of choice played within the Final Fantasy X
universe. Similar to basketball
, and perhaps American football
, blitzball is one of the more interesting mini-games
of the Final Fantasy
series... at first.
Basically, the objective of blitzball is to put your ball (the blitz ball, of course) through the opposing team's goal area, which is defended by a goalkeeper. Sounds simple, doesn't it? Well, the whole game is played underwater, in a gigantic water-filled sphere. Sounds complex, right? Well, wrong again, fella; the whole of blitzball gameplay is two-dimensional, on a flat circular plane, except your characters appear to be swimming. Right enough...
The blitzball team is made up of six players per team; the midfielder, the right and left forwards, the right and left defenses, and the goalkeeper. The possession of the blitzball is randomly determined by the computer, and thereafter it is in the hands of the team's midfielder. The offense can pass the ball to another team member (except the goalkeeper), and so on. Any team member can opt to shoot the ball, and, depending on his skill in shooting, the distance he is away from the goal, and the defending goalkeeper's skill in catching or blocking, he may or may not make the goal for a keen 1 point. Whomever has the most points after 10 minutes of play (in two halves of 5 minutes, which actually go by faster than real minutes) is the victor.
If the player carrying the ball comes in contact with the enemy, he can elect to pass, shoot, or break through the defense. The carrier can let the attackers take a whack at him, and put them out of commission in terms of blocking a pass or shot; though, if they are skilled at attack (tackling) or the carrier's defense is poor, the other team can take possession of the blitz ball. Special abilities can be learned by your team (the Besaid Aurochs, to be precise) from observation of the other team, or by levelling up -- a player that passes, makes shots, attacks and defends will gain experience, which allows him to level up and become a better player. Some of these special abilities can do such things as almost guarantee your shot making a goal, or put enemy players to sleep.
It sounds complex, but it's all a game of math. Your players all have vital statistics: hit points, or HP; attack power, defense power, and passing, shooting, catching, and blocking abilities. The ball carrier loses HP as long as he is in possession of the ball, and HP allows the character to perform special techniques. When a character attacks the ball carrier, his attack power is counted against the carrier's defense power (which can randomly vary from 50% to 150% of the given statistic). Another attack immediately after will decrease the depleted defense more, and once the carrier's defense runs out, the ball will be taken.
If the confronted ball carrier decides to pass or shoot, the player or players remaining will attempt to block the ball, pitting their combined block statistics against the ball carrier's pass or shot statistics. This is why you can choose to let a few of the attackers take a whack at you, as mentioned above -- once they attack, their block score cannot be counted. Even then, after the attackers attempt to block, you have the goalkeeper to worry about... Also, as the ball travels through the water, it will slowly lose momentum; the higher the pass or shot score of the person passing or shooting, the more momentum there is to lose. Obviously, passing or shooting from long distances is not the brightest thing ever.
Just a 10-minute long game of math, is blitzball. It's hard to win at first, but eventually, your Aurochs will be whomping on the enemy teams with little effort. It becomes boring quickly, but, unfortunately, you need to play a ton of this mini-game to get some really good items (such as Wakka's ultimate weapon, and some ultimate weapon power-ups; all the better for beating the final boss into a bloody pulp).