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- FINAL FANTASY X-2 available as download only. Voucher included. Internet Connection Required.
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FINAL FANTASY X/X 2 HD Remaster celebrates two of the most cherished and beloved entries to the world renowned franchise that has sold over 100 million units over the past twenty five years. FINAL FANTASY X introduced players to the world of Spira, and left a legendary impression on the industry with its stunning visuals, heart wrenching story, and fully voiced characters - a first in a FINAL FANTASY title. FINAL FANTASY X 2 marked the first ever direct sequel to a FINAL FANTASY title, and returned players to Spira with an even more addictive and fast paced combat system. Now completely remastered in gorgeous HD, FINAL FANTASY X/X 2 HD Remaster brings this timeless classic forward to the current generation of fans, old and new alike. FINAL FANTASY X tells the story of Tidus, a star blitzball player who journeys with a young and beautiful summoner named Yuna on her quest to save the world of Spira from an endless cycle of destruction wrought by the colossal menace known as "Sin". FINAL FANTASY X 2 returns to the world of Spira where High Summoner Yuna travels with her companions Rikku and Paine to unravel the mysteries of the messages hidden in the spheres she hunts, not knowing that the answers she seeks may change everything.
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Final Fantasy X is a traditional turn based format. Three party members on the field at a time, and an action bar gives you the order of attack per person/enemy on the battlefield. You have your list of commands (Attack, Special, White Magic, Black Magic, etc.), and victory is achieved through wiping the enemy team out. You level up by earning AP (this game's version of Experience), and use these Sphere Levels to traverse the Sphere Grid. As such there is no level cap, and allows you to level up your characters as you see fit, though the Sphere Grid option that's included with the International version alters the layout and can dramatically affect how you build the characters in the beginning. The Normal version has characters starting as specific areas, so your characters will have tailored "roles" until late in the game, whereas the Expert Grid allows a more central starting point on the grid, where you can level up each character as you see fit. You can have 3 White Mages if you felt the need to, although neglecting other areas can make the game considerably harder (hence the name Expert Sphere Grid!). But it adds a fresh coat of paint so to speak to the leveling system if you played the original on the PS2.
This game also boasts an enormous amount of content. There's Ultimate Weapons for each character (and some rather.... extravagant means to unlock them if you will), the ability to craft armor and weapons to allow for some dynamic setups with enough effort. Then there's the Monster Arena, where you can sink in as much time there as you did in the main game! Don't forget about Blitzball, the main mini-game of FFX, where again you can sink a plethora of time. And of course the International exclusive content, the Dark Aeons. Spending the time to level up to challenge them can effectively double the amount of playtime, so while you can blaze through the game quickly if you wanted to, you can also spend 100 hours plus and still find yourself chasing trophies. For the completionists this game will keep you busy for a long long time.
X-2, though for many wasn't quite the game that X was, is still a fantastic game in it's own right. It tends to be a bit more "girlish" since the cast is all female this time around and the Job System from previous iterations are now Dresspheres (which yes, are different outfits pertaining to the respective job), once you get to the core of the game it's also rather meaty.
The turn based version from X is gone, and this game implements an Active Time system, where each enemy on the field has an Active Time gauge that has to fill before selecting commands. You can change jobs on the fly as well, which makes for more dynamic battles, although you can change this to "Wait Mode" and slow it down for a more traditional approach. There's still a gauge that must fill, but when you enter your the sub menus (such as selecting a monster to attack, choosing a spell or item, etc), time "stops" to allow you to be more methodical in your approach. This game does revert to a more traditional leveling system though, where you gain Exp. and level up that way and (unfortunately) has a level cap, although you'll need to do some grinding to actually hit that cap. There is no weapon or armor crafting, and you'll have to tailor your party based on you job, and then accessories to enhance strengths or supplement weaknesses.
This game, like X, also has a rather expansive amount of content. To start, it's one of the most open world games in Final Fantasy history. The game is divided into chapters, but all locations are available from the start and you can either hit them all each chapter, or focus on only the ones pertinent to the story and be done with it. It's advisable to visit them all, as I would expect the game's difficulty to scale too much and make things extremely difficult without doing some sidequests. You'll also miss out on items and accessories by skipping this, which will only compound the difficulty.
