It feels like it was just yesterday back in my childhood days where I was first introduced in the Final Fantasy franchise by my older brother. It was on the afternoons when he would come back from school, go straight to our shared room, get comfy and start playing – Final Fantasy as I’d recall it was number 7 on the series at the time. This was some time back on year 1997. Some good years later, he was still playing Final Fantasy until 2001 when Final Fantasy X was released and its coinciding sequel shortly after. I later joined him down the line; it was obvious something got my older brother hooked on the franchise.
Anyhow, let’s put aside the reminiscing part and fast forward to discuss how its been 10 years from now since FFX/X2 were released and I still find myself including my older brother playing this game on a re-mastered version on my PS Vita (the PS4 version date has not been released yet). Despite of my alleged adulthood, it only took mere seconds for me to conjure up my obsession with this game back again as soon as Square Enix excited the public with their re-mastered version release in the UK.
Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Re-master, as the name implies, is in my opinion the underrated direct sequel repackaging of the Final Fantasy X in 1997 with a dosage of new features, improved and adapted graphics using a touch of HD paint and re-organised soundtracks. While familiar players reintroduced with a sense of nostalgia, this new release allow both old and new players to enjoy Final Fantasy X / X-2 in a new air of freshness that will surely entice you to spend endless hours of playing it as it had already mine.
Return to Spira: A Recap of Final Fantasy X and X-2
While previous titles in the series had constructed a European approach on science fantasy, FFX remastered has somewhat exhibited a big departure from its predecessors. For instance, the world based on Spira draws heavily on South East Asian update of architectures and motifs, a mix of steam punk is then appropriate added in the character of Rikku and African culture as well in Mount Gagazet chapter. The plot is mainly influenced by Japanese role playing simulation although the game plot itself is much more sophisticated with the characters being revealed a story of their own that allows the player to be emotionally attached to them to some degree. This connection would then become more apparent on the sequel of the game when the search for Tidus becomes a mission of adventure and discovery.
In mechanical terms, JRPG kind of games crosses the boundary of dungeons and distinct towns favoring a seamless grandiose world. The active battle system of the game is definitely a memory bringer of the 1990’s feel when the game was first introduced to the public and this is what I really liked about this particular series of the franchise. The time constantly flows during battle and is turn-based and this was a tactical turn on the conditional turn based game system of the other games in the series. The turn order can be determined through the use of buffs, stats enhancements and attacks with abilities delaying previous and future actions.
On the other hand, Final Fantasy X2 re imagines the history of the game back in the world and time of Sin as the monster takes over the destruction of the world. In this game, the plot turns to a the political side of things much more as we discover that a group of treasure hunters called the Gullwings fight the division of the brinks of war. Unlike FFX the battle system is characterized by dress codes and job system with a tactics features of character change of appearance, skill sets and stats mid way to the battle and can be changed by altering their jobs called dress spheres.
There is clear similarities in the remastered version of both the final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2 however, this should not discourage the player in any way, shape or form of playing a classic Final Fantasy game. The stories behind the characters have done great justice in serving a grip and contrast to the story line of the game and tot his respect, I can safely say that the game aged spectacularly since its released having it still be very popular for a remaster release in contemporary time. Overall, I had accumulated over a hundred hours playing both games in my PS vita and both of these games are one of the very few games I am willing to play anytime again after completing it.
One of the most obvious change in the game play here lies on the visual department, where characters are modeled into new and textured levels of graphics. They blend well to the PS vita atmosphere of game-play although I would not say it is the best amongst the gamut of other RPG games released on the Vita platora of games. There is clear significant improvement such as enhanced detail on the characters. What is also more impressive is this accompanied by the music and remastered soundtracks especially in FFX really adds the feeling of submersion in the world of Spira and ultimately garnering the personalities of everyone.
When it comes to HD remasters, FFX and FFX-2 is a great testament to how much better can be enhanced and brought to contemporary gaming and making it still relevant while still being historically respectable and noble. There were minor set backs such as the cross buy function does not allow between the Vita version and PS4 however, this can easily be put down to personal preference on playing the game in a bigger screen or portable gaming. Nevertheless, the point of the game review must remain in that even after 10 years of their release I still find myself enjoying playing them and finding time to play them for that matter. Whether you are a veteran in the Final Fantasy franchise, FFX and FFX2 is definitely a recommendable game.
Overall, I am rating Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X2 Remastered Version a 8.5/10.