Final Fantasy IX always seemed like that one PlayStation exclusive entry in the series that would never reach another platform. Unlike VII and VIII, it never received a shoddy PC port back in the day, and Square’s staunchly traditional approach never seemed to click with the Western PC gaming crowd. It’s very much a “traditional Final Fantasy” game at heart, more so than its two predecessors.
Times have changed, and with Final Fantasy IX coming to smartphones and PCs very soon, this might be the best version yet of the popular classic. Square Enix has announced a new host of options that extend far beyond Steam achievements, ironing out the slowdown, and HD upscaling.
For one, Final Fantasy IX‘s PC port will allow gamers to speed up the battle animations, similar to Bravely Default or the other recent Final Fantasy Steam ports. While it might make normal attacks feel awkward, as Final Fantasy IX is already a pretty speedy game, it will allow players to zoom through the lengthy summon animations.
If I remember correctly, Final Fantasy IX was the PlayStation game that implemented both full-length an abridged animations for its summon monsters, so this was never really a problem to begin with. Still, you can only see Ramuh so many times before you get sick of him.
Another important benefit is the ability to turn of random encounters. Purists might cry foul, but there is no honor in hacking through a dungeon just to be killed because you couldn’t reach an inn in time. Bravely Default also did this, meaning the Nintendo 3DS hit is turning out to be quite influential in Square Enix’s decisions to make these older games more accessible.
Unlike the abominable Super Nintendo ports, Square Enix has gone all out to make these PC ports of its PlayStation classics the definitive versions for years to come. Of course, we’re still missing the absolute best Final Fantasy PlayStation title.
Hey Square Enix? Where’s Final Fantasy Tactics? I’m on board just as long as you don’t screw up the character sprites.