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is Final Fantasy X/X-2 still worth playing after all these years

Updated on April 4, 2016
tommylop profile image

Hi there my name is Tommy and I have been a gamer/collector for most of my life.

FFX and X-2 collection gets a

5 stars for final fantasy X/X-2
That awkward laugh now remixed in surround sound
That awkward laugh now remixed in surround sound

Note: all pictures on this hub were taken off my TV by my Ipad unless otherwise noted. Final Fantasy X and X-2 are properties of SE.

Well I got Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD collection a few weeks ago, is returning to Spira after all this time worth it or should be shelved faster than Lighting (returns) well I played through both of them here is my opinion on them. I will review each individually like their own games and render my reviews on both of them in this hub. I will also talk about any special features.

Oh and on more side note before we jump in this isn’t the Final Fantasy X we Americans played a dozen years ago, but rather the international version the Japanese got. There are a few more abilities, spheres, and bosses to fight in this version.

Yeah the ultimate destructive monster is a whale.

Good bye satan hello shamu- Jeff Dunham
Good bye satan hello shamu- Jeff Dunham

The story begins with Tidus looking over the ruins of a destroyed city and begging us to listen to his story. At the beginning of the story we find out that he is an up and coming blitz ball player from Zanarkhand. Is father Jecht was a drunken jerk who Tidus hated, however he disappeared over a decade ago and Tidus has been cared for by the mysterious Auron. While playing a game of blitzball a giant monster called Sin attacks Zanarkand. He finds his friend Auron is in the middle of the fray and Auron grabs him and throws him into a white light created by Sin. Tidus finds out that he is sucked out of his happy home into Spira. Spira is a world that has been attacked by Sin for over a thousand years. There is a Zanarkand in this land too, however it is a ruin, and all summoners journey to that place to find the final aeon which can help seal Sin up for a decade. He quickly finds himself befriended to Wakka a guardian to the sunmmoner Yuna. Tidus finds himself liking Yuna and joining up with her on her pilgrimage to stop Sin. He is joined by Wakka and Yunna’s other guardians which are the strict and somewhat cold black mage Lulu, the stoic Ronso Kimhari (who doesn’t like Tidus very much at first). Along the way they bump into Auron who seems to have plan Tidus trip to Spira and joining Yuna’s group and he did it at the request of his father Jecht, they also meet Yuna’s cousin Rikku a blond and bubbly al-bhead girl.

They also run into many other character’s and groups all struggling to find a way to permanently defeat Sin. The different groups are Yevon the theocracy that rules most of Spira and runs the temples that Yuna can pick up her summons. Yevon has pretty much declare any type of machines outside of a few small ones for entertainment purposes be banned. And the Al-Bhead an outside group who still tries to rebuild the world from over a thousand years ago using any type of machine they can dig up.

Graphics

While the HD graphics of the FFX collection aren’t has good has what Kingdom Hearts got (I don’t know if they had to rebuild a lot of it from scratch like Kingdom Hearts) but it’s still pretty good. All the main character’s got new sprites that look better then there PS2 models, but still fit into a PS2 game. The models make the character’s look better and help show the emotion of those many cut scenes better. The FMV movie scenes are also now HD and no longer stick out quite like a sore thumb (that said Tidus in game model and his FMV model are so different it’s still easy to see when they do that). The bad news is that only the main character models have been change some of the side character’s like Shelinda (a friendly traveling priestess of Yevon who the group helps out on the road) haven’t gotten a redo and her animation and facial features now look odd and even somewhat freaky.

original PS2 Tidus from opening

New High Def model seen in the opening.

Sound

The first Final Fantasy to have an audio track and an English dub. And guess what the voice work holds up over the years. But hey you got James Tyalor (who would later go on and play Ratchet and the Ratchet and Clank series) doing Tidus, and John Dimaggio (Bender from Futurama) doing both Wakka and Kimarhi voices. You also had Tara Strong doing Rikku (and she’s done a lot of cartoons including Teen Tiatans). The only voice performance that falls flat on occasions is Hedy Burgess Yuna and that is only on rare occasions so you do have some top notch voices. There is however a problem with lip synching. Unlike modern day JRPG where the developers often times reanimate lip flaps so they match the English dialogue, not so much here. And sometimes the animation and sound are out of sync it feels like you’re watching a poorly translated Godzilla movie from the 50’s.

