FINAL FANTASY PIXEL REMASTER REVIEW (NSW)
''CID DOWN AND DRINK YOUR TEA''
Release Date: April 19th, 2023
*Review copy provided to me by SQUARE-ENIX*
Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster is a collection of the first six mainline Final Fantasy titles that is developed and published by Square-Enix. With all titles being released individually previously before, Square-Enix has no decided to just bundle them all together and throw them in one big six pack of games. However, was this a smart idea to bring these remasters over? or is it a case of too much, too fast? Only one way to find out, so lets go!
Join heroes from multiple generations and worlds as they band together via magic, friendship and determination to defeat ancient evils that threaten the land with their tyranny. It is now time for the chosen heroes to make sure that Crystal once again shines brightly upon its citizens.
''UP UP AND AWAY''
Originally the mobile releases for the old Final Fantasy games had been a topic of much discussion, for one thing or another, with opinions ranging from positive to negative, I really didn't see anything in between really. It was one or the other. But for me, while it was a mixed bag in regards to its reception, to me, It can be seen as a test run, while the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster can be considered the finished product. Which is actually a good sign because Square Enix has a good track record with its remasters, and this one follows suit. Thankfully.
A collection of classic games is always a good choice. The convenience of purchasing all six games in one bundle is an obvious plus, as is the benefit of having a physical version for collectors, which sold out insanely fast, so if you didn't get one, ouch, you suck bro. Moving these classic titles off their mobile platform to now releasing these games on modern hardware, to brings them back into relevance. That's not to say these titles are irrelevant, not at all, I'm simply saying that games that could be lost to one demographic or generation, now are able to be relevant again and given the respect they deserve, for a more modern generation to experience and become new fans of. Now with a console release on Switch and Playstation, it does indeed mean that there are some caveats. Most of the mechanics hold up well compared to what you remember, well mostly, with a few exceptions, such as games Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy 5. Sadly, even in this Pixel Remastered versions of these two titles, unfortunately, the games are undoubtedly dated and may feel inferior when compared to modern games. Which sucks big time considering Final Fantasy 5 is one of those titles in this long running franchise that fans seem to never want to talk about. This was its big chance to prove its worth and man, it fell flat on its face like Yuffie trying to run with a pocket full of Materia.
Nevertheless, for those who are curious about how we got to where we are with modern games, this collection is an excellent choice for exploring the history of video games. Although there are some features missing from the remastered version, such as health boosts and gameplay speed increases, the available features are still a good compromise, even though if you're like and proclaim its my party and ill cry if I want to because you miss the features that you deemed a great quality of life addition. I mean, yeah, sure, you can automatically run and speed up combat slightly, but the game defaults to the previous commands you gave each unit until you switch to manual. This option lets you focus on other parts of the game while basic random encounters are easy to gloss over. It kind of sounds confusing , but it really isn't at all, its just very weird is all, like me and my personality, but that's to be expected. Either way you'll get the hang of it after about a half hour, so its not a major hurdle or gripe when its all said and one.
''GO PRETTY ROSE, DESTROY THE MOON''
However, if you're a person that gets extremely annoyed at random encounters like you're suffering from PTSD from walking through tall grass in Pokemon, then never fear, here in these titles you're able to turn off random encounters, which to me, is another great addition to this addition that can make it easily to traverse through areas without having to worry about getting into 500 enