Square Enix had a demo of the Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster and I got to play through the introduction of Final Fantasy X. Only Final Fantasy X was playable and the demo had a familiar title screen.
“Listen to my story, this may be our last chance,” Tidus says under a more vibrant orange sky. The big difference between Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X HD is the visuals. Now optimized for a widescreen, Final Fantasy X shows more of the ruins and surroundings as Tidus retells the events in the game. Square Enix improved the character models too. There’s a clear difference when the camera zooms up to Tidus’ face and you can see the typical Square Enix flowing hero hair.
The FMVs, at least for the demo, weren’t upgraded like the models. The videos were kind of grainy and it’s a noticeable difference from the crispness of the in game models. I asked a Square Enix representative about this and he said they are still working on polishing the CG.
The part of the demo I saw was “90% finished.” I hope Square Enix works on the user interface for the battle scenes too. The character portraits for the turn meter are low resolution in the demo and appear too bright. Another nice addition would be a feature to skip cutscenes to get to Blitzball and the clever CTB battles, but the demo didn’t have any option like that.
Other than the visual update, Final Fantasy X is the same game you loved (or hated) a decade ago. The big question is whether content from the International re-release will be added in Final Fantasy X HD Remaster. I asked a rep who said Final Fantasy X HD Remaster is “based on the International version,” but he wouldn’t say if features like the Expert Sphere Grid or Dark Aeons from the International and PAL version will be in Final Fantasy X HD Remaster.
Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster is slated for release this year on PlayStation 3 and as separate games for PlayStation Vita.