The Music has been redone and I hear there are some complaints in how it was re-orchestrated but from what I can tell it sounds a lot better than the original PS2 release. The music fits the tone of the game and most of it has melancholy in it. From Tidus missing is home which is paradise compare to Spira, to the tragedy of what happens after Sin attacks, to Tidus learning the truth behind Yunas mission there is a lot of melancholy in this game.

Gameplay

FFX took us out of the ATB battle system that was common in FF games since FF4 and made it simply turn base. This is a bit of a disappointment has it does make battles a little too easy. That said the whole idea is that you have to think about your moves because each character is better had handling different enemies that show up. Tidus is better at handling agile enemies like Wolfs that dodge most attacks. Auron is better at handling the slower more armored enemies. Lulu is better at handling elemental enemies, and finally Wakka is better at handling flying enemies. Riku’s steal can destroy a lot of smaller machine enemies. And finally Yuna is the white mage so healing is her specialty but she can also summon.

When summoning all other character’s go away and are replaced by the summon aeon. The Aeons usually have an element backing them up and special moves. Because you’re replaced by a single ubber monster watching what turns happen is important. If you build up an aeons over drive ( a meter that fills up when your attacking or being attacked) they can do a huge elemental move like Hells Fire or Diamond Dust that does huge damage to an enemy. Aeons loose there over drive if they are defeated in battle.

Oh and what about Kimhari. Well he’s the blue mage/red mage/ jack of all trades and master of none that comes up almost useless most of the time. His big thing is he can use lancet to learn special moves from enemies but he can only use them when he has an over drive. His weapons can pierce like Aurons but he moves faster and can hit the fast or flying fiends like Wakka and Tidus but he doesn’t do the damage they due to Fiends. His sphere grid (more on that in a second) lets him pretty much move and learn anybody else’s moves right away so he can learn any move but again often times you want to deal with an enemy with the right character and that is rarely Kimhari.

Leveling up in the game is done through the sphere grid. There are two sphere grids to choose from but I went with the normal one. Basically the idea is that your characters are all one huge grid. Leveling up lets you move one space and activate a node using a sphere. Once you level up a character enough and eh’s learn all his ability he can start moving on a part of grid taken by someone else and start learning there moves. So while Yuna may technically be your white mage if you grind enough all your character’s can move onto her gird and pick up her spells. That said weapons still make the person so Yuna’s rod will still make her the go to person for white magic. Still it leads to some flexibility in your character development, I hear advance takes this to another level letting you do it faster, but I guess I am a wimp and since I haven’t played this game in almost a decade I just went with the standard one found in the original PS2 version.

An example of the sphere grid
An example of the sphere grid

Has far has the linear nature yeah it’s walk down the road watch a cut scene, walk down the road watch a cut scene for a good chunk of the game. But there are towns and stops that actually have people in it so the game does no how to take a break. Also each temple has a small Zelda esch dungeon called the cloister of trials that need to be completed before you can advance; there is also a bonus destruction sphere puzzle to complete. Near the end of the game you run into the Calm Lands a green meadow that you can run around more freely in and explore, there are some hidden side quests to do. Also after you get through the Zanarkand part of the quest the air ship becomes available to you and you can backtrack to old areas and scope out some of the side quests like Al-Bhead Primer and Jecht Sphere hunting so there is plenty to do.

Also on the side quest is Blitzball which is pretty much the most in-depth and most fun mini game in the Final Fantasy series. Basically it’s an underwater Soccer. The idea is to score more points than the other team by shooting a ball into the goal. There are RPG numbers and some math has to be done in calculations, also special moves can be earn and equipped to players that can be recruited while on the road. Beating leagues and tournaments can net you rare items and they also unlock more powerful over drives for Wakka. Getting good at this game definitely makes the main quest more easy.

