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4.7 out of 5 stars
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster Limited Edition
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394 of 411 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2014
Style Name: PS3 Special
Aeons and blitzball are back!
Rather than summarize the plot or game system, I'm going to be focusing on the qualities that make the FFX|X-2 HD Remaster stand apart from the originals.

DIFFERENCES FROM ORIGINALS:
+ Improved map and character/monster textures
+ Remade character models
+ Higher quality cutscenes
+ Trophy support for each individual games (Double platinum!)
+ Cropped change from 4:3 to 16:9 perspective
+ Improved voice audio
+ Approximately 60 remastered music tracks
+ Exclusive 30-minute audio drama following the end credits
+ Added "Final Fantasy X International" content, which includes a newer Sphere Grid and Dark Aeons, as well as new bosses and abilities
+ Added "Final Fantasy X-2 International + Last Mission" content, which includes new dresspheres, a new Coliseum battle arena, and a new dungeon

WHAT COMES WITH THE GAME:
The standard edition (currently $39.99) comes with both the Final Fantasy X HD Remaster and Final Fantasy X-2 HD Remaster on one disc.
The special edition (currently $39.99) is a limited time upgrade that gives you a book-like casing that includes a vibrant 24 page artbook covering both X and X-2, mostly concept art.
The collector's edition (currently $79.99) includes a gorgeous hardcover art book, a 6-hour Final Fantasy X HD Remaster original soundtrack blu-ray music disc, and five lithographs of art from both games.

There are five choices in the main menu:
+ Final Fantasy X
+ Final Fantasy X: Eternal Calm (Cinematic cutscene sequel to FFX)
+ Final Fantasy X-2
+ Final Fantasy X-2: Last Mission (Playable sequel to FFX-2)
+ Credits and Bonus Audio (Set 1 year after the events of FFX-2)

IS THIS GAME WORTH IT?
Considering that both Final Fantasy X and X-2 are available for the PS2, and many avid RPG fans already have this staple classic, it may seem redundant to pick up this title. However, nothing really compares with the sweet feeling of nostalgia from playing a classic with a brand new coat of graphics on. Plus, if you never found a chance to play the International versions, this is the first opportunity to experience the new content.

For newcomers to the series (or even to RPGs in general), this is a great way to step into the Final Fantasy world. The battle system is simple enough to learn quickly, while deep enough to never grow bored of the expansive sphere grid system. The graphics are beautiful and interesting, and are accompanied by an equally beautiful audio track. Tidus, Yuna, and the rest of the cast are unforgettably unique and bring you with on one of the most exciting journeys available in the gaming world!

Whether you're a veteran of the Final Fantasy games or new to the series, the Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster for the PS3 and the PS Vita is a great experience for anyone who enjoys a great RPG.
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72 of 83 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 19, 2014
Style Name: PS3 Special
In 2001, the original Final Fantasy X came out and single-handedly brought the JRPG into the PS2 generation. It was a remarkable feat. It had a brilliant story, a good combat system and a soundtrack that was to die for. It quickly became recognized as one of the greatest JRPGs you could find on the PS2. It has had it's ardent fans and ardent haters alike. It is a game that garnered a lot of strong responses from gamers. Square-Enix is a little late at jumping on the HD bandwagon, but if there was one game in their catalog that definitely deserved one, it was Final Fantasy X. Final Fantasy X-2 is here as well, but it did not make the same splash as its predecessor. There are some things about Final Fantasy X that are still brilliant. It's nice to relive it and to experience it again. As for Final Fantasy X-2, though I would not claim it to be as memorable as the first one it had some great gameplay elements that still hold up well today.

Final Fantasy X centers on Tidus. He is a star Blitzball player, like his father before him. One night during a game a mysterious entity called Sin attacks and takes Tidus from his home and sends him into the land of Spira. There he meets Yuna, a summoner about to go on a pilgrimage to the various temples in Spira so that she can have the power to destroy Sin. Final Fantasy X has a lot to its story. It had a lot of well developed characters, but mostly it was willing to tackle a lot of themes. In particular, the large amount of time it spends looking at the fictional religion of Yu Yevon and the teachings present. It's quite a story. It is only a shame that the voice acting isn't that especially good. Final Fantasy X didn't have great voice acting in 2001 and it's certainly not better now. It's a good story but the voice acting takes some time to adapt to. Final Fantasy X-2, by comparison, does a slightly better job (although not by a whole lot).

