: How Well Does Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Hold Up?

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How Well Does Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Hold Up?

I feel compelled to note that as I write this someone is playing the Final Fantasy X theme on a piano about 50 feet from me. There's no question this game is back in the public consciousness.

Yet I must ask, how is Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster holding up for you folks who bought it? I know a lot of you did, I can see you on my PSN friends list and it has been prominent in the comments.

Obviously fans of the original are going to enjoy it, fans of classic Final Fantasy are going to enjoy it, and I'm interested to hear from anybody who is young and new to this style of gameplay as opposed to that in XIII however what I'm most interested in here is whether or not you all think the game has aged well enough to stand up to its modern competition like Tales of Xillia, Ni No Kuni, Eternal Sonata, or even current Final Fantasy sequels.

The process for coming to a conclusion has to be different for everyone. The voice acting, dialogue, and unpolished portions of graphics (like those horrid NPCs) are going to be a drawback for sure. However most players are fully willing to forgive that provided they have the knowledge that previous to FFX there were no voices at all, the graphics were considerably less advanced, and the optimum way to view the original was on a standard definition picture-tube television set complete with scan lines. Yeah, some portions of the game were never meant to be super clear. The updated character models are really just some extra eye candy so they don't look awful, and we shouldn't complain that it ends up making NPCs look worse.

Those things haven't aged well, but I think they can easily be forgiven so long as people know that it was state of the art at the time. The gameplay is a better area for ascertaining how well FFX enters the PS3 generation. I was stunned by just how darn slow it seemed at first. I love cut scenes, especially when they take their time and develop the characters so it was nice to get back to that comfortable non-frenzied form of gaming. I'm not sure that would go over so well now. It's strange to me but people seem to just want to skip cut scenes and get back to the gameplay, but the gameplay has never been the main draw of the FF series at least until recently, it was always the story and characters before.

The battles feel slow too. Again there's nothing wrong with that, it's what I prefer. One can easily envision a newcomer getting frustrated by the pace since you can't fit each battle into a the 140 characters of a twitter post. Once I really got back into the intricacies of the battle system though, I could really see why this style of RPG gameplay should never have been abandoned.

Every character has special enemy types they are best against and you can control every character's moves, elements add a layer to magic, status changes require constant care, the sphere grid allows fine tuning and true choice in advancement that gets restricted in today's games when party members become automatic partners in battle. Weapons and armor all have special effects, need to be switched around in battle, and they actually matter. Really what difference does a poisoning or lightning defense bracer serve in a 15 second battle? Not much. In FFX you have time to set up the best strategies and the best equipment to dominate the enemy with your mind rather than your flash, quickness, or might. You need your mind too because the bad guys put up a serious fight and when you die you don't get to retry. Something is actually on the line here, and if you do survive you don't get the “benefit” of regenerating health.

The end result is an ongoing struggle though nuanced battles that bring your party to high highs and low lows. You establish those proper RPG character connections through battle after battle that simply isn't as strong in the fast and furious encounters of today.

I think once you are ensconced in the multiple intricacies of battle you see how the gameplay holds up quite well. It isn't “old-fashioned turn based,” it's a legitimate way of prosecuting encounters with various enemy forces with their own multiple strengths and weaknesses. Just as the difficulty, timing, and preciseness of action is lauded in Dark Souls, so too should the depths of FFX's strategy be respected. Since X-2 refines it further and adds another layer with the dress spheres it goes without saying that it deserves similar consideration.

Mind you, I'm not an advocate for things simply staying the same. I don't think you could release this game today, as it is, and without its classic status, and have it be the hit it was. Playing the game again though, it is easy to see that with a few tweaks and updates toward modernity we'd have a masterpiece yet again. In that sense, as the foundation of something still relevant and exciting, I believe this HD remaster holds up against the tides of time pretty darn well. Is it holding up for you?

3/27/2014 David D. Nelson

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Comments (38 posts)

LimitedVertigo
Thursday, March 27, 2014 @ 10:18:25 PM
Reply

I'm sure you've seen it's all I've been playing this past week. So much that I haven't posted much the past few days! I'm currently enjoying myself in the Omega Ruins, increasing my gil thanks to the mimics. The game holds up well enough to warrant 50hrs of gameplay from me so far and I don't intend on stopping anytime soon. I'd say that says it all. The voice acting (some of it) and animations are definitely dated but the story is one of the best you'll ever find in a game. I love this game, I loved it then and I love it just as much now.