Added stuff

I am not really big on the new stuff added in the international version. Why well unlike say Kingdom Hearts Final Mix where most of the new stuff is kept out of the main quest and is only makes the game a little bit harder. FFX international puts some of those ubber hard extra bosses right in the way of some of the side quests that are needed to be done. If you’re like me you might not always gets the destruction sphere the first time going through the cloister of trials. Why bother you can go back and redo each cloister again at the end of the game to get some extra items might has well wait until the end and redo them and get the destruction sphere treasure chest. Unfortunately I learn the hard way skipping the first dungeons treasure sphere was a big mistake returning to Besaid made me meet up with a powerful new boss called Dark Valefour. How powerful well he can start attacking your group with an attack that does 9,999 damage, and he can move first. Yeah when your extra harder than the final boss fight, gets in the way of the stuff I collected to beat the final boss in the extra version it’s no longer a nice little extra, it’s an ubber pain in the ass. Fortunately I discovered an easy way pass by problem, hope Valefour doesn’t attack using his laser, call in Yuna have her grand summon an aeon called Yojimbo who is powerful but you have to pay money for him to attack, pay 200,000 gil so he can use his most powerful attack that kills even bosses in one hit and then proceed. By the way getting all the destruction sphere is necessary to unlock Anima who is the most powerful aeon in the game (well next to Yojimbo but you have to pay him a lot of cash to make use of any of his good moves) and is worth getting to fight the final boss.

There is also an added on bonus video that can be access from the collection title screen. Originally a bonus from the PlayStation magazine this clip seems to take the page out of the Kingdom Hearts book of quick clip to get you excited for the next adventure. It helps pave the way to Final Fantasy X-2 and helps explain how Yuna wound up with the Gull Wings

Dark vale fore is a pain
Dark vale fore is a pain

Final Recommendation for FFX international version.

So yeah I have to say I like the original one version and wish they had the North American version available and not the international one. Still the HD remastering is superb and even though I didn’t like the placement of some of these extra bosses you can fight the game is still a load of fun and definitely worth checking out.

Some extra info before I hit Final Fantasy X-2

I should mention if you have played through this game there is an excellent game called Tales of Symphonia that is also available on the PSN for 20 dollars. It has a very similar story but a more fast pace and action orientated battle system. It’s worth checking out. There is also a collection that bundles Symphonia with its sequel dawn of the new world. But where Tales of Symphonia is a great game that rivals Final Fantasy X, Dawn of the New World is definitely the worst of the sequels. Speaking of the sequels let’s get into Final Fantasy X-2.

Otaku defition

Definition 1

A derogatory Japanese term that is use for someone who is a geek who does nothing but play video games, and read comic books. Often times seen has lonely outcasts.


Definition 2

Used by a lot of fans of Japanese media to show there fandom and knowledge of that cultures media. Were talking about people who like anime and JRPG's.


I am of course using the first definition in this paragraph.


Final Fantasy X-2

I saw in a forum post on hubpages that asked which is the worst RPG you ever played, someone responded FFX-2, I responded I envy him because if X-2 is the worst JRPG you have ever played then you haven’t played many bad JRPG. The list of games I can say are worst then this one is fairly long. The Last Remnant, Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-3, Kingdom Hearts recoded, and the already mention Tales of Symphonia Dawn of the New World. Just to name a few. That said I can understand why a lot of people dislike the game. Between the time that FFX was released and X-2 Squaresoft merge with another company called Enix to become Square-Enix. Because Squaresoft last two games had been kind of melancholy with FFX and Kingdom Hearts (and this despite Kingdom Hearts your two party members are Donald Duck and Goofy) I guess the new bosses at Square-Enix decided to return to the world of FFX for a happier story and ending. What we get is a bit of a goofy mess that seems to be aimed at the Japanese Otaku crowd, and just seems to be a complete 180 from Final Fantasy X. But does that mean it’s a bad game, the answer is no while the story is goofy in some places the new gameplay changes are all for the better and I do enjoy this game (well outside of that awkward massage mini game) .

