Square Enix’s E3 2021 show today received quite a mixed reception. Personally, it was easily one of the weakest shows of E3 so far. The 20-minute focus on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy did them no favors, but let’s not dwell on that. One of the most jarring and questionable announcements of this particular show was Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster.
This recently revealed collection is a series of remastered versions of the original 6 Final Fantasy titles, which will all be individually released. When the teaser trailer began, excitement abounded from me and several other reactors I watched. After all, the prospect of finally seeing these early Final Fantasy games getting just, modernized treatment, and releasing on consoles for the first time in what feels like eons was thrilling and exciting.
However, any semblance of hype immediately degraded when the platforms of release were shown; Steam and Mobile. The obvious complaint most of us have regarding this decision of release is that it alienates practically every console player.
Both Steam and Mobile already have a number of these classic titles on their digital storefronts. Though, to be clear, the Steam versions of the titles are ports of the mobile versions, so, really, these are exclusively made for mobile-first and foremost. With these upcoming remasters coming to both Steam and Mobile, that really means that they are really being developed with solely Mobile in mind due to having to account for its limitations. This then means that the Steam ports are likely a collective afterthought.
For how much Square proclaims these games as legendary foundations for the RPG genre, their purposeful avoidance of releasing them on consoles, the general platform umbrella each title originally released under, is perplexing and head-scratching. While everyone has a smartphone, there’s a reason many players dislike playing fully-fledged games on it. The format is simply not fitting for single-player experiences, and it comes off as cheap and low-effort. Mobile phones are powerful but still abhorrently limited compared to what games strictly on consoles and PC can produce.
More than that, though, many want to experience these original founding father JRPGs on the scale they were initially playable on. Playing games on TVs and monitors is distinctly different compared to playing them on phones. It is discernible, more eye-catching, and at least personally, more immersive. These first 6 Final Fantasy titles deserve to be accessible and appealing to as wide an audience as possible instead of being obtusely relegated to phones.
The core of this dilemma is how it is 2021, and these classic games have not been ported to modern platforms for several generations. This same, general issue also applies to Dragon Quest where the majority of its mainline entries are stuck on Mobile without any ports to PC or consoles.
I’m sure there are financial reasons why Square Enix refuses to bring these games to more platforms, but regardless of the reason, it constantly breeds frustration and dissatisfaction when thinking of how effortless and simple it would be to simply port these games to consoles.
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