: Sunday Meditation: Why You Should Buy FFX HD

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Sunday Meditation: Why You Should Buy FFX HD

The time has finally come for this generation to get an exciting Final Fantasy entry.

Never mind the fact that it is more than 12 years old, there are special reasons to meditate on this HD release. At risk of irritating the community I feel I must mention the epic decline of the franchise of late. After all it is the chief reason that the original fan base is so ramped up for this Tuesday: we want a classic experience. Another reason is that we want this current generation of gamers to see what a real Final Fantasy is like.

There have been some cool JRPGs on PS3 but for all intents and purposes an entire sub-genre just disappeared from the face of the earth after the PS2 sailed into the sunset. Grandia, Legaia, Suikoden, Shadow Hearts, Xenosaga, all gone gone gone. When Final Fantasy XIII did what it did gamers who missed the greats of the last generation or only became serious gamers with the newer generation never got a chance to experience the particular brand of awesomeness that games like these brought.

Of course X-2 is included, which is a decent enough game with an even better battle system but at its heart it is clearly a Square-Enix game where X was a Squaresoft entry. I'm thinking of X-2 as a bonus in any case because going through an HD version of FFX is well worth the $40 cost of admission.

So, why else do we need this infusion of energy from the past? There's always the potential that its success could turn Square-Enix in the right direction at some point. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII continued the sales downfall of the series with VGChartz estimating sales at a little over a million copies across the PS3 and 360. By comparison the original Final Fantasy X sold over 8 million copies on PS2 alone. Granted Lightning Returns' numbers are only after about a month on the shelves but any sane person can tell you that a game like this with its low and mixed review scores isn't going to do much better over its life span.

Which brings me to another point concerning why you should play this game whether you are replaying it, playing it for the first time, or not yet interested. As opposed to the XIII series (and I would even argue the XII entry) all classic Final Fantasy games had a special quality to them that most games lack. They are timeless. The characters, their interactions throughout a twisting, overarching plot with various themes and depth of meaning added up to something special which held as many different meanings as there were gamers playing them. Final Fantasy X is the best example that can be shown of this now because it will have the graphical punch to keep modern gamers happy, enough of the classic gameplay to show people what was thrown away for no reason, and a story that ranks among the best in the franchise.

I know we've gotten used to crazy gamers these days ranting and raving about every little change so it's easy to discount the appeals of old fans but there is a reason that classic Final Fantasy games are considered classic and games like the XIII series never will be as far as any serious critic is concerned. As with Final Fantasy X you can play them over and over, or you can play them 12 years apart and it will mean something new to you every time. Any truly great experience speaks to you in new ways when you re-engage it after more personal growth. This is why I've read Moby Dick six times now and lost track of how many times I've played Final Fantasy VII.

You should get this game because it deserves a chance to speak to you again or for the first time. You should treat yourself to a style of gaming and storytelling that died well before its time. Whether you are a repeat customer or a first timer you should play this because it comes at a time when there is a concerted effort to destroy the kind of depth of feeling and gaming that the classic Final Fantasy series represents. Also, let's face it, this may be your last chance to experience one of these exceptional, truly epic journeys ever again.

3/15/2014 David D. Nelson

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Comments (52 posts)

MrAnonymity
Saturday, March 15, 2014 @ 10:53:23 PM
Reply

Speaking of classic... I started VI all over again simply because the Opera music randomly popped into my head a couple days ago. So here I am, enthralled in the wonder that is VI all over again.

On that note, I am only too excited to re-live X. You make the best points too. We're getting to go from seeing the decline of the series to seeing what made the series what it was (an possibly still could be). There really was a magic to the first ten. It wasn't a single element, but the entirety of each game. The characters, the battle system (of whatever game), character progression/customization (i.e. materia, jobs, junctioning, etc.), the story, EVERYTHING!

When speaking on XIII with a good friend, he tried to convince himself based solely on the battle system. However, after some time, he just couldn't do it anymore. Me? I played for five minutes and just lost it. (Mind you, I watched friends play it as well as watched plenty of gameplay videos that showed me I am not missing out. At all.)

Either way... it is my hope (and I am sure others' as well) that X/X-2 HD flying off shelves will send a message.

Give us Final Fantasy or give Final Fantasy death.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, March 15, 2014 @ 11:00:30 PM

Yeah XIII and not its sequels almost had enough to be sometime special but if you go back and try to play it a second time you realize that timeless factor isn't there. Plowing through a 20 hour corridor with your only mission and plot point being to run away or toward something is why I don't think even someone who loves the game could realistically say it is on par with the others. Even if you liked the battle system and the characters it's all those other things that are missing which gamers can see alive again in FFX HD on Tuesday.