The gameplay is incredibly addictive and rewarding. There is just so much for you to do that it never feels like you're bored with the game. Several times I've had moments of pure delight and sadly remind myself that the next big thing from the FF franchise will most likely pale in comparison to what this game offers. It didn't used to be like that...kinda sad.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, March 27, 2014 @ 10:23:21 PM

I'm tickled every time I hear the victory fanfare and see the screen where I earn my experience stuff from the battles. It's bittersweet, but mostly sweet for now. :)

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vatoloco47
Thursday, March 27, 2014 @ 10:48:09 PM
Reply

The remake is done quiet well and i don't mind the NPCs not looking the best due to how amazing this game is. Im enjoying it so much it feels like im experiencing everything for the first time. The story, game play and blitzball make this one of my favorite JRPGs of all time. And for those who haven't played i strongly suggest you do as you will see how JRPGs should be as opposed to what Final Fantasy is now :(
Now just to wait for Final Fantasy XI to be made with achievements..

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, March 27, 2014 @ 11:04:25 PM

XII

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darxed
Thursday, March 27, 2014 @ 11:27:17 PM
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"Now! This is it! Now is the time to choose! Die and be free of pain, or live and fight your sorrow! Now is the time to shape your stories! Your fate is in your hands!"

God these games still brings shivers to my spine. I played through them a lot but I had forgotten a lot of details, like the emotion Auron puts on that line and how much it gets you pumped up for the battle.

I'm always been one of the defenders of FFXIII and It's sequels, but when you compare them with games like this, the decline in every aspect of the game is evident.

I'm almost done with X, so I guess I just have like another 120 hours to go with the extra content and X-2.

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DIsmael85
Thursday, March 27, 2014 @ 11:28:35 PM
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Love it, that's all I can say. The story still holds up well 12 years later and the characters are just as likable as they were back then. This is the most fun I've had all gen with an RPG and I'm glad it's with a Final Fantasy. Brings back memories off all the previous ones. Man time sure has flown by and changed.

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Nas Is Like
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 12:04:44 AM
Reply

I tried to love the game (X) but the grid system really turned me off. Had they used a better system, I would have completed it a long time ago...probably multiple times, too.

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Underdog15
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 1:43:42 AM

Grid system is rockin'!

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LimitedVertigo
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 1:57:26 AM

F U

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Banky A
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 6:25:11 AM

Whaaaat sayyy?

Sphere Grid is the best thing since sliced Materia

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 12:15:22 AM
Reply

In some ways yes, in some ways no.

The voice acting and dialogue certainly don't, for instance. You could also argue that due to the more linear nature (especially concerning X), the games come across as very cramped and restricted. Not only are games MUCH bigger these days, but X eve felt more linear than previous FF entries due to its design.

The concept and story is still plenty deep and intriguing, and the combat mechanic and Sphere Grid will always hold up well. That's because we never really got anything better; developers opted to kill the turn-based mechanic and all the great character progression systems we've seen over the years. It didn't die out because gamers stopped playing it, and it didn't die out because it failed to compare to real-time mechanics.

It always stood apart and had its unique strengths, which is why so many still want to play it today.

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kraygen
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 12:31:22 AM
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I haven't bought it yet because I'm 100 hours deep into my current game and have about 15 purchased games I've yet to play. However I am itching to play it and have been pleased with all the comments I've read from those of you who are playing it right now.

Honestly some of these aged games are much better to me than a lot of the stuff being released right now so even though I haven't played it yet, I'm going to go ahead and bet on the positive side.

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Draguss
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 1:41:09 AM
Reply

It seems I'd been missing turn-based combat even more than I thought. After so many years, it doesn't just hold up, it feels downright refreshing.

The part where I'd say the game shows its age the most is when you have to start grinding if you want to do the superbosses. You mentioned Xillia as an example of a modern JRPG, so I'll compare with that. The hardest boss in that game was at the bottom of his own high level dungeon where the enemies gave enough exp that you didn't have to grind much to be at an adequate level. FFX has the omega ruins, but they don't get you anywhere near being high level enough for the hardest bosses without hours of mindlessly hacking away at random enemies.

