WHICH 3 FINAL FANTASY GAMES SHOULD RECEIVE A NEXT-GEN REMAKE?

Posted by Red Dog 29/12/2014 at 5 bastard 30 am

If I could choose any random drunken pub conversation to engage in, it would easily be the title of this blog ... I could literally spend hours debating which Final Fantasy games should get the 'next-gen remake treatment'. Unfortunately, none of my friends are sad enough to humour me for even ten seconds when it comes to this subject!

As I am currently enjoying the most intense bout of insomnia I have ever witnessed and this topic is fresh in my little brain, I thought I could ramble on about my (normally avoided) favourite subject in a blog! Who knows? I might even fall asleep at some point (or maybe the poor bastard reading this article will). Before I begin, I will need to decide which three of the many great Final Fantasy games to choose from, I will explain my choices using the table below ...

GAME

Final Fantasy 13

Final Fantasy 12

Final Fantasy 11
Final Fantasy 10


Final Fantasy 9


Final Fantasy 8

Final Fantasy 7
Final Fantasy 6
Final Fantasy 5

Final Fantasy 4
Final Fantasy 3
Final Fantasy 2
Final Fantasy 1

IS IT IN MY TOP THREE?

No. This game is far too recent to even think about a remake. Plus it isn't exactly the most universally loved Final Fantasy title in the series!
No. This game already has voice acting, nice graphics and a modern edge (plus, in my opinion ... it sucks compared to a lot of these other options).
Hell no!
No. FFX already has voice acting, great cut scenes and has recently enjoyed a HD facelift (plus, this is controversially my favourite game of all time and it's amazing just the way it is ... Cue Bruno Mars music).
No. A title that deserves more love than it receives, filled with charm, character and nostalgia. This game could lift me out of the grumpiest of moods and it's simply great (but doesn't need a remake in my opinion).
No. I don't see how watching Squall mope around in superb modern graphics will help anyone. Plus nothing can enhance this convoluted mess of a plot.
I have selected this game.
I have selected this game.
No. This game does a lot of things well (such as the combat and job system), but I don't think a next-gen remake will enhance any of them. Plus the story lacks depth.
I have selected this game.
No. Lacks the character depth and necessary epic storyline for a next-gen remake.
See above.
See above the above.

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FINAL FANTASY 7

RPG nerds have been pining like a dog for a next-gen remake of this title for longer than I can remember, but Square Enix would rather be infuriating us with their new vision of gaming (lucky us). I can only imagine how great this game could be if it was reintroduced to us with modern day sound and graphics. A certain uber-emotional scene with Aerith would quite frankly be amazing if it was revamped to today's impressive graphical standards. In addition, it could be argued that this is the last Final Fantasy game where the graphics did detract from the experience. The pixelated characters with their giant blinky eyes and big, blocky hands could occasionally hamper what was at times, a very serious plot! In addition to this, the already awesome music would sound fantastic with a modern touch, as long as it isn't tinkered with too much, of course! In fact ... Why have Square Enix not listened to the masses and produced this eagerly awaited remake already?

WHAT WOULD I CHANGE?

Cloud in a Dress
Due to the style of the graphics, this funny little cross dressing puzzle was quite a humerous addition. However, with sharp and realistic graphics, I can't help but feel that this would all come across as a little bit 'uncomfortable'. Much like Cloud's dress, I think this could definitely benefit from some adjustments here and there! Maybe Aerith could enter Don Corneo's mansion and Cloud has to find a way to sneak in? Something would definitely need to be done because the guys chasing Cloud around the room, believing he is a female prostitute, would just look beyond weird with modern graphics!

Tell the Full Story (don't make people look for it)
I realise that not everyone will agree with this (some guys like to work hard for their content), but I think that some parts of the story would need to be made a bit more obvious this time around. Zak's death and Sephiroth's true identity are two examples of vital plot parts that can be missed if you don't do certain things in the game. I think they should appear as part of the obligatory main story as they are too important to leave as a side note.

No Stupid Minigames
I have recently played through FF7 again on my PSP and I have to be honest, some of the minigames that you are forced to play are just annoying. The skiing minigame with that chirpy music so shortly after one of the saddest moments in gaming history? Ugh! The snowfields? Boring! That weird submarine game? Pointless! Let's leave out the unnecessary sidetracks.

WHAT PEOPLE MIGHT BE TEMPTED TO CHANGE ... BUT SHOULDN'T!

The Love Triangle
The love triangle in Final Fantasy 7 is fairly ambiguous to say the least. People have argued for years about who the true FF7 couple is and I think some folks would demand a clearer outcome if a remake surfaced (I would imagine some dirty bastards would demand a very clear indication that there was a 'happy ending' between Cloud and Tifa on the night before the final battle as well). In my opinion, the whole debate over Cloud's 'true feelings' is a) boring and b) should remain open to interpretation.

Random Battles (This goes for all my three choices)
If there ever is a remake of this game, it should be for the fans. In other words, don't mess with things in an attempt to appeal to the masses ... We like grinding and leveling up through hundreds of random battles for some crazy reason, so let's just leave it that way!

COULD THIS REMAKE REPLACE FINAL FANTASY X AS MY ALL TIME FAVOURITE?

No.