The gameplay in Final Fantasy X still resonates quite well. There are random battles to be fought, but the battle system was quite intuitive at the time. You always know the order in which you and your enemies will take action. This allows for lots of strategy and planning as opposed to being quick on your feet. For some this made the game easy, for others it allowed for them to have more control over combat. Each character also had an overdrive gauge which was very similar to Final Fantasy VII's limit breaks. When the gauge is full you can use an overdrive attack, which is a powerful attack. Each character also has their own uses and "job" in battle. Tidus is good at hitting agile enemies, Wakka hits flying enemies with ease while others miss, Auron has piercing attacks, Lulu casts her magic, Rikku steals and disassembles machines and Kimahri can absorb abilities of his enemies and use them. But the most interesting is Yuna who can summon aeons that you'll use in battle. Each with their own set of abilities and attacks. You can also switch characters in battle at any time provided that they are not knocked out. Every character shares in experience.

The most amusing aspect of Final Fantasy X was the sphere grid. The sphere grid is Final Fantasy X's unique level up system that has certainly influenced some RPGs (most notably Tales of Xillia). Each character gains sphere levels and follows a path along the sphere grid. You activate various nodes using spheres to raise your stats and learn abilities.

In a nutshell many of these elements in Final Fantasy X still hold up. Final Fantasy X-2, on the other hand, was somewhat polarizing back in 2003. Yet, for what it's worth, over a decade later it's really not a bad game by any means. The story is not as strong and neither are some of the characters. On the other hand, it is a more open world than Final Fantasy X. In particular, the battle system is still fast paced and fun. It goes back to the ATB battle system instead. Each character has access to dress spheres where they learn various abilities to be used in battle. The jobs affect how fast they attack and this makes Final Fantasy X-2 a fun game to battle in. The system is unique. Each job plays its own role. White mages heal, thieves steal and warriors attack. Final Fantasy X-2 has such a non-linear approach it can come across as quite tough and challenging at times.

There are some moments in Final Fantasy X-2's tone that certainly clash from time to time with Final Fantasy X. Where as Final Fantasy X is quite sad in many respects and downtrodden, X-2 is a lot more upbeat. Both games are rather fun to play, but fans probably still see Final Fantasy X-2 as being a less "serious" game. Originally when I played Final Fantasy X-2, I did not care for it. Here, I'm okay with it. The battle system is fun. And while the story isn't nearly as good as the first one, it's not necessarily bad either.

The HD Remaster has quite a few things of note, however. While I would like to point out the HD visuals first, I'd rather start with the fact that this is the international version of the game. Meaning that for North American players there's a wealth of new content. First and foremost, the sphere grid. There is now a standard and expert version of the grid. The expert grid allows for slightly more flexability. Where as the standard grid kept most characters contained to their own section, the expert one lets you divert a lot sooner. This means characters may learn other characters abilities sooner rather than later. It is also a less straightforward path. The expert sphere grid will require more grinding. There are more paths that diverge. Where as the standard is a more straightforward path, the expert sphere requires you to be a lot more aware of what you're doing. You might find yourself going back one direction just to get an ability you missed. The standard sphere grid will, for the most part, take every character to every ability along their path, but the expert sphere grid is less concerned with that. It can make the game harder or easier. The reality is that you need to zero in on what you want sooner rather than later. The expert sphere grid alone can give you a totally different experience with Final Fantasy X. I would highly recommend veteran players go with it. Newcomers should stick to the standard grid.

The other big addition are the dark Aeons. In 2001 North American players completely missed out on this optional quest. These are ruthlessly challenging bosses with millions of HP, requiring the best and boldest from players. Likewise, there is another hidden boss called Penance These bits of extra content are worth your time if you're willing to invest it. But most of all, they make Final Fantasy X worth revisiting even for those who mastered it over a decade ago.

