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Final Fantasy X & X-2 (HD) News
For Playstation 3 and Playstation Vista
On this page, I've been posting news, old-vs-new screencap comparisons, trailers and more on the Final Fantasy X/X-2 (HD) remake -- which turns out to be a remaster -- since Square-Enix first announced the project in September 2011.
Right: Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD logo plus my before-and-after comparison of opening FMV. See below for many more screencaps.
UPDATE: FFX/X-2 HD was released in North America on March 18, 2014.
FFX/X-2 (HD) is bundled for PS3, separate on Vita. Remastered soundtracks (I like 'em so far.)Remaster includes International Version content of both games (not previously released in the U.S.): Expert Sphere Grid (optional), Dark Aeons, Penance, Coliseum, three new dresspheres, Creature Create (drafting various monsters and NPCs into FFX-2's party), "Last Mission" bonus adventure, and "Another Story" which was released with international FFX as a teaser for X-2.New 30-minute audio drama set after X-2's ending, featuring the original voice actors plus a few new ones. Here's a brief excerpt (SPOILERS to end of X-2).All screencaps and material from Final Fantasy X are © Square-Enix, shown here for critique and commentary. (Screencaps were released on Square-Enix's blog for promotional purposes; comparison screencaps captured from playthroughs by Osiris143, EpicRicky, MasterEleet).
Playing the Remaster (March 21, 2014)
My Half-Assed Assessment
So, it's finally here; I preordered it almost a year ago...
(Taken with my iPad camera, so it looks a lot better than this).
Pros: It plays on modern consoles (Vita and PS3). The backgrounds are stunning with extra detail and vibrance, and water and skies look better. I find the rearranged soundtrack adds just a little extra awesome to every scene. North American users get access to all the international content we missed. Character models are smoother and more detailed, so clothing flows and stretches more naturally. All PCs now have fingers even in-game. Improved/cleaned-up sound effects.
Cons: Wakka and Tidus, especially, look odd from the front; their profiles are better. The Lulu and Yuna models are a little better, but their faces are more delicate. Facial expressions are a little less expressive than in the original. Thankfully, the X-2 faces are better.
This is nearly a one-to-one port: the graphics are upscaled but not substantially different from the original, every treasure and animation is in the same spot, camera control is still fixed instead of automatic, the characters still Shatner their lines or have lip synch timing problems just as in the original, and you can't skip cutscenes.
If you haven't played FFX yet, BUY IT. It's aged well, and it's a fantastic story. Also, FFX-2's battle and job system are criminally underrated, and FFX's Expert Sphere Grid lets you customize in some interesting ways (it's even easier to turn Kimahri into a thief on the Mi'ihen Highroad, letting you rake in loot and steal/use items long before Rikku rejoins.)
But if you've got a way to play FFX on an emulator that delivers significantly crisper renders than the PS2 did, there's not much reason to buy the remaster unless you want the international and new content.
a few screencaps...
Official FFX/X-2 Demo Videos: November 2013 - Spoiler Warnings!
These were released in November 2013, when the remaster came out in Japan. Be sure to boost the video quality up to 720 so you can see the detial.
Tokyo Game Show Trailer - September 19, 2013
They're now giving an official release date as "THIS WINTER." Which matches up with the Dec. 31, 2013 date listed on Amazon.
E3 Trailer: June 11, 2013 (BIG SPOILER WARNING!) - Animations and voices match original game
Here's a link to the Yunalesca scene (opens in a new tab) so that you can compare the original with the remastered graphics. The main party models have received more detailed revamping in the remaster than the npcs.
Note About Old Vs. Remastered Graphics
Playstation 2 vs. PS3
For comparison purposes, let's take a quick look at original Final Fantasy X graphics, which had three different rendering levels (click thumbnails for full-sized images):
Low-Poly: used for battles, running around, and a majority of the cutscenes. Models and details are simplified, faces have simple mouth flaps, and characters have "mitten hands," with three fingers together in a block. Y2K tv screens tended to blur out the fine details of lips, eyes, and clothing in the texture maps.
