Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2 originally received a remaster way back in 2014 for the PS Vita, and the remastered edition has since made a gradual migration to other systems, including the PC and PS4. Now, alongside other Final Fantasy games coming to the Switch, the remastered port is making its way to the Nintendo Switch, with a few special perks for the handheld gaming system.
Final Fantasy X tells the story of Tidus, a pro Blitzball player who suddenly finds himself in a world called Spira, while Final Fantasy X-2 is its direct sequel that shifts its focus to Final Fantasy heroine Yuna. This remastered release also includes additional stories Final Fantasy X Eternal Calm, Final Fantasy X-2 Last Mission, and the Final Fantasy X Will audio drama.
For players of the original, it's clear from the opening cutscene of Final Fantasy X that the visuals have been greatly improved. Playable character models have been fully overhauled, rather than just being upscaled. During pivotal scenes, the faces of Tidus, Yuna, and their party members display believable emotion and look fantastic. Unfortunately, that's not true of every character model in the game.
Both Final Fantasy X and X-2 feature a huge cast of non-playable characters. These models have been touched up, but since these characters were modeled with far less detail than the core cast to begin with, they really show their age here. Witnessing conversations held between the bright-eyed, expressive core cast and the flat, textured facial features of NPCs take away from the experience as a whole, and serve as a constant reminder that this is a remaster of a pair of games that are rapidly approaching their 20th anniversaries.
The environments of Final Fantasy X and its sequel have been quite stunning since the game's original release, and the remaster touches them up with a nice coat of polish. The game still uses fixed camera positions, but there was a great deal of work that went into preparing the game for a widescreen display, and it looks great in both docked and handheld modes.
The remastered version of these games have had varying additional features across the systems they've been released for. The Nintendo Switch version brings back the Quick Recovery functionality - which has only made an appearance once before, on the PS Vita. The system allows players to quickly and easily heal the entire party with magic or items while exploring, by easily swiping on the Switch's touch screen to access the menu. Unfortunately, players who prefer to play in docked mode are completely excluded from using this feature. This release also allows for controller button remapping, which might make one wonder why Square Enix didn't provide another way to access it, like with a press of the left thumb stick.
The Switch version is also missing some key functions that made it to the Final Fantasy X/X-2 Remastered PC release. In-game boosters that allow players to do things like skip random battles, boost the speed, and max out character skills are missing here. Perhaps the oddest decision made is that the Switch doesn't feature the PC version's auto-save functionality, which means players will have to face the old-school RPG grind of returning to their last save point if they lose a fight.
Thankfully, while there are some issues with the appearance and additional functionality of the game, the game itself plays beautifully, both in docked and handheld mode. Neither game exhibited any noticeable frame dropping, either while exploring or during battles. Loading screens are fairly frequent, but loading time itself tends to be short, so it doesn't detract from the experience much.
Overall, the Nintendo Switch edition is a great choice for anyone who is feeling nostalgic or hasn't picked up the game before. The Switch's visuals are on-par with the other remastered releases of Final Fantasy X/X-2, but with the added plus of custom controller binds and the Quick Recovery system. Gamers who want to play FFX and FFX-2 on the go have a great option here, but it's still not an ultimate release, as some of the PC perks didn't make it to this version.
Final Fantasy X/Final Fantasy X-2 Remastered launches April 16th for the Nintendo Switch. Game Rant was provided a code for this review.