Last edited by Draguss on 3/28/2014 1:42:03 AM

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LimitedVertigo
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 1:57:10 AM

If you don't feel like grinding than I strongly suggest you do the Don Tonberry or Cactuar King AP trick in the Monster Arena. Honestly though I miss games like this where there are bosses that are so insanely godlike you're forced to level your party in an extreme way. As long as these bosses aren't required to finish the main story I see no harm in making them incredibly difficult.

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Draguss
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 2:18:10 AM

I wouldn't really call them incredibly difficult. Simply requiring high stats hardly qualifies them as hard, it just means they require a lot of prep time. Personally, I found fighting braska's final aeon with adequate stats to be more difficult than nemesis. Of course, I can't really say if the same will apply to penance, this will be the first chance I have to fight him.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 11:58:34 AM

Yeah I don't think I had an ounce of trouble in Xillia

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aaronisbla2
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 3:59:13 PM

I found myself changing the difficulty the max on xillia

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Banky A
Saturday, March 29, 2014 @ 7:17:11 AM

Penance was actually hard. Dark Aeons don't compare.

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Knightzane
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 1:43:05 AM
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WAY too good. Feels good and certainly has some old fashioned feels to it but thats part of its charm. Comepletely re-inlove with the game.

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Underdog15
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 1:44:52 AM
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I feel no frustration and have absolute fun when playing it. So yeah, it holds up great.

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MrAnonymity
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 2:11:46 AM
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Well, I don't miss the voice acting and the mad, almost ventriloquist dummy, flapping of mouths (particularly when a character is excited), but... those are piecemeal compared to the experience as a whole. It feels great to be reliving such a classic that has been all gussied up.

Still... playing this only makes the yearning in my heart stronger for HD updates to games that hold even more special places in my heart; such as FFVIII.

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CH1N00K
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 2:23:25 AM
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I may have to try this again, for some reason, any of the FF's after IX never really grabbed me like the PS1 era games did..I tried to struggle through X and X-2 and just couldn't seem to get interested. Although I didn't mind XII, I never got sucked into the story like I did with VII, VIII and IX. Although with JRPG's kind of being on the decline, maybe it's time to give X and X-2 another shot..

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Banky A
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 6:39:26 AM
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My gf just got Valefor and is about to leave Besaid :) she also ound the Cloister of Trials to be EASY... and we all know how incredibly boring, clunky and unintuitive it is - especially in this age.

So happy to watch her play and other YouTube walkthroughs past her progress. This game really is joy for my senses.

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Vivi_Gamer
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 7:16:58 AM
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The game does hold up well, but I have some really big issues with this re-release.

Firstly, the image is cropped. This was very apparent in one part before the Chocobo Eater Battle. Auron walks into Rins Inn and speaks, but as he is at the bottom of the screen, he now cut off - which really made that sequence disorientating.

Another problem, this one is a surpise, I have been worried for months that the new character model of Tidus looks like a doll... well he is fine, but the really problem is Yuna. Here character model just looks really bad, graphically worse than the original PS2 version. Also, the animation for the facial experession has really been compromised and as this was a big feature in FFX's original release it does ruin some of the scenes.

Then there is the music, I don't want to be nit picking here, I actually loved the remastered version of Kingdom Hearts HD soundtrack. But in FFX it really doesn't work, the tones just really lack oomph! But what is worse is that some of the notes in the composition have been changed. Just listen to the beginning of the 'Tidus Theme', it sounds so off key at the beginning it is horrible.

That is really about it, there are great benefits to the release. The environments look fantastic! and the battle system is perfect as ever. I am at the Mi'hen High Road and I have both Wakka & Tidus with Posion Touch weapons which really makes the stat elements of this game seem engaging. I am enjoying it, but at every turn there is one or two little things which just seem off putting from the score to the animation. I beat the Sinspawn boss in Kilika and for a brief second the boss model was present before the cutscene loaded. Just little things like that which never were an issue in the original.

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Broady
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 7:46:02 AM
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Haven't got round to playing it yet!
Started Far Cry 3 a few weeks ago, and want to finish that before I start the marathon of FFX. Sure I'll love it all over again - last FF I played (in terms of timescale) was XII about 6 months ago and that held up well, even with the old graphics.
Remember the story in X being brilliant so looking forward to it, think I put about 150hrs into when it first came out and can see myself doing the same again - will just have to wait/limit myself - exams coming up for uni!

