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About the product
- Brand New to PS4 - Take advantage of the PS4's native features to share your journey across Spira like never before; Transfer your save and continue your progress across your PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation VITA systems
- New 30 Minute Audio Drama - Intact from the PS3 version, players can listen to the events that occur after FINAL FANTASY X-2, narrated by their favorite characters and accessible from the title screen at any time
- Gorgeous High-Definition Graphics - In addition to the visual upgrades that the main character models, textures, and backgrounds received for the PS3 version, more NPCs and monsters join their carefully reworked counterparts
- High-Definition Audio - Play FINAL FANTASY X with the beautifully remastered soundtrack or, new to the PS4 version, switch back to the original classic tracks
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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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*Should you even bother getting the PS4 version of these games?*
Note: I bought and played the PS3 version of this remaster back in the day and loved it. If you haven't played these games, whether in their original OR PS3 remastered forms, then I highly recommend getting this version of them. The PS4 version is the definitive one by a large amount as far as I'm concerned. There's certainly more comprehensive, higher-quality updates and new features in this latest release. That been said, for those who already have the PS3 version, I'd say most of you are better off either just sticking with the one you've got OR waiting for a price drop. When it released on PS4, I couldn't help buying that version too. Why? Because I'm always looking to expand my PS4 library and I really do have a love for Final Fantasy X. Really though, It's all is up to preference. Hopefully this review will help you come to the right decision for you and your wallet.
*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 (including all NPCs AND monsters/enemies in this PS4 edition) have been remade from the ground-up and look right at home on the PS4 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 PS2 era 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, more than ever in the PS4 version in fact. 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 in the soundtrack were remastered for this game in the PS3 version and they sounded great. In the PS4 version, however, gave most of the other tracks the remastered treatment as well. It all sounds fantastic. This is arguably one of Nobuo Uematsu's best works, and to hear the music of these games in a glorious remastering is wonderful. If you're feeling nostalgic, you can switch to the original PS2 version's soundtrack at any point in the options menu, which is a nice inclusion. All-in-all, Final Fantasy X and X-2 have never looked or sounded better than this.
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. Weirdly enough, this little game heavily incorporates roguelike elements into the X/X-2 formula, which sounds bizarre but is actually quite awesome in practice. It changes depending on the events that took place during a players' game of X-2 too, which is neat. Finally, there's a 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 (and this one is particularly atrocious, if I'm being honest), 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 this price 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.
*Regarding the hate surrounding this release*
I'm noticing a fair amount of hate being directed at this release and those who like/support it. I find this baffling. Why the anger? It's a simple fact that a large number of people who own the PS4 are first time Sony console owners (mostly Xbox converts). Until now, those folks could never have access to Final Fantasy X, X-2, OR these remastered versions of them. So, why NOT release this on a new platform? I get that Squeenix can be just as bad as any greedy, bloated corporation, but I don't think so in this case. Game companies do this all the time, and I never see whiny hate directed at them for it, so what's the problem here? If it's the price, consider the fact that this new PS4 version has far more improvements, both in terms of presentation AND performance, than the PS3 version. Try to show some reason here. I just don't get the rampant paranoia people have about the gaming industry being some evil overlord attacking gamers everywhere. Try to expand your worldview a bit people. Honestly, there are PLENTY of people who'd benefit by buying this remaster on the PS4. These reviews are here to inform people about the remaster and help them decide if it's for them or not, not to spew biased personal opinions/ideology/vendettas on the gaming industry or some companies within it. If you think Square-Enix releasing this on the PS4 is dumb, then it's obviously NOT FOR YOU. Just wait until Final Fantasy XV comes out or something. Seriously.
Final Score - 10/10
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