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on March 18, 2014
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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on April 28, 2014
I will not go into details about the plot of the games, as that has been covered in other reviews, but I wanted to point out some of the important features of this particular release.

The good things:
In my opinion, FFX was the last great game in the franchise, and the battle system has held up very well, with its simple turn-based system and the ability to swap characters in and out of battle as needed. Throw in a high degree of control over how your characters develop (via the Sphere Grid) and weapon/armor modification, and FFX is a highly customizable experience.
Speaking of the Sphere Grid, the expert grid is available. If my memory from playing the original game is accurate, the expert grid seems to allow for a little more early and mid-game flexibility than did the original grid.

FFX was a good looking game even on the PS2 and the HD upgrade does not disappoint. The area maps and the battle screens have never looked better.

These games include all of the extra content from the international versions. When I first played FFX years ago, I was a little disappointed by the endgame. After doing a few side quests (unlocking a few of the characters' celestial weapons, getting Anima and the Magus Sisters, fighting a few monsters in the Monster Arena, but not really grinding significantly), I was able to easily demolish the final bosses. Now, there are the Dark Aeons to fight as well as a very formidable optional boss. All this can be ignored, but if you are something of a completionist, these will be welcome features.

In terms of value for money, this package is hard to beat. For $39, you get two complete games (three if you count X-2's Last Mission), good for at least 100 hours of play time, and maybe 300 or 400 hours if you want to go the 100% completion route.

The bad things:
The English voice acting was (and still is) inconsistent. Some of the characters are voiced quite well (Auron and Rikku stand out), but some of the performances seem a little stilted at times (Yuna comes to mind).

The extra content (the Dark Aeons for example) is a nice feature, but if you are not following a guide, you can be in for a rude surprise or two. For example, it is not too hard to stumble on Dark Yojimbo early in the game (before getting the airship), and such an encounter will almost certainly result in a dreaded Game Over. Most of the Dark Aeons can be avoided until if and when you're ready to fight them, but after the Airship is obtained, some locations in the game will be inaccessible unless those Aeons are defeated.

The temple puzzles are as they were. This was a feature of FFX that I always found more annoying than fun, a chore to be done to advance the game.

While the expert Sphere Grid is a little more flexible early and mid-game, once the end-game is near all the characters start playing the same (like once Yuna is able to deal 99999 damage with her staff, for example).

While the game looks nice in HD, some of the cutscenes look quite muddy on an HDTV. This is understandable, since HD was not really on the radar at the time of the games' original release, and I'm guessing these scenes would have been prohibitively expensive to completely redo.

In X-2, if you want to get 100% completion, you still are almost forced to use a guide. Certain events can be easily missed unless they are accessed at a particular point in game.

However, the good far outweighs the bad, and I'd say this game has a place in the library of anyone who is even remotely interested in the Final Fantasy franchise.
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on May 30, 2014
This game is simply amazing. I bought a PS3 about 3 weeks ago and this is one of the games I bought. I was a little uneasy since it is an older game and I wasn't sure the graphics were going to be up to par.

When I received the PS3, I forgot they came with the aux connection. I played the game with the aux connection, and sadly to say, I was a little worried I wasted my money. When I bought the HDMI and connected it, boy what a difference it made! You can tell the game is on the older side due to the type of graphics they use, but I tell you, don't let that fool you. I don't have much experience in playing Final Fantasy games. In fact, this is only my second. I bought FF XIII-2 on Xbox360 and I'm still quite new to the FF 'series'. It reminds me of my favorite game Baten Kaitos that came out on the Nintendo Gamecube. That's probably a good reason as to why I admire it so much.

This game has a good storyline. I believe any game worth buying should. I do realize that there are gamers out there that don't need a story. Good thing I do like stories because there really is no way to skip the cut scenes. If there is something I don't like about this game, it's the inability to do so. Including after you lose a big boss battle and you go back to your last saved point. The cut scene before the big battle is five minutes long. You have to listen to that five minutes again. I personally get up and make a cup of tea. But it does get a little annoying when you lose more than once.