Part of the new International content is the Creature Creator, where you can add fiends to your party and do the story, or put them through the gauntlet of the Fiend Arena. Like the Monster Arena in X, this will add quite a bit of playtime to your game, and can also aid in alleviating the difficulty due to the items and accessories you can earn by winning.
You also get the Last Mission, and add on dungeon also exclusive to the International version. There's trophies for this as well, which will add further playtime to an already expansive game.
The Vita also offers another (very minuscule) addition, and that's that you can use the touch screen to "quick heal", whether through Potions/Hi-Potions or via White Mage spells. This is rather useless considering it's not much effort to press Triangle and then go through the Items or Spells, but it's there... I would think it be useful for maybe the beginning of the game when HP is lower, but I never even think to use it anyways. Seems like a gimmick more than anything else, but I digress.
There is however one rather large flaw that I found in X-2, and is only an opinion, but that being the Completion Percentage that contributes to the story and ending. I can appreciate a system such as this, but X-2 makes it borderline impossible to actually achieve without a guide of sorts. It's up there with probably the Agarest War series as far as getting the best ending in terms of difficulty, and although I believe there's around 110% or something in the game, it's feasible that you could play the game 10 times over without any guide and still not hit 100%. Of course the fact that you're reading this review means you've got internet access and can find in depth guides, but it takes a bit out of the game if you're aiming for the best ending when you're stuck following a very specific guide. Of course also with the power of the internet you can play however you please and just Youtube these things, but completionists will know my pain here. The percentage does carry over to consecutive playthroughs, but since doing the same things don't count to adding more percentage, you'd have to guess what you did wrong and use a ton of trial and error to get it right. I'm sure some people enjoy this kind of challenge, but I find it too steep to obtain without a ton of playthroughs, or a guide to get every single nuance of the game.
My other gripe with X-2 is the fact that it's a digital download only. The game isn't small, and considering the rather exorbitant prices of the Vita Memory Cards, I'd have much preferred a physical copy of it. Unlike consoles where you get 250GB and space isn't a factor, the Vita only offers 1GB I think on the new models, so your space is extremely valuable with this console.
The game does offer cross-play functionality though if you have it for PS3 as well, and is a very nice touch. Visual limitations of the Vita versus a console/TV aside, the game looks great on the Vita. The only difference I've noticed is that the menus are compressed and take more real estate, understandable on the smaller screen of the Vita. It's negligible, and considering the portability factor this may be the better option of the two if you find yourself away from your TV alot.
--The game has sharper textures
--Slightly enhanced/different character models
--Reworked/enhanced Music (FFX only, FFX2 still uses ps2 track)
--both titles are the international version + last mission editions, never before released in america. this adds hours of new content
--audio drama tells a new story that connects FFX to FFX2
--FFX2 uses old ps2 track
--While certain graphics are slightly improved, still looks extremely close to ps2 version, HD remaster is an over statement, at least on vita version.
FFX2 is download only, make sure your vita card has at least 6gb
So what makes this game different from the original Playstation 2 game? Two things: Graphics, and international content. The graphics for this game have been smoothed out and look really nice, and on the Vita's OLED screen they look really pretty. But enhanced visuals aren't the only thing this game has going for it. Nope, for the first time we have easy access to the international content. Which means new super challenging bosses (Dark Aeons), and a new Expert Sphere Grid plus a few abilities that weren't included in the original NA release. So even if you still own the original PS2 there is some merit to buying this game, plus the inclusion of Final. Fantasy X-2 the, while not as good but still worth playing, sequel to FFX.
Closing statement: Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remastered is a great title for the PS Vita and PS3 but despite the updated visuals this game's age does show, the character's facial expressions are non existent, and the voice acting, while good for the time is just bad. But despite those few set backs this game is still worth playing as the game play is still as solid as it was in 2001, and the story, regardless of the shoddy voice acting, is still an epic and enjoyable story.