Final Fantasy X HD Impressions

Posted by lordgodalming (167 posts) -

I've been living in Japan for the last 18 months, teaching English, learning Japanese, and building up my "import" game collection. Final Fantasy X & X-2 HD came out on Dec. 26, but is still sold out in most stores, even out in the sticks, where I live. Today I found a PS3 copy at last, and, as there have not been many English write ups about this game yet, I'd like to share my experiences so far for anyone who is interested.

Let me begin by saying, as I have said before, that FFX is my favorite game of all time. I've finished it several times, including all possible optional quests and bosses. In fact, I've even played it (legally) in 1080p on my PC with the PCSX2 emulator. So as someone who is very familiar with Final Fantasy X, I can't BELIEVE how much work Square Enix put into this game. Holy balls. This is no simple upscaling. Every character, every 2D and 3D background texture, every menu, every cutscene, all the music, has received a substantial facelift. It just blows away the original game, even running in HD on a PC emulator. Hats off to Square's art department.

That being said, the voices and character animations remain the same, so if you thought those were awkward before...then actually they're even MORE awkward now because of the improved art assets. But never mind. The game looks and feels as if Square Enix wanted give fans the same feeling in 2013 that they had when they first booted it up in 2001.

A more controversial aspect of new version is trophy support. Personally I like trophies and achievements. The way I see it, I'm going to finish the Monster Arena anyway, so I might as well get a trophy for doing it, right? But dang, Square is not giving up that Platinum Trophy without a fight. The trophy list will make die hard fans weep with delight/rage. You have to get all Celestial Weapons (even f*&$ing Kimahri's), win all Monster Arena battles and all Blitzball tournaments. Then there's the International Version additions, including the Dark Aeons and Penance. I'm projecting a minimum 80 hours for that Platinum Trophy, and that's for people who already know what they're doing in the endgame battles. For everyone else, see you on Gamefaqs!

And guess what, the list for X-2 is even MORE appalling. Getting 100% completion (which took me three attempts on PS2) is only the tip of the iceberg, folks.

Finally, if I were reading this, there would be one more question I would want answered: Should I import or wait for March? The only real downside to this release is that, unlike the original International Version, it only has Japanese language support. But if you know some Japanese, go for it. My Japanese isn't great, but it's gotten me through Monster Hunter, Lightning Returns, and a handful of other games. And if you're already familiar with FFX, that will make things even easier.

Thanks for reading. I'll keep an eye on the forums and try to answer any questions. Happy New Year!

#1 Edited by Bones8677 (3241 posts) -

Wait, I'm a little confused. You're teaching English and yet aren't great at Japanese? Is communicating with your students difficult?

#2 Edited by SamStrife (1282 posts) -

I hope the Vita version looks and runs nice. That version (for me personally) is the one I want to play the most, just hope it doesn't suffer technically.

#3 Posted by lordgodalming (167 posts) -

Wait, I'm a little confused. You're teaching English and yet aren't great at Japanese? Is communicating with your students difficult?

You're really asking several questions there, but the short answer is that I never speak Japanese to my students. Even if I were fluent in Japanese, I would keep all classes in English. In fact, that is why so many English speakers like me are teaching in Japan. The Japanese Ministry of Education wants every school in the country to have classes taught all in English by native speakers. It's an educational philosophy called the Communicative Approach.

As for my Japanese, I said that it isn't great, which is true. But it also isn't terrible. I can hold regular conversations and read at about the 5th grade level, and I'm still studying to get better.

#4 Posted by lordgodalming (167 posts) -

I hope the Vita version looks and runs nice. That version (for me personally) is the one I want to play the most, just hope it doesn't suffer technically.

I can't speak to how the Vita version looks, but there's no question that it's the more popular one in Japan. The PS3 version was hard to find, but the Vita version is sold out EVERYWHERE.

#5 Posted by Fattony12000 (7410 posts) -

#6 Posted by dudeglove (7846 posts) -

Big deal about blitzball. It's broken the moment you get your hands on the airship pilot and a couple of other techs. Though I still wasting dozens of hours on it...