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Vivi_Gamer
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 7:39:01 AM

I have to disagree, I replayed XIII for Lightning Returns and once again it was just a joy from start to finish. I love the battle system in XIII despite it's flaws (Game Over with the leas character dying or the 1st paradigm shift animation in battle) The combat is just so engaging, arguably more so than previous FF's as you have to constantly be aware of your paradigm and the pressure to reach that Stagger is just so intense - & Ever so satisfying when it hits.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 9:11:03 AM

I'm glad you could enjoy it again Vivi, you are the first person I've ever talked to who successfully completed it more than once.

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Underdog15
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 9:26:15 AM

Also the first person I've met to honestly say they found it more engaging than past FFs.

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Vivi_Gamer
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 6:44:45 AM

Dare I say it is even the 3rd time I have completed it - I have also Paltinumed all 3 FF13 games too ;)

The thing is, I love previous FF's combat. But there were times when it was veyr predictable - I can't be the only one who spammed 'Trine' through out most of FFVII. I just found in most previous FF games the same attacks usually worked. Other than corresponding to enemy elements, which was pretty obvious but something I do in XIII anyway. I'm not saying it is technically more well thought out than previous FF combat systems - though it certainly is with a few of them FF2 anyone ;) But the focus on paradigm shifts and staggering really made each battle engaging for me, it was the same in XIII-2 and even Lightning Returns - When you hit that peak and the K.O battle theme plays it gets so thrilling.

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MrAnonymity
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 8:02:52 AM

That's just the thing though, Vivi - I can't validate the game based on the battle system. Sure, it is fun and innovative; but a battle system alone does not a game make. It all has to be there for it to even register for me. Mind you, I am not trying to knock your love of the game, just elaborating on why XIII essentially just isn't part of the pantheon for me.

Furthermore, in my opinion, Final Fantasy has hardly ever been about the battle system. Once ATB was introduced, it was welcomed and I scarce heard a complaint when it never changed over the years (the exception being X with an even more traditional, turn-based approach, which also wasn't complained much over).

Anyway, my point is that... Final Fantasy needs that old chemistry for new life. Otherwise, for me personally, the future of the series will always only go as far as whatever classic title they decide to re-release.

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Underdog15
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 9:17:53 AM

That's a fair point, Vivi. (OT: Vivi might have given me the most feels of any FF character, although Zack in Crisis Core did a good job) If you power level or enjoy fighting in the game a lot, the weaker, every day enemies were not often challenging in games like 7 or 8. (Especially 8 if you spent time getting magic prepped up) Sometimes, even just "attack" was enough if you were sufficiently leveled. I used trine just when trying to unlock limit breaks in 7... (since new levels are kill count based)... I'd go to the forests outside Junon or Rocket town where you could encounter 5 or 6 enemies at once and trine (or matra magic if too early).

However, other FF's were engaging, I feel. In X, you had to regularly swap characters in and out depending on what kind of enemy you faced. (Wakka for ranged, Lulu for slimes, Auron for heavily armoured enemies, etc. etc.) 9 was challenging in many places (although, when you find something that works, you can stick to it, ie. Vivi+auto-reflect+reflectx2 = a water spell does 9999 damage even at level 30) 5's job system keeps you entertained. 4 was challenging the entire way. 6 heavily emphasized status debuffs...

I guess, lastly, when I think about 7... it wasn't really difficult once you figured things out, true. But what was it that made it engaging? As was the same with 9, all those extra things you can do... the stories, mini-games (remember when that was a staple and was a huge part of a game review?), customization, etc... those were the elements the 13 series lacked, for me. (I did not play LR after trying the demo. Not sure if I will. It was just... bad.) I did platinum the first two 13's, however. They were good enough. But I doubt I'll ever replay either.

TLDR: Not much of a point really. Just further observations about the series.

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CH1N00K
Saturday, March 15, 2014 @ 11:10:44 PM
Reply

I'm about to state something that is probably draw a bit of animosity, but after the last few final fantasies, and the current trends in the market, I'm of the mind set that it's time that square Enix stopped flogging a dead horse, it's time to let the final fantasy series die, they had a good run, but it's day in the sun is long gone...

Unless they actually manage a miracle reboot, I don't think that square has what it takes to save the series...

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Banky A
Saturday, March 15, 2014 @ 11:31:44 PM

Nah no animosity soz. Disappoint?

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OverBerg
Saturday, March 15, 2014 @ 11:38:57 PM
Reply

You've read Moby Dick six times and played FFVII countless times?
I need more free time… :(

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 12:00:08 AM

It helps to do those things when you're young and time is more abundant.

