Writing a Final Fantasy X/X-2 Switch Review took me back.
The year was 2002. I still had hair and was not yet tall enough to see how disgusting the top of most people’s fridges are. My knees didn’t even ache when I popped squats let alone just because of rain.
Oh what a time it was.
At seven-years-old, I made the annual pilgrimage to my grandmothers’ home in rural NSW. The traditional Christmas congregation saw four families united in the effort of yuletide cheer. Of the younger generation, I was the youngest. With seven older boys floating around and I had to work hard to get a look in on the PlayStation.
Final Fantasy X/X-2 Switch Review
That fateful year my older brother Samuel dug into his stocking and pulled out both Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy X. I was eager to play but my efforts were rebuked. I cracked the shits and was consigned to my quarters for tantrum related crimes.
Well, I’m 24 now and when Final Fantasy X/X2 fell through the mail slot at PowerUp! headquarters I dove upon it with great ferocity. This is my moment and I have waited for it patiently.
Context and needless blabbering aside, I have managed to not have FFX spoiled for me in these past 17 years and I plan to keep the same courtesy for my readers. So feel free to read ahead with full vigour knowing that this a safe space for those who have had their head buried for near on two decades.
Now then, Final Fantasy X is fucken good.
Most games that qualify for an HD remaster are very good and I’m happy to say that the boys and girls down at Square Enix made a strong selection when they brought this classic back from the annals.
Tidus, the main character, is a superstar celebrity in a futuristic city obsessed with Blitzball. Players who are immune to drowning play soccer with a lumpy ball in a giant sphere of water suspended in mid-air. You’ll be forced to play Blitzball and probably lose at about five hours into the game. Afterwards, you can play it at your leisure, but you probably won’t because the actual game is much better.
Suck My Blitzball
After the catastrophic destruction of the city of Zanarkand, Tidus is launched 1000 years into the future where he meets islander stereotype Wakka. This is where the game earns it stripes because Wakka is voiced by the legendary John DiMaggio. If you’re not familiar with the name, it’s the bloke who voices Bender and Jake the dog.
There are hours and hours of dialogue from who I like to call the ‘Hawaiian bending dog.’
Very quickly, Polynesian Physical-Stress Canine takes Tidus under his wing. He’s a good bloke and understands that a man from 1000 years in the past might need some help integrating. He even understands that a steady job is the fastest way to adapt to modern society and sets up ‘Big T’ with some work.
Tidus, along with all the other playable characters, is a guardian for the young lady summoner, Yuna. Her job is to destroy the main antagonist, Sin. Tidus’ job is to stop Yuna from dying on her way to engage Sin in glorious combat.
Oh, the combat is glorious!
Oh, the Combat You’ll Do
Each character matches up with a certain type of enemy. Auron the old samurai shreds armoured foes and Tidus the young buck works wonders with the quicker and lightly armoured enemies. Each battle requires you to identify your foe and select the best team composition to dispatch away with these fiends.
If you ignore the matchups I hope you like dying and grinding because it’s really a lot easier if you respect the enemies and their weaknesses.
Final Fantasy X uses the sphere grid levelling system; one of the best features of a JRPG to date. The grid is comprised of a large network of pathways and nodes. Each node grants the character a boost in stats or a new ability. Depending on the path you choose to traverse your character will be shaped into one of Final Fantasy’s archetypal classes or new, weird creation of your choosing.
Yuna’s path will see her become a white mage. If LuLu follows her traditional path, she’ll become a mighty black mage.
If you want, you can grind and spend the levels to get the girls across the grid and make them physical fighters. I wouldn’t recommend it but it would be pretty cool to flip the game upside down like that.
FFX runs very well on the Switch. It looks great and the loading times are sharp. The HD remaster was originally built for the PS3 but Nintendo’s hardware has no problem running it. Even in handheld mode, the game looks great.
Be wary though, the battery will cop a firm chewing from FFX. You can really watch the battery percentage fly down while playing this game.
What’s an X-2?
I still haven’t beaten FFX and for fear of spoilers, I haven’t delved in X-2. From some light and fearful research, I’ve gleaned that FFX-2 is a divisive title and features heaps of guns and tits but I’m too afraid I’ll ruin the first game if I do any more research.
Honestly, it has decent reviews and should be a welcome addition to the FF collection on my Switch.
FFX is one of the best in the series I’ve played. I honestly rate it up there with VII, VIII and IX because of the huge amount of effort put into world building and another sensational soundtrack from Nobuo Uematsu.
Be warned of my bias though, I really like all the games I’ve played in the series. I even crack out the really early ones where the sprites are incredible but the gameplay is really just mashing the A button.
Final Fantasy X/X-2 was reviewed on Switch using a digital code provided by Square Enix.
Game Title: Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD
Adventure through magical islands… and time! - 7.6/10
Unnecessary, Unavoidable, Underwater Sportsball! - 4.6/10
Chief Bender, Head of the Maui Wowie - 8.7/10
Combat worthy of respect - 8.2/10
A leveling system that still makes my older brother nod his head in approval - 9/10