I'm of two minds about HD remasters. On one hand, they are great for allowing gamers access to experiences they might have missed in years prior or an opportunity to replay a favorite without breaking out old hardware. On the other hand, remasters typically only offer improvements in terms of presentation. Thankfully in the case of Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD, the addition of the previously Japanese-only content and a portable Vita version make all the difference. Replaying a better looking version of FFX does not hold much appeal to me, but playing the new content and being able to play it anywhere does. Portability is where this specific remaster experience really shines, which is a good thing because that's where I've been playing these games.
"Replaying a better looking version of FFX does not hold much appeal...being able to play it anywhere does."
I've spent most of my time so far with Final Fantasy X, a personal favorite. It's been over ten years since I last touched this one, so it's been great to get to experience the characters, story, and combat that I fell in love with again. It's still a fantastic turn-based experience and being able to swap characters in and out during battle is still a feature I appreciate to this day. Combat and general game progress does seem to take longer than I remember, but then again I've played a lot of other games since then.
That aside, Final Fantasy X looks and plays fantastically on Vita. I've seen no frame rate issues or any other graphical problems. Even the newly arranged soundtrack, which I was not a fan of outside of the game, seems to fit much better in-game. With new content like the expert Sphere Grid and Dark Aeons from the International version, it's easy to forget this is just a remaster and not a complete remake. Only issues like unskippable cutscenes and a lack of quick save show that this is simply a portable version of the original, not a game specifically designed for on-the-go play. Thankfully, the Vita allows you to suspend at any time, which really is great considering how spaced out some of the game's save points are.
Now Final Fantasy X-2 is a different story. My original take on this game was not very positive, since at the time I was hoping for more FFX and got a totally different kind of game instead. I never did get into the new battle system, but for some reason it feels much better to me now than it did before. While I am finding more enjoyment with combat, there are some notable frame rate issues right from the first battle. It's not unmanageable, but definitely worse than FFX. I'm not sure if this is the case with the PlayStation 3 version or not, but other than that I've had no issues. I'm actually more excited to fully dive back into X-2 than I am to finish my playthrough of FFX.
I make no bones about preferring portable gaming, so the Vita was the clear choice for me. Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD is wonderful to play on the go and all the new content makes it feel fresh. I can say that I don't think I'd still be playing on PS3. The lack of a suspend function and unskippable cutscenes that can't even be paused show that this game isn't completely new, but just an older game with a lovely new coat of paint. On Vita, though, it feels like an impressive achievement, so I'm so happy to get to play these games again there.