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BigDanT
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 2:08:22 AM
Reply

You say this genre was thrown away away for no reason, you fail to mention it was by the company that created it. Then after 4 or 5 arguably terrible games in the same name as the genre they destroyed, you want me to pay them to give me a slightly graphically better version of something they never should of left. This was the first series I ever put a serious amount of time into. After they kept putting out garbage telling me it was top notch game making, more importantly story telling, lets face it, this company is out of chances. They chose their path and it has been an abysmal fall.






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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 9:14:00 AM

Not all the fault lies at Square-Enix's feet, plenty of other franchises just stopped in their tracks.

As far as paying them more money after being such a disappointment, I understand, but grudges aren't good. If you want to play good games (like Tomb Raider and Deus Ex) you'll have to give Square Enix money again at some point anyway. At least this way you are showing them what you are willing to pay for and what you aren't.

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homura
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 3:13:20 AM
Reply

If it's a reboot of Final Fantasy IX with the battle system of XII, then it's day 1 for me. But this can wait. But that's just me.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 4:36:17 AM
Reply

yeah well a gud FF game wud be a nice change for u guys and i might get this one or 15 just what all the FF fuss is about.

happy gaming =)

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Advent Child
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 7:21:22 AM
Reply

The only decision I'm trying to make is if I just buy it for my vita or I buy it for both just to double tap the point to Square-Enix.

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Shams
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 3:13:06 PM

Wait for a sale like on black friday and get both for possibly less than the price of one. That's what imma gonna do.

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Advent Child
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 6:43:22 PM

I broke down and bought the $80 collectors edition and the vita version.

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MrAnonymity
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 8:04:35 AM

O ye of little patience. XD

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ethird1
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 7:35:09 AM
Reply

Nelson you poopy poo! Why don't you just come out and admit the ONLY reason you want to play this again is so you can play dress up with the dollys! Muahahahaha!!!!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 9:08:19 AM

That's not the only reason!

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Underdog15
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 9:29:58 AM

I love the sphere change sequence. :D

It beats watching muscle bound men running around with gruff voices!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 9:48:57 AM

If it bothers folks they can turn them off.

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Vivi_Gamer
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 7:36:17 AM
Reply

I still believe Final Fantasy X is the most accessible FF game out there. the battle system is so good and being able to control Aeons made it even more epic. The story is so well paced, the structure of the pilgrimage carries the story along wonderfully with many exciting detours along the way. The characters are delightful and what makes exploring the world so exciting in X is that you and the lead character Tidus are both new to this Spira so it seems really fresh. I cannot compliment this game enough it really is that good and I believe it to be the last 'Classic' FF game.

So if you are wanting to see what all the fuss is about there is no better time to jump right in. FFX can offer 100-200+ hours if you really seek everything out and you also get X-2 too. I have mine pre-ordered and cannot wait to tuck in :D

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 9:09:54 AM
Reply

I hope folks aren't just reading this as a XIII basher, I'm actually trying to make a semi-intellectual argument about why this game is a representative entity of something bigger than just preference.

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Underdog15
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 9:32:46 AM

Didn't sound like a basher to me. However you did reference it, so it's core admirers and anyone who believes in the myth that this site writes on it every 3 articles way perceive it that way.

But that has no reflection on your writing. Just foundation human nature.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 9:52:41 AM

It's hard to compensate for the general state of over-excitement on the internet that comes with keyboard courage but I do my best.

I actually have sincere hopes that this HD collection can have a meaningful impact as a piece of useful gaming history. The only way that happens is if it sells well and gets a high profile. I also hope it wins over the new Final Fantasy fans, who are probably under the misapprehension that classic iterations didn't have enough action.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 3/16/2014 9:52:58 AM

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Lawless SXE
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 6:41:42 PM

Sounded more like an advertisement for FFX than anything else to me. *grumble* *grumble* "World getting paid by S-E" *grumble* *grumble*

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Beamboom
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 11:12:41 AM
Reply

My experiences with FF13 and WKC this past generation has completely ruined my impression of Japanese RPGs. I'm burnt, and burnt severely.

So for me to buy a really old jrpg is completely out of the question - no matter how revamped or upgraded it may be, I don't even care if it harvest a 90+ metascore.
Sorry :(

Last edited by Beamboom on 3/16/2014 11:15:13 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 12:39:28 PM

You're just cuttin your own throat my man.

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Underdog15
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 4:50:44 PM

So, for someone who so highly abides by what Metacritic has to say, you're letting an 83 meta game and a 64 meta game tell you that you shouldn't play a meta 92 game?

