Final Fantasy VI, probably the fan favorite in Square Enix’s (nee Squaresoft’s) long running Final Fantasy series, is now available for iOS. In fact it might have been available since January 29, which is what Square Enix lists as the “posted” date in Apple’s iTunes Store (though, confusingly, its “released” date is February 6 on the iTunes Preview page).
What unquestionably went live on February 6 is the game’s first update, version 1.01, about which Square Enix writes “A number of bugs have been addressed.” If you’re so moved to make a purchase, it’ll set you back $16, same as the current pricing for Final Fantasys III, IV and V.
I realize the game’s appearance won’t be welcome news to some of you, who’ve decided the cartoonish look of the V and VI remasters, despite their cleaner, clearer, significantly higher resolutions, is a deal-breaker. Not for me. I like the streamlined visuals, but then I’ve been a fan since the Final Fantasy I and II anniversary remasters on the PlayStation Portable.
But I get it. This is sacred ground, and who’s to say the games needed remastering? Detail formerly pixellated textures or refine the facial features of once-amorphous characters and you’re filling in visual information at odds with gamers’ imaginations. When you’re talking about a 20-year-old game (fully so, come this October), nostalgia holds sway.
To be fair, that’s why I’ve lost enthusiasm for a Final Fantasy VII remake. Advent Children was beautifully rendered and a welcome extension of FFVII‘s story, but a remaster that looked like the CGI film, with its grungy industry-scapes and lifelike characters, would feel nothing like the original. I’d rather see the original game future-proofed through emulators on newer platforms than try to recapture whatever I felt playing the original through a lens CGI-ly.
But now I’ve probably insulted those of you thinking, “No, no, no… It’s not that FFVI couldn’t have been incredible remastered, it’s that this remaster in particular stinks.” Fair enough, there’s no accounting for taste, etc.
In any event, Square Enix must be doing well by these remakes, because it keeps revisiting the same games, platform after platform. At this rate, we’ll be swinging Cloud’s Buster sword around wearing Oculus Rift goggles by the early 2020s.