Final Fantasy X-2 doesn't really include much (if any) extra content, unfortunately. No new bosses or story elements. But the collection as a whole does include "Final Fantasy X-2" Last Mission as well as a prologue to Final Fantasy X-2. There is also an audio credits sequence. In terms of whether or not you're getting your bang for your buck it's no argument... you are getting a lot of content for the asking price.

There are some other notable changes. The visuals are actually quite noticeable. The font of the text is different, for instance. But more important, the actual look and art style is more expressive and vibrant. It looks fantastic and it runs in 1080p. Not only that, but it's just a smoother looking game. A lot of HD remakes neglect to touch up on some of the pre-rendered stuff but Final Fantasy X and X-2 certainly do. Even the prerendered scenes have no muddied textures or blotches. They're also in 16:9 like the regular game. It's clear there was a lot of care taken with this one. Lastly, the music has been rearranged. While I still remember the original soundtrack quite clearly some of the new arrangements definitely do justice to the original tunes. Final Fantasy X-2 does not have a rearranged soundtrack, however. It's a good sounding game. The voice acting on the other hand isn't that good. As I said, it wasn't that good back in 2001, but now it just sounds terribly outdated. You almost wish they had re-recorded the voices. I'm not too especially bothered by it, however. The gameplay and story trumps it and there's something deliciously nostalgic about bad voice acting and.

There are smaller things that I'm somewhat picky about. Chief among them is that Final Fantasy X spends a lot of time expressing its dialog in various cutscenes. The option to skip them isn't present. I wish Square had added that for when one decides to replay as some moments can get a little dragged out. Likewise, with the audio there are moments when the game has small hiccups or pauses before other characters begin speaking. The dialog doesn't always flow naturally because there are moments when the next line has to load. Those nitpicks aside there isn't much reason not to get this HD collection if you loved Final Fantasy X and X-2. Even if you liked one and didn't like the other, there's enough content to justify the purchase of just one game. Square-Enix included a lot of stuff here that makes it worthwhile for fans. The version I had also came with an artbook and it's gorgeous. It has an introduction by Yoshinori Kitase, the game's producer. It's a neat little artbook that comes with the Limited Edition of the game.

Overall, I'm satisfied with this HD reissue. Final Fantasy X was a fairly remarkable game to me and it still remains so. The updates and care taken to the game are worthwhile. For fans of these games, it is certainly work taking the time for that trip down memory lane.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2014
Style Name: PS3 SpecialVerified Purchase
I) The packaging:

The design is gorgeous: the disc encased inside a 24-pages artbook, similar to the Kingdom Heart 1.5 HD Remix Limited Edition.
Unfortunately, the blue shell still made out of a very flimsy cardboard.

II) The good:

A solid storyline with a closure, something that SquareEnix decided to milk off with the FF13 series. While FFX is perhaps one of the best (not the best in my opinion), FFX-2 certainly not the same cup of tea, nevertheless, it still a fun experience. The Remaster edition not only experience the world of Spira once again, but it also comes with extra contents that never released to anyone outside of Japan or Europe. The cutscenes were beautifully remade, simply to the point you almost forget these games were ported from PS2. Not only you'll be spending hours going through the storyline, you will spend as that much time for Blitzball in FFX (wouldn't say the same case for Blitzball in FFX-2); it's not obligatory, but the mini-game simply THAT good.

III) The bad:

Aside from the flimsy shell, there are other things that keep this game from coming back with a perfect score.
1) Graphic: sadly, only the improvement can only be seen with the cutscenes, the game graphic still pretty much the same, not a whole lot noticeable improvement.
2) No cut scene option! Yup, no chance for you to breeze through the game should you already played it.
3) Skipping voice dialogue: every now and then, the voice dialogue would skip and end abruptly for no reasons.
4) Mouth synching: characters mouth don't move accordingly to the dialogue.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2014
Style Name: PS3 Special
I got this on release day yesterday so I haven't gotten to far into either game but it's a beloved favorite and I'm mostly reviewing on the changes. It looks beautiful, I find myself actually paying attention to the back grounds and not being nearly as annoyed by the constant walking back and fourth some of the game requires. The sounds are different, good. The old soundtrack was very good and a little more soothing but tended to get repetitive quickly. My only complaints are that they didn't take the time to lip sync properly or even bother having back ground characters mouths move when they speak. I am also seeing a loading screen so frequently that it has become a bit of a house joke.
If you love this game then the remaster is wonderful. If you are new to the series then I think you will enjoy this game if you remember how old it actually is and don't expect perfection.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2014
Style Name: PS3 SpecialVerified Purchase
Overall, I am very pleased with this HD remaster.

