Archives for posts with tag: Final Fantasy X-2

ffxhdtidusyunaAbout a month ago, it was revealed that Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD would sport a new audio drama written by Kazushige Nojima that would play over the end credits of the game. Well, we can now hear a snippet of it in the video below.

In it, we can hear that James Arnold Taylor is returning to voice Tidus (which isn’t a massive surprise, considering he returned for the Dissidia games), and we also hear another character speaking, who appears to be voiced by Laura Bailey (to my ears, anyway). I haven’t played X-2, so I don’t know if there are any mild spoilers in this piece, but there don’t appear to be. Watch at your own discretion.

Tidus mentions that it’s been two years since Spira entered the Eternal Calm (at the end of the first game), which is roughly when X-2 picks up, so I wonder if this is will serve as a linking piece between the two? If I’d played X-2 before now, perhaps I’d know!

Some have speculated that the audio drama could be a lead-in to a Final Fantasy X-3, and considering the second character seems fairly unsurprised to spot Tidus, even mentioning the crowd up ahead and the star shining in the middle of it (remember at the start of the first game Tidus was supposed to be a star blitzball player?), perhaps it could be. Of course, you could argue that the second character is speaking from the perspective of Tidus’ Zanarkand (seen at the very start of the first game), but I think the fact that she mentions a road that used to be called Mika Road rules this out: Mika was the Grand Maester of the now-disgraced Yevon religion, so it makes sense that they would rename a street named for him after its fall. For me, this suggests the second character is speaking after the Calm.

I wish I could say we won’t have to wait long to find out, but Square-Enix are still yet to announce a release date for this. The E3 trailer simply said “2013”, and we’re running out of months. Gamescom will take place this month, and Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD will be on show, so hopefully we’ll get a firm date there. Wouldn’t it be great if they just said, “it’s out next month guys! Enjoy!” A man can dream.

Over on their EU blog, Square-Enix have been sharing some new images of the game, and it’s safe to say it looks incredible. This really isn’t the usual cynical cash-grab HD upscaling that we see all to often – this game has had some work done! Noticeably, the battle UI has seen a few changes, giving it a bit more of a modern feel. Have a look:
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You can see more images over on the blog, but just have a look at this pic of Besaid! It looks glorious! ffxhdbesaid

Be sure to visit the Square-Enix blog and have a flick through all the beautiful images they’ve provided.

Square-Enix has put out a new video showcasing the differences between the original SD version of Final Fantasy X and the HD remaster that is in development for PS3/Vita. The video shows off the opening in-engine cutscene, and it’s an interesting comparison, demonstrating not only how much more detail we’re seeing in HD, but also how much more of the scene we’re seeing thanks to the widescreen presentation. It also shows off some differences in colour; the original footage has an orange-y cast to it, without which the HD version looks much more realistic.

The video also announces that we’ll be seeing a limited edition for the home console version. Packaged in an outer box, the set comes with a nice-looking hardbound art book featuring concept art taken from both Final Fantasy X and its sequel X-2 – both of which come on one disc for PS3, and as separate releases for PS Vita. The games support cross-saving, so you can journey with Tidus, Yuna and friends on the big screen at home before continuing your adventure on the morning commute.

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There’s no news of a limited edition for the Vita versions, nor do we have a release date yet, but I’ll be buying both. Because I’m a sucker. It occurs to me that when I buy both HD versions I’ll have three copies of Final Fantasy X-2, and four copies of Final Fantasy X. I think it’s fair to say I like FFX.

These HD versions should be the definitive versions of these games, with all the added International goodies, high-definition rendering and the news that this release will include a 30-minute additional ‘drama’ at the end of the credits, penned by ex-Square-Enix scenario writer Kazushige Nojima, featuring new cast and character voices. What this will entail is presently a mystery, but it’s always nice to get more stuff. I’m looking forward to replaying Final Fantasy X again, and playing its sequel for the first time. Now all we need is a release date.

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Final Fantasy X HD has been in limbo for a while. First announced about a year and a half ago for PlayStation 3 and Vita, the remaster entered radio silence for a prolonged period of time, surfacing recently when a short clip emerged showing protagonists Tidus and Yuna, along with a few summons behind them. While only a tiny peek, it was enough to see that it appeared that Square-Enix might be doing a bit more than just a simple upscale.

Recently, things seem to be ramping up. We’ve had confirmation that, not only will the release include a remastered version of the rather maligned sequel, Final Fantasy X-2, but that both games will be the International versions released in Japan (which should mean we’ll get the bridging scene Eternal Calm). On PS3, the two games will be on one disc, whereas Vita owners will have to buy each separately. A couple of days ago, IGN also posted some gorgeous-looking screens from the remaster, which I will link at the bottom.

And today, we have our very first trailer. And doesn’t it look beautiful.

Of course, Final Fantasy X was always a lovely-looking game, yet here in HD it seems to reach its full potential. It looks so sharp and clean, and the detail really comes to life. It’s great to be able to pick out the ruined towers of Zanarkand in the distance as the group sits at camp on the edges of the destroyed city, and that scene with Tidus and Yuna in Macalania looks absolutely glorious.

I have a handful of things I’d like fixed in this re-release, and from this trailer, it appears at least one of them has been addressed; re-rendering the excellent cutscenes in HD. In truth, I’d have been surprised if they didn’t do this, but I admit I had been worried. When last I played FFX, with my PS2 connected to my LCD TV via a component cable for a clearer image, the cutscenes were very low-res, blurry and macroblocked, and it damaged the overall presentation. The short clip of Zanarkand being destroyed by Sin at the game’s start puts these fears to rest – it looks clean, clear and highly detailed. I had similar reservations about the handful of pre-rendered backgrounds, such as the entrance to Zanarkand’s blitzball arena/temple, so hopefully these will also be cleaned up.

My biggest bugbear with the original PAL release is the speed it ran at. Games of that era typically ran at a 50hz refresh rate here and 60hz in their American and Japanese incarnations, resulting in a game that ran around 17% slower for European gamers. You can see this in Final Fantasy X just by watching Tidus run – it seems more like he’s bounding across the surface of the moon. The image was also a bit stretched horizontally, meaning we had characters that looked stockier and wider than they should have. I’ll be very surprised if these things aren’t fixed for the re-release, especially considering that the code will be taken from the existing Japanese International release. Hopefully we’ll get a full-speed, widescreen presentation this time.

Curiously, Square-Enix have also set up a site for the remaster which promises an announcement trailer to be revealed tomorrow, March 25th. I admit, this site has passed me by, so I don’t know if it’s just sprung up or if it’s been live for a while now, but I wonder if the trailer that will go up tomorrow will be the same as the one that has appeared online today, or whether it’ll be another (hopefully lengthier) video. Here’s hoping for the latter, and maybe even a release date!

IGN’s FFX HD images:
http://uk.ign.com/articles/2013/03/22/final-fantasy-x-hd-vita-ps3-details-confirmed

Square-Enix’s dedicated site:
http://www.finalfantasyxhd.com/en/index.php