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Review: Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster (Nintendo Switch)By Azuardo At 04.05.2019 19:59

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It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that this Nintendo Switch version isn't quite up to snuff compared to the PS4 and Xbox One releases. FFX / X-2 HD Remaster holds its own at 1080p and 30fps when the system is docked, whilst it runs at 720p and 30fps in handheld mode. It is noticeable that the visuals don't hold up to the other versions, and frame drops occur now and then. CG cut-scenes are also grainy, though that seems to have carried over into other ports, too. This is the niggly expected stuff for a Nintendo Switch port - it was clearly not going to have the same benefits as the other two major console releases - but it's not a major issue. The portability factor outweighs these faults, after all.

Even after many years on from the original HD Remaster release, though, do these games still hit the top marks? Yes and no. Final Fantasy X has a beloved spot in the hearts of many that played it back in the PS2 days, even despite the very hit and miss voice acting. Its story and battle system were enough to ensure it became one of the best in the series, and that still rings true today. The strictly turn-based combat has a solid tactical element that allows players to take their time, and becomes a very challenging affair halfway into the game. There is plenty of cause to utilise all characters and fight in every random encounter.

The Sphere Grid levelling system is a bit too simple for its own good, although the Expert Grid adds a whole new twist and places all characters in the middle, allowing players to create much more customised characters, such as multiple magic users early on. FFX-2's combat and levelling systems are as equally fun as the first title, with tons of room for customisation with the three heroines' job roles, and what is quite possibly the best version of the ATB system in the series.

The light-hearted nature and pop theme of FFX-2 has a tendency to make it difficult to see the story through, especially on top of the rubbish means of trying to get 100% completion to see the proper ending, which is a frustrating endeavour and not possible without using a guide. Final Fantasy X is still the much better game that deserves to be played by all JRPG enthusiasts, but do not count FFX-2 out entirely, for its combat and levelling systems alone prove to be mighty addictive.

The HD Remaster comes with a handful of bonus features on top of the two main games, including a scenario that details events between FFX and X-2, an audio scenario that has characters old and new appearing after the end of FFX-2 (which pans out like a terribly pointless fanfic), plus the dungeon-crawling tactical RPG Last Mission featuring the X-2 girls. None of the cut-scene and audio scenarios can be paused or skipped along, and the cut-scenes in the main games also still cannot be skipped, which is incredibly frustrating. Another shame is that the boosters of the PC version (e.g. no encounters, game speed increase) are absent in this Switch version.

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Final Score
Both games still hold up well today, and, at the very least, [i]Final Fantasy X[/i] alone can make this compilation worth the purchase, especially now it is portable on Nintendo Switch. Although this edition of [i]Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster[/i] isn't as graphically impressive as other ports and is missing the PC boosters, it remains a highlight of the franchise and shouldn't go missed. Unskippable cut-scenes in this day and age is a huge negative, though!



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