So you’re about to pick up a copy of the Remastered version of either FFX and FFX-2, but you’re wondering — are there differences that make the game easier or harder?
Throughout history, older games are notoriously much harder than their newer counterparts. I can’t name how many times Nintendo has nerfed their games in their re-release, giving extra lives and handouts.
But Square-Enix is not Nintendo.
Here’s the short answer to this question:
Final Fantasy X/X-2 Remastered is the exact same game with graphic polish. It is no harder or easier than the original in gameplay.
However, there are some modern conveniences added to the remastered version that can make it easier and there are ways you can choose to boost the challenge.
How Remastered is Easier
The Remastered version might be easier in some aspects. See the sections below for why the remastered version might be easier.
Boosts for PC and Switch
For both the Steam and Switch version, you have options to speed up your character to two or four times speed, change enemy encounters, and even turn on a ‘turbo’ mode, which fills your Overdrive.
However, anyone playing the game should know to use these features wisely for convenience and probably never use the Turbo option.
Autosave and Scene Skips
A lot of pain is saved with the option to skip certain scenes and autosave. Autosave is a life saver. For example, when playing the Sphere Break tournament in FFX-2, you don’t get to save with a Save Sphere between the last matches, but autosave captures the save right before you challenge Shinra.
How Remastered is Harder
The Remastered version might be harder in some aspects. See the sections below for why the remastered version might be harder.
Unlike the original release in the United States, FFX Remaster is the international version. The international version introduces Dark Aeons — extremely strong fiends guarding the temples.
Because of this difference, you can even argue that the remastered version is actually harder than the game you remember from 2001.
You Can Mod FFX on PC
You can Mod FFX on PC to make the game even harder. Easier, too, perhaps? But it seems that FFX players tend to have an appetite for more challenge.
The New Expert Sphere Grid
FFX Remaster offers an Expert sphere grid. If you are not well versed in using the Sphere Grid, to begin with, the Expert Sphere grid is confusing and certainly harder.
However, suppose you know how to use the Sphere Grid. In that case, the Expert grid might be enjoyable and the additional options may make your party even stronger from the outset. This ultimately makes the gameplay easier.
In the time of the PlayStation 2 era, there was no such thing as achievements. 100%ing a game didn’t come with any verifiable social cred.
When I played the original version of FFX on the PlayStation 2, I felt fine achieving what I wanted to achieve.
But the Remastered version has some absolutely brutal achievements. The chief among brutality: filling every Sphere Grid slot for every character. While I could do this for the PlayStation 2, I had absolutely zero incentive.
In conclusion, FFX/FFX-2 Remastered is, in gameplay, not any easier or harder. If you play on the original settings, your experience would be exactly identical except for the International Version features.
I’ve been playing FFX-2 Remastered on my Twitch stream and I’m finding the experience to feel identical to when I first played it on the PlayStation 2. I hope that you join me there and see exactly what I’m talking about.