#7 Edited by SamStrife (1282 posts) -

Oh shit, that's quite a considerable difference between the two versions! Even when you consider that the Vita version has been blown up on a TV to 1080p, it's still pretty extreme.

That being said, I'd rather sacrifice all the graphics in the world for the ability to play it on my Vita, so it's still a no brainer as to which version to get.

#8 Posted by Rorie (2896 posts) -

Got a Vita mostly for this. Hopefully it's good! Hopefully they'll give FFXII the same treatment at some point.

Staff
#9 Posted by Brackynews (4083 posts) -

Pleased to hear the positive diagnosis!

I very, very nearly played an ISO of the International edition years ago, but never dug in.

#10 Posted by Barrock (3533 posts) -

Wait, I'm a little confused. You're teaching English and yet aren't great at Japanese? Is communicating with your students difficult?

From what I've heard, they actually encourage you to learn very little Japanese.

#11 Posted by Fattony12000 (7410 posts) -

@samstrife: Yup, got ma Vita pre order on as soon as it went live on ShopTo. There's just something so alluring about having a game that big on something so portable. I still think it pretty amazing that I could play FFVII on my PSP all those years ago.

@rorie: Yeah, I'd love to have nicely ported version of XII on a handheld. Mmhmm.

#12 Posted by TrafalgarLaw (1118 posts) -

@fattony12000: Please put that picture away, it creeps me out how they've botche Fran in it...

#13 Edited by cloudymusic (1111 posts) -

You have to beat Penance for the platinum? Well, guess I'm never getting that one.

EDIT: The "complete the sphere grid with all characters" is pretty annoying, too. FFXIII had one like that, and it's not hard at all, it just requires a ton of needless grinding. You don't even need to max out every character's grid to beat Penance (just three characters' grids). SE really needs to work on their achievement design a bit, because there's a difference between achieving something difficult and simple tedium.

#14 Edited by TheBlue (366 posts) -

@rorie: I COMPLETELY SUPPORT THAT. XII is one of my favorites.

#15 Edited by Melvargh (494 posts) -

@rorie said:

Got a Vita mostly for this. Hopefully it's good! Hopefully they'll give FFXII the same treatment at some point.

@theblue said:

@rorie: I COMPLETELY SUPPORT THAT. XII is one of my favorites.

@fattony12000 said:

@samstrife: Yup, got ma Vita pre order on as soon as it went live on ShopTo. There's just something so alluring about having a game that big on something so portable. I still think it pretty amazing that I could play FFVII on my PSP all those years ago.

@rorie: Yeah, I'd love to have nicely ported version of XII on a handheld. Mmhmm.

Final Fantasy XII is my favourite, just ahead of, next to, or behind X (depending on the day) , but I'd rather have a beautiful 1080p version on a console than on a handheld.

On topic, this looks rad, I'll probably pick it up at some point.

#16 Edited by Fattony12000 (7410 posts) -
@melvargh said:
@fattony12000 said:

@samstrife: Yup, got ma Vita pre order on as soon as it went live on ShopTo. There's just something so alluring about having a game that big on something so portable. I still think it pretty amazing that I could play FFVII on my PSP all those years ago.

@rorie: Yeah, I'd love to have nicely ported version of XII on a handheld. Mmhmm.

Final Fantasy XII is my favourite, just ahead of, next to, or behind X (depending on the day) , but I'd rather have a beautiful 1080p version on a console than on a handheld.

On topic, this looks rad, I'll probably pick it up at some point.

Here's two hours of a guy playing/talking about the PS Vita version. Just in case, y'know, you wanted to see that sort of thing.

#totesrad

#17 Posted by Bocam (3750 posts) -

The HD release reminded me of how bad the Japanese voices are.

#18 Posted by lordgodalming (167 posts) -

@barrock said:

@bones8677 said:

Wait, I'm a little confused. You're teaching English and yet aren't great at Japanese? Is communicating with your students difficult?

From what I've heard, they actually encourage you to learn very little Japanese.

My program does not discourage learning Japanese, but you're right, some of them certainly do.

