The ESRB has dropped ratings for Final Fantasy 1 to 6 Pixel Remaster, not only for Microsoft Windows, but Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4.
Following their work publishing Chrono Trigger to Steam and mobile, Square Enix announced plans to rerelease these Final Fantasy games, but in a very interesting way.
Prior remasters of these games saw several features added in, including full 3D remakes on a variety of platforms. For example, in 2006, a 3D remake of Final Fantasy 3 was released to the Nintendo DS. Developed by Matrix Software, this marked the first time this game was officially released in North America and Europe.
However, for the Pixel Remaster series, Square Enix had a different vision in mind. Perhaps in line with providing a consistent memorial to the legacy of their first Final Fantasy games, Square Enix decided to create a new release in the same pixel graphics they had on the Famicom and Super Famicom, but with modern accommodations to fit modern tastes.
The first of these changes are redrawn pixel graphics. These new pixel sprites will be attractive on HD screens, but will still retain the familiarity of the original visuals to fans who remember them.
Similarly, the soundtracks have new arrangements, all made under management of Nobuo Uematsu, who was the composer for all six games. The idea with the new soundtracks are to reproduce the feeling of the original games, but now no longer tethered to the limitations of the original Famicom and Super Famicom hardware.
As for the games themselves, there has been rebalancing made, still respecting the original balance found in each original games, but with smaller improvements, tweaks, and QOL changes. The user interface has similarly been improved, with a mind to make them easier to play. While we previously knew that those adjustments were to accommodate playing the game on Steam and mobile platforms, they may also be adapted for controllers on Nintendo’s and Sony’s platforms as well.
Perhaps there is no real surprise seeing these remakes coming to both Sony and Nintendo. Final Fantasy has a rich history with both companies, with various original games debuting and getting remade and rereleased on their platforms.
What would be interesting to see is if Square Enix is willing to go beyond their comfort zone and release Final Fantasy 1 to 6 Pixel Remaster to new platforms. What about releasing these games to Xbox Series X|S, or Apple Arcade? What about adding them to VR, or perhaps more mobile platforms outside of Apple and Google Play Store? There are non-Google Android stores too, like Harmony OS and Galaxy Store. And wouldn’t it be incredible if these received a DRM-free release under GOG? We’re hopeful Square Enix decides the best way to honor their legacy is to bring it literally everywhere people play games.