The Pros:

~The graphics are much clearer, vivid, and higher res than the original from thirteen years ago. There are still the occasional phasing issues, particularly with Yuna's kimono-style sleeves, but they are minor and not a deal-breaker.

~The soundtrack upgrades are beautifully done. X has always had one of my all-time favorite OSTs in the FF series, and in this version I can hear so many different instruments that I couldn't pick out as easily in the original OST! They did a really wonderful job mixing and mastering the music.

~This set comes with the International versions of the games, which are fantastic since, during the PS2 generation, you could not play the original Japanese International versions without a Japanese PS2. I am thoroughly enjoying playing around with the "Expert Sphere Grid", and am excited to discover the "dark aeons" and hidden boss when I get further into the game. Those additions will definitely make me feel like I'm rediscovering the game :)

The Cons:

~It contains all of the original voice overs (they redid the soundtrack and foley work, but not ADR). I'm assuming they just didn't want to rehire all the original voice actors, since that would have cost them more money, which is understandable. I do wish they had at least fixed the animation a bit more to synch it with the voice overs better.

~The FMV cutscenes are all exactly the same as the ones used in the original- meaning neither their audio nor video has been altered. Therefore, when stretched out onto an HD television screen, you can see the same pixellation that you would on the PS2 version. Also, the audio levels are much lower on the FMV scenes (both in volume and quality), so I have to keep adjusting the volume on my tv to keep it even while switching between standard cutscenes and FMV sequences. So, what you are actually getting is better graphics and audio during standard cutscenes/gameplay than in the 'movie'-style clips. It's not a drastic difference, but it is noticeable.

~My biggest complaint about this version is how buggy it is! It continues to freeze on me, usually in the middle of boss battles, which is quite frustrating. I do have an older PS3 system (the 80GB backwards compatible model), but even that older model has handled completely brand new games like Squeenix's own Lightning Returns, which also just came out, with absolutely zero lag issues (and I have played LR in both Japanese and English versions, and neither version gave me any problems at all), so I know it's not my equipment that is the problem. I also checked a a few places via google search, and have found that other people (even those with much newer PS3s than mine) are having this freezing issue as well. I think that Squeenix should have done further testing before releasing it, due to these 'freezing' issues.

To Sum Up:

Overall, this HD update to such a well-loved FF game is a must have for any fan of the series, whether old or new. I enjoyed playing this game as a kid, and I still enjoy playing it now as an adult! It's definitely making me wish Blitzball were a real sport again! ;)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Style Name: PS3 SpecialVerified Purchase
I've played only an hour of FFX on the PS2, but the coming of this game compelled me to buy the PS3 just to play it.

And it is gorgeous. :) I don't know enough of the story/gameplay critically compare this to the original, but I definitely think it's a worthy investment if you're a fan of the Final Fantasy series. FFX and FFVII are the most acclaimed of the series, and I'm very glad I bought this.

The 24-page artwork that comes with the special edition was a bit disappointing in its size (the game disc has a slot in it) but still beautiful to look at.

P.S. I really recommend getting this for the Vita, because there is honestly not a lot of good games out for this system.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2014
Style Name: PS3 SpecialVerified Purchase
I love this game. When I heard they were giving the international version of both games I thought Yay!,!! And so far I am very happy and except for one thing I am. There is an audio drama in the bonus section. My issue except the woman who did yuna's voice(I forget her name) they are different from the game. And the two new characters voices were kind of annoying :-p. Otherwise GET THE GAME!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2014
Style Name: PS3 SpecialVerified Purchase
I love Final Fantasy. I may be biased, the original Final Fantasy X was my first real RPG game and I played it to death and back. X-2 was one I got later down the line and, while I enjoy it, there's really no comparison.

