181 of 193 people found the following review helpful
"HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!" Now in glorious HD!,
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This review is from: Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster Standard Edition - PlayStation 3 (Video Game)
On the box, this collection is described as an "HD remaster." I cannot think of a better term for this package. This definitely had more work put into it than your run-of-the-mill PS3 HD port collection, and I don't just mean visually too. Overall, I'm pretty impressed by the amount of upgrades these games received. For those who are already familiar with the original Final Fantasy X and X-2 and want to hear about the enhancements/changes the games have in this package, skip the next two paragraphs. If you're new to the FFX/X-2 saga and want to know a little bit more about those games, then I'll try to sum them up in a concise manner.
*Quick reviews for Final Fantasy X and X-2*
Depending on who you ask, FFX is either the last great *traditional* single-player FF game, or the beginning of the end of the series. For my money, FFX is a classic. At the time of its release, the whole gaming community was caught up in its beautiful world and interesting characters. Thematically, FFX is a magical game, filled with beautiful locales and heaps of mystery. There's also a great deal of deep philosophical musings on all sorts of things ranging from religion to dreams to the very nature of existence. MOST of the characters are also likable. Auron is a real contender for coolest FF character ever. The visuals were seriously incredible back in the day, and its art design is still wonderful (this world really benefits from being in HD now), and the music is among Nobuo Uematsu's very best works, and that's saying A LOT. Mechanically, FFX was a pretty great JRPG. There were plenty of things to do, and almost all of them engaging. The battle system is incredibly deep, strategic, and rewarding to master. There's even an interesting, huge meta-game that incorporates the in-universe sport, Blitzball, with JRPG mechanics that are pretty interesting. Even though I don't think it matches up to its immediate predecessor, the virtually perfect Final Fantasy IX, FFX is still a fantastic classic very much worth playing.
FFX-2 is not quite so beloved as X, generally speaking. At the time of its release, the consensus among the FF community was a lot of confused and pissed off fans. It was the first sequel to any entry in the FF series, and it was such a dramatic departure in pretty much every way from FFX that nobody knew what to make of it. Gone was the sweeping orchestral music, replaced by lots of J-pop. Gone was the feeling of a FF adventure, replaced with an almost Charlie's Angels "BOW, PICHOW, KACHOW, let's strike a cheesy pose for no apparent reason" campy romp sort of way, starring Yuna, Rikku, and newcomer Paine (designed to be a female Squall) on their quest to find Tidus. It has been stated by the developers that it was made to appeal more to the large female demographic of X's fanbase, and I'm not sure if that succeeded. I have to admit, some of the game is so cheesy and embarrassing to be caught playing (The scene where Yuna gives another character a message complete with orgasmic sounds is borderline pornographic, and makes me cringe every time). X-2 IS a strange game, no doubt about it. What most haters of FFX-2 DON'T tell you is that, mechanically, X-2 is pretty awesome. The dressphere battle system is pretty great, utilizing a class-style focus in a very unique way. There's always something engaging to do in X-2, and getting to the mountain of side quests is easy and intuitive. The story also features some genuinely well-written parts as well, despite the overwhelming cheese majority. It's not as great as FFX is, but if you can get used to the strange thematic elements, then you may be surprised just how fun and engaging X-2 is as a JRPG.
*Review of this package as an HD remaster*
Obviously, the biggest change is in the title of the package: HD visuals. How does this collection do in that way? Surprisingly well. Despite the fact that the bones of the package here are from an early PS2 title, the visuals in these games look fantastic. Textures have been cleared up immensely, and the lighting and shadow effects have also received attention and look great. The game is in 16:9 widescreen and it all looks fantastic. Because of the transition to widescreen, the cutscenes and their assets have been remade completely and look gorgeous in HD (although you still can't skip them, which is sure to bother some). Perhaps best of all, almost all of the in-game character models have been remade from the ground-up and look right at home on the PS3 system. Auron has never looked more awesome than here. It may not be as huge of an upgrade as some modern full-on remakes and there are some graphical quirks remaining (i.e. hands going through sleeves, hair clipping into clothes if a character moves their head back, some hilarious lip syncing blunders, etc). Still, considering the fact that most HD collections amount to slapdash up-rezed ports and nothing more, this collection looks great. So bravo to Square-Enix for clearly going the extra mile to refresh this game visually. They did a great job.
From an audio perspective, there have been a few improvements as well. Voices are clearer and sound better (whether the voice acting was great or not in the first place is highly debated by fans). Now all aspects of Tidus and Yuna's imfamous forced laughter scene look and sound clearer than ever. Whether that's a blessing or a curse is up to you, lol. Roughly 60 tracks have also been remastered for this game and they sound better than ever. However, the audio enhancements in this package are clearly not as drastic of an upgrade as the visual elements are. Still, X/X-2 have never looked OR sounded better.
Another huge change from the originals comes in the form of additional content. Back in the day, FFX was rereleased with additional content in Japan. We never got that version in the US. Now we do. In addition to some new optional bosses, FFX also gives you the option to try out a revamp Sphere Grid that allows for more customization and challenge. X-2 has some new dresspheres as well as a "Creature Creator" that allows you to capture and train most enemies, including bosses from BOTH games, to use as party members in future battles. I wouldn't describe any of these additions as paradigm shifting, but they are pretty cool additions and it's nice to know we're getting the most updated, complete version of the games. Add in trophy sets for each game, and you get what is pretty much the definitive release of these games.
