Square Enix had a particularly strong E3 lineup this year – perhaps its best ever. Even if you weren’t particularly sold on Crystal Dynamics’s upcoming Marvel Avengers game (our preview), there was plenty of JRPG goodness to go around.
As if getting an in-depth look at Final Fantasy VII Remake wasn’t enough, Square also unveiled a remaster of Final Fantasy VIII, the game’s first major re-release since launching back in 1999.
Sit down with a group of Final Fantasy fans and you’ll find that they each have their own favourite from the simplicity of the original to the MMO excellence of XIV. Final Fantasy VIII is jokingly derided by some though has one of the most ardent, die-hard fandoms of the lot. They were understandably annoyed when pretty much the entire FF series was being remastered with VIII nowhere to be seen.
When asked why the Final Fantasy VIII has taken so long, director Yoshinori Kitase said the following (via Siliconera):
At first, the plan was to release it on current-generation hardware, with more or less the same graphics. However, the title recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, and since TVs evolved from SD CRTs to LCD HDTVs, we decided that it was necessary to improve on character quality. So then we continued its development until just before it went gold, then out of nowhere, we decided to work on refining the characters. For that reason, we found ourselves in a situation that needed a major schedule change, but thanks to the efforts from the original staff’s Harada (battle programmer, Hiroshi Harada), character modeler Kayano (Tomohiro Kayano), and character designer Nomura (Tetsuya Nomura) we were able to revive it with wonderful quality. The troubles were there, but in the end it was the right call.
Previously, it was thought that we’d never see a Final Fantasy VIII remaster. Back in the 1990s and early 2000s Square wasn’t exactly on the ball when it came to preserving the original source code of its classic games. You can find a superb write-up on this by VG247’s Alex Donaldson.
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered will be launching later this year on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.