Monday, 8 November 2010

Final Fantasy X update

It sucks. It still sucks. It actually sucks more than it did last time I played it which, on some level, is an impressive achievement. On other levels, it's not impressive at all. I mean, I honestly don't know where to start with this one - the review is pending but, with me being in Sweden right now, it's not a priority, however, I will give my overview and general thoughts about where this game went wrong and why it sucks.

You see, the first big problem with this game that sets it apart from Final Fantasy games before it is the voice acting. The voice acting is bad. Really really bad. Not as bad as some games, sure, but it's bad. Every character has an annoying voice and the majority of lines in the game are delivered with almost every word inflected and delivered incorrectly with the most cringeworthy level of forced emotion I've ever heard. I -hate- every character because of the voice acting and the smug whining delivery completely removes me from the storyline which, otherwise, would be mostly (Don't get me wrong, it can be totally terrible at times) passable.

Obviously, I've only played the English language release of the game and I expect - as with most games - the Japanese release had vastly superior voice talent but, of course, there is no option to change the in-game spoken language and just rely on subtitles. If this had been an option, I imagine the game would have been a lot easier to sit through, hell, I might have even enjoyed it. Any anime fan will tell you that the Japanese language versions subbed are vastly superior to any American (Or in most cases, Canadian) English language dubs. For some reason, every show that's redubbed in English ends up being made "Child friendly", leaving the show embarassing to watch for anyone over the age of 9 and video games are no exception to this rule. Games made with the English language in mind (Fallout 3 jumps to mind) usually have, at worst, passable voice acting but for some reason, when a game is translated from Japanese, the voice cast of Rugrats (I'm not kidding) get dragged into the studio.

There was an attempt by the localisation team to attribute the bad voice acting and English script to trying to keep the acting fitting with the mouth movements of the characters. This excuse would be more acceptable if they'd succeeded in doing this but... you guessed it: they haven't. Not even close. I'd rather the voice acting be good and not fit with the mouth movements (Which is what we ended up with anyway) than be shitty and badly written but match perfectly (Which they don't, thus invalidating this excuse). In reality, the voice acting problems are attributed to bad direction, bad translation, bad scripting and bad casting - The localisation team fucked up.

The biggest problem, and it's a huge one, is Tidus. I fucking hate Tidus. Tidus, for the unitiated, is the "protagonist" of Final Fantasy X. I use the word protagonist in it's loosest possible sense because he has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PLOT IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM. I'm serious, the game could take place without him and the plot wouldn't be needlessly complicated and the story would be a hell of a lot better. Basically, Tidus is an attempt to make telling the story easier. Tidus is an exposition-friendly plot device and nothing more. Tidus knows nothing about the world he is in and therefore allows the other characters to needlessly explain every single aspect of the world, thus removing any need to weave the exposition into the story in an enjoyable manner. Tidus is also the audience-insulting "associatable" character - he's the one we're meant to like and associate with. Anyone who's played this game knows why that's so fucking insulting.

That's it for my opening thoughts, full review coming soon. x

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