Yeah this game is just a little on the wrong side of creepy
Yeah this game is just a little on the wrong side of creepy

The leblanch syndicate

Diden't your mother teach you too get dressed before going out in the morning
Diden't your mother teach you too get dressed before going out in the morning

Now how does X-2 open up with an upbeat, fast tempo, pop song where we see Yuna dancing in the middle of a stage while Riku and Paine beat up a bunch of guards in the stage. We also soon see one of the games villains Leblanch who looks more like a Las Vegas show girl and definitely has one of those comic female Japanese villain bosses (complete with fold up fan) personality and we know this is definitely going to be a different type of tale. Still the characters are interesting and even though Rikku can get a little annoying at time she’s still an interesting character to be tagging along with the rest. The other characters and villains you meet also have their own story and reason for causing problems so it’s still a decent story, it’s just not the same one told in the original Final Fantasy X.

Graphics

Final Fantasy X-2 definitely looked like a budget game in many ways, it used a lot of the original assets. This is still true in the HD version, that said they did take the time again to rework sprites of major characters and they end up looking less jaggy and more human. You still get the strange look from some of the side characters though that pop up but there a little less distracting because SE in the original game did manage to round out some of the NPC a little bit better.

The areas for the most part still look like they did in FFX, that’s because aside from a few new area the game pretty much takes old environments and reuses them. It’s a good way to get a game on the budget but it does lead to I have been here and done this effect.

Sound

I hear they didn’t remix the music in this one, but after hearing it I can understand why. It sound perfectly good on its own, it is also a lot different. Like I said the opening music in FFX was a sad melancholy theme called “isn’t it wonderful” and it plays through many of the games other themes. This one starts out with a pop song, and has another pop song thrown in it in the middle so the music gives us a different flavor. A lot of the old music has been redone and has a more lighthearted pop music tone. Some of the old music stays like the Mi Han high road, but a lot of it gets tossed out.

For the voices we get pretty much the entire voice cast from FFX return to voice their parts and again they all sound good. We also get the likes of George Newbern playing Maven Nooj (Superman in Justice league, would also later go on to voice Sephiroth in Kingdom Hearts 2) and Rob Paulsen (us old folks know him has Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, youngsters will recognize him has Donatello) join the cast and perform their jobs beautifully.

The music may not be has memorable but the voice cast is still top notch even after a decade.

Gameplay

Final Fantasy X-2 changes the way the game is played considerable. The first game was linear explore the world of Spira on foot. Until the end of the game when you get the air ship and can bounce around from place to place. This game starts you off with that feature with Yuna in charge of her own air ship. The game has 5 episodes complete the main hot spots to continue on the games story. However each episode also has side events so while the hot spots may only be in Luca and the calm lands, going to the moon flow every episode will allow you to have run ends with Tobli and complete a bunch of side quests where you put on a show for him. Besaid has you helping Wakka and Lulu out has they become new parents, and Mt. Gagazat has Kimari coping with the fact that he is now leader of the Ronso. Completing these episodes and side quests will net you new dress spheres and garment grids. Along with some extra cash and experience that will also help.

Some choices and side quests though will be either too difficult the first time around, or choices you make in the game may cut you off of certain quests. The game has a new game plus feature and multiple endings based on how you progressed so there is some re-playability in those side quests.

The battle system has been redone and returns to the classic ATB battle system of Final Fantasies from yore. Taken a cue from FF5 each dress is a certain cast, Warrior, White Mage, Black Mage, Gunner etc. The more you use particular garment the more powerful it is to become. Keep using white mage and cure will eventually become cura. However you can customize each garment in what ability to pick up, think Esuna might be more useful then cura you can switch it in the menu. What makes this battle system so flexible though is that you can change your dress in the middle of combat using the shoulder buttons and the garment grid. Pressing L1 brings up the grid and you can select one of the dresses next to it has long has a line connects it. The switch is done after an animation is played (the animation can be thankfully shorten or skipped entirely) and after it is done your character will have the role of that cast with all of its stats. It’s fun and it’s flexible. Returning to the ATB also means battles are once again faster paced, and they can be really challenging to keep up with. Some of the later battles, especially against the Magus Sisters are probably some of the harder in story battles done in a Final Fantasy game.

