Final Fantasy X, X-2 HD Remaster

Square Enix
3
Aug 23, 2014

The first Final Fantasy game for the PS2 now has a pretty graphical upgrade and new content for North American players!  FFX was pretty enough before, but the cleaned up character models are nice for general gameplay, and the cutscenes are inexpressibly gorgeous.  All of it has been adapted for widescreen, so there's even more to look at than before!  This edition also contains the optional Dark Aeons, previously only available in the International version that North America didn't receive, a new version of the Sphere Grid for leveling, and a handful of new abilities, so there are in-game bonuses beyond looks.  In addition to the original game and its sequel, there are also the added features of remastered music, a short film bridging X and X-2, and Last Mission, a short, playable follow-up to X-2 that was previously only available in Japan.

As for the games themselves, not just the new features, I'm a little mixed.  I scored this three stars, averaging out one of my top five Final Fantasy games (VI, VII, IX, and Tactics, for reference) versus the horrible mess that was its sequel.  X has a complicated world, intriguing characters, and a turn-based battle system that allows time for thought and strategy (and is ever-so-slightly exploitable for easier character leveling).  X-2 still has a complicated world, but flattens its characters, has you playing dress-up games with a modification on FFV's (and/or Tactics') job system, and throws in gratuitous scenes that might have been titillating to a twelve-year-old boy...thirty years ago.  I actually find the game to be personally offensive on many levels and would highly recommend just playing the first one and being content with the bittersweet ending rather than enduring the second for the promise of a "perfect" ending.

If you've never played either game, they are set in the world of Spira.  In X, Tidus, the main character, has his life disrupted when his home city is destroyed by a giant monster called Sin.  He wakes up in an unfamiliar place and discovers that his home was destroyed a thousand years ago, and every ten years or so Sin shows up, wreaks devastation, and is temporarily defeated by a Summoner.  Lacking anything else to do, Tidus joins a Summoner—Yuna—and her Guardians on her pilgrimage around Spira to acquire the Aeons—living souls that sacrificed themselves to become weapons—needed to fight.  The supporting cast gradually join until you have seven playable characters in your party, and you eventually learn the terrible truth behind the destruction of your city and the legacy of Sin.  X-2 (pronounced ten-two), features Yuna in the aftermath of the previous game, as well as Rikku, also from X, and newcomer Payne.  They've become artifact hunters, and on finding a sphere with an ancient recording that seems to feature Tidus, they go in search of more information. There are political conflicts; an ancient, sealed weapon designed to obliterate all life on Spira; and a not-so-subtle connection to FFVII by way of a child named Shinra...who's discovered a new way to mine energy from the planet.

Basically, if you've played the games before, this is worth picking up for the prettiness upgrade and the new content.  If you haven't played it, it's worth picking up for one of the games on the disc.

PS3

Written by Rachel C.