A Polished Masterpiece

User Rating: 9 | Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster VITA

A nifty polish of one of the most popular titles in the most inaccurately-monikered series ever, this remaster of Final Fantasy X should please fans who fancy revisiting Spira but don't want to dig out their PS2. Even X-2 is a bit more palatable this time around. The tonal shift from frugal traditionalism to kawaii bling, something that discombobulated fans before, is easier to stomach, maybe due to having over a decade to digest it.

This is a remaster, so they (obviously) still look like PS2 games, but a lot of effort’s been put into the restoration. It runs at a solid 30 frames per second, the maps have been touched up (skyboxes and backdrops look lovely) and there are new lighting and shadowing effects to give it a bit of zest. Also it’s all 1080p, with rough edges appearing to have been smoothed too.

The playable character models have also been upgraded, and they still look fairly expressive. Some of the NPCs look a bit hi-res N64 GoldenEye, but that’s to be expected: redoing all of them to the same degree would probably be a Sisyphean feat.

These are the same games though, warts and all. You still have atrocious voice acting, unskippable cutscenes and (worst of all) Blitzball, but you can just sort of nostalgically chuckle and roll your eyes about it all now, rather than get in a proper tizzy.

It’s a comprehensive package too. There’s an absolutely incomprehensible audio drama, a short film showing what happened before X-2, and even a roguelike minigame – 'Final Fantasy X-2 Last Mission' – which is good little distraction. It’s definitely the definitive Final Fantasy X experience.

These games still hold up, and this remaster is worth a go if you’re willing to put up with the potentially fatal combination of unskippable cutscenes.