Final Fantasy X & X-2 HD Remaster Switch Review
As one of the defining JRPGs of the PS2 era, the impassioned story of Final Fantasy X is one that has been proven tried-and-true over the past 18 years, and now it arrives on Nintendo Switch alongside its sequel Final Fantasy X-2. We originally reviewed the remaster back with the 2014 PlayStation 3 version, which goes into detail about various story elements. Final Fantasy X and its unorthodox sequel are still some of the best of the genre, and new and seasoned RPG players should pick up if they haven’t already -- Final Fantasy X & X-2 HD Remaster is a great addition to any collection if you don’t own these games, and maybe even still worth considering if you already do.
Similar to previous series ports, Final Fantasy X & X-2 HD Remaster comes with all of the bells and whistles of the PS4 version, along with one additional feature. Just like the PS4 and PC versions of the game, you'll be given access to additional cutscenes through both Final Fantasy X Eternal Calm and Final Fantasy X-2 Last Mission that explain important post-game events, but unless if you're a returning player, I wouldn't suggest loading these up as they will spoil several major plot points. Players also have access to the arranged score which is an updated version of Final Fantasy X’s iconic OST, but I’d suggest playing with the original if you haven’t yet experienced this title. Though it is important to mention you can switch between the arranged and classic score whenever you’d like throughout the game.
Returning to the Switch version from the remaster's original Vita release is the 'Quick Recovery" menu. When Final Fantasy X is undocked, you can use the touch-screen to pull up a menu for fast healing, which uses the minimal amount of MP or items depending on your selection to heal the party. This circumvents going to through menus to restore your party’s health and keeps you immersed in exploration and gameplay. While I initially didn’t see much benefit to this new feature, it was a nice convenience to have as I went through the game for a third time. While this is the only new feature to Final Fantasy X & X-2 HD Remaster's port, the clever use of the touchscreen is a good addition for those who want to primarily play the game on the go.
Textures are upscaled beautifully and the game plays perfectly undocked with pretty average battery drain. I was able to get some grinding done during a two-hour train ride without worrying about my battery depleting, which makes this game great for long trips on trains and plane rides. Though I cannot stress how smoothly this game plays as a handheld title. There were no drops in frames and everything ran extremely well as Tidus moved around the numerous colorful environments of Final Fantasy X. However, it should be mentioned that the game is locked to 30fps just like the previous releases of this HD remaster. That being said the game's resolution is a persistent 1200x675 even when undocked. As to be expected there are a few loading screens, but nothing that lasts more than a few seconds for almost completely uninterrupted play between areas and cutscenes. The same can be said for Final Fantasy X-2, as I found absolutely no performance issues with the docked and undocked versions of this game.
It goes without saying that Final Fantasy X & X-2 HD Remaster is an incredible port of a pair of already incredible games. While both Final Fantasy X and X-2 have received numerous new releases over the past several years, it is apparent that the Nintendo Switch version holds up extremely well alongside the other available systems. If you’ve not already had the opportunity to give this series of games a try and are looking to dive into one of the essential Final Fantasy titles, or if you're seeking to rediscover Spira again, now is your chance.