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Final Fantasy Returns to Ivalice in HD on the PlayStation 4

6 Jun

By Shawn Trommeshauser
(Dreaming in Digital)

Final Fantasy XII (FFXII) was originally released in 2006 for the PlayStation 2 and it is one of my favourite entries in the legendary series of role-playing games from Japan. It’s getting an update, titled Final Fantasy XII – The Zodiac Age, and the announcement of its availability on the PlayStation 4 was made today. There are currently no mentions of other consoles or the PC — which is unfortunate — but these days Square Enix has had a good track record of PC support so I would say it’s just a matter of time.

This was the first single player game in the series to truly begin moving away from the style that the classic Final Fantasy titles were known for. This shift has become exceptionally controversial with the newer games in the series, but I feel that this game struck a great balance between the older turn based party combat and more modern action RPGs that allow autonomous party members and dynamic movement in battle. This battle system was further refined and anyone who enjoys Final Fantasy XIV (available on Amazon) would be able to see the foundations laid in FFXII.

l_57518726c426cSet in the same world as the famous Final Fantasy Tactics, FFXII heavily focuses on politics. The rise and fall of various nations set the stage of this game’s story. Both games share the same composers, and the quality of the soundtrack is consistently great.

From street urchins to sky pirates, the game is filled with interesting characters and memorable locations. I’m looking forward to replaying this game, but being limited to the standard definition of the PlayStation 2 has always put me off. Normally I don’t have an issue playing older games in the form they were originally made, but this game deserves a chance to shine. The high definition remake of FFX shows just how much a classic 3D game could be improved with some effort.

Square Enix has been remaking and re-releasing games in the Final Fantasy series at a feverish pace for the last several years. Even the long-requested remake of FF7 is finally happening. You can now get all of the Final Fantasy series on your computer, and most of them on modern game consoles and your portable devices. All but FF12 which was never mentioned until today.

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Set for release in 2017 the remastered game will boast the usual range of features in a modern HD remake including high definition graphics, and trophies, the PlayStation equivalent of achievements.

But it seems that, like FFX a couple of years ago, they are going the extra mile with upgraded character models, textures, remastered music, and autosave support. And for the first time in North America, they are bringing the enhancements made to the game in the Japan-only ‘International Zodiac Job System’ release from 2007. Fans who prefer to consume their media in the original language it was created in will appreciate the inclusion of the original Japanese voice-overs.

While I thoroughly appreciate all the Final Fantasy love that Square Enix has been giving us in recent years, and I’m looking forward to the upcoming Final Fantasy XV, I do have one remaining question for them at the moment. Where is Kingdom Hearts 3?

 

Announcement Trailer

 

 

Original Famitsu article (in Japanese) can be read at http://www.famitsu.com/news/201606/06107465.html

 

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