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S&S Review: Final Fantasy 10 HD Review

Title: Final Fantasy X HD
Format: PS3/Vita
Release Date: 3/18/2014
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square
Price: $39.99
ESRB Rating: T

Final Fantasy 10 is my favorite game ever, and waiting nearly three years for the HD remaster was torturous. But now an HD remaster is finally here and it is even better than the original. The world of Spira is still full of crazy Yevonites, chaos, and Blitzball. Lots and lots of Blitzball.
Final Fantasy 10 receives a major upgrade in the visuals and sounds departments. Textures look more crisp and detailed. While playing, I noticed little details in each area that I did not see in the PlayStation 2 version. Cutscenes look more fluid and facial features look more detailed - except for Tidus' oddly detailed blue eyes. Colors are brighter and more vibrant, too. It's amazing seeing the visual disparity between the PlayStation 2 version and the PlayStation 3/Vita versions. The music has also been improved. The soundtrack is arguably the best in the series. Each track has been remade and sounds more orchestral. After playing the original game for a number of years, you become used to the music. Playing the game with new, higher quality music sounds weird at first, but you get used to it pretty quickly. While I prefer the original score, the remastered soundtrack still sounds fantastic.
   The story and characters largely remain unchanged. The struggle against Sin is still the challenge the protagonists Tidus, Yuna, and the cast face. The story contains numerous moments that can provoke laughter, anger, happiness, and other emotions. The characters all care for each other and want to defeat Sin. In Final Fantasy 10, summoners normally have one or two guardians. Yuna does not, though. Yuna has numerous guardians because they're all people she trusts. This strengthens the relationships among the characters. My biggest gripe is that the story starts out slow for the first few hours but eventually picks up as the game moves forward.

The gameplay is in the form of turn-based combat. The combat is fluid. The best part is being able to switch out party members quickly and efficiently so each party member can participate in battles with ease. On the side of the screen there is a bar that shows who will be attacking next. Characters can use items or spells to guarantee more attacks for the party members or a longer wait time for the enemy's attack. Final Fantasy 10 has a very simple combat system that is extremely easy to pick up.  New to North America are features that were previously not available except in the PAL and Japanese regions. These features include Dark Aeons and Penance, also known as super bosses. Also included is Eternal Calm, a movie that shows what happens after the game ends.
Final Thoughts:
Final Fantasy 10 HD is a beautiful remaster of a wonderful JRPG. The game still holds up great through time. The visuals now look great, the soundtrack is still amazing and powerful, the story still generates many emotions, and the combat is simple and fluid. Any RPG fan should definitely buy this HD remaster, whether it is on the PlayStation 3 or the PlayStation Vita.'

+Beautiful Visual Upgrade
+Great Characters and Story 
-Slow Start
S&S Rating: 9/10