Game review: PS4 Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster - no signs of age
Fan favourite finally remastered for PlayStation 4 users, and it was worth the wait.
The Final Fantasy games are not for casual players. They're not pick-up-and-play adventures where you coast through virtual worlds. Players take on a role and fully embrace it, spending months, even years, fine-tuning their character's story arc through involving stories and immersive experiences.
Final Fantasy X was originally released on the PS2 in 2001, the first fully 3D adventure of the series, complete with a stronger focus on action. It's always been high on fans' favourite list, an ideal blend of classic FF drama, humour and exploration against new turn-based combat systems and a host of well-rounded characters.
The long-promised HD remaster finally arrived (alongside its lesser sequel) on the PS3 at the end of 2013, and now comes another upgrade, this time for the PS4 - but it's more than just a simple spit-shine.
Some players might find buying a near 15-year-old game absurd but this is a remaster in the very definition of the word, amplifying graphics to a point where the game's age is almost unnoticeable.
Characters are smoothly defined, worlds are fully formed, and everything from the background detail to the lighting system has been enhanced. There's also the soundtrack, a newly remixed version that's updated with modern times - but nostalgic fans can just as easily switch back to the original sounds.
And it's those little touches that make it a worthy rebuy: PS3-edition owners can seamlessly transfer their saved games to the new console, and the additional "international" content for those initially stuck with limited American editions make side adventures all the more exciting.
There are issues, of course - you still can't skip those overlong cut-scenes and the graphics can occasionally fizzle to the point of jaggedness - but they're minor, and with more than 100 hours of pure story spread across both games, not including your own digressive exploration, this is an incredible amount of bang for your buck.
Some might criticise the current generation of consoles for the excessive amount of overpriced remakes - but this edition of Final Fantasy shouldn't be used as an example. If you'd never heard of the game and played this PS4 edition unaware, it'd be a minor revelation - a game so well structured and beautifully designed that it stands in a similar league to modern releases.
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster (Square Enix)