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Video Game Review: Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster (PS4)

May 19, 2015 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster PS4
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While there has been no shortage of remastered games on the PlayStation 4, Square-Enix’s Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster might be the first to take it a step further as it’s essentially an even more remastered version of the one that hit the PlayStation 3 and Vita last year. They did a wonderful job updating the source material, and now it’s time to find out if the extra time to polish the finished product and a move to a more powerful console has created a superior iteration.

From a content standpoint, things haven’t changed. You’re still getting Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2 along with the Eternal Calm and Last Mission, which is a ton. To read more about the games’ respective stories and gameplay, please check out our review of the PS3/Vita versions.

As you’d suspect with the additional time and jump to the PS4, the game’s presentation has been noticeably improved — that’s not to be confused with “dramatically improved,” however, as there is very little (if any) difference in the way the main characters look. Of course, they’re the ones that got all the attention in the first place, so it’s not really all that surprising.

What has gotten some love are peripheral characters, which has resulted in a lot fewer jarringly bad looking NPCs with old PS2-style block hands instead of fingers. They do pop up from time to time, so it hasn’t been completely eliminated, but it’s still a welcome change. Environments have also been cleaned up with more depth being added via superior models and textures. Everything outputs at 1080p with no aliasing at a steady 30 frames per second.

All of that adds up to the best looking version of the game, but to be clear, the leap from PS3 to PS4 pales in comparison to the original jump from PS2 to PS3. This simply builds on all the work that was done in the first remaster, making peripheral tweaks to squeeze a little more graphical juice out of the source material.

One other addition that should be mentioned is the reintroduction of the game’s original soundtrack after the PS3/Vita version offered only the rearranged tunes. Although you can switch freely between the two, it does lead us to a pair of unfortunate bugs that has found their way in.

Its first one relates directly to the soundtrack as now the game’s background music will reset to the beginning at the conclusion of each random battle. Given that some of these pieces last a number of minutes you’re unlikely to hear more than 30 seconds unless you go out of your way — standing still so as not to trigger random encounters or equipping an item that prevents them entirely.

Of greater concern is an issue with Random Number Generation (RNG) that appears isolated to FFX where random encounters have essentially become scripted with fights triggering in the same spots against the same enemies with the same blows connecting or missing in the same sequence. We’ll spare you our feeble attempt to clarify the problem, but suffice to say a search of message boards will explain it in greater detail.

If that’s not an issue for you, and you’ve already picked up the game on PS3 or Vita, you’ll be able to quickly and easily transfer saves to the PS4 so you can continue seamlessly from where you left off.

OVERALL (4.5/5)

On one hand, the PlayStation 4’s Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster is the best looking and features the original score. On the other, it has a couple of notable issues that aren’t present in the older (and now, cheaper) PS3/Vita versions. If you don’t have the other systems and want to experience these games on your PS4, don’t let the issues stop you. Otherwise, you may want to wait for a patch or a reduction in price before taking the plunge.

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Video Game Review: Lifeless Planet

May 13, 2015 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
Lifeless Planet resists the urge to implement action into the game, instead relying on mood to keep things tense. It works for a while, but over time the mix of environmental hazards loses its effectiveness. It doesn’t help that the game holds your hand from start to finish, constantly giving away how things are to be solved.
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Video Game Review: Super Mega Baseball

April 14, 2015 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
Do you remember when baseball games were fun? Back before it was all about picturesque recreations of stadiums, lifelike players and tons of statistical minutia. We’re talking the days of Baseball Simulator 1000 and Baseball Stars, where sitting down and basking in the gameplay trumped everything else. Well, if you do, Metalhead Software’s Super Mega Baseball hopes to recreate that fun. And if you don’t, they intend to introduce you to it.
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Video Game Review: Bastion (PS4)

April 8, 2015 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
Awakening to a world that has been effectively destroyed by an event known as “the Calamity,” you make your way to your people’s safe haven (”the Bastion”) to find that you’re the only person to reach the sanctuary. That means it’s up to you to save the world… at least what’s left of it. To do so you’ll need to venture into the remnants to find crystal shards to build up the Bastion, which operates as a central hub for all your adventuring.
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2015 RotoRob MLB Draft Kit: Top 10 Rookies

April 6, 2015 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
Considered by most publications to be one of the top handful of prospects, if the not the best of the bunch, Buxton will nonetheless open the 2015 season in the minors for some seasoning (and to prevent his service-time clock from starting). He is long on talent — excellent speed, developing power, ferocious bat speed, etc. — but short on experience with just three at-bats above High-A. It’s possible the Twins could hold Buxton back until 2016, but a more likely scenario is a late-June promotion. If that happens, pounce.
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