| Last updated
Square Enix recently released part of their Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster collection, bringing the first three games to Steam and mobile with updated graphics and audio. Made in keeping with the 2D, 8-bit style of the original titles, the remastered games maintain all the charm of their predecessors while proudly bearing some quality of life improvements, such as reduced loading speeds and auto-battle features. But who are these releases for?
See the trailer for the remasters here
As a fan of the first game (which I've only played on the NES Classic Edition), I was instantly smitten with this new, remastered version of Final Fantasy. The pixels pop with pseudo-retro radiance, looking both brand new and antique. Loading up FFII and FFIII produced the same effect, impressively celebrating the glory of gaming's days of yore, while showing off the modern flourishes that have brought these games to life once again. As pleasant as they may be to the eye, we don't tend to play games just for their aesthetic value.
The gameplay honours the original games but with some welcome updated features. In addition to an improved user interface, there's an auto-battle option that can be toggled at any point during a fight. While this likely won't be helpful against tougher opponents, who will require more tactical thinking, it's a handy tool against lower-level enemies, especially when grinding. And it's not just the combat that's been improved.
There's now a bestiary accessible from the main menu, which keeps track of all the enemy creatures you've faced on your journey. As well as showing where they can be encountered, you can also see stats like how much health each foe has, and how many of each monster you've eliminated so far. As well as an opportunity to revel in your accomplishments, the bestiary is also a handy tool for deciding how you go about a fight, displaying any weakness a particular baddie may have.
Then there's the music player, letting you enjoy the soundtrack from each game's main menu. Each one includes a cute feature where your hero journeys while a piece of music plays, encountering other characters as they seemingly sing along to the score.
There's also an image gallery in each game, all full to the brim with pieces of beautiful concept art. As you look through the wonderful illustrations, the Prelude plays, adding a level of enchantment to the experience that will no doubt pull on the heart strings of fans. But what about newcomers?
Well, I'm not sure these games have been released with new audiences in mind. The Pixel Remasters are updated, but they still feel old. That's not a bad thing, nor is it a surprise, because the original late '80s and early '90s RPGs are classics, after all. That being said, gamers used to modern design may find these games to be too antiquated.
In short, Final Fantasy (I), II and III Pixel Remasters are beautiful tributes to three historic games. They maintain the charm and appeal of the original three titles, with plenty of extra bang for your buck in the form of improvements and extras. If you want to revisit some legendary titles, these releases are the best way to do it that I've found so far. However, if you're a newcomer, be prepared to forgive the limitations of the past.
Final Fantasy I, II and III Pixel Remasters are out now on Steam and mobile platforms. Games were tested on Steam with codes provided by the publisher.
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read