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gumbi
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 9:40:45 AM
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I don't know if it's just some hardcore nostalgia talking, seeing as this is one of my favourite games of all time. But it feels to me like FFX has not only stood up to the test of time, but it's better than many of the games I've played recently. I'm absolutely loving FFX HD. I don't have a lot of time for video games these days and for the first time in a long time, I'm MAKING time for FFX, and I'm staying up super late on worknights playing it. The last game to do that for me was Portal 2...

I LOVE this battle system. It took a while to get used to it again because I found myself rushing through the menu's at first so I could get my attacks off in a hurry. It really highlights just how stressful modern games have become. This is just plain old good time RPG fun, and I love it.

I have an HD projector and a 100" screen in my home theatre set up and this game looks stunning on it. Yuna's sending in Kilika was magical. I've seen it a hundred times and I still found myself reloading my save a few times to watch it again.

So good, so very very good. I hope they release it again in another 10 years!

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Underdog15
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 9:48:07 AM

haha I rushed through the menus the first few times, too!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 11:59:53 AM

I was doing the same thing, as if I was in danger of losing my advantage if I didn't go fast. It's a terrible leftover effect of this past generation.

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MRSUCCESS
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 12:05:30 PM
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After FF8, FF10 (not X-2 cause the interest is not there) was the FF that I enjoyed the most. It was truly a wonderful experience. I just cannot find the time to replay it because Dark Souls 2 is like a drug. A drug that I cannot wait to play this weekend.

Happy friday!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 1:21:13 PM
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What's interesting to me is that playing doesn't feel like the fun comes from nostalgia (as I thought it would) but it comes from feeling fresh.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 1:30:33 PM

I'm with that, although I'd say about 20-25% of my fun comes from nostalgia. :)

It's surprising how much DOESN'T, though. It's just because this style of gameplay simply doesn't exist on a big-budget scale anymore.

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Underdog15
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 2:59:38 PM

I feel like I'm far more involved in the development of my characters than I was in any of the XIII games, too.

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aaronisbla2
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 4:01:25 PM
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I've given up on x for now in favor of x2. That battle system especially on active mode is amazing

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Banky A
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 5:16:16 PM

Aaronisright

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streakermaximus
Saturday, March 29, 2014 @ 4:43:18 AM
Reply

One thing I've noticed that I find rather funny is that it's incredibly linear. It even has a minimap with a path you have to follow with a flashing light showing the destination. Considering the hate for FFXIII I'd have expected a bit more backlash.

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Underdog15
Saturday, March 29, 2014 @ 10:22:08 AM

That's silliness. You can revisit pretty much any area in FFX. The arrow is a bit of a crutch, but you are not forced to go where they tell you to go if you'd rather try some other things. It still has the end game side quests that let you revisit everywhere if you want to.

FFXIII got flack for the first 10 or so chapters basically being levels action-adventure levels. Once you beat it, that's it... level 2 is finished... no more replaying that level.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 3/29/2014 10:23:29 AM

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ProfPlayStation
Saturday, March 29, 2014 @ 8:33:56 PM

More than being just a path in FFXIII, what really made me dislike that game world was the feeling that you weren't getting to see any of it. You weren't able to interact with any of its inhabitants. You weren't able to take in the local flavor of various towns. You weren't able to revisit areas later on. You always felt like an observer, on the outside looking in, but never involved. All you did was walk down a very long, very boring hallway, with nothing to do but hit "Auto Battle."

In any JRPG, the immersiveness of the game world is one of the most important aspects, and FFX nailed it. You grew to know and love the world of Spira. You chatted up all the passers-by. You visited the local shopkeepers. You watched kids chasing dogs around. Raced chocobos. Played Blitzball. Collected the Al Bhed primers. Found hidden areas. Came back to areas to see how the inhabitants were faring as the game progressed. It felt like a place you would enjoy visiting.

Frankly, I'm still not sure how FFXIII's world even functions. Do the people live on the inside of a sphere? On the outside? In tiered levels? One part of the world would contradict another part, and the datalog would only confuse things further; and there were no people to ask... It was uninteresting, confusing, boring.

Last edited by ProfPlayStation on 3/29/2014 8:36:06 PM

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glets86
Sunday, March 30, 2014 @ 4:10:29 PM
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Bought Limited Edition, one of my most favorite games of all time!

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