Final Fantasy X HD – What it is And Why You Should Care

Final Fantasy X was announced as an HD remake two years ago, and we haven’t heard much about it since then. Unfortunately, this seems to be Square Enix’s policy recently, what with the awful track record set by Versus XIII. Recently, Vita screens have been released, which is about as exciting as a dry rag, but today we finally got some new information, and that information is pretty sweet. Today, we found out that Final Fantasy X HD is going to be coming to the PS3 and Vita in 2013 at least for Japan (No translation costs mean it’s likely a 2013 release in the west too), and that Final Fantasy X-2 would be included as part of the PS3 release, and available separately on the Vita. The most important bit of information we’ve gained today is confirmation that both Final Fantasy X and X-2 would be the international versions. For those who live in the PAL territories, you know how big of a deal the changes are, particularly for X-2, but this will be the first release of these versions for North America. Today, I want to go over why every fan of JRPGs should consider picking up this/these great game(s).

Water theme. Summoning as a huge part of the gameplay, but no Leviathan. What the hell?
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I’m not giving a full review of each Final Fantasy game today, but some points are worth going over. Final Fantasy X was the first Final Fantasy game on the PS2. While many Final Fantasy fans disliked it and the direction it took the series, it consistently ranks as the second most popular game in the series, so chock the disparaging to Final Fantasy having the worst fanbase ever. With a unique turn-based system, an engaging story and memorable characters, Final Fantasy X definitely deserves the praise it gets. One thing that Final Fantasy X did first in the series was having a direct follow up. Until that point, no Final Fantasy game had ever had a sequel, despite there being nine other games. Now, there are Dirge of Cerberus, Crisis Core, Final Fantasy IV The After Years, Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings, Final Fantasy XIII-2, and, soon to be released, Lightning Returns Final Fantasy XIII. Many fans would criticize Square’s decision to start making direct sequels, and it’s true that the quality of these games rarely reached the quality of the original game. Final Fantasy X-2 is not an exception to this, and it’s definitely an inferior game to X. However, X-2 did bring some things to the table, particularly one of the best battle systems the Final Fantasy series has ever seen. In terms of quality, despite the shortcomings of X-2, the HD collection has definitely combined two games worth your attention.

200% more singing than any Final Fantasy behind it.
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The international version of a Final Fantasy game is essentially a director’s cut. Final Fantasy VII was the first game in the series to have an international version, which is the version that was released in North America. It included such major additions as Emerald and Ruby weapon, on top of general tweaks to the game. Final Fantasy X’s international version is just as big of an overhaul, with a similar focus on end-game content. One of the most interesting addition is the inclusion of an optional Expert Sphere Grid. In X, you level your characters by unlocking nodes on the Sphere Grid. The Expert Sphere Grid makes for much more customizable characters, and it’s possible to move across different grids and abilities far easier. The original grid is still present, with the addition of new abilities, but the expert grid is definitely one that should excite fans, who may be tired of the restrictive nature of the original. The end-game content is the inclusion of a whole new series of optional major bosses called Dark Aeons, as well as a new super-boss in the form of Penance. These new additions gives a much better reason to create overpowered characters than the original game. These additions are on top of a whole slew of balance changes and tweaks, making Final Fantasy X worth playing again for any fan of the original. That being said, if you live in the PAL territories, maybe just pick up a PS2 copy.

Dark Shiva knows you’re going to want this game.
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Final Fantasy X-2’s international version is not one I had heard of before the announcement. Having now done my research, I can fully say that I am far more excited for X-2 HD than X, and that’s saying something. X-2 offers the basic balance changes and tweaks that you’d expect from a director’s cut version. There are also new garment grid’s, which are the game’s take on the traditional job system. On top of that, there is new late game content in the form of a giant 80 floor dungeon as part of a final mission, which adds a decent amount of story. The worrisome part of this is that the last mission content has so far only been in Japanese, so there’s no guarantee that it won’t stay that way, or be excluded altogether. The biggest and most impressive change is the addition of a monster collection minigame. In the international version, you’ll be able to Pokemon-style capture any of the enemies you face to train and fight along with you. Square takes advantage of this system by allowing you to recruit some human characters such as one of the three major boys: Nooj, Gipal, and Baralai; as well as Final Fantasy X characters such as Auron, Lulu and even Seymore. From what I’ve read, there are even story segments for recruiting and occasionally releasing monsters and characters. In addition to this, there is a large colosseum that you can compete in with your new allies. Final Fantasy X-2 already had amazing gameplay, and this new addition should definitely make it worth checking out again for those who’ve dismissed it.

Insert Sailor Moon joke
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The last big reason that you should be interested in this collection is far less exciting, and that’s the inherent advantages of HD collections. Firstly, I wouldn’t expect a total graphical remake, instead, it looks like it will be basic HD upscaling, present in every HD remake. While this may not be ideal, it still means that Final Fantasy X and X-2 will never have looked as good. The second addition, which is inherent in HD remakes is the addition of trophies. I am a full advocate of trophies for older games, as it gives fans something new to do with a game they may have played many times. The last addition to this set is that both games will be available on the Vita. While the system may not be the juggernaut Sony may have wanted, it does mean that X and X-2 will be available portably, and that every Final Fantasy up until X will be available on the Playstation Vita, meaning that it can basically be your Final Fantasy machine. Portability is always good, and I’ve re-bought many games for that reason alone. The only real question is whether you want the better graphics on the television or the convenience of portability, as the game is not involved in the cross play promotion.

This guy makes Emerald weapon look like a Goblin.
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Final Fantasy X HD may still be a ways off, as we still don’t know the exact release date, but when it does come out sometime in 2013, you can bet that it’ll be worth your money. For the standard price of an HD collection, you’ll get not only two great games, but versions of those great games that you’ve never played. Truthfully, if you’re a Final Fantasy fan, you’re probably already planning a purchase (Or are trolling the Lighting Returns message board, because worst fanbase ever). However, for people who may not know much of the series outside of XIII, X is a great place to start for anyone, providing a rich world, deep gameplay, and buckets of charm.

– Mistranslations for the Modern Gamer

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2 thoughts on “Final Fantasy X HD – What it is And Why You Should Care

  1. Well thank God I went with a Vita for Christmas. The fact that they confirmed the International versions has made my day. New super bosses, jobs, and story? Hell yeah!Also, the Lightning Returns board actually only has a bout five real trolls. The thing is, everyone else trolls part time.

  2. I was really worried that they'd avoid giving us the international version for some reason, but remembering that both have already been translated into english eased the fear.

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