Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster review for PS4

Platform: PS4
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix
Medium: Blu-ray/Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

So it?s only been a little over a year since I reviewed Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster on PS3, and I don?t have much to really add on the base experience for either game. They?re both a lot of fun, hold up surprisingly well, and are remarkably different experiences from one another. If it?s been some time since you?ve played a Final Fantasy anything, I think this package of two excellent entries in the series is worth picking up.

Obviously, the biggest question in regards to this PS4 version of the game, is how much of an upgrade are we talking here? The PS3 HD set already looked pretty great, with some clear work being done on the environment and character models throughout the game. But yes, there was still some muddy texture work present, and like most HD collections, it was clear that both games originated on older hardware.

final fantasy X HD 001That?s still somewhat the case here. Nobody is going to mistake either Final Fantasy X or X-2 as modern games on PS4. But as much as the PS3 version of this collection managed to improve upon the original visually, the PS4 version tweaks those improvements just a bit further. The big standouts this time are the improvements to various NPCs and monsters, which will be pretty noticeable to just about anyone playing. The NPCs aren?t improved across the board, but it?s easy enough to compare screens between versions and see things like finger definition that weren?t present in the PS3 version of the game. Granted, these aren?t huge improvements, but they?re improvements nonetheless.

Also worth noting is the inclusion of the original soundtrack for Final Fantasy X, which was removed in favor of the remastered tracks on PS3. You have both versions present on PS4, and can switch between them via the in-game menu whenever you want. Of course, all the additional content found in the PS3 collection is still present here, which serves to provide an additional epilogue to Final Fantasy X-2 and bridge the gap between Final Fantasy X and X-2. If you?re looking for a more technical analysis than what I?m able to deliver, I?d urge you to check out the Digital Foundry breakdown over at Eurogamer, which gives you some good visual markers for what the PS4 version brings to the table.

Final Fantasy X2 HD 001Of course, I?d be remiss to point out that there are a couple issues with this version of the collection unfortunately. One of which, the fixed RNG, is something that may or may not impact your enjoyment of the game depending on how you tend to tackle games like Final Fantasy X. RNG, for those unfamiliar, is the random number generator that dictates when attacks land, how much damage a hit does, and a kajillion other things within the game that?s based on random numbers. Generally, with most games, this is randomized to some degree, so that your experience will differ when replaying sections or reloading save states. From what I understand, based on the research of others, this version of Final Fantasy X on PS4 suffers from fixed RNG, locking you into set patterns regardless of how many times you reload or replay a section of the game.

Honestly, this doesn?t have much of an impact on me, at least not the way I?ve played the game on my initial run through. I?m not much of a min/maxer when it comes to RPGs, and quite honestly, if this hadn?t been pointed out to me, I doubt I ever would have noticed. But for those of you that do care, obviously this sucks, and ideally it?ll get fixed or patched. I don?t know that Square Enix has the best track record with actually fixing issues like this though, so if you know that fixed RNG will bother you while playing, then clearly I?d wait on picking this up until SE announces some sort of fix, instead of assuming that they?ll eventually get to it.

Final Fantasy X2 HD 002The other issue with this release, and one that was pretty noticeable to me, is a soundtrack related bug that causes the field/town music to reset after every encounter. Encounters are frequent enough that this means you?ll get about 10 to 15 seconds worth of music, provided you?re not standing still, before entering a battle and having the music restart once you exit. It?s not the biggest annoyance in the world, but considering how solid the FFX soundtrack is, it?s disappointing. Thankfully, it doesn?t seem to be an issue that persists with FFX-2.

All in all, I still feel like this is a collection that?s worth checking out, provided you haven?t already blitzed through both games on PS3 or PS Vita. The upgrades are nice, but not so big as to warrant another purchase a year later. And the RNG and soundtrack issues related to FFX are also another reason for not double-dipping with this compilation. But if you?ve managed to hold off on playing through the previous releases, there?s little reason to not give both games a go on PS4.

Grade: B+