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LowKey
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 12:39:03 AM

You do realise that this is the version that did not release in NA right? FFX International Edition with The dark aeons and pennance and new skills on the sphere grid.

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Beamboom
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 4:34:28 AM

Underdog, that is an excellent point you're making there.
But yes, with this genre it has ended up like that. Just like other genres I have no interest in, like fighting games. I don't really care if the next brawler is a 90+, I won't even pick it up from the bargain bin.
I have no interest. Especially not in a 12 year old game. There's plenty of other games from that age I'd rather spend time on then.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/17/2014 4:35:10 AM

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Banky A
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 6:33:03 AM

You ain't sorry. Sorry

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MrAnonymity
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 8:14:06 AM

A metascore is really that big of a deal? Where have I been...

There pretty much isn't room for elitism in the world of gaming - well, unless you play online games, I suppose. Either way, I completely fail to see your point being as vague as it is. A present failure doesn't ruin a past achievement; especially in terms of games. As bad as it was, I'm sure owners of the original Duke Nukem titles didn't ritually burn them when DNF failed. Even with my distaste of XIII, I still love what came before just the same and continue to play those games.

So... if you're going to write off a genre over literally a couple of poor experiences, then I feel sorry for you, bud.

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Underdog15
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 9:21:30 AM

To be fair, (speaking from having read his posts on numerous occasions) Beam isn't using the Meta because of some elitism associated with scores. He uses it because, in his experience, he has found it to be a very good indicator towards what he inevitably likes or dislikes for the most part.

We all go with what has worked for us, ya know?

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Beamboom
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 9:42:46 AM

@Banky, I am sorry for not buying good ole' David's persuasion. That's all I am sorry for. :)

@MrAnon: What Underdog said. I don't even understand how reading metascores can have anything to do with elitism in the first place?
But yes, my experience is that my taste in gaming is pretty much in sync with the majority of reviewers out there.

Thing is, of all Ive seen that is distinctly different with jrpgs from traditional RPGs I've not liked any of it. The battle mechanics, the ultra-stereotypic characters, convoluted story, the dripping cliches, the pompous speeches, the whole package is just yuck yuck yuck.

It may be unfair to the old games, what do I know, but all that does build an impression.
And unless they don't have *anything* to do with the nonsense I've experienced in the mentioned titles I am pretty darn sure I'll hate'em.

And these games here are twelve years old. It should per def be able to run on a mobile phone today. That in itself is a problem to me - there's so many amazing games built on modern hardware there's just no reason for me to go back a decade to find awesome games.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/17/2014 9:44:59 AM

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Underdog15
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 10:34:36 AM

Oh come now, Beam. Stereotypical characters? All your favorite games prescribe to stereotypes. Even Mass Effect. :p Convoluted story? Enter all sandbox games ever. (Nevermind the fact that it is well documented that FFXIII is heavily criticized for the convoluted story, which should indicate it's an exception) Dripping clichés? That's basically every video game ever, really, if we're honest. And pompous speeches are a staple of Bioware.

You can not like it, but maybe not for reasons anyone could criticize most games ever made for.

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Beamboom
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 11:22:24 AM

Hehe - worst part is that I actually agree with you, Underdog. Had to thumb you up for that.
BioWare is very, very VEEERY... American at times.

But you tell me then, why do I find the mentioned titles this awful?

Like WKC; It was to me nothing but a mmorpg without the players. An empty shell! And a story about saving a princess? I mean... Cuh'mon. And now we're not even talking about the many, many weird and clumsy mechanics found in that game.
Or the inability to properly explain *anything* to the player - we're just thrown in and expected to figure out everything ourselves - like we did back in the days when we pirated the games and thus missed the manual.

And while the BioWare games do have their stereotypes (cause they do indeed), at least the characters are a bit interesting and have *some* depth!
What do we have in FF13? Some kids where the girls are just big blue eyed candy floss with cute voices and the guys have these ridiculous poses and headbands and big arms, and are so one-dimensional I just... Doze off.

I mean... It's like some cheap action cartoon on one of those lower budget childrens channels.

I agree that computer games are plagued with stereotypes, cliches and bad writing, they are miles behind other media in that respect. Indeed they are, and the exceptions are far and few between.

But my impression of jrpgs are that they *indulge* in these vulgarities. They thrive on them. They don't even try to hide it. It's supposed to be like that!
And that, to me, makes them as uninteresting as other "turkeys", movies that others adore simply for being so bad.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/17/2014 11:22:49 AM

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homura
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 2:20:13 PM

Beamboom,
All of the Final Fantasy stories has universal themes and yes including FFXIII. They all tell stories about FRIENDSHIP, LOVE, HOPE, HEROISM and etc. that can be found in timeless classics like The Lord Of The Ring and Star Wars.

