Revisiting Final Fantasy X - Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster - PlayStation 3 - www.GameInformer.com
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Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster

Revisiting Final Fantasy X

I've been waiting for the right time to step back into Spira. Final Fantasy X remains one of my most beloved Final Fantasy games, but I'll admit I was a bit hesitant to return to it. The game is so intertwined with my early days of the PlayStation 2 because it redefined my expectations for games in terms of graphics and cinematic storytelling; setting a new bar. Obviously, I knew going back I wouldn't feel that way, even with the fresh coat of paint with HD enhancements. I've seen so much innovation in video games and technology since then. Thankfully, that wasn't the only thing that attracted me to Final Fantasy X. I've always been enamored with how heavy the tale becomes during Yuna's plight and how the cast grows together to support her through it.

Stepping back into Final Fantasy X's world reminds me how breathtaking Spira is; the land is inviting with its bright and warm colors. Right away, Tidus is in all his hotshot glory, signing autographs while on his way to a blitzball game. I'm reminded from the get-go how much I enjoy the Tidus' narration. But let me be frank, he still grates on me. I sigh and laugh just as much - if not more - at his obvious angst and daddy issues. But I know it's all for a bigger payoff and character growth in the story. In fact, I wish more RPGs gave a glimpse into characters' minds and their true feelings during certain situations. You can never know what someone is thinking, so I appreciate not having to assume it.

After all these years, I still find myself in awe by Final Fantasy X's opening. Auron looks like a complete badass as he calmly walks through the streets as Sin is about to destroy Zanarkand. The way Sin's attack parallels an intense blitzball game on Tidus' end is still fascinating. The energy and gravity of what is about to occur is all-consuming. You can't look away, and the game gets you right in the middle of it quickly, barely giving you a moment to catch your breath. More RPGs need to put the pedal to the metal like this. Final Fantasy X has a good flow of action, even when you're still trying to get all your party members.

Playing through again I can also understand why Final Fantasy X gets a lot of flak for its awkward scene direction. I agree a lot of the characters' mannerisms can be unrealistic and jarring, and it hits me even more playing now. However, the awkwardness works for Tidus and Yuna, since they're both in that googly eye, 'I have a crush on you' stage. I'll still even defend that awkward laughing scene. After seeing it again in full context, it's still cringeworthy, but it also says so much about the burden that Yuna has as a spirit summoner. I still find myself smirking throughout as Tidus tries to play it cool with Yuna but still comes off as a big dork. I appreciate these lighthearted moments because it's a feeling we all can relate to.

The small moments stuck out to me the most during my recent playthrough. I'll always remember how I wanted to make Wakka a hero as he said goodbye to blitzball, the trek through the seemingly endless Mi'ihen Highroad, spending my time dodging lightning bolts and racing chocobos for ultimate weapons, and watching Wakka and Lulu come to terms with the loss of his brother. I will admit I was more engaged with blitzball in my previous years. I just don't have the patience for it now; it's too slow-paced for my taste. But that doesn't take away from what it does for the world. Part of what I love about Final Fantasy X is that it takes common staples of life, like spirituality and sports, and creates its own takes on them. That's part of what's so immersive about it; you're doing all you can to understand this world's rules and how it plays into the main storyline. The sense of discovery of the foreign land speaks for itself.

Revisiting this high-definition Spira is thrilling and brings memories flooding back, but I'm also taking away new insights. Even more powerful is seeing how some elements remain their full potency. I still find that Yuna's role adds a sorrow to the journey that's hard to ignore. As a spirit summoner, she has to dance when people die to help their souls move on. She can't be her own person; she's strapped to this role. Going through the Cloister of Trials and seeing Tidus ascend from a selfish kid to her guardian still greatly impacts me. Every so often, it's great to revisit games you loved as it further cements why you fell in love with them in the first place. The beautifully remastered continent of Spira and the dark story it carries are just as enthralling as ever.

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Comments
  • I'm having trouble going back. I loved it at the time, and the combat system was fun. But I keep thinking I'm ignoring all its negatives in my memory.
  • Thanks for the recap of the story, but that's it, nothing on how the HD makes it different beside graphics. Is there anything new in it or just updated?
  • Tidus sucks. Like the story.

    Except for Auron. He's BA.

  • The genius of FFX is that it takes its time telling a well crafted story, and it doesn't lose its focus. The narrative takes its time 'peeling the onion' if you will. We know who the villain is but we get to see him evolve into the monster we know he'll become. The only thing I think is a weakness is the airship. I so wanted to fly that thing. We haven't gotten to do that in a very long time.
  • I actually like the laughing scene. I've always gotten an "I can act like a complete dork and this person still likes me" feel from the scene. I'm really looking forward to getting back to Spira myself as well.

  • I do love FFX and I'm very excited to return to this game. After logging 500+ hrs into this game I still haven't gotten bored with it. However I do wish they story of X-2 was different. I think the story of X should have ended there. x-2 would have been amazing if instead it was the story/adventure of Jecht, Braska, and Auron! I know you get to see flashbacks of their adventure but I would love to see Jecht in action firsthan!
  • I'm gonna buy as many of these as I can so I can compare them to the FF13 series, I like 13 and 13-2 but I only played 7 and I need to play more to compare and see why everyone seems to look back on previous games as the glory days. I'm kinda sick of the complaints so I gotta see for myself.
  • FFX is the reason why i love RPG now. this game was my introduction to RPG and as a gamer who loves first person shooters, i wasn't really expecting to like it. i started playing after my cousin let me borrow his copy for a week. i ended up liking FFX so much that i bought my own copy before the week was over, and i've been a fan of the series since. i'm looking forward to visiting Spira all over again and since it's been a while since i've last played, i'm sure i will enjoy the experience.

  • I can't wait to dive back into this game...Never have beat it. I got almost to the end (I think, lol), and then I lost my save file. It really disheartens a gamer to lose all that progress. That's the same reason I've never finished VIII.
  • FFX was my first FF game and I adored it. Still my favorite in the series and probably in my top 5 PS2 games.

  • few more weeks....

  • I played FF X but never beat it. I spoiled myself by watching the ending and I shed some manly tears. What a sad ending.

  • The voice acting at some points still makes me cringe a little bit, I went back and played it on my PS2 not too long ago, and it's not really the voice actors themselves (most of them, especially Tara Strong as Rikku, hit a voice for their character perfectly), but the delivery. There are odd cuts, strange inflections, and some points in the game where the dialog just grates on the nerves. I still love the game, and I have a bunch of fond memories, but it definitely suffered being in the middle of a voice acting transitional phase for RPG's. In it's original NA form the main quest is also way too easy.
  • There are so many great aspects to this game. The monster arena, the sphere grid, and the great item crafting system were some of the reasons I played this game for hundreds and hundreds of hours.

    Quite a few of the cutscenes are almost unwatchable, Seymour's especially. Once you got the utlimate weapons you basically enter God mode, but it feels nice to wield so much power over some of this game's enemies (ehem Master Tonberry).

    I look forward to playing this game once again.

  • I cannot wait to play this. I've never played it and I wish to experience all the magic for myself the first time!

  • I don't remember Tidus ever being selfish....

  • Whatever occurred with that FF8 replay Ms. Wallace was going to do? Mr. Ryckert's father cannot have a monopoly on playing games he hates for our amuse--...education!

  • there are several games I wanted to revisit, suikoden II might be a good start.

  • You know, as much as that laughing scene gets crap, I would take that over Hope from FF XIII any day. All I wanted was for Sazh to shoot that kid in the face the whole game..
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