Just days after its release, Final Fantasy VII: Remake rose to the top of best-seller lists worldwide, updating the story and mechanics of the old Final Fantasy VII for modern audiences, and proving that other, older classics in the Final Fantasy franchise could prosper from a similar kind of update. There are three Final Fantasy games in particular that would benefit from such a renewal, thanks to their revered status among nostalgic fans and outdated mechanics that keep modern audiences from enjoying them quite as much.
Back in 1997, Final Fantasy VII was the “killer app” that made the PlayStation console successful on a global scale, updating the Final Fantasy JRPG franchise into a 3D graphical format while spinning a tale with heavy environmentalist themes and an innovative “modern fantasy” setting. Gamers across the world fell in love with character like Tifa, Aerith, Barret, Red XIII, and, of course, Cloud Strife, the spiky-haired, Buster Sword-toting mercenary who inspired a legion of other JRPG heroes.
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The charm and appeal of Final Fantasy VII: Remake lies in how it deftly balances the nostalgia of old fans with the modern gameplay and detail needed to attract new fans. The combat system combines real-time cinematic real-time combat with the turn-based tactics of FFVII classic, while the modern game maps are filled with clutter, people, and events that bring the futuristic city of Midgar to life. The plot is also a mix of old and new, retelling the original FFVII in broad strokes while adding new surprises and cleverly building off fan hopes that certain beloved characters won’t suffer the same tragic fates….
Odds are good that the developers at Square Enix are focusing on designing the second act for Final Fantasy VII: Remake (or even Final Fantasy XVI). However, if they are working on remakes for other Final Fantasy games, they could do worse than to focus on these three classics:
Final Fantasy VIII: I See Your Buster Sword And Raise You One Gunblade
Another fondly remembered JRPG classic of the 1990s, Final Fantasy VIII took the modern fantasy aesthetic of FFVIII and placed it in a high school environment – a high school with students like Squall Leonhart, a stoic, Gunblade toting super-soldier trained to fight an evil Sorceress. A remake of Final Fantasy VIII would bring this coming-of-age story to a new generation, while a revamping of the combat system could rectify the more awkward elements of the “Draw” and “Junction” magic/upgrade systems.
Final Fantasy VI: Magitek, Evil Clowns, and Nights At the Opera
The last hurrah of the Super Nintendo Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy VI was a masterpiece of 8-bit sprite graphics in which Square Enix took their story and gameplay to unprecedented heights. Set in a steampunk fantasy world slowly rediscovering magic, FF VI‘s large party of dynamic characters could steal enemy uniforms, suplex ghost trains, pilot Magitek robots, perform in Operas, negotiate peace treaties, and survive the end of the world. This richness of detail aside, Final Fantasy VI also shares similar gameplay elements with Final Fantasy VII, which would make it very easy to adapt using the current Final Fantasy VII: Remake engine.
Final Fantasy IX: Do You Need A Reason to Help People?
A stylistic throwback to the cartoonish visuals and medieval fantasy settings of Final Fantasy I through V, Final Fantasy IX is underrated compared to Final Fantasy VII and other iconic titles. This is a dreadful shame, since Final Fantasy IX is arguably one of the best Final Fantasy titles out there, with polished gameplay, a light-hearted yet mature story, and well-drawn heroes who embrace optimism over despair and mature idealism over cynical angst. An ideal remake of this Final Fantasy installment wouldn’t just expand on the original narrative and introduce real-time gameplay; it also give modern fans a glimpse of the earliest Final Fantasy games that started it all.
What Final Fantasy experience do you want to see remade?
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About The Author
A Chicago-based Writer, Author and freelance translator. Looking to prep his readers for the next renaissance or apocalypse, whichever comes first.
Write and publishes web fiction under the pseudonym Aldo Salt on Inkshares.com.
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