The package includes several new additions to the X universe's story. There's Final Fantasy X: Eternal Calm, which is a long epilogue cutscene following the events of FFX. It's not a particularly interesting plot,but it does bridge the gap between X and X-2 stories, and that's nice. There's also Final Fantasy X-2: The Last Mission, which is a short expansion of sorts that takes place three months after X-2's ending. I can't speak as to its quality, but I do know that it does change depending on the events that took place during a players' game of X-2, which is neat. Finally, there's a brand new audio drama set a year after X-2 entitled -Will-. I'm always a little hesitant to buy into these sorts of official/unofficial side stories, as they can be really bad at times, but still, I'll take what I can get. Clearly, the main draw of this package is the core X and X-2 games, but all this content at $40 is pretty cool if you ask me.
So there you have it. Overall, I'm very impressed by the work that went into this collection. It's definitely higher-quality than your average HD port. The visuals and audio have never sounded better in these games, and there's just so much content here on just one blu-ray disc, it's pretty awesome. All of this for $40 seems like a steal to me. If you've never played these JRPG classics before, then now is definitely the time to get into them, as they have never looked/sounded/played better than here. If you're like me and you sunk countless hours into the original all those years ago, I'd definitely recommend picking up this package again. I've been loving diving back into the world of FFX again. The enhancements to this version definitely makes it feel new again. These games, and particularly FFX, hearken back to a time when Final Fantasy games were universally hailed for their immersive worlds, great stories, interesting characters, brilliant music, and engaging JRPG mechanics. Now, they're better than ever. So buy it, prepare for a classic FF experience, and get lost in the magical, lovely world of Spira.
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Showing 1-10 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 18, 2014 5:40:44 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 18, 2014 5:41:01 PM PDT
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2014 5:43:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 18, 2014 7:43:33 PM PDT
Which title are you referring to? Last great Final Fantasy? Or start of mixed bag/bad Final Fantasy games?
FFXII is great, but it's totally different from X or any of the FF games before it. That's what I meant by "traditional" single-player FF.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2014 11:06:45 AM PDT
The False King says:
I absolutely loved FFXII, I spent several hundreds of hours in it wish one day it will have a HD remake.
Posted on Mar 19, 2014 12:39:17 PM PDT
Does it offer the Japanese voice track? Can't take the English voice cast a second time.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2014 1:24:55 PM PDT
AceJack Productions says:
I would say X is both the last great and the beginning of the end. There were many elements that were spectacular, but there were also decisions that made it feel more linear than previous entries, the battle system less customizable, the characters more annoying (not all of them - Auron is one of the best in the entire franchise).
Posted on Mar 19, 2014 1:45:15 PM PDT
"Depending on who you ask, FFX is either the last great traditional single-player FF game, or the beginning of the end."
I couldn't agree more. For me, FFX was both. DDD:
Posted on Mar 19, 2014 5:40:20 PM PDT
Shannon Chad says:
OH man!! I had ALMOST erased that cut scene from my mind - "HA HA HA HA," but no. You just HAD TO DO THAT. At least I can prepare myself to set down the Vita and walk into another room while it's going, hahaha.
Posted on Mar 19, 2014 5:58:18 PM PDT
M. Galati says:
I approve of your review's title. Also, man I hope the sales of this HD remaster prompt a remaster of FFXII. An announcement of that would just...my heart would skip a beat or two for sure.
Posted on Mar 20, 2014 9:18:23 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 20, 2014 9:20:57 PM PDT
The False King, you and me both. FFXII would be great in HD.
C.D. George, I'm afraid not. According to the interviews I've read, the Vita version was incapable of having both voice tracks on it and SE wanted both versions to be as close to identical as possible. It kind of sucks the option isn't there. Although trust me, the Japanese version of the forced laughter scene is even more awkward than English, if you can believe it. lol
AceJack Productions AND Highwind, I tend to agree with how you guys feel about it. X was a classic, but in retrospect, it's easy to see the direction the series was heading in, and not always in the best ways. It's especially evident with X-2. Toriyama has his own distinct style, for sure.
windoozleshockey, haha, sorry to bring up traumatic memories friend. For me personally, I can't think of FFX without that scene. It's an integral part to the game, lol. Walking away while it plays may be best for sanity's sake though.
M. Galati, glad you liked the title, and hopefully the review too :D. I was proud of myself for thinking of that one, haha. I agree with you, a FFXII HD remaster would be sweet. I've heard rumors it may happen depending on how well this sells, but that sort of rumor is easy to spread and hard to verify, so who knows. Still, one can hope. :)
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 23, 2014 6:28:01 AM PDT
Daquan Wright says:
Is there a version coming out for PS4?
Also, good review man! I enjoyed that, I will get the HD remake of FFX. I played the game way back when and I thoroughly enjoyed it, it is a solid FF entry. Engaging, fun, humorous, and epic battles.