 74/80 = 93% - 9/10

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