Today at the Tokyo Game Show 2013, I got some hands-on time with the HD remasters of Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2. As expected, the games of Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster play identically to their PS2 counterparts and the visuals are the sole area of improvement.
In Final Fantasy X, I played the beginning of the game following Tidus' life in Zanarkand. While short on gameplay — as I was almost always in a cutscene of some sort — it did give a nice little showcase of the game's character models. Whether in-game cutscene or in battle, the character's looked great — Auron and Tidus especially.
[Sorry for the lack of game sound in the gameplay videos. The audio at the booth was headphones only.]
Even the pre-rendered FMVs are a step up in HD thanks to their new wide screen format. I also really liked how detailed and alive the background of Zanarkand looked as I was playing — it was especially amazing.
In the end, Final Fantasy X only had two blemishes that I noticed. On items that were supposed to be sharp metal, the edges were rendered as jagged, pixelated lines instead of the smooth lines found on everything else. The second visual oddity was the occasional motion blur that is common in PS2 games. While present in the original version, it was slightly jarring to see everything "crystal clear HD" one moment and "after-image blurry" the next.
From what I saw in the other demo, Final Fantasy X-2 isn't looking quite as great. While it shares the visual improvements found in the FFX remaster, there was one extra visual blemish I noticed: The clashing character models. Rikku, Paine, and Yuna are excellently detailed — their bodies and clothes have real shape. The NPCs — even reoccurring enemies like Leblanc — are clearly less detailed with textures painted on. The Gullwings also have actual jaw movement when they talk, while the other characters are lucky to have mouth flaps that are either open or closed. When the two types of models interact, the game loses it's sense of visual uniformity — which is a little annoying. Still, this difference in character model quality was present in the original PS2 version of the game — even if it was far less noticeable on an old CRT TV.
In the end, Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster is looking pretty nice and as it has a tentative release date of "winter" in Japan, there is plenty of time left to put the final layer of polish on both games.
Check out the screenshots and newest trailer below.