High-Poly: Used during some cutscenes when the camera is focused on particular characters. In high-poly, fingers are individually rendered, and faces have muscles and can change expression, with lips fully rendered and shaped to match the Japanese dialog. (Resulting in awkward English voice acting, as actors tried to synch to match the mouth movements.)
FMV ("Look, they're Japanese!") mode: In the high-quality FMVs, which were entirely pre-rendered instead of being rendered by the game engine while you're watching, we get character models that resemble what's done in realtime on the PS3 a decade later: skin textures, eyelashes, hair that looks like hair instead of pieces of cut out paper, cloth movement and textures, water, etc.
Some dramatic or important cutscenes in original FFX were a mix of high-poly and low-poly, with the speaker in high-poly and those standing behind them in low-poly. I never saw more than about three characters in full high-polygon render in the same shot, so game designers may have been trying to make sure the rendering didn't struggle to keep up (FFX was the first game to put the original PS2 through its paces).
My favorite original-FFX models were the high-poly renders. Unfortunately, I think Squeenix has started with the low poly models and them improved them, referencing the original concept art, losing some quirks of the high-poly models.
First Official Trailer for FFX/X-2 (HD) - Released March 25, 2013
Heh. I actually posted this on March 24, thanks to a leaked version, but now we've got the official trailer from Square-Enix. Click the gear icon at lower right to bump up playback quality once it starts. What do you think?
E3 Interview of FFX/X-2 Director and Producer
Livestream on June 12, 2013
There was an E3 livestream video interview (archived here) with the producer and director of FFX/X-2.
Read the complete E3 interview with Kitase and Toriyama, my transcription.
Half-assed summary:They are still tweaking models and facial expressions of main characters; trailers show a work in progress.A new epilogue has been recorded with original cast, but they're keeping it a secret.*Not enough room to accommodate Japanese VO with English subs. Added "Creature Create" from X-2 international version, which lets you recruit monsters for your party. I think "Monsters" may include Coliseum opponents such as npcs (Brother, Lucil, Elma, Gippal).Emphasis on staying true to original, so no change in game difficulty apart from [hint hint: Dark Aeons, Penance] some new bosses from the International version.RELEASE DATE STILL NOT SET. Lots of blather about how they want to make it as faithful as possible to the game and characters fans loved, still tweaking character faces and expressions. (Reading between lines, I think they're putting more work into Tidus and Yuna's faces after fan complaints that they looked flat.)
*This leaked screencap lists "Eternal Calm." It could be the name of the new 30-minute audio drama. But it was also used as the name of a bonus ending FMV, also known as "Another Story," that was tacked onto the end of Final Fantasy X International, announcing that a sequel was in the works.
Gamescon 2013 Trailer: Remastered Soundtrack - Released Aug. 23, 2013
Wow. I was leery when I heard that 60 tracks of FFX/X-2 had been rearranged, but unlike Tidus' face, I fully endorse this upgrade. It's like the old music being played by a full piece symphony order with a side helping of awesome.
The first half of the video is original-game; around 1:40 it switches to the remastered version of the exact same sequence. Don't forget to click the gear icon to bump up video quality/resolution.
FIRST SCREENCAPS RELEASED - March 22, 2013: Comparison with original graphics
Shortly before Final Fantasy X/X-2's official site went live, Square-Enix released a series of screenshots from the remaster.
I hunted through FFX and found the same scenes, then posted side-by-side screencaps for comparison (Old | New, Old | New, Old | New). These got picked up by Tumblrites and a lot of websites, and may have prompted Squeenix to post their comparison screenshots (left, click to enlarge). These are a more accurate comparison than mine, since I was pulling up screencaps from an emulator playthrough with better resolution than original PS2 and the fuzzy, pre-LCD TV screens we were using back in 2001.
These show that the regular in-game graphics now are about the same quality as the "high poly" graphics were in the old game (see below).
Yeah, I know: he looks like an Auton! I think I know what happened. They used the original game's cover art Tidus character model, but if you look closely, even though it's the most detailed, it doesn't match his in-game models! I am hopeful that the final remastered Tidus will look better than this. In the E3 interview with Kitase and Toriyama, which I transcribed here, it sounds like Squeenix has heard fan concerns and is tweaking character models to be more accurate to the originals. [EDIT: If you check the videos at the top of this page, they've worked a LOT on his face. It's much better, although still not quite perfect. Everybody else looks good to me.]