There is one thing that makes the game easy if you use and power it up though and that is special garment that Yuna and the gang can collect. For example Yuna can summon herself into a giant flower. Like summons in the last game it’s just mono a mono against the monsters has your side characters clear out. However they are replaced not by one but two options on each side. Yuna special garment is more towards magic, one pistol will give her magic boosts, while another saps enemy of their strength. Level this thing up enough and summoning it will triple Yuna’s HP and its defenses on the side are almost unstoppable. Also maxed out Yuna can do a floral whirl attack that does 2,000 plus damages to monsters without any MP being used. Activating these means you have to activate all dress spheres in a garment grid in a battle, not hard if your aiming for a summon, and there is one gird that can be picked up that can be used solely for its purpose. The only penalty that you pick up for over relying on these special spheres is that only the character who summoned them will gain the EXP. Bad if you want your team to remain balance.

On the international version there are some new dress spheres one was festival which seems to have them dressed up for a Japanese festival, complete with kimonos and drums. This dress seems to be more towards inflicting status injury’s on enemies. I didn’t use them very much, using only familiar spheres. There is also a monster catching game where you can catch monsters and replace them with one of the 3 gals, supposedly your reward is that you can read more about the monster bio. Again since I am reviewing only after my first time I skipped this part, maybe next time when I go around in new game plus.

There is also the last mission a rather odd strategy board game that has a story that follows a couple of months after the events of X-2 (and it assumes you got one of the good endings) and has the girls climbing the tower. You take one of the trio and play a game of running around on tiles. Monsters also move has you move, you press X to attack, it’s pretty basic, and not that exciting.

The last mission is a bit of a snore
The last mission is a bit of a snore

Trophies

Both games have trophies (including a silver one just for watching Final Fantasy X bonus clip) and for the most part there aimed at the hard core grinder. Expect to max everyone out and complete plenty of side quests in both games if you want to unlock all the trophies for this one.

Final Recommendation on X-2

A lot of people don’t like X-2 and yeah it’s story has some weak moments, and some also downright weird moments but it does have a fun battle system and a lot of replayability, you just have to get use to the fact that it does not have the same tone has FFX.

Besides if you want to check out a bad sequel to a great JRPG check out Tales of Symphonia dawn of a new world. Rikku may be annoying at points but she has nothing on Emil and Marta.

Bonus Radio Drama

Next to what was found in the international versions there is also a radio drama that takes place after Final Fantasy X-2, I went in with incredibly low expectations and it didn't disappoint. It’s not like the worst thing out of Final Fantasy (still better than XIII) but it’s still kind of cheesy. Taking place about a year after X-2 it follows the exploits of Aurons daughter (ok this makes no sense(and plot spoiler warning) were talking about a man who literally decided to keep on going after his body had died to take care of his friends kids, why the heck did he not even mention his daughter) who dislikes Yuna. A bunch of stuff happens and Sin somehow returns and the drama ends on the cliff hanger with Yuna about to summon the final aeon. Ok this also doesn't make sense, Yuna found out what the final aeon is and what it’s supposed to do, she should know that it doesn't destroy Sin for good. It’s convoluted to the extreme; typical of the modern day Final Fantasy games and I don’t X-3 will be worth playing.

Final Recommendation on the collection has a whole

The HD remakes are great, each game is fun and was nice to play them again.

the collection isn’t quite has fun or the extras has nice has what was found in Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD remix but it’s close. There both great JRPG and worth checking out. If you get the collector’s edition it comes with an art book similar to Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD remix.

Video of me opening the ff special edition

I also recommend trying Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD remix

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    • Jeremy Gill profile image

      Jeremy Gill 2 years ago from Louisiana

      Agreed, despite their faults, Final Fantasy 10 and 10-2 are still great games for any JRPG fan; 10's actually my favorite of the entire series. Nice job!