“Filled with grief over their own death, they refuse to face their fate.” -Lulu
“I was in a foreign world… I wasn’t going home.” -Tidus
“Until she defeats Sin…” -Lulu
When Final Fantasy X released in 2001 it was met with massive critical praise but also stirred controversy amongst its fans. Indeed, it was a very different game from Final Fantasy IX and the others before it. Arguably, FFX is the first to set the series in motion along the lines it continues today.
With its high production values and linear gameplay, Final Fantasy X took the series to new heights of cinematic appeal while trying its hardest to maintain
its classic turn-based combat. Did it succeed? It depends on who you ask. To many people, especially those who started the series with Final Fantasy X, it succeeded with flying colors. That said, there are many who maintain the opposite point of view. Final Fantasy X, while different from the classics in the series, was a great game then and is still excellent today.
What Is It?
For the first time in high-definition, this classic role-playing game is updated with new visual design and a reworked soundtrack. Coming to both the PlayStation 3 and the Vita, Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster is a valuable title which gives you a lot of bang for your buck provided you are interested in the source material. There are dozens of hours you can put into both games, be it through the main storylines, side quests, or the variety of minigames (blitzball, for example). I got a chance to play the Vita version of FFX | X-2 HD and it seems that it holds up to the best in its class even today.
If you’d like to hear more about the story and setting, you can read our feature analysis from last week. It goes over many of the themes and plot-points
, but we will steer clear of spoilers for this review. There are strong themes of faith, hope, and the ultimate power of love. The “#ListenToMyStory” marketing campaign has focused almost exclusively on the power of love (check out the Valentine’s Day trailer). It is a theological and mythical epic through and through.
In the off chance you have not played either games last decade, you might want to consider it this time around. Neither games have looked or played better than they do today. Further, the HD-quality redesign is a perfect excuse to get back into Spira to stop Sin and save the world. Really, it’s gorgeous.
Why Should I Care?
While Final Fantasy X is indeed a classic, Final Fantasy X-2 is arguably nowhere near as good.
X-2‘s aesthetic design put many people off when it released in 2003
because it appealed to a more feminine mystique. Interestingly, it seems that with the female gamer market’s rise over the last decade, X-2 has actually aged like a fine wine. Actually, it’s almost as if it’s a better game today than it was back then.
Perhaps that is because time has justified what it is rather than what it isn’t.
We are used to getting Final Fantasy sequels, especially ones led by female protagonists. Questing in X-2 with Yuna does not seem quite as banal or bizarre as it did a decade ago. If anything, it seems that the series worked well to generally attract more females into the franchise. Does this account for why Final Fantasy XIII has followed that same line?
Final Fantasy X, on the other hand, is still as epic and majestic as it ever was. Its plot is exciting, the characters are interesting, and the beautiful landscapes are vibrant, colorful, and appealing.
Overall, FFX is one of those games you might want to play several times just to re-experience the creative atmosphere and compelling story. Now that it is available on-the-go via the Vita, you might enjoy playing it in small bursts here and there. You’ll get through the story faster than you remember. The characters, generally, have held up nicely.
With the time-gap over the decade, they have managed to take on a sort of cult of personality much like other classic videogame characters. Though sometimes they can still be annoying (Tidus, for example, is often childish and selfish), they are still archetypal for the quest to defeat Sin.
What Makes it Worth My Time and Money?
It seems the big draw to this release is Final Fantasy X. For $39.99 it does not seem too outlandish to say FFX alone justifies the price. Whether you like X-2 or not, you can almost consider it a freebie. There are few RPGs that look as good as either game on the Vita and there are few which play as well either. Not much has been added to the final products other than the technical overhaul, so if you’ve recently played it on the PlayStation 2 or have a strong memory of it in the first place you might want to consider skipping it.
But if you have any desire to get back into Spira to stop Sin, there’s no better opportunity to do so. We can’t stress strongly enough that no matter what your position on the quality of these games was, you really ought to give it another go-around this generation and see if your opinion changes. It holds up well and the time between its release and today has proved it is one of the better games in its class.
Even though little has changed, there is one particularly interesting addition to the full package. There’s a short video called “Eternal Calm” which hints, maybe, at another sequel. Could the HD Remaster be a lure for Final Fantasy X-3? Only time will tell on that front. The game is indeed open for more to come and we would welcome it with open arms.
I sincerely hope this PlayStation 3 and Vita update will attract a new generation to join the fight against Sin in Spira.
Definitively, this is the version of Final Fantasy X and X-2 to play this time around. Even if either title left you unfulfilled or wanting more, you might want to give FFX | X-2 HD another try. Time has helped these games, not harmed them. This is indeed an excellent release well worth your time and money.
“It begins here…”
“Stay with me… until the end… please…”