There are certain things that fans expect in every new entry of the Final Fantasy series. A hero and party of companions that players grow to care about, a compelling villain, engaging RPG mechanics, and, of course, mini-games. Along with many other RPG series, the Final Fantasy franchise has a rich tradition of including some excellent and worthwhile mini-games that both serve as a distraction from the main quest and enhance aspects of it if players invest the necessary time. However, not all mini-games are created equal, and for every favorite mini-game in the Final Fantasy series there are plenty that receive near universal disapproval. Enter the battle of Blitzball vs Triple Triad.
The Blitzball mini-game from Final Fantasy X is an interesting case in that, for the most part, it offers some incredibly worthwhile rewards for players who come to grips with its mechanics. However, Blitzball has an incredibly steep learning curve and can be very frustrating as a mini-game rather than a fun dalliance. Conversely, Final Fantasy VIII‘s Triple Triad is the rare mini-game that isn’t just fun and worthwhile, it’s practically necessary to get the most out of Final Fantasy VIII‘s Junction system. Though both Blitzball and Triple Triad have their fans and critics, only one can stand on top as the best Final Fantasy mini-game.
Blitzball vs Triple Triad: Side-by-Side Comparison
The “middle” era of Final Fantasy, which begins with its first foray into 3D with Final Fantasy VII and ends with the final mainline entry for the PS2 — Final Fantasy XII — is notorious for its inclusion of mini-games. The first several games in the series include only a main quest and some optional side quests as ways to stretch out the total playtime, but as the series made its transition into 3D it started embodying many of the noticeable trends that other RPG franchises had already begun to embrace. Though Triple Triad is not the only card game to feature in Final Fantasy, it’s arguably the best. Blitzball, on the other hand, is one of the series’ only attempts at a sports-centric mini-game and it requires either a lengthy investment of time or exploitation of its mechanics to be fruitful.
|Final Fantasy X
|Final Fantasy VIII
|Necessary for Story Progression
|No, but provides early-game power boost
|Need Multiple Wins for Best Rewards
|Rewards that Tie Into Character Progression
|Main Reason to Play
|Spheres for Character Progression and Powering-Up
|Items and Cards to refine into Magic or Items, respectively
|Additional, Better Players to Recruit
|Collectible Cards for Enemies, Characters, and Bosses
|Enhances the Experience
|Similar Games in the Series
|Exploitable for Easy Gain
Blitzball vs Triple Triad: 5 Must-Know Facts
Here are 5 must-know facts about Blitzball and Triple-Triad:
- Both Blizball and Triple Triad can provide players with worthwhile rewards. However, in the case of Blitzball, many of the best rewards are also obtainable from other sources. Conversely, Triple Triad is the only way that players can obtain several valuable cards that can then be refined into unique items necessary for certain magic.
- Blitzball and Triple Triad are both part of each of their respective game’s stories, and both games allow the player to simply lose matches and then move on. However, while Blitzball does provide some great rewards, Triple Triad is much more essential to Final Fantasy VIII‘s gameplay.
- It is not necessary to play and win multiple matches of either Blitzball or Triple Triad to complete Final Fantasy X or Final Fantasy VIII‘s main quests. That said, players that skip either mini-game entirely might be missing out on some excellent rewards and in-game power boosts.
- Blitzball has the reputation of being a mini-game that players simply put up with in order to win its best rewards, with several guides and explainers existing online showing how to easily win by exploiting Final Fantasy X‘s AI.
- Triple Triad is the first of Final Fantasy‘s card-battling mini-games and many still consider it to be the best, not only for how fun it is to play but for how much it enhances a typical playthrough of Final Fantasy VIII.
Blitzball vs Triple Triad: Quality of Rewards
There’s no denying that Blitzball offers some greeat rewards to help power up the party in Final Fantasy X, but it’s also worth noting that many of these rewards are also obtainable through other avenues. It’s almost as if Square understood that many players would not want to engage with the Blitzball mini-game and chose to offer other routes for getting some of the best rewards it offers. Triple Triad, on the other hand, is practically a critical part of the Final Fantasy VIII experience. It offers some of the most important rewards in the game for crafting characters’ ultimate weapons and refining the most powerful magic spells for Junctioning.
Blitzball vs Triple Triad: Integration Into Gameplay
Blitzball and Triple Triad both play an important role in each of their games’ stories, but Blitzball requires players to continually scout and recruit better players for their team throughout Final Fantasy X‘s adventure. Triple Triad can also be a recurring mini-game that ties into each part of Final Fantasy VIII‘s main quest (especially if players are hoping to battle NPCs to obtain some of the rare and one-of-a-kind cards out in the world), but players can also front-load their game with dozens or hundreds of Triple Triad matches and then completely ignore it for the rest of the game if they like.
Blitzball vs Triple Triad: Necessary or Supplementary?
Again, Blitzball offers some great rewards that more than justify the time investment necessary to win several matches in the league, but many of these rewards are available elsewhere. Triple Triad, on the other hand, is a necessary component of Final Fantasy VIII‘s gameplay. Sure, it’s possible to completely ignore Triple Triad and never play a single match, but doing so would completely negate the advantages that a player has by using the mini-game to make their characters powerful in the early hours of Final Fantasy VIII. Thanks to the intricacies and mechanical depth of the Junctioning system, creative players can use Triple Triad to turn Final Fantasy VIII into a card-battling game that eventually blossoms into a story-driven RPG.
Blitzball vs Triple Triad: Which is More Enjoyable?
Final Fantasy X’s Blitzball is notorious for having a steep learning curve and requiring players to either invest plenty of time in recruiting the best players to their team or use exploits to trick the game into easy wins. Triple Triad is a much more enjoyable mini-game right from the outset, and Final Fantasy VIII even goes so far as to provide players with some excellent cards in the early parts of the game that can then be used to obtain even more powerful cards and better rewards. Triple Triad’s popularity is also evident in how other Final Fantasy games feature card-battling mini-games.
While there’s nothing inherently wrong or broken about Blitzball, there’s definitely a reason that the mini-game continues to be one of the few downsides to replaying Final Fantasy X. In comparison, Triple Triad is both an essential and enjoyable part of Final Fantasy VIII that gives players plenty of reason to invest in it by rewarding them with items and cards that players can transform into useful tools to improve Squall and his companions’ battle prowess. That, and it’s just a great, addictive deck-building card-battler. In terms of which mini-game is the best in the Final Fantasy series, it’s no contest. Triple Triad reigns supreme over Blitzball and all others.