Final Fantasy IX
For: The Artwork Is only able to Get Better
One of my girlfriends posted something very interesting to my Facebook yesterday: a link to some �lost� Final Fantasy IX artwork. I�ve owned The Art of Final Fantasy IX for decades, so when I saw the web link, my first thought was �yeah, okay, but I�ve definitely seen this before�.
Boy, was I wrong.
My jaw dropped. There were about 100 pictures here that we had never seen before, all within a resolution about three times just what the original PlayStation disc could handle. As Mama Robotnik, mcdougal of the above forum post, said, �The �lost art� referenced inside the thread title isn�t supposed to describe this content as being lost and found – it means art details which were lost when the graphics were downconverted to a limited 32-bit console�.
Ruby’s Mini Theater Never Looked So Good.
Ruby�s Mini Theater Never Looked So great.
Needless to say, I was amazed. After purely experiencing and enjoying the artwork for a while, a thought popped into my head: if they�ve got these really high-resolution backgrounds already, that has to make it easier to craft a remake, if and when they choose to do so. They�ve already had a bunch of great work already setup for them, for cryin� loudly! So why won�t they do it?
Initially, I was against a remake of FFIX; I considered that the original was perfect, and they also needn�t do anything else. However, after i watched Yu Yu Hakusho, my favorite anime, in 1080p Blu Ray, I noticed that making things look prettier given newer technology could, or even increase my enjoyment, supply another, more detailed look at exactly what the artists were opting for when they created the work.
Against: Final Fantasy VII Fans are Mad Enough
Seriously, though. They thought they were getting a PS3 makeover for your franchise�s most popular game years back. Square Enix has said that they won�t remake it until they create a new title that surpasses the first, both in sales as well as in quality (see this GameSpot article, in the event you haven�t heard this already).
Look, Square Enix: it�s hardly going to happen.
It�s a vicious loop: basically, they�re trying to make a casino game that is so good that it’s going to make people forget about VII to considered �the best�. However, people can�t obtain the idea of a VII remake from their heads. They won�t give Square Enix an opportunity until it�s done. Look, Square Enix, it�s don’t assume all your fault that you won�t make a game that�s better; it�s equally the fault of the gaming community internet marketing really bad at considering new games in the same nostalgic light of the old classics which they hold so dear. That�s only a part of human nature, though, I think – there�s a reason they�re called �the classic days�. Part of business is learning when to stretch for something new, and when to shut up and provide your diehard fans the content they have waited so patiently for. I don�t think Square Enix realizes that yet.
So yeah, they won�t remake VII� But they�re remaking FFX in HD, which was already made with quite-sexy PS2 graphics. Way sexier than �the-first-PS1-FF� graphics, without a doubt. They�ve remade I and II for the GBA, and III and IV to the DS. I just have the feeling that if they remake any longer Final Fantasy titles before FFVII, there’ll be pitchforks sharpened and torches lit. Even I, who thinks that FFIX is probably the greatest pieces of media ever created, much more philosophically and artistically intriguing than VII, am waiting impatiently for Square Enix to eliminate their craniums from their posteriors.
I believe I can sum up most everyone�s opinion for this with three simple words:
God dammit, Squeenix. (Cute nickname, right?)
For: It Reminds Square Enix About What Squaresoft was Doing Right
Pest bit of a radical opinion, however i honestly think that if your next FF were released without having to use voice actors, the overall opinion on the company’s game would rise. I�m not likely to spend much time on defending myself here; just take a look at Ian�s blog post, �Hearing Voices�, and you�ll basically know what my argument is behind this.
I do believe that, recently, Final Fantasy has gone the way of most game companies, focusing a lot more on realism – real-looking people, dynamically-rendered, interactive worlds, and the like.
Realism. When the title of the game is Final Fantasy.
I feel like they�ll get the idea when they�re in the middle of an HD makeover for, say, Hippaul.
Final Fantasy IX, like the majority of of the great Final Fantasy titles before it, posseses an expansive, colorful world. There were a variety of, non-human races that looked distinctly fantastical (again, Hippaul). Even the key characters aren�t supposed to look real; they�re chibi for the max, and I adore it. There was always something new to discover, to explore. By the 3rd disc, you�re basically let loose, able to take care of most side quests, etc. amongst gamers. No more rails. The game designers had enough faith in your intelligence to let you go do your personal thing, make your own mistakes and acquire out of them. This gets ever rarer in the big-name game companies, and it�s something they could take a lesson in if they look at their old games.
Against: Square Enix Must Let People Know that They Can Craft Good Games
Personally, I enjoyed FFX:2 (I am going to understand if you stop reading now). FFXII would have been a solid game, to begin MetaCritic giving it a 92 from 100, which is corresponding to FFVII�s score. However, it turned out nowhere near as fashionable as VII was (to the chagrin of numerous a XII fan). There was something that VII had a greater portion of than most other FF titles: a giant American marketing campaign. I don�t ever remember seeing any pre-release brouhaha for XII. While it proves that Squeenix can certainly produce a solid game, they should promote it more. A remake of FFIX now could produce the image that all they�re beneficial to is remaking the games of the predecessors, basically admitting defeat and saying they can�t surpass the classics.
My Opinion: If You�re Gonna Use It, Keep It; If Not, Give It to Someone that Will
Correct me if I�m wrong, but I�m confident that characters from FFIX have been used only a handful of times since its release (Zidane/Kuja in Dissidia; Zidane in Theatrhythm; Vivi in KH2 are the ones I can think of immediately). Because VII remains making money off of its spin-offs and films and such, keep those rights; however, if you�re not gonna make use of the characters, art, etc. off their franchises� why not give these to the public? FFIX may not be popular enough to generate much money off of anymore, but from my experience, it features a cult-like following of rabidly dedicated players who does love to sink their teeth into community-made remakes/sequels/etc. While unrealistic, I think that would be a great thing for Squeenix to perform. Even if it�s just the engine. Look what went down when Valve released Source SDK: it spawned among the best games of the past decade.
Like the people waiting for a VII remake, however, I won�t hold my breath.
Questions? Comments? Opinions? Put �em within the comments!