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FINAL FANTASY 6

Despite the abundance of love and adoration that is heaped on Final Fantasy 7, you won't see it at the top of as many 'best Final Fantasy game' lists as you'd think! When it comes to storyline, characters, music and awesome villains, Final Fantasy 6 tops many people's 'all time favourite's' chart. Admittedly, this isn't my favourite overall FF game, but I do think it's brilliant and exceeds FF7 in many ways. A lot of RPG gamers will tell you that the extremely sad scene with Aerith (from this game's successor) is the most upsetting moment ever to appear in a video game. I personally would not agree with that. The scene from FF6, where Cyan is chasing his family as they are taken away in the Phantom Train made me feel so sorry for the little, blocky sprite! I can only imagine how powerful this moment could be with today's excellent sound and graphics.

Then there's the greatest RPG villain to ever grace our screens ... Kefka. This guy (and his manic laugh) just has to be bought to life with modern technology! His unique look, personality and evil antics deserve to be wreaking havoc on next generation platforms. Even with the limited sound and graphics of its day, Kefka was larger than life and is easily the greatest video game 'bad guy' in my opinion! Even without a next-gen remake, if you played the SNES version right now, you would be impressed with the storytelling, gameplay and fantastic music ... I can't imagine just how great this game could be if it were remade with today's state of the art technology! Just imagine ... that opera house scene using the power of a next-gen console ... Wow!

WHAT WOULD I CHANGE?

Erm ... That's a head Scratcher
I'm sure I could nit-pick a few things, but overall, I wouldn't really want to change too much about the structure or story! I guess with today's first rate technology, Locke and Celes' relationship could afford to be a bit more 'grown up' ... and I don't mean a HD sex scene if that's what you're thinking! For example, We could thankfully avoid Locke literally turning bright red and his eyes popping out his head in 'cartoony' fashion when he sees her in the opera dress.

WHAT PEOPLE MIGHT BE TEMPTED TO CHANGE ... BUT SHOULDN'T!

Cid's Subtle Hint
There is a scene where Cid suggests to Celes that if the 'World of Ruin' becomes to painful for her, she could take a leaf out of other depressed people's book and throw herself off the north cliff! Yes, this mid-nineties video game tackled the issue of suicide in a world too evil to cope with! However, there was not a mature rating on this game and the script needed to be 'kid friendly' to avoid a potential shit storm! Square were very clever with the way this was worded, as it resonated with the adult gamers but could have meant an entirely different thing to younger players. He said "When they were feeling down, they'd take a leap of faith from the cliffs up north ... perked 'em right up!" I think that in this day and age, some would be tempted to make this comment a little less ambiguous to really add to the drama. Personally, I loved the way this was presented originally ... The melancholy undertones within such a 'jolly' line made that part of the game feel even more dark and impactive (in my opinion at least).

COULD THIS REMAKE REPLACE FINAL FANTASY X AS MY ALL TIME FAVOURITE?

If it lives up to the potential ... there is a chance that it could!

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FINAL FANTASY 4

When considering the three games I have selected, this is easily my least favourite. I do believe that this game would benefit the most from a modern day remake though. There are some mature themes in Final Fantasy 4 such as jealousy, manipulation, death, war, redemption and revenge. These create some potentially powerful moments in the game that I feel get lost on a dated platform that Square hadn't truly learned to use to its full potential yet. By the time Final Fantasy 6 had hit the shelves, the developers knew how to create drama with a limited set of resources. Unfortunately, FF4's potentially dramatic moments tend to lack the impact that the sixth installment had perfected. That is why I think this is an ideal candidate for a remake ... With the combination of Square Enix's story telling know-how and the power of modern consoles, this good game could become great!

WHAT WOULD I CHANGE?

The Key Parts of the Script
Although the story should stay the same, I believe that the manner in which the most important developments are played out would need some serious refinement. As I mentioned above, there are too many potentially powerful moments that are killed by a basic, lifeless script.

Add Some Character Depth and Back Stories
A lot of the character's in Final Fantasy 4, including the chief antagonist, are rather flat and lack any real development. Sure, you find out things about them, but their personality tends to be flatter than a pancake! As Square / Square Enix have delivered fantastically in this area numerous times since, I'm sure they could add some much needed life to these characters without too much trouble!

Eliminate the Death Teases
A big flaw in the story is the amount of times you are lead to believe that a character has died, only for them to resurface later. I think this comes across as quite cheesy and I would strongly avoid repeating this mistake. There are other ways to make a playable character temporarily unavailable! You don't have to tease a grizzly death of all of them!

WHAT PEOPLE MIGHT BE TEMPTED TO CHANGE ... BUT SHOULDN'T!

The Difficulty
Final Fantasy 4 was from an era when RPG's were tough! To get from one save point to another in the more difficult dungeons is a real challenge (there were a couple of times when I was looping a room repeatedly to grind out victories and level up my party, just so I could progress in the game ... I loved it!). I think that when developing a remake, there would be a great temptation to appeal to the new age of gamers and really tone down the difficulty level. I think this would be a big mistake. If the experience of the game is good enough, a high difficulty will not cause people to power down their console and give up. The type of gamers who are turned away because of high difficulty are most likely never going to buy a Final Fantasy 4 remake in the first place!

COULD THIS REMAKE REPLACE FINAL FANTASY X AS MY ALL TIME FAVOURITE?

I'm afraid not, but it could be the 'most re-makable' (if that is a word) game in the series! Plus a slightly modernised version of the battle music would be beyond awesome!

SUMMARY

So, there you have it! My three choices for Final Fantasy next-gen remakes ... Unfortunately, I don't believe that the budget for these remakes would balance with the amount of money they would generate, so it is unlikely we will ever see them. In a perfect world though, if Square Enix did choose to do just one ... I would hope that Final Fantasy 6 gets the nod, it would be simply fantastic!