A classic remastered title that’s still as good as ever.
Little secret titbit about me, i’m a massive fan of the Final Fantasy franchise it was super hard to pick one to review, but after some consideration FFX-HD Remaster won the day for a number of reasons. This was actually quite a lot harder to write about than what I initially hoped it would be, not because I have tons of bad stuff to say about it but more I have so many good stuff that I had to watch my word count, as this game just has all the right stuff and made it way to easy to ramble on forever about the sheer awesomeness of it.
Being a Final Fantasy title this was a solo play, even though they actually made a Final Fantasy XIV Online version that I will review at a later date, as pretty much stuck with all the titles in this franchise as they have always delivered games that just satisfy any and all aspects one might crave in a game. Luckily FFX was released on steam so everyone who did not own a Playstation could also pick it up and enjoy this absolutely amazing game and just experience, now if they can just do it with all the other ones life would be great.
The Main Protagonist and the NPC’s
After quite a breath-taking intro scene casting some major spotlight on the character you will control (although you will be able to control all Guardians in your group) you play as Tidus (or whoever you decide to be as you can rename you main character), star Blitzball player of the Zanarkand Abes, one of the most if not only sport played in this game, luckily you will be able to try your luck at this as a little extra “mini-game” in the main game. Where in short a super being (Main Boss) “Sin” shows up in your world, destroying anything and everything in site, sucking everything into some spherical vacuum leading to an unknown origin. Where after all the destruction and chaos (along with short combat and game control tutorial) you are teleported to a place called Spira (the world you will be exploring). Now before I get to carried away with the amazing character introduction and start re-telling the whole game story let me just keep it short and say, Tidus along with the other Guardians will have such a depth of character development and story that (for me at least) you feel such a connection as you progress that I found myself do more than just tear up as you reach some heart wrenching scenes in the game, which is so rare where they have gotten the character depth so spot-on that it was just impossible to find any fault whatsoever, and this was the case with every character. Even the main Foe(for lack of better word) will awaken some feelings of rage and general anger in you when he appears, but at least you will be able to transfer that anger and hate into a good old fashioned beat down.
Gameplay and Map
Gameplay wise and Map wise there will also be no disappointment, granted that the story and exploration is very linear. They have made the map big enough with a few little hidden easter eggs you can search for while cruising in your Airship (although you wont directly control the ship sadly). The visuals are just absolutely stunning, with a significant increase in graphics from the original, allowing those who crave the beauty games have to offer nowadays and fulfilling those needs with absolute ease. Getting into gameplay, I loved the winning recipe the franchise has been known for, it comes in the form of “turn based combat”. Granted it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, it allows you to strategize your attacks and swop out characters as need to in order to give you the upper hand in the fight. Along with that they have given you enough freedom to explore all the maps without feeling rushed to complete the game or progress to the next part of the story, the levelling system was one of my favourites in the franchise so far, introducing this spherical type of system, unlocking new skills and spells to increase you Guardians power. With that if you felt one character would do well having another Guardians skills, it allows you to gain their skills to make the ultimate Guardian. The control of you characters in combat or general exploration is also smooth, without much that can happen to make you do the wrong thing. I loved how every area i explore had it’s own unique identity and history, where they did an amazing job not to make it all feel repetitious and a case of seen one area on the map, seen them all. The variety of elements in general in this game and sometimes the scale of it to will in many instances (again for me) just stop what you are doing and take in the grandeur of where you are. The team who did the levels and artistry in this game deserve a massive pat on the back for a job very well done. This was one of the most involving and immersive games in the sense of, I just couldn’t stop playing as you don’t want to abandon the characters in their quest, along with just wanting to experience the group interactions and shenanigans that they get up to.
This game is quite old so doubt I will have any spoilers at this point. So taking off from where I ended in my introduction, after being propelled into Spira by a being everyone refers to as “Sin” (I won’t get into the story of who he is and spoil it if there are some who still haven’t enjoyed this title) you then after quite some back-story and character introduction meet “Yuna”, a Summoner who controls what we have always known them as “GF’s” amazingly powerful creatures that will aid you in your fight, where the story really starts kicking off, now again I had to stop myself with this paragraph in just rambling on and putting the whole story down in words. That was just the base premise of the game, with the story being incredibly in depth. And by in depth I mean this game and story will bring you to physical tears. I cannot hamper enough on how incredible I felt this story was and how well it was put together, I wish I could use a reference in here but that will be a spoiler of sorts….Ahh what the heck I’m just going to drop this one in. This was one of the few games that deviates away from the normal happy endings we all like to see and experience in games, granted this does not give away the ending, it does show that they really have gone that extra mile to build you up and get you involved and then just burst that happy bubble. There was however a silver lining to this all, it came in the form of FFX-2, where you will find that happy ending and as a bonus for buying the Remaster edition you get that one along with FFX so you will be able to pick up the pieces and see how it all ended in the greater scheme of things, but let’s stick with FFX for now. The story will not disappoint anyone, with a winning recipe of twists and turns to keep everyone hooked. The story never felt like it got boring or dragged out to long, as they brought in enough variation and deviations to the main story (that all intertwine in the end) to produce an even more explosive and climatic ending to the game. This game leaves me speechless in trying to describe how the creators of this franchise have always managed to deliver on a great story, showing it is indeed possible to alter someone’s feelings with a well developed bunch of characters and experiences those in game characters have to go through.
If epic storylines along with comfortable and controlled action is your poison, then I cannot recommend this game enough, I don’t have enough fingers and toes on my body to count the amount of times I have actually re-played this game, and bulk of the other Final Fantasy titles on my aging consoles(which is why I’m hoping for pc remakes of all of them), even though the outcomes are pre-determined and the storylines are linear by nature, I go back for the characters, just to have those interactions with them all again. This was one game where I wish it was possible to make this an ever evolving game and having it last forever, but then it would have destroyed what was so beautiful about it. This will really bring so much joy every second you spend playing it, and hopefully have you so hooked that you also find yourself re-playing the game a number of times, there just is not fault to find whatsoever with this game, with every nail being hit on the head, every box being checked and over-filled with what look for in a good game. Even if you did not grow up with the heart breakers like FFVII and FFVIII, they don’t all tie in together and can all be enjoyed as a standalone experience, one I would highly recommend. If something more graphical and today is your thing (with some limitations to what they could do remastering a title) I would suggest you get your hands on this, just so you can experience something great and worth it in my opinion.