E3 2013: Final Fantasy X HD & Kingdom Hearts 1.5 ReMIX (Hands-On)

by: Matt -
     Remember over a decade ago when the PS2 had just came out on the scene and we were young and thought that there was no way graphics could ever get any better than stuff like Metal Gear Solid 2 and Final Fantasy X? It's kind of weird to go back to games of that era now. Square Enix is getting ready to release the HD remaster of Final Fantasy X and X-2, along with the first Kingdom Hearts game with some additional content, and they had demo stations on hand at E3 for gamers of the current generation to try their hand at what we thought was something special. 

    I have to admit, even with the HD coat of paint, the demo for Final Fantasy X HD was the victim of gameplay that can now be considered ancient by gamer standards. The visuals were nice and sharp, and the texture resolution is definitely improved. But that doesn't save the game from its lower polygon count, or the extremely long opening. In fact this demo was very reminiscent of the demo that was released for Final Fantasy X backed in the era where demo disks were still a thing. It was perfectly good for getting in to the game from the comfort of your own home, not so much so from the bustling show floor of E3. The prying eyes that expected me to hurry up made it a little tough to enjoy that opening sequence. There wasn't a demo for X-2 HD which was kind of disappointing, because I think overall it was the better of the two titles.

    Kingdom Hearts 1.5 ReMIX was kind of in the same boat as Final Fantasy X HD the demo on hand carried players through a rather long introduction, which mirrored a previously released demo. The visuals are definitely better looking in HD due to the increased texture resolution. Gameplay of course remains unchanged, and still feels pretty good, though the platforming is still a little wonky. Again this is one of those games that needs to be enjoyed in a place of comfort to really get in to. 

    Both of these games are certainly classics in their own right, though it's going to be tough for me at least to find time to slot them in with so many other titles coming later this fall. Those out there who never got a chance to experience the originals would certainly do well to check these games out though.

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