All the characters are unique and have their own skills. You also get a broad choice of characters you want which is also fantastic. Gameplay is easy. It's easy to get tired of using the same characters over and over again. No wonder this game has withstood the test of time. There aren't many games that I would buy that are as old as this one in this day and age. But I tell you, you won't be sorry you did. Regardless if you're a weathered FF player or just starting out, it's a good game to invest in.
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on October 11, 2015
Nice to see a great game revived. I love the added features and additional fights, but I'm disappointed that there isn't an option to toggle between remastered music and original tracks. I was really hoping for a language option as well (I wanted to hear the original actors with the subtext), but I guess you can't have everything.

Definitely worth the buy as I'm hoping to retire my PS2 as much as possible due to the superiority of the PS3's wireless controller. I don't have a PS4 and wouldn't imagine there'd be any appreciable difference between the two versions of this game, so I'm happy with this.
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on April 15, 2014
What can I matter how many times I play this game it never gets old, this game has always been one of my favorites and in my top 5 games of all time. The storyline is great along with the combat system, in my opinion this is the best FF ever made and yes I have played FF7 but FF10 blew me away being the first FF with complete voice over characters and nice graphics. Its so much to do in the game one of my favorite being blitzball, I cant get enough of playing blitzball. One thing I always wanted to do that I could never conquer is dodging the lightning 100 times for Luna's ultimate weapon sigh. Hopefully I can do it one day. Their are also other features that come with the game such as a mini series which focus on events after sin is defeated and part 2 of FF10 which I have never played so yea im talking to much, good gaming!

In case you were wondering my top 5 greatest games of all time are: FF10, Fallout 3, Resident Evil Director's Cut, Golden Eye, Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time
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on November 21, 2016
Final Fantasy X was my first RPG. To this day it's still my favorite. While the update to the PS3 was nice, don't expect an amazing change. The graphics are updated, yes, but not amazingly. It's subtle, and sometimes even strange looking. The extra features of the game add a lot of worth to it, plus you get a full second game! If you were a fan of FFX, or even haven't played it yet, I highly suggest this game. It's a really compelling, thoughtful, and heartwrenching story.
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on July 21, 2015
Wonderful remaster of one of my favourite Final Fantasy games. The new soundtrack is probably a highlight for me, I always felt that the original sounded too aged for its time. Graphics look really cleaned up, very impressed. As for the game itself - highly enjoyable to play again. The story loses it's way towards the middle when the content deals more with politics than Sin, but those moments when you face off with one of the series' most menacing monsters it's incredible. Addictive gameplay, the sphere grid is one of my favourite level up systems in RPG history.
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on May 14, 2014
As a note, this is exclusively on FFX, I will be starting FFX-2 soon. Exactly what you would expect out of the FF series. It is plenty of gameplay hours (I have just finished the first game and will be working into the second soon and am close to 45 hours). If you want to accomplish everything, it will be a long time. I would guess about 120 hours with getting final weapons completed and dark aeons battles (optional) and a hidden dungeon. The draw backs, you have to play blitzball for a bit, they make it impossible to win early in the game, then hard to lose late game. There are so many cutscenes that it is ridiculous and very few of these have the HD update. Some of the characters become worthless mid game and stay that way no matter how hard to try to keep them relevant. Especially the way I built my team, only 4 playable characters... The story line is the most linear (non open world) FF I have played. No real freedom until you are about to finish it. Overall, I still appreciate the game and think it is worth playing.
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on February 5, 2016
I've been playing Final Fantasy since the very first one came out on NES. My favorites are (American Versions) I, II, III, VII, VIII, X, XIII-LR. Seeing these two revamped for HD was wonderful. For someone who put over a 200 hours combined into the PS2 versions I saw the role of HD immediately. It didn't exactly make the game "new" again, but it definitely gave it a new coat of paint, so to speak. If you're like me and love the series, this is a worthy buy.
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on May 14, 2014
The visuals are nice and this remake has helped them age gracefully. Sure, it isn't going to look like a new game, but it's enjoyable, not jarring, and the cutscenes hold up amazingly well.
I like the added content, but also appreciate that I can still use my old strategy guide for most of the game. The new sphere grid options are particularly good.
Other than that, my review is the same as it would have been 12 years ago for Final Fantasy X- I love this game. However, we shall see if the remaster and revisit change my opinion on FFX-2. Since I thought FFX had one of the best endings in a FF game ever, I wasn't that keen on a sequel. At the very least, this purchase was worth every penny even if I only play FFX and watch the bonus movies.
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