Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2 are both stellar games, but this lacklustre remastering is a disappointing package.
Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2: Two RPGs and over 200 hours of gameplay spread across two epic stories, this remaster of two great Final Fantasy titles is well-worth buying if you haven’t experienced it already. The games are largely unchanged from their PS2 counterparts and even the PS3 remaster released 4 years before. Aside from improved graphics and removing a few bugs, there isn’t anything here that’s remotely different from the original games. Whilst these turn-based role-playing games are still a blast to play through, at times their age does show in a world that’s evolved beyond the role-playing games of old.
For those unfamiliar with the original games, Final Fantasy X begins with a young boy named Tidus, a blitzball star who meets a mysterious cloaked figure named Auron and winds up teleported across to a desert island. Once there, he meets up with a handful of other characters and embarks on an epic quest to try and get back to his world. The unique ensemble of characters is memorable despite falling into archetypal tropes. Wakka is the comic relief, Lulu and Auron are the silent, mysterious characters, and Kimahri is the brute force. Final Fantasy X embraces these tropes and runs with it in one of the best Final Fantasy games ever released. Alongside this excellent RPG is Final Fantasy X-2, a continuation of the story that sees players take control of an all-female cast. Whilst X-2 pales in comparison to X, it’s still an enjoyable RPG in its own right and updates X’s combat system in new and innovative ways.
With the gameplay unchanged from the original games, expect to do a lot of running down tight corridors and linear pathways, engaging in random encounters via the infamous screen shatter animation. Whilst this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, with the advancements made in role-playing games like The Witcher 3, these Final Fantasy games do show their age. The voice acting during cut scenes feels stiff and wooden and navigating the world feels clumsy and more troublesome than it should at times. Whilst this might sound like harsh criticism considering the game was released over a decade ago, it’s worth highlighting especially for those who haven’t experienced the game before. Even after all these years, these Final Fantasy titles still have a lot of charm to them, and the turn-based combat is a welcome change of pace from the real-time systems that seem to be in every role-playing experience nowadays.
Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2 are a blast to play through and those longing for a more authentic role playing experience complete with turn-based combat and a massive story can’t really go wrong with this. Judging this solely on the HD remaster though, you have to question whether this is worth the money, and even more so if you bought the PS3 or Vita version four years ago. With the exception of adding in X-2 into the equation, there really isn’t much incentive to buy this again.
If you want to experience one of the best Final Fantasy games and its follow up X-2 and haven’t already bought the remaster before, then this is well worth a buy. The games are charming, the story suitably epic, and the gameplay spans hundreds of hours of play time. For everyone else, there isn’t enough here to justify buying this on PS4 all over again. If we’re judging the actual game content itself, X and X-2 combined are a solid 9/10, but the carbon copy remaster released four years before makes this a tough sell to recommend to anyone who has already played them. Even if this is one of the best Final Fantasy games ever released, this remaster most certainly is not.