Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster (PlayStation 3) Review

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 22.01.2015

Review for Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster on PlayStation 3

"Remaster" is an often frowned upon word in the gaming industry, as this often means minimal upscaling and a quick buck for the developer. However, this doesn't apply to Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster. When Square Enix announced this project, fans went ballistic, and not without reason - Final Fantasy X was one of the shining jewels of the PlayStation 2 era. After a highly-praised review of the games on the PS Vita, Cubed3 now takes a look at the PlayStation 3 version.

Final Fantasy X's world, Spira, is a vibrant and interesting setting for the very religion-based storyline of FFX. The people of Spira worship the god Yevon in hopes that they can drive off Sin, a giant monster that is slowly but surely decimating the people and the world they live in. Tidus, the hero, gets caught up in the events after being attacked by Sin and joins Yuna, the female lead, in her pilgrimage to bring about the Calm, a banishment of Sin that originally lasted 10 years.

As soon as the game begins it is obvious how much work has gone into remastering the product visually. Every surrounding and environment is sharp and retextured, looking excellent on a large TV. The updated character models are very well made, though this isn't true of the NPC characters, with the main characters showing emotions on newly animated faces with fluid animations and loads of detail.

The sound of Final Fantasy X has been remastered and in some cases rerecorded with some subtle orchestral flares. With a soundtrack as wide and varied as any other Final Fantasy, it's truly amazing to listen to. On the other side of the sound coin there is the voice acting, which, for want of better words, is not good. The voices are pretty much exactly the same as the PS2 game from 2001, with minor clearing up of the voice files. Some effect would have been nice, such as reverb when inside a cave, but this is sadly lacking.

Screenshot for Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster on PlayStation 3

The gameplay in FFX is very good. Those who played the game back in 2001 will already be totally familiar with it, bar the few small features from the International version of the game. For those who haven't played it before, here is a quick explanation. FF X's gameplay is quite linear in that there are side-quests to fulfil, but the story itself pushes the player through an area fairly quickly. This helps keep the game interesting, though, as each generally holds at least one cut-scene, a boss fight and several little side missions. The combat is turn-based and focuses on switching out the party's characters to gain the upper hand in each encounter. For example, Tidus is fast and is usually best against wolf-like creatures, but Lulu is best against elemental creatures, like slimes.

The experience system in FFX is called the Sphere Grid. Here, players power up characters by spending spheres on health, other attribute upgrades and new skills. In the HD Remaster, the Expert Grid can be used, which allows the player to re-spec characters to their own liking, meaning the likes of Lulu doesn't need to be a black mage.

Final Fantasy X-2 is a very different entity to Final Fantasy X; the pacing, atmosphere and story are vastly unlike the predecessor. FFX-2 seems to rely on whimsy and fun rather than the serious tone of FFX, despite it being a continuation. The level designs of Final Fantasy X-2's environments are recognisable to an extent by players of Final Fantasy X, as it is also set in the world of Spira.

There were many changes to the system in FFX-2. The combat this time round is much more active, with less focus on switching. The active combat system is still turn-based, but each character has a charge bar that empties after a turn and must recharge for a character to make another move. The Dress Sphere system allows for the switching out of a character's move set, which makes the party quite customisable.

The story and gameplay is fun and engaging, but sometimes it takes the fun and over -the-top scenes a little too far, leading to some confusing cut-scenes, dialogue exchanges or mini-games. Final Fantasy X-2 is great, but just not quite as perfect as Final Fantasy X.

Screenshot for Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster on PlayStation 3

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

With the inclusion of the International version extras there is something here in Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster for both hardcore fans and new players alike. The price is right and the games are rife with some of the best, high-quality graphics and gameplay of the last generation. A must-have for everyone's PS3 and Vita collections.

Developer

Square Enix

Publisher

Square Enix

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
imjamesgrech, Insanoflex, Renan

There are 3 members online at the moment.