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Final Fantasy V and VI remakes: why DS? (Editorial)

By Heath | January 3, 2008 at 2:09 am

Square Enix’s previous use of the Game Boy Advance to release updated versions of Final Fantasy I&II, IV, V, and VI has a lot of people thinking ahead, especially now that Final Fantasy III and IV have received DS remake treatment.

Many gamers are now clammoring for DS remakes of Final Fantasy V and VI. But this is where my thoughts seem to break off from the masses. Perhaps I’m a greedy prick, but I demand more. Should those games be remade, I’d rather play them on a big screen. Give me those on PS3, please.

Yes, I realize the cost and amount of work going into a PlayStation 3 game would be heftily more than those of a DS game. Yes, I realize that because of those and other factors, it would take longer for these versions to come out. I’m okay with this; my point here is that PS3 versions are what I would rather play, not what I’d bet will happen. It’s pretty easy to say that DS versions are more likely. That, however, does not stop me from wondering how mystified I’d be walking through the Phantom Forest, how much more intriguing Galuf’s death scene would be, or what it’d be like seeing Celes more beautful than ever as she sings her famous aria with the power of a current-generation console. I’m sorry, but while DS versions of all that would be fun as heck for sure, I’d highly prefer them on my TV screen, where they can be treated to the best performance and presentation that technology can currently offer — something a pair of such classic titles deserve.

I’m not saying this out of graphic whoredom; I’m saying this because I’ve already experienced the “old-school” feelings and versions of these games, a number of times. I’ve already had that. I got it from the original versions, from the GBA remakes, and from those PSX ports. Heck, speaking of the ports, the best part (aside from the obvious, that English-speakers could finally play FFV legally) of Final Fantasy Anthology was arguably those CG cinemas that were added, because it gave us a look at some of our favorite characters and moments at the then-standard. Everyone was excited to see that stuff. That was pushing a decade ago. Now I’m ready for a full game with beefed-up graphics, rather than just a highlight video. If one of my favorite games ever is going to be remade, I’d rather see the effort be all-out, rather than something that’ll just end up using the Final Fantasy III DS engine again and offer a toned-down remake. Again, I’m not saying it wouldn’t be good–I’m sure it would be quite fun–I’m saying that I’d prefer it on PS3.

Such remakes would contain obvious gameplay changes in transition, regardless of the system. Would PS3 remakes feel less like the originals than DS versions, or vice versa? It’s hard to say, but either way, I for one do not care. I’ve felt the original. If I want to feel the original again, I can gladly play the original. Or the PSX port. Or the GBA remake. I’m okay with this. If people don’t like the feeling of a remake because it’s not enough like the original, then I recommend just sticking to the original. That’s what I would do if I felt that way, and I’d have no problem with that.

As a note, a nod of respect goes to Final Fantasy V, but the majority of my love here lies with VI, so please forgive my bias in this paragraph. Final Fantasy VI is, quite frankly, one of the greatest games ever made, including all genres and systems. If it is to be remade again, then just this one time, I’d like it to be done on a system that shows me, proportionally, what the Super Nintendo version did when it was new. That is to say, the SNES version showed us an amazing game, and did so with a then-powerful gaming console. It had just about the best graphics it could with the best sound it could, and if it’s going to be remade, then please, give me that again. These are not the most important elements in an RPG–far from it–but I’ve already seen Final Fantasy VI in SNES 2D, and while a DS version might look nice, I want to see something that will make me say “Wow.” Wow me, Square Enix.

In a more perfect world, both of versions of these games would manifest, and we’d not even have to discuss which we’d prefer. In the realistic world, a DS version of each seems much more likely at this time, and thus I’m left to wonder what a modern CG render of Aurabolt might look like on a 36-inch flatscreen HDTV and yearning to hear what Aria di Mezzo Caraterre would sound like coming to my ears via PS3, through TV speakers, while the majority of my gaming comrades instead desire to see this on a pair of three-inch screens and hear it from the “awesomely powerful” speakers of a Nintendo DS.

Heath Hindman


Imagine the possibilities.

Topics: Editorials, Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy VI