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Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster Import Impressions By Erren Van Duine on January 15, 2014 at 7:56 AM

It’s no secret that Final Fantasy X was a break-out hit of its time. Released at the initial surge of the PS2 era, the game dazzled in sales and managed to cement its place as one of the most beloved Final Fantasy titles at the same time.

For many, Final Fantasy X’s legacy is one that ushered in a new era for the franchise – one that brought articulated cutscenes and full voice acting to the series for the first time. Often seen as one of Squaresoft’s swansongs before its merger with Enix a couple years later, FFX was and still is a landmark release that marked the beginning of Final Fantasy’s cinematic era.

Throughout the years Final Fantasy X has remained quite dear to me and I was glad to hear Square Enix was working on a high-definition release to be readied around the original game’s ten year anniversary.

Wrapping my head around the Japanese release of Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster was nothing short of a blast from the past. The game looks very similar to what I remember playing back in the PS2 days but completely overhauled in terms of graphics including character models, textures and even some of the music.
Overall, the result rings familiar for those who experienced the original Final Fantasy X – gameplay systems remain untouched while characters move and control as they did way back when – everything just looks and feels better now tuned to the modern age.

Both games look fantastic and while not quite up to the level of typical PS3 titles – do well in their own right as a revamp of now ten year old experiences. Running now in HD the visual leap from the originals is simply astounding and the addition of widescreen offers a welcome change for two titles that still hold true to their original roots. CG scenes and pre-rendered backgrounds are cleaned up quite nicely, although they lack the native sharpness of modern FF FMV.

The user interface has been updated to modern standards as well and retains its original feel while gameplay itself remains the same. After some of the more Active Time Battle-focused FFs, it feels strangely refreshing to return to the turn-based combat that defined FFX. In a world where turn-based console games remain few and far-between it still feels pretty good. While the controls themselves can be a bit more sluggish than modern games, it’s still important to remember we’re dealing with a couple of more than ten year old games here.

It’s unfortunate, but the game does feature a bit of added load times – more so than I remember the original release having. Loading is often brief if anything, however, the frequency of loading in and out of certain areas or scenes is something that leaves me scratching my head. The lack of a cutscene skip function in FFX is also puzzling but given the story content, I feel it’s somewhat forgivable in the grand scheme of things.

“EITHER WAY, FANS BEST READY THEMSELVES FOR YET ANOTHER STELLAR HD REVAMP.”

Aside from the graphical overhaul, Square Enix saw fit to include all of the International version content for both FFX and X-2. This includes things not found in the American releases such as new Sphere Grids, Dark Aeons as well as the Eternal Calm and Last Mission content. Both X and X-2 carry their own set of trophies and a more interesting 30-minute voice drama that plays during the end credits. FFX’s music has generally been overhauled, with many new arrangements by original composer Masashi Hamauzu. For the most part, each revision is better than the original – maintaining the same charm that blasted over the PS2’s sound chip. Several tracks do, however, lose a bit of their luster and it would have been nice to at least have the option to turn back to the original score in those instances.

The real draw of this Remaster collection is of course the chance to play Final Fantasy X and X-2 again with updated visuals. The time I played with the Japanese version does feel quite good and although my experience with it has not yet been extensive, I feel everything I’ve seen thus far will hold true through the end of my play throughs. As for the English version, we’ll see how the localized cast fare when the game releases overseas this March. Either way, fans best ready themselves for yet another stellar HD revamp – it’s definitely worth the wait.

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  • Wazi the pa

    Oh my god, thank you for this. This has made me even more excited for the collection than ever before! Spira, here I come!

  • Leon Aether

    I didn’t expect anything else! This Remaster seems to be an interesting and unique addition to my FF collection. The HD OST really pleases my ears, except a few tracks and the new graphics are astonishing. The missing “skip cutscene” feature is a bit bothersome, but not necessarily that a big deal.
    I really anticipate to grab this new version of FFX/X-2. Though they are not at the top of “my favorites” list, FFX at least fairly belongs in the top 5 of it. Even the so happy X-2 potentially delivers a great gameplay experience. Satisfying this Remaster is, to say the least, and March is still away, unfortunately.

  • Iceygames

    Unless that feature is added later eith an update maybe, people may say it’s not really much of a problem the skip cutscenr feature is not present now but wait to you go to play it again.
    To some it’s not so much of a problem but for a fee cutsceenes here and there that feature would be nice. Especially seeing how one day it could be late and you need to save the game so you don’t need to leave your system on.

  • Sophia

    I feel March soooo far away, but when the time comes, OMG im going to have a mini heart attack 🙂
    Although is still a little far away from us, remember buddies, it will worth the wait
    😀

  • DarmusXIII

    Lol lrffxiii felt like a long wait as well being 3 months away but now it feels like the jp version released just yesterday xD can’t wait for the ffx hd remake 😀

  • Sapientia

    Dunno if I want to go ahead and just buy it on the JP PS store or not, or wait for it to hit the US here.

  • benbenkr

    Seriously, the only thing missing is a cutscene skip feature.

    For people who’ve played the game before, not a huge issue… but for newcomers, let’s just say there are some bosses which are just a total bitch to beat. Having to watch the same cutscene for so many times just because one isn’t ready is just utterly stupid.

    I mean.. cutscene skip, it’s a very easy feature that doesn’t require any complex programming.

  • dwibs93

    Nice to hear it’s good, despite the loading!

  • Sophia

    Lol! Its true, time passes so fast!
    😀

  • Zero

    It’s a good remaster, except for the excessive long loading times that drive you crazy. And that the NPC aren’t rematered at all. It’s even more obvious when a main character interacts with them.

  • stealth20k

    i want this so damn bad

  • Xave

    Obviously not getting this with it being a PS3 only release. I only have PC Wii U and PS4.