Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD PS4 Edition
Final Fantasy X and the lesser enjoyed X-2 have just been re-released again for the third time. The whole concept and dedication to HD remasters of games feels like something I should be annoyed about, like when remasters of albums come out that make them less good. Contrary to my natural urge to be a hipster about it, I absolutely love these collections when they are done correctly, though I have the worst luck with them.
When I went to buy the Zone of Enders HD trilogy someone picked it up as I was walking towards it. The Metal Gear Solid HD trilogy broke as soon as I had beaten a particularly irritating boss in Snake Eater when my 60GB PS3 finally gave in, and then ate my disc. The Silent Hill HD collection I had on the Vita was stolen and my Jak and Daxter HD save file was corrupted when I was half way through the first one. So I absolutely love HD collections, but they seem to hate me, at the time of writing FFX/X-2 has been quite kind. These are all games that I never had the chance to play when I was younger, either feeling too old to play Jak and Dater when I was about 15, too much of a Resident Evil fanboy to play Silent Hill, too crap at games to play Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, and too poor to buy Zone of Enders.
I played Final Fantasy X sacrificing my chances of love, life and Vitamin D, during a summer off school and I approached it with the suspicious excitement that I now save for Megadeth albums; but it was awesome and the remaster is a welcome addition to my collection. A beautiful intricate game, with lovable characters and many people, or so I’m told, consider it to be the peak of the Final Fantasy franchise.
In many ways it is the culmination of everything Final Fantasy had been up to that point, the turn based combat, the interesting and interwoven storylines with twists and tears and weird laughing that I had come to expect from Final Fantasy games. The introduction to spoken voices was something we had all been dying to hear since Final Fantasy VII had broken new ground with 3D character models and pre-rendered backgrounds. It is considered that Final Fantasy XII is the greatest, though under appreciated, game in the franchise, but I found the chess board looking Zodiac job system to be very tedious; I remember grinding just for the ability to use a bracelet for so long that I completely forgot, and had lost interest in, the storyline. The FF XI battle style has grown on me, but I still find it to be, and allow me to use this adjective, un-Final-Fantasy-like, the beginning of the end when it comes to what Final Fantasy meant to me as a concept.
Final Fantasy X and X-2 is a great combination of games. Sure, X-2 is slightly underwhelming in relation to the deep and soul crushing life altering story that X had woven throughout, but X-2 would probably have been released now as DLC that would’ve allowed you to finish it in about two hours, so we can be thankful that we had it. If you think X-2 is terrible, don’t play it but I actually love it as a light-hearted companion piece for X, even though the characters feel like they’ve been based off google searches for ‘SFW RUle 34 on Yuna’ and not the original personalities, being that the girl who managed to remain timid and modest while wielding the power to summon actual Norse gods is suddenly bursting with confidence after being swept up in a love for J-Pop and performing after, I imagine, winning Final Fantasy X-Factor.
Aside from all my ramblings here, the difference in gameplay between the PS2 and particularly PS3 versions of FFX/X-2 are minimal, but the HD versions do look beautiful, there have been some teething problems with music starting from the start when you win battles, you still can’t skip FMVs (as we called them back then) for some bloody reason but nothing major. The choice between the original soundtrack and the newly arranged versions is nice also, if you’ve played the PS3 or the Vita version you probably have no reason to get this, though you can transfer your save file over from both to continue on from where you left off. Tidus’s voice used to really annoy me when I was younger and it still does, but everything looks glorious and you should buy it.
4 out of 5 Nerds