It’s not a traitor anymore.
It’s hard to believe that Final Fantasy X is over 10 years old. I remember being blown away when I first booted it up. The cinematic feel of it all, not to mention the full voice acting that only the likes of Metal Gear Solid could produce, really was a spectacle to see and hear…when I was 15 years old. Now, 13 years later, FFX and its sequel FFX-2 are back for one more round on the PS3, now in high definition with a few new bells and whistles to go along with it. Does it hold up? Well, yes in some cases and no in others. Let’s break it down.
For those of you that have been living under an RPG rock for the past, oh, 20 years, Final Fantasy is one of the biggest, most well-known role playing series in the world. So much that it has spawned over 13 games with multiple sequels thrown in over time. FFX was the first to go full 3D without pre-rendering backgrounds, and, for its time, was pretty amazing to see.
When Final Fantasy changed it up a bit.
FFX utilized some of the more refreshing aspects in the series, allowing party members to be switched out during the turn-based combat without any sort of penalty. Another great feature was the introduction of the sphere grid upgrade system that allowed players to customize their party members in multiple ways in order to fine-tune stats and abilities.
The direct sequel, X-2, has a different feel to it, allowing the player to switch outfits that come with different abilities and stats. Anyone who has played Lightning Returns will see a few similarities. The RPG elements present in FFX and X-2 were some of the best. There’s no denying that, but going back to the game some 10 years later and seeing other things play out was not the perfect nostalgia trip for me.
The visuals for the HD re-master are truly impressive. Sure, there are a few animations here and there that look a little goofy, but for the most part, Square Enix has done a fantastic job of giving the games a face lift. What really doesn’t hold up is the voice acting. In 2001, it was really something special to see a 30+ hour RPG have full voice acting for most dialog, but going back to it after years of playing games with some top tier performances, I can’t believe I found it to be good in the first place. Most of it is cringe-worthy and comes off overly dramatic and hokey.
Another rather annoying thing I found with the game that I had forgotten about were the mini-games that are associated with the game play. Too often I wanted to sit down and play a traditional RPG but in both games I had to complete mini-games to do what I needed to do. It’s not game breaking by any means, just a little annoying at times.
One of the stand outs in the audio is the re-mastered and remixed original soundtrack. FFX had some pretty amazing music done mostly by Nobuo Uematsu, and it shows.
A little extra to go with it.
Apart from both FFX and FFX-2, two rather long RPGs, the disc also boasts a few extra things – one being a short cut scene movie bridging the gap between the two games, as well as a dungeon crawling type game that plays a bit like a rogue-like on a board game grid. It’s a just a little extra to go along with the entire package and a decent distraction for about 20 minutes apiece.
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster is a decent package for both the price and the content. I may not be a big fan of X-2, but it’s still a decent RPG, and while the voice acting in both is downright bad in most cases, the story for X is still compelling while having a terrific combat and leveling system. Let’s not forget, the visuals for each look pretty impressive as well, especially seeing that these are 10-year-old games.
For the Final Fantasy fans out there, this is a great collection that should be picked up. For newcomers to Final Fantasy or people who may have missed it the first time around, you get a pretty fine RPG with some decent game play, so there’s actually something here for everyone. For $40, there’s a great amount of content here, not to mention some decent RPGs.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.