And the magic of Final Fantasy is that it can be played by anyone especially by young kids so Square Enix makes sure that Final Fantasy has characters those young kids can relate to. So that's why they include characters that are too cute for you. And that is also why they don't have cursed words or sex scenes in them. And they are definitely not some cheap action cartoons. And if you're talking about anime, most of them is deep.

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Underdog15
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 5:23:46 PM

Yeah, I was a big WKC advocate at the start, admittedly. But after some time, it wore on me as it's problems made itself apparent to me. At first, I was just glad to have an actual jrpg. With hindsight, however, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone anymore.

I agree about the lack of depth in FFXIII. Actually, after reading the journal entries, it became apparent someone put a ton of depth into it, but they never made it a part of the actual game... a HUGE mistake, imo.

Do you have a PSP, Beam? FF Crisis Core is a great title for PSP. The optional "missions" are WAAAYYYYYY too repetitive, and are my number one complaint. But the battle mechanic is more action-rpg, which you might enjoy on a handheld, and it's probably some of the best graphics you'll ever see on the PSP.

And the characters, while I would have liked to see more of them, were beyond satisfactory. I would recommend giving it a go since it's cheap and PSP games aren't really made any more.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 2:24:08 AM

Homura,
Indeed that's the topics of pretty much any history ever told, but that doesn't make them all good.

And I read your defence for jrpgs, I've heard them before too, but that doesn't change my stance or view. I am not a kid and need not games designed with them in mind. It has nothing to do with cursing or sex scenes, but the characters, dialogues, scenes, how a story is presented. I'm an adult and want content that I can relate to, without it being customized and filtered for children.

Underdog;
Ahh, the PSP. I do have it still but the batteries (both) are worn out so it need to be attached to the charger at all times and I doubt I even can get new batteries now even if I wanted to.
But each time I see it laying there, I am taken back to that era. It was a great time, a great companion. Whenever I was abroad and went to a gaming store, I always checked out their PSP selection first.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 6:46:33 AM

mmm I dunno, Homura. ;)

My favorite FF quote is still,

"Damn man, it's like a %&@!'ing pizza in the sky."

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aaronisbla2
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 2:35:30 PM
Reply

I need something to tide me over till tales of xillia 2 hits. It would only be my umpteenth Playthru of x. Actually I'm really getting it due to x2

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JROD0823
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 2:39:07 PM
Reply

@David,

I'll probably buy FFX HD when Square Enix removes the archaic JRPG combat system, and the constantly annoying random battle system.

Basically, if it was remade again in the vein of a western RPG, I'd be all over it.

:P

Last edited by JROD0823 on 3/16/2014 2:43:41 PM

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Underdog15
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 9:23:16 AM

Yeah... lol and I'll start playing more shooters when they decide throwing bouncy balls is more efficient than guns.

It's cute you think there is a specific JRPG combat system, and even cuter that you can't imagine a way to innovate it, even if there was.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 3/17/2014 9:24:41 AM

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JROD0823
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 8:18:27 PM

@Underdog,

I was being intentionally ignorant of the variety found in JRPGs to chafe David's keister a bit. ;)

And I did mention a way to innovate FF: Turn the series on its head and make it a WRPG.

It's cute that you found my comments so cute. :P

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Underdog15
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 8:34:46 AM

That's not innovation. That's abandoning it altogether and conforming to another formula. I'm not sure you know what it means to "innovate".

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gumbi
Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 4:21:07 PM
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Nice article. Though, you didn't need to write an article about why I should buy FFX HD :)

I mean, it's FFX, in HD, with trophies! My only debate is whether I should buy the PS3 version, the Vita version... or both!

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Underdog15
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 5:25:21 PM
Reply

One... more... sleep...

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The_iron_gecko
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 9:00:01 PM
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Hear hear!!
I literally made an account for this!

I remember getting this game back in 2002 and thought it was light years ahead of its time, on PS2.
I preordered this game on Shopto the soon as it was announced and got my copy today... Let me tell you, I am 28 now and it is still as good today on ps3 as it was when I was 16!!
I liked FFXIII... But it was a meh sort of liked and tbh has been milked for all it's worth, FFXIII-2 being the better of the 3, as Lightening was about as likeable as Hitler! Lol
The graphics, for a 12 year old game are still stunning and the voice acting is superp as is the story... Truly the last great FF in the series (not counting XI and XIV:ARR! 10/10

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