Final Fantasy immigrates


Surprising no one, Square Enix has announced the Final Fantasy X and X-2 HD Remaster edition for the U.S. Unexpectedly, they’re still doing the split release for Vita that they had announced for Japan. I figured they’d be sensitive to the fact that Americans are a bunch of tightwads who demand the right to belly up to the buffet for as little money as possible, and not just where food is concerned. But no!

Now, you might think the greatest appeal to this release is the fact that in high-resolution we can finally appreciate just what a bizarre mishmash of character designs Tetsuya Nomura slapped together for this game; I mean, just look at that trio up there. Bondage goth queen, leiderhosen sports clown, and ghost samurai: Together, they fight crime Sin! Or maybe that they’ll redo the laughing scene that everyone seems to hate because they miss the point. But, again, no.

The real interest here comes from the fact that this will mark the first time the International Version of any Final Fantasy has reached our shores. The International Version tradition began with Final Fantasy VII, when Square added in a bunch of extra bosses, backstory exposition, and CG for the U.S. version of the game (likely because the Japanese release had turned out slightly rushed in light of the game’s ludicrous-for-the-time scope). Grossed out by the prospect of leaving money on the table, they rereleased the slightly expanded U.S. version in Japan. So technically, I guess we have received an International Version before, even if it wasn’t named as such.

The later International Versions, however, began in earnest with FFX, and added all kinds of interesting new content. I’m particularly drawn to the FFX-2 remaster, because among other things it includes a crazy new job class that references the SeeD uniforms of Final Fantasy VIII and I always appreciate when the Final Fantasy guys sheepishly admit they even made FFVIII. Truth be told, I actually never bothered to play through X-2 despite liking it in the abstract because by the time I had a chance to make space for a playthrough in my schedule the International Version had already been announced and I felt put off by the whole sad affair. So this will be a new experience for me.

Of course, the best thing Square Enix could possibly do now is follow this up with Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job Version HD Remaster. But we all know better than to expect truly perfect things from life. So I’ll settle for having both the entirety of Persona and Final Fantasy I through X-2 on a single Vita memory card. Speaking of which, Square, get your act together and make Final Fantasy V playable on Vita already. Love you, thanks.

21 thoughts on “Final Fantasy immigrates

  1. Great post!! I really can’t wait for these games and it is awesome that we are getting the international versions. I just wish a release date was announced…I feel as if we have been waiting for FFX-HD FOREVER. Then again, it is Square Enix…

  2. I wish Square wouldn’t ignore XII, VIII, and VI so much. If any game in the Final Fantasy series has a world that deserves fleshing out it’s XII.

    I mean, how cool would it have been if they’d made a quasi-sequel to XII that connected it directly to Vagrant Story and featured an action RPG-like mix of the two combat systems?

  3. Hey Jeremy, nice post. Tangential question –are the load times for the FF IV-VI as bad as I’ve heard? That’s the reason I haven’t downloaded them for my Vita, but if a retro connoisseur like you has them, maybe it’s not so bad…

  4. I normally wouldn’t give the FFX remaster a second look… but then they go and say they’re putting FFX-2 with it. Now, granted, it may be considered somewhat superfluous (and mostly fan service), but despite owning a copy (why did I buy that game at launch, again?), I never put much time into it. This would give me an excuse to do so.

    Or it could just sit languishing on the shelf, just like the original release. Either way works.

  5. I think it’s great we’re getting the International version. FFX isn’t my favorite, but it’s a unique-looking game that will be well-served by the visual update. Fingers crossed for FFXII HD on Vita. Sure it’d be nice to get that Zodiac version, but I’d “settle” for the original. I enjoyed it so much I refused to finish it – until one time I decided to do so, and my game/save file kept freezing.

    That Kingdom Hearts 1.5 needs to come to Vita too. Who plays games on their TVs anymore?

  6. “Lederhosen sports clown” might be the funniest string of words I’ve read all year.

  7. ok, i’ll say it. FFX is my favorite game in the series, and if they ever made a standalone blitzball sim i’d spend the rest of my life there. Super super stoked for this remake.

  8. I really enjoyed the gameplay in both X and X-2, to the point where I played both into the ground and beat all the optional super-bosses. Unfortunately I’m just not sure I have the time to put into redoing it all to access the new International content in each. (I can only assume, since they’re different versions, that there’s zero chance they’d read old PS2 save data files.)

  9. I came dangerously close to buying a copy of International Zodiac Job Edition when I was in Video Games New York about two years ago. I blalked when I realized that my BC PS3 wasn’t region locked, but the game wouldn’t play (according to the guys in the store). When the time comes for me to wander back in there, I might just buy it anyway because I know in my gut that it will never get a domestic re-release.

    X-2 was one of the most mechanically sound Final Fantasy games. You probably won’t play through all of it, but I have a feeling you’ll like it

    • Yeah, PS3 lacks region locks for PS3 games, but its BC hardware retains the limitations of older platforms.

  10. “Or maybe that they’ll redo the laughing scene that everyone seems to hate because they miss the point.”

    Hey now. I’ve met plenty of people who hated that scene, and not one of them missed the point. Yes, the characters are supposed to be bad actors with horribly forced fake laughter within the context of the scene. Obviously. I don’t think it’s possible not to pick up on that. However, that can still be ruined when your bad acting is badly acted, and oh boy is it ever. Whole bit really drags on too long at that.

  11. Pro tip about the Vita, Jeremy:

    Final Fantasy V does work on the Vita, as does every single PSP and PSOne game on the PSN Store, even if you can’t download it directly to your Vita via the PSN Store. If you have a PS3 (I imagine this works with a PC as well), simply download the game to that first, then transfer the game via a USB cable. This is how I got games like Valkyria Chronicles II or MGS1 to work on my Vita.

    Sometimes, there are glitches in the game so that it doesn’t emulate perfectly on the Vita and it requires a patch (even if this is the case, your game will still, 99% mostly work), but I think mostly the reason all PSP and PSOne games don’t immediately work on the Vita is because devs are lazy and probably don’t want to update stuff like their in-game instruction manuals to reflect the changes in the Vita.

  12. @Googleshng The dark secret of Final Fantasy X’s fake laughter scene is that it’s even worse in the original Japanese voice acting. J-Tidus sounds like a crow when he laughs.

  13. So, I’m confused…are we actually defending the notion of companies taking a 10 year old game, re-releasing it in HD (which half the time, isn’t even HD), adding no new content and charging new prices on it? Come on, Parish, don’t be silly.

    Seriously, though, the real reasons they are probably doing it that Persona 4 Golden was the closest thing to a killer app for most of the hardcore it had, and hey, another RPG! Second of all, it’s a Vita release. They’re going to try to squeeze as many sales as possible out o f that platform before it is officially deemed a massive failure and scuttled.

    • If the rerelease gives us access to interesting new material we’ve never been able to play in English, absolutely.

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