#19 Edited by Darji (5294 posts) -

@melvargh said:

@rorie said:

Got a Vita mostly for this. Hopefully it's good! Hopefully they'll give FFXII the same treatment at some point.

@theblue said:

@rorie: I COMPLETELY SUPPORT THAT. XII is one of my favorites.

@fattony12000 said:

@samstrife: Yup, got ma Vita pre order on as soon as it went live on ShopTo. There's just something so alluring about having a game that big on something so portable. I still think it pretty amazing that I could play FFVII on my PSP all those years ago.

@rorie: Yeah, I'd love to have nicely ported version of XII on a handheld. Mmhmm.

Final Fantasy XII is my favourite, just ahead of, next to, or behind X (depending on the day) , but I'd rather have a beautiful 1080p version on a console than on a handheld.

On topic, this looks rad, I'll probably pick it up at some point.

Also they should do the Zodiac Edition which was even more enjoyable due to different classes and different license boards for each class.

#20 Posted by Beforet (2921 posts) -

@darji said:

@melvargh said:

@rorie said:

Got a Vita mostly for this. Hopefully it's good! Hopefully they'll give FFXII the same treatment at some point.

@theblue said:

@rorie: I COMPLETELY SUPPORT THAT. XII is one of my favorites.

@fattony12000 said:

@samstrife: Yup, got ma Vita pre order on as soon as it went live on ShopTo. There's just something so alluring about having a game that big on something so portable. I still think it pretty amazing that I could play FFVII on my PSP all those years ago.

@rorie: Yeah, I'd love to have nicely ported version of XII on a handheld. Mmhmm.

Final Fantasy XII is my favourite, just ahead of, next to, or behind X (depending on the day) , but I'd rather have a beautiful 1080p version on a console than on a handheld.

On topic, this looks rad, I'll probably pick it up at some point.

Also they should do the Zodiac Edition which was even more enjoyable due to different classes and different license boards for each class.

If they give 12 the HD treatment then that is surely what they'll do. It's the "definitive version" or whatever you want to call it, and it would be a bad idea for them not to.

#21 Posted by Sterling (2285 posts) -

I wonder how many people are flipping out that they haven't done this with VII yet.

Online
#22 Posted by Yummylee (21636 posts) -

Completely unrelated, but... don't suppose you've also played Tales of Symphonia Chronicles over there have you? :P Y'know, that other JRPG classic HD re-release that seemingly no one gives a shit about but me D=

#23 Posted by Superkenon (1433 posts) -

@yummylee: I care...!

Sadly, it looks like it was upscaled with less heart than this FFX re-release. Still exciting just for the previously Japan-only content though.

That's my main draw for FFX HD too. Expert Sphere Grid, yayuh!

#24 Edited by Dallas_Raines (2161 posts) -

@beforet: Do you think they'll include a short story about banging a headless corpse with that one as well? I sure hope so.

#25 Posted by Cybexx (1172 posts) -

Thanks for the impressions, I'm looking forward to the English version.

From that PS Vita video it looks like they cropped the pre-rendered cut-scenes to fit the 16:9 aspect ratio, I didn't expect them to re-render those but they look okay. It's hard to tell if that artifacting is from upscaling, youtube compression or possibly video compression specific to the Vita version but it looks okay for something rendered over a decade ago for 640x480 theoretically cropped to 640x360 and upscaled. Too good in fact, they must have had a hi-res source renders lying around that they used for this.

#26 Edited by Brackynews (4083 posts) -

@sterling said:

I wonder how many people are flipping out that they haven't done this with VII yet.

That doesn't matter to Square, because they know the same people will flip out even more at the slightest "imperfection". There literally is no pleasing and no winning over the VII fan contingent. The dogs are too hungry not to bite the hand.

#27 Posted by Necrotron (19 posts) -

Great to hear your thoughts on the HD version, thanks for your write-up.

#28 Posted by lordgodalming (167 posts) -

Great to hear your thoughts on the HD version, thanks for your write-up.

You're welcome, thanks for reading!

#29 Edited by MechaFM (4 posts) -

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