Final Fantasy X X-2 HD Remaster: review

Final Fantasy X is a role-playing video game (RPG) developed by Square and released in 2001 for the PlayStation 2. Square published a HD remastered version for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita in 2013 and for the PlayStation 4 in 2015.

When Final Fantasy X got published, it shattered sales records becoming a fan-favorite game among other outstanding entries in the Final Fantasy franchise.

This article will focus on the 2015 version for the PS4 (Final Fantasy X X-2 HD), which includes notable graphical improvements over earlier releases as well as additional grinding and side quests.

Review

Final Fantasy X was a massive leap for the RPG genre. This game was not only another entry in the Final Fantasy franchise; it dramatically expanded the definition of what this kind of games could become.

It had fully 3D environments instead of pre-rendered backgrounds, the active battles system got replaced by a unique take on turn-based combat, and the sphere grid took the place of traditional leveling.

This game was the first Final Fantasy with full-on voice acting. Players back then could perceive the developers and designers made conscious efforts to challenge themselves and push the series into new directions.

Final Fantasy X marked the first time the series exhibited the production value necessary to draw the mainstream audience.

It was a famous franchise before the release of this game, but we can trace back the cinematic aesthetics of the subsequent entries in the series to Final Fantasy X.

Some the game choices may seem dated by today’s standards, but this stuff was cutting-edge.

This tale begins with Tidus, who is a professional player of the fictional sport called blitzball in his hometown Zanarkand. During a blitzball tournament, the city gets attacked by a massive beast known as “Sin.”

Sin sucks Tidus into a vortex, and when he awakes, he’s inside some mysterious ruins.

After a group of Al Bhed divers save Tidus from a few monsters, they inform him that he’s in a world called Spira and that Zanarkand got destroyed a millennium ago.

Before Tidus can come to terms with these time-travelling shenanigans, Sin attacks again, and throws Tidus into another vortex. But, this time he washes ashore at Besaid Island.

He eventually learns more about Sin thanks to the locals, and how they can temporarily stop him if a chosen summoner goes on a holy pilgrimage throughout the land of Spira.

Essentially, the summoner and a party of guardian bodyguards have to take a long world trip and stop at each temple of Fayth to collect powerful “Aeons” (the Final Fantasy X summons) along the way.

These aeons have a connection to a powerful deity known as Yevon. If the summoner does that, they can summon the last aeon, which can knock out Sin long enough for the people of Spira to have some peace.

The heroes set out to finish the pilgrimage, defeat Sin, restore peace for Spira, and return Tidus to his time period.

The narrative explores the concepts of belief, sin, and punishment, and tackles several mature themes such as in complex interpersonal relationships. The game gets dark very quickly.

The storytelling felt very immersive due to the visuals, which were impressive in the original version and got even better with the remaster.

Spira seems more real than other earlier Final Fantasy world before this title. This game setting draws influence from South Pacific and East Asian cultures, which is refreshing and gives Final Fantasy X solid visual identity.

The soundtrack is on-point, and it marks the first time veteran composer Nobuo Uematsu got assistance from in composing the music for an entry in this franchise.

The core mechanics are classic Final Fantasy at their best. But, there is a lot of spectacular stuff locked behind other aspects, which players can only access by completing even more elements.

Like many other RPGs, players will travel to new places, do some battle, level up, tackle a boss or two, and repeat the process all over again.

But, Final Fantasy X has a few elements that set it apart from other RPGs such as the conditional turn-based battle system;

Depending on the fighters, their stats, and the moves they make, their positions in the action queue will shift around. For example, your character’s turn can come faster if you choose to cast Fire instead of Firaga.

Instead of forcing players to hurriedly scroll through the menu to find the most suitable choice, they can take their time to plan their next move.

The game let us see the list of who gets to pull off their move next allows us to relax while strategizing.

Each guardian plays a different role in combat with Tidus being the best-rounded. What sets it aside from earlier Final Fantasy games is letting players to swap party members in battle at any moment.

Each character’s uniqueness shines even more with their overdrives, special attacks that they can only use when their overdrive meters are full.

Each character learns new overdrives in different ways. The game even allows players to change and manipulate the process of accumulating overdrive meter.

Leveling up is an essential part of the game. However, more often than not, you need the best gear and weapons you can find to progress.

The most powerful equipment Final Fantasy X can offer is only available through crafting. The materials needed to complete this task will need players to beat multiple side quests and mini-games.

The story is interesting and compelling, but you can find some of the coolest and most satisfying stuff the game can offer in other trials and the monster arena.

Final Fantasy X is one of the greatest RPGs in the history of gaming. We highly recommend this game.