Macalania Temple Group Shot:
The widescreen shows the whole party in the frame, so details like Wakka failing to move into defensive position around Yuna ("This can't be happening!") are more obvious.
Steps of Luca:
Looks like there's still a few rendering artifacts -- see Lulu's hair -- but MUCH better. Notice the detailing on Wakka's vambrace (armguard), for example, or the fur ruff on Lulu's corset. OKAY THAT'S ENOUGH STARING.
Also, widescreen gives more space to ogle, ahem, view our heroes.
Some fans were disappointed that the remaster hasn't improved the graphics to FFXIII levels. Personally, I'm glad it's still recognizably Final Fantasy X, with its trademark stained-glass color palette that reminded me of the stunning vibrance of Oz vs. the drab black-and-white of Kansas. FFX's jewel-tone colors and anything-BUT-grunge landscapes aren't entirely realistic, but they're like ice cream for the eyes.
FMV Screencap Comparisons
A few screencaps of the opening "Zanarkand" FMV are also floating around. Below, I've hunted for the approximate frame from original-game footage in order to make an old vs. new comparison.
The difference in these two is striking; details like turnstyles and individual people are much, much clearer, and the lighting inside the stadium has been adjusted.
Zanarkand Stadium, Original Game FMV:
Zanarkand Stadium, Remastered FMV:
New Screencaps: March-April 2013
25 March, 2013: More Screencap Comparisons
Here's more original-game FFX screencaps that I've grabbed to compare with the rest of the Final Fantasy X (HD) screenshots posted on Square-Enix's blog. Remember that these come from an emulator: our fuzzy, non-HD televisions back in 2001 were not this sharp.
I notice that the remaster often pushes the camera in closer on single-character shots, possibly to keep him/her looking intimate in widescreen format.
Click thumbnails to enlarge: the details in the distance shots are crisper and richer, but hard to make out save at full-sized.
The remaster has lightened some dark scenes, presumably because LCD tvs and the PS Vita screens have trouble rendering shades of near-black as effectively as old CRT televisions (also people tend to play mobile games in brightly-lit areas).
April 1, 2013 Famitsu Interview
In a Japanese Famitsu interview with Square-Enix producer Yoshinori Kitase and associate producer Hideki Imaizumi (Here's an English summary), there are a few more screencaps, including a couple old-versus-new comparisons of texture maps for Yuna and a random monster.
Go to that article to see more new screencaps, but here's their still of the laughing scene and a screengrab I made from an emulator (with the usual caveat that it didn't look this good on the PS2 with a conventional TV) for comparison.
Original Laughing Scene:
HD Laughing Scene:
It looks like the "low-poly" models (see below) were upgraded to HD instead of starting with the high-poly models and working from there.
This interview suggests that Squeenix is simply improving the original audio rather than re-recording the voices. There's also a hint that "Eternal Calm" might be included?
First FFX-2 (HD) Screencaps
Released May 9, 2013
Square's Blog just uploaded screenshots from the X2 remaster.
Once again, I've hunted through the game to find comparison screen shots so you can see the difference between the remaster vs. original. This time, my comparison screenshots come from an ordinary PS2 gameplay, NOT an emulator, so they're a little fuzzy. But this is what we put up with ten years ago!
Final Fantasy X-2 Remaster:
(Click these to view full-size; otherwise it's hard to see the difference...which is actually a good thing, in my opinion ;) )
I feel like the remastered character models this time are more accurate, compared to Tidus's model.
Final Fantasy X-2 REMASTER
Seems like they're tweaking the lighting to make characters stand out more clearly instead of more natural shadow. Also, Paine's eyes...good/bad? I hadn't noticed her eyeliner in the original.
Update May 31, 2013: A Few More Screencaps
Square Enix posted three more HD screenshots. As usual, I've hunted through and screencapped the same scene for comparison purposes. As usual, the emulator-screencaps I've posted are crisper than they appeared on our non-HD 2001 tvs hooked up to PS2s.
Poll: Are You Excited about Final Fantasy X HD? - Or not so interested?