The Games:
X has, in my opinion, a beautifully crafted story in an interesting, if a little confusing, fantasy world. The political and religious aspects of the game might be a little tough for some, as Square Enix doesn't have any problem taking shots about blind faith and religion is a central point of the game. Heck, the biggest monster around is literally named Sin. The combat mechanics are exclusively turn based, meaning you can spend all night planning your next move if you're careful, and sometimes it does take a good amount of though to get it right. The special ability system (Overdrives) do have some time-based mini game-like aspects, but they're generally easy to learn and don't get too complex. Leveling up is also as simple or as complex as you want it to be, with generally defined paths for each character but various junctions available to deviate into someone else's path. It looks hard but it's very easy to learn. This remaster is also based on the international version of the game, meaning all the content (the second level up grid, dark aeons, etc) are open.

X-2 is an immediate squeal and pretty bland story wise. You pick up some short time after and seem to have forgotten all you abilities and how a lot of the world works is completely changed. A job based system replaces the grid and you switch between jobs during battle (similar to Paradigm Shifting in FF13 but with much, much more to customize). There's not a whole lot to say actually. Yuna (the player's character of X-2 and secondary main character of X) is robbed of her agency as a person and more or less functions only in the context of Tidus (the player's character of X) and the rest of the girl squad mostly exists to help Yuna for reasons this and that reason. One silly thing that I love however is the shout-outs to X, specifically Yuna and Rikku (the other playable character from X who returns) will use specific items from X, some their own, some others. It's a nice touch to say "Hey, we didn't just throw their stuff out!"

The Remaster:
This is not a remake. From what I can tell, a select few character models (commonly used ones like the main party and our old friend S.) have been updated to much higher quality, and their textures along with it, but most of the characters have not been changed which makes for some awkward scenes between somewhat realistic people and box people composed of a third the geometry or less, but for the most part it's not too noticeable. Close ups of non-remade characters aren't the norm. The audio is great, with rerecorded versions of the battle theme and others, while keeping some of the old sounds for things like menu selection and what not. It's a little jarring if, like me, you have the originals memorized, but the updates are very well done.

Verdict:
The only, ONLY reason this doesn't have five stars is that I would have liked if they updated more of the characters, textures, and animations. At times if feels like a port and FFX was notorious for the bad lip-sync to the audio, by which I mean complete lack of. The mouths were not updated to move to the English dialog, so any time you look at someone's mouth while they speak you feel like you're watching a dub, because you basically are. Frequently someone's feet will hover above the ground, particularly on slanted terrain. That said, these games, particularly X, will always hold a special place in my heart. Anyone who liked the originals will love playing again on a modern console, and having both together is nice, especially for us Americans who never got to fight the Dark Aeons! Now if you'll excuse me, I have some Sigils to collect...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2014
Style Name: PS3 SpecialVerified Purchase
I remember when this game first came out, there was so much anticipation. Years later Square has managed to remind me how much fun this game was. The updated graphics look beautiful for the most part. It seems that Square decided to only update the main character models, and then leave the rest. This is fine because most of these characters matter little in the long run. The story in this game is strong. There are twists every so often that it keeps the player from being able to guess what will really happen. Much like the main character you are along for the ride and oh is it worth it. This was always my favorite in terms of combat with the real turn based system. Players and enemies are given there spot in line based on agility stats, which can be modified by such spells as Haste, giving you plenty of time to work out your strategy. Your team learns their spells and abilities from the Sphere Grid. Each battle earns those who fought exp., which is spent to move them around the board. You earn orbs that are used to unlock spheres to increase stats and grant abilities. This keeps progress fairly linear and encourages you to fight. All in all I would recommend this game to any fan of the RPG genre, it will bring great times and lasting memories.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2014
Style Name: PS3 Special
Amazon does NOT carry this version: FF X | X2 Remastered HD Collector's Edition. You have to buy straight from Square Enix to get this version. In case you were wondering what comes in this edtion, here is our unboxing. Other than that, you already know FFX and FFX2 were awesome games that need no further introduction. Keep in mind that the soundtrack that comes in this edition sells for $60 alone!

If you don't want to spend that much, the Amazon Special Limited edition is excellent too!
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