So far, Final Fantasy fans who yearn for the series’ golden days in the 90s have had a few options to enjoy those classics on current gaming platforms. Final Fantasy VII and VIII have been available in Remastered form on all platforms as a digital download.
These digital downloads have been ideal for convenience’s sake, but collectors have been left out in the cold. There is nothing quite as satisfying as holding a physical copy in your hands of one of your favorite games. That, and the fact that if the internet goes kaput one of these days, and/or your HDD dies, having a physical copy means that you can still play such a game as long as your hardware is in working order.
So, having a tangible game on your hands is for the most part more preferable than a ‘digital license’. Square/Enix has listened to our plight, and has finally announced a physical edition of its Final Fantasy VIII Remaster for the PS4 (pictured below), and a Nintendo Switch physical Twin pack of its Final Fantasy VII, and Final Fantasy VIII Remasters.
The games are scheduled to arrive on December 8th. There is however, one catch to this entire deal: The physical editions of these remasters will only be available in Europe. Square/Enix has yet to announce these releases anywhere else.
Final Fantasy VII, and VIII are an important part of the series’ history. Final Fantasy VII is a contender for the top spot in the series, and Final Fantasy VIII was a spectacular visual showcase in 1999, and while its non-sensical “Time Compression” storyline, coupled with its junction system divided many a Final Fantasy fan in its heyday, the game has aged well when compared to the post Sakaguchi era entries.
Missing in this collection for Switch is the universally loved Final Fantasy IX, which is the highest rated (94 Metacritic) Final Fantasy, and NER’s top FF game of all time.
These remasters offer a fantastic way to relive these classics, as you can speed combat by 3x, and even break it by turning on the option for unlimited ‘limit breaks’ and health regeneration. These additions are perfect for those who are looking to revisit the storylines without the cumbersome process of turn-based grinding.
Other than that, the Remasters offer minimal improvements over the original iterations. No wide screen mode, and the pre-rendered backgrounds remain at low resolutions. The character models and the 3-D stages (and world map) do get an HD boost , but nothing out of this world.
In fact, even at 14.99, I felt that FFVII was a bit overpriced, because you are literally getting a 23 year old game with minimal enhancements for that price.
Nintendo, has done something similar now with its Super Mario 3-D All Stars Collection, but at least these games got true resolution improvements, even if everything else was lacking (the games kept the original frame-rates, Mario 64 did not get a wide screen update).
Still, if you live in Europe and are a Final Fantasy fan looking to expand your physical collection, these news have to be very exciting. December 8th is just right around the corner.