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Digital Life

Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster: Graphics makeover

Published on Jul 21, 2014 5:44 AM

Released for the PlayStation 2 in 2001 to critical acclaim worldwide, Final Fantasy X took players on a journey through the fantasy world of Spira, in the company of Tidus, a young man who joins a group of adventurers who are after the monster Sin who destroyed Tidus' homeland.

The sequel, Final Fantasy X-2, followed Yuna, a character from the original game, as she tried to resolve political conflicts in Spira before they led to war.

More than a decade later, these games have been remade in HD with improvements.

Spira's world is heavily influenced by South-east Asia, and the improved graphics bring the vibrant landscapes to life, taking gamers to lush tropical islands and coastal villages.

The models and textures that were blurry on the PS2 now look crisp and smooth. The CGI videos are stunning.

However, the original animations remain unimproved. A character on-screen may appear to speak out of sync with the words you hear. This is one of the minor but irritating flaws that detract from an otherwise impressive presentation.

The music has been remastered and many tracks changed. The remix may disappoint fans of the original, but the overall audio quality remains superb. The quality of voice acting is mediocre but not grating on the ears.

Gameplay remains solid, with a deep turn-based combat system as well as a creative levelling system, plus a plethora of hidden items to locate and enemies to fight.

The story remains engaging and newcomers will enjoy the twists and reveals in the plot, while veterans will enjoy revisiting Spira and its inhabitants. It will take around 90 hours to complete both games.

Additional areas and a new 30-minute audio drama episode adds replayability to the game.

While you cannot go wrong with either one, the PS3 version has slightly better graphics, while the PS Vita offers the convenience of portability.

I used the Cross-Save feature, a handy function that lets me transfer progress between consoles by uploading my saves to the online servers. I was able to play it on the train using my PS Vita, before continuing at home on the PS3.

This is a luxury, but one worth considering if you have the cash.

This game is recommended for all RPG fans, even those who enjoyed the original; as the new features and graphical improvements help revitalise two great games for a modern audience.

This article was first published in The Straits Times Digital Life on April 2, 2014.

Background story

Rating: 8/10

  • $32.90 (PS Vita);

$52.90 (PS3);
both versions tested

  • Role-playing game