COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster Limited Edition PS3 Review

Created: 03/14/2014 4:04 PM By: Aaron Chalich

Photo courtesy of Square Enix
Photo courtesy of Square Enix

When Square Enix’s “Final Fantasy X” (2001) and “Final Fantasy X-2” (2003) were released for the PS2 they were a huge hit.  The graphics looked absolutely amazing and the “Final Fantasy X’s” were the best looking games at the time than any other game in my opinion.

“Final Fantasy X” and “Final Fantasy X-2” were first released in Japan, and then they were released in the United States shortly after.  The international versions of “Final Fantasy X” and “Final Fantasy X-2” had some content in the game that was left out of the American versions. 

This past weekend I got the opportunity to play a review copy of Square Enix’s “Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster Limited Edition” for the PS3 and it is awesome and now all of the international content is available for us to play.

The content that included in “Final Fantasy X” is the Expert Sphere Grid, Dark Aeons & Penance, and “Eternal Calm”.

In “Final Fantasy X-2” there were two dresspheres called “Psychic and Festivalist that were in the game.  The dresspheres give the characters special abilities that can be used when fighting in battles.  There was also a creature creator where you could set traps and capture creatures in the game and use them to help you in battles.  Another neat feature that was in the international versions was the Fiend Arena tournaments.  You could take the creatures you captured and fight them or have them fight against each other.  There is also the “The Last Mission.”

I thought that it was awesome that all of the extra content was included, and it is great to finally get a chance to play “Final Fantasy X” and “Final Fantasy X-2” in their original forms.

I mentioned earlier that when “Final Fantasy X” and “Final Fantasy X-2” were released on the PS2 the graphics looked fabulous and were the best looking graphics I had seen at the time.  I never thought that they could look better, and boy was I wrong.  With the new HD remastered versions the games look stunning, and it’s like playing both “Final Fantasy” games for the first time.  The colors are brighter and sharper.  The character models in both games have been enhanced, and they look like they could just jump right out of the screen.

The cinematic cut scenes will blow you away. The backgrounds have all been redone and touched up and look fabulous in HD.

The audio is also amazing and has been redone in both games.  More than 60 tracks from the original “Final Fantasy X” soundtrack has been remastered in HD audio.

When “Final Fantasy X/X-2” loads you can choose to play “Final Fantasy X,” “Final Fantasy X “Eternal Calm,” “Final Fantasy X-2,” “Final Fantasy X-2: Last Mission,” or “Credits and Bonus Audio.”

The credits and bonus audio is awesome.  It is a brand new 30-minute audio drama that was written by Kazushige Nojima.  The audio drama plays while the credits appear on the screen.  As the audio drama is playing and credits are rolling, art from “Final Fantasy X” and “Final Fantasy X-2” appears on the screen.  It is really awesome to see some of the early sketches from the games.  I know fans will really enjoy this a lot.

I played both games, and the game play is pretty much the same as before, however, there are the added international features that I mentioned earlier.

One thing that I know fans will really enjoy is that there is a 24 page art book that comes packaged with “Final Fantasy X” and “Final Fantasy X-2” that is awesome.  It features a forward that is written by Yoshinori Kitcase who is the original producer of “Final Fantasy.”  Another thing that I really enjoyed about the art book is that there is a sentence or two talking about the sketch by the artist that drew it.   I would also like to mention that the game disc fits into the back of the book, so that’s cool.

Overall I thought that Square- Enix’s “Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster Limited Edition” for the PS3 was awesome.  The games looked and sounded amazing and it is really awesome to play both “Final Fantasy” games with all of the content that was featured in the international versions.  I know that fans of the “Final Fantasy” games are really going to enjoy this a lot, and I feel that this game is a must have in anyone’s collection.

“Final Fantasy X/X-2” is rated “T” for mild blood, mild language, suggestive themes and language.

*“The free review copy was provided by Square Enix for review purposes”

Aaron Chalich is a entertainment columnist.