Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD

[Review] FFX has had a makeover!  Is it HD goodness?
The Details
  • Title: Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD
  • Web: Official Site
  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Released: 21 March, 2014
  •  
  • Platforms: PSVita PS3
  • Reviewed On: PSVita

Originally released in 2001 for the Playstation 2, Final Fantasy X is one of the most popular Final Fantasy games amongst fans.  It seems to be, that after X, things seemed to go a little downhill in the series after the mixed receptions for both XIII and XIII-2.  The original release of this game in Japan took over 1 million copies in pre-orders alone, which made it the fastest selling console RPG.  But that was then.  What about now, thirteen years after its birth, in full HD?  Well, just like the McDonalds adverts say, ‘I’m lovin’ it’.

Yeah, not really like me to confirm that I love a game straight away in a review, but don’t let that put you off reading on, for I’m going to talk about the good points, followed by a few bad ones if I manage to think of any. Surely I can.

First off, compared to the PS3 version, the little Vita does well in graphic comparison.  This little piece of machinery is a beast when it comes to graphics.  It’s like holding a mini PS3 in your hands and despite this not being a brand new game made specifically for the Vita (it is just an upgrade of an old game) it still does look pretty.  It has a few jagged edges compared to its daddy version, and perhaps a little more dull in the colour comparison but it’s not enough to warrant any denial for owning it on the Vita instead.  In fact, I prefer the Vita version because I like the idea of carrying Tidus (main character – possible Final Fantasy boyband material)  in my hands around with me.  Plus, I don’t play on my PS3 that much, and I was worried the game would just gather dust, despite being pretty darn good.

FFXX2VDay-610

Graphically it looks great and the colours are lovely and bright

The story starts off in Zanarkand, the hometown of Tidus, the star Blitzball player.  Blitzball is a game played in a bowl of water where the players look like fish fighting for a ball with holes in it.  Okay, that’s not what it’s about, but it’s a close enough description!  You play in a ball of water (yeah…don’t ask) and you basically throw the ball to your team mates and try to get it into the net.  A bit like netball I guess?  Anyway, Tidus is a star blitzball player, famous in fact.  It’s after his town gets destroyed by the big mean boss Sin that he finds himself in another place, one thousand years later.  Here he meets a gang of blitzball players, joins the team (they’re bad…real bad) and meets a girl (obviously).  I won’t delve too much into the story for that ruins the surprise for the folks who have yet to play it, but the big main boss guy in this adventure is Sin and you go on a  journey to defeat him, facing many twists and turns along the way.  The storyline isn’t as deep as other Final Fantasy games, but that’s what I like about it.  We actually have a story that you can follow instead of thinking what the hell is going on here.

Blitzball is a mini game that you can partake in every time you reach a save point.  It will give you the option to take part in a match or not and if you say yes, you will have a list of options of what type of match you want to play in.  Would it be a league game, or just an exhibition.  I find this game really challenging and I hold my hands up by admitting I am yet to find a win from anywhere.  I’m guessing I need to hire new players, which is something you can do when you find them.  The more blitzball you play, the better your players become.  They gain extra blitz skills and level up.  A bit like FIFA.  Final Fantasy FIFA…hmmm…I must get Square Enix and EA together about that one.

blitzball ffx

Blitzball. A game underwater. A fun mini game to play

Speaking of deep, the game focuses a lot on water.  All of the cities and towns that you visit, are all based on islands.  The game is very colourful for this fact, lots of greenery and blue skies/water.  It is all very pretty to look at, taking you away from all the brown and greys that these new games seem to posses.

The combat is your typical Final Fantasy old school style.  Turn based combat is the best way to go, and I was quite sad when the newer games didn’t use it anymore.  The menu systems are also nostalgic, laid out in the same style as highly recognisable FF7.  The boss fights are fun, if not a little annoying if you die and have to reload miles back (agh!) but some of the details in the monsters are easy on the eye.

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The monsters look pretty mean and tough

The characters are your typical teeny bop pretty boys and girls with neat hair ready to save the world!  But in a  weird way, Final Fantasy seems to be one of the only series’ that gets away with this every time.  When somebody mentions Final Fantasy to me, I don’t immediately think of combat or storyline even.  I think of pretty Japanese boys and girls running around searching for Chocobos and stroking Moogles.  Yeah…I have a strange imagination

You level up by using spheres that are found at the end of combat or in treasure chests.  The sphere wheel lets you go in the direction you choose, unlocking new skills with the spheres of your choice.  This could be extra mana, power or speed for example. It is quite fun to use.

One thing that annoys me about the game is the unsteady camera angle and cut-scenes that you cannot skip.  I don’t want to skip cut-scenes anyway, not first off, but if you die and have to reload, it would be nice to skip some of the scenes out that you have already witnessed less than thirty minutes ago.

The PS Vita version has implemented a touch screen mechanic where you can just swipe the screen left to receive some health boosts.  You click on the boost you want (magic or item) and it automatically heals the party for you with an item in your bag.  If you have magic, it will heal you with the heal spell a party member has.

This is one of my favourite Final Fantasy games in the series, not quite as deep as FF7 or emo as FF8, but it is still up there as one of my favourites.  Even if you already own this for the  PS2, I say still buy it because it looks stunning and it’s brilliant to play on the go.

Judgement
Pros:
  • A classic remastered. What more could you want?
  • 2 great games in one package.
Cons:
  • Let me skip the cutscenes!
Lozzykinz
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In my spare time I like to play games (obviously) and read. I'm a fan of DC Comics and manga.
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