Title: Final Fantasy X HD Remaster
System(s): Vita (Also available for PS3)
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Publisher (Developer): Square Enix (Square Enix)
ESRB Rating: “Teen” for Mild Blood, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, and Violence
Before we get right into this Final Fantasy X HD Remaster review, I figure an explanation is in order. The Vita version of Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster includes the sequel as a separate download. However, it wasn’t available for download on the PlayStation Store at the time of this review. So, GamerTell will be running a separate review of Final Fantasy X-2 HD Remaster once it has been made available.
With that, let’s go back and see how Final Fantasy X has held up after all of these years.
Have Sin, will travel.
Final Fantasy X may have Tidus as the main character, but it’s really the story of Yuna, a high summoner, and the world of Spira. For hundreds of years, Spira has been caught in a cycle where a mysterious entity called Sin assaults everyone on the planet, destroying everything in its path. It’s resurfaces again, just as Tidus appears in the world, and the only way to banish it is for a high summoner to visit an array of temples, passing the tests to acquire the Aeon summons within, and facing the monster.
Since Tidus suspects another encounter with Sin could return him to the Zanarkand he calls home, he decides to join Yuna’s group as one of her bodyguards. Along the way, he finds a place in this world, and the group learns that Sin may not be the only thing wrong with Spira. Something is going on within the Yevon religion as well, and it will fall to Yuna and her companions to save their world.
It’s more than just a prettier face.
Given Final Fantasy X is now 13 years old, this Final Fantasy X HD Remaster review is going to focus on what’s “new” to the remastered edition. We all already know this is a turn-based, RPG epic with side quests, a mediocre Blitzball (underwater soccer) mini-game, and a party of characters which are gradually improved using an Sphere Grid. So, let’s focus on what makes the Final Fantasy X HD Remaster special.
Since the Sphere Grid was just mentioned, let’s start there. Returning players will be pleased to know they can jump into a more challenging version of Final Fantasy X, if they so wish. At the beginning of the game, an Expert Sphere Grid is available. It’s similar to the standard Sphere Grid, in that people earn spheres from defeating enemies and place them on the grid, getting the ability to move to new nodes as they level up. However, this Expert Sphere Grid allows a player to learn characters’ special skills and abilities faster, at the expense of taking longer to reach nodes that would increase a character’s statistics. The Expert Sphere Grid is well balanced and offers an interesting challenge to people willing to take a chance on it.
However, that’s a change most people won’t notice. What people will see is how absolutely gorgeous FFX looks in the Final Fantasy X HD Remaster. Square Enix went all out to create a lush, vibrant world in the PS2 game with varied locations and detailed opponents and, while they looked good in the original release, Final Fantasy X HD Remaster makes it look like an entirely new game. It looks completely different on the Vita. In fact, if I didn’t know better, I’d think it was made specifically for this system. The level of detail in every character, enemy, and environment is extraordinary, and I don’t think I could ever play the original PS2 version again. I found myself just sitting and marveling at Tidus’ hair. (Which made it easier to ignore his horrible voice acting and laugh.) Of all the HD remasters I’ve seen, Final Fantasy X HD Remaster is undoubtedly the prettiest. I’d say its visual quality even surpasses the PS3 version of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.
Final Fantasy X HD Remaster also has more replay value than the original Final Fantasy X. Even when you’re approaching the end-game, the battle isn’t really “over.” There are 8 Dark Aeon bosses roaming around the world after beating Yunalesca, as well as Penance boss that appears after those 8 are defeated. More weapon and equipment options are also available, meaning it will take quite a while to master the game and make your characters the very best. Not to mention, Final Fantasy X -Will- is waiting for you after you’ve completely beaten the Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster. If you’re enough of a fan to come back to FFX after all these years, you’re going to want to see what happened after both games.
Really, Final Fantasy X HD Remaster will mark a return to a happy place for people who have loved the Final Fantasy series. I liked to think of it as a love letter to a series which hasn’t really gotten the attention it deserved for years. While I didn’t mind Final Fantasy XII, and generally tolerate the Final Fantasy XIII collective, Final Fantasy X and X-2 were the last installment that really grabbed my attention, and the Final Fantasy X HD Remaster makes it even better.
It’s time to go back to Final Fantasy X.
Final Fantasy X is an extraordinary game. It tells a wonderful story and has held up quite well over the years. Which shouldn’t be too surprising, as classic Final Fantasy games never get old. However, the Final Fantasy X HD Remaster is extra special. The tale is not only extraordinary, it’s fuller and richer than ever before, thanks to improved visuals and additional content. I suppose one of the best words for it is majestic and, while we are getting to a point where the market is oversaturated with HD remakes, the Final Fantasy X HD Remaster is one we truly needed.
Editor’s Note: A review copy of Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster was provided by Square Enix
Site [Final Fantasy X HD Remaster]