I'm excited, because (a) I love to replay this game and (b) there are many things in the international edition of FFX, including the Dark Aeons, that I've never had a chance to see. Hopefully they and some new goodies will be incorporated into the FFX remake. Also, it will be great to get a copy of FFX that works with a current Playstation 3. But I'm a hopeless fan of this game. How about everybody else?
If Final Fantasy X is remade in HD, will you buy it?
E3 New HD Screencaps
Released June 11, 2013
As usual, I've hunted through original-game footage and found screencaps for side-by-side comparison. Please link to this page if you repost!
I notice that the darker images have been lightened up, probably so that PS Vita won't lose the details.
As usual, click to embiggen.
Final Fantasy X REMASTER
New Screencaps in July
Released July 9, 2013
These screenshots show us some of the other character models and give us a better idea of the background improvements.
The in-game character models now have all their fingers separated (the lowest poly models, original game).
You'll need to click the following to enlarge and see the changes.
The background details have been subtly embellished, and Valefor's scales, feathers and bone ridges have better definition.
Yuna's face is a little more delicate. Same thing with Lulu.
They look younger. So why does Rikku look older?
The FMVs' models seem to be identical, with crisper rendering, except that the camera's distance from the figure has changed to fit screen proportions better.
Sigh. I'm looking forward to the international content, but I really REALLY wish they'd fix Tidus' face. Also, why is he mud-colored?
New screencaps posted July 30th
Turn the camera around; I want to see Isaaru and his brothers!
Video Preview: FFX HD on Playstation Vita - First look at game by Square-Enix producer Shinji Hashimoto
[Feb 18, 2013] Compare to this original FFX video clip showing Tidus in exactly the same stance (wearing a Haste Bracer, so his movements are speeded up).
Original Announcement of FFX Remake - September 2011: Tokyo Game Show
[Update March 2013: I posted this bit back in September 2011; I'm leaving it up so you can laugh at my incorrect guesses. ;)]
On September 14, 2011 Sony's Tokyo Game Show, Square-Enix producer Shinji Hashimoto held a press conference (above) to announce a remake of Final Fantasy X in HD for its tenth anniversary. He said it was being remade for Playstation 3 and Playstation Vista (the new portable game console to replace PSP). Presumably, "HD" means graphics comparable to Final Fantasy XIII and its burgeoning family of spin-offs.
Of course, many longtime Final Fantasy fans are clamoring for a remake of Final Fantasy VII, but that would take so much more work. With X, the models and game environments exist; they simply need to be upgraded to Final Fantasy XIII-style realism.
Details are sketchy -- in fact, they're nonexistent. We don't know when this game will be released, but since it's a tenth anniversary special for a game that was originally released in 2001, presumably we'll see it within a year or two. We don't know if FFX HD will be ported to XBox 360, but I have a hunch it will be (Square-Enix was hardly likely to mention XBox at a Sony-sponsored game expo). All I can tell you is: it's happening, and I'll be posting more news as I hear about it!
UPDATE February 2012: Unconfirmed Rumors
-- FMVs will be upscaled / filtered
-- New character models / aeons
-- Some networking capability (fans speculate this will be blitzball)
-- Blitzball tweaked
-- No info yet whether it'll be FFX Intn'l or original version
Sep 13, 2011: Original FFX (HD) Announcement - by Producer Shinji Hashimoto
I started this webpage the day that this video was uploaded, partly in the hopes that someone would translate it in my guestbook below (still hasn't happened :) ). It's been a crazy two years trying to ferret out information since this video first raised our hopes!
Final Fantasy X Cosplay Images of amazing FFX cosplay, and screencaps and resources for Final Fantasy X cosplayers looking to recreate Final Fantasy characters.
Final Fantasy X Secrets Strategy guides, boss battles, a Monster arena checklist, locations of all the Al Bhed Primers, blitzball tournament help, Easter Eggs and more
Final Fantasy X's Lulu The story and tragic past of Final Fantasy X's prickly black mage. She's a lot more than her, er, frontispieces.
Anima: The Dark Aeon Yet another of Final Fantasy X's secrets: this aeon has a lot of symbolism and mythology behind her, plus she's a rather creepy figure in the game!
© 2011 auronlu