Once upon a time, RPGs were a great combination of stunning graphics, witty dialogue and characters you truly cared about. As a kid, I used to turn my system on and anxiously waited for the Playstation logo to appear and vanish so that I could see the opening scene of my favorite game. Final Fantasy X & X-2 HD brings back cherished memories and one of the classics of the RPG genre back to life.
The upgrade to HD is the major draw for fans of the game. I decided to take my PS2 off the wall (yes I display my PS1 & PS2 on the wall of my man-cave) and gave it a play through to make a comparison. There’s something about playing a game with the old-school graphics that makes me all nostalgic. With that said, there’s just really no competition between the classic new hd version. The vibrant colors and background visuals of the HD version are just breathtaking. There’s really no other game like it. There were times when I found myself just relaxing watching the cutscenes.
You have the option to play the game with the original score, or the newly arranged music. Personally I prefer the new arrangement but playing to the original arrangement is a must for anyone who played the original on the PS2. It brings back great memories.
Now if you’ve previously played the North American editions (like me), Final Fantasy X & X-2 HD is released as the international edition making some features now available such as the expert sphere grid and several additional bosses for FFX. FFX-2 had additional dressospheres and mini games added as well. One of the most interesting mini games is the ability to capture enemies and some NPCs in order to train them coliseum-style to fight beside you.
Then there’s the addition of the 2 movies Eternal Calm ( which bridges the gap between the X & X-2), and the audio movie Final Fantasy X: Will ( which is an audio drama that plays over the credits). Will is a story told by 2 new characters, the narrator Chuami and her friend Kurgum.
Lastly, the addition of Last Mission is a great bonus. It basically plays like a typical dungeon delver with randomly generated layouts.
As a special bonus Final Fantasy X & X-2 HD comes with an exclusive premium. You’re given a code to download an FFX exclusive PS4 theme from the PSN. The theme is recreation of the game’s intro rendered in stunning HD. See all your favorite characters from the game sitting around a camp fire. When you press ‘up’ you see Riku standing atop a cliff overlooking the destroyed city in the distance. I never knew destruction could look so beautiful.
If you’re more into Blitzball, there is a theme you buy from the PSN store (which comes free if you preorder the digital download). What I loved most about the theme is that it’s not a picture but rather an animation where the characters and environment are always in constant motion, while not actually moving.
It’s hard to top such an iconic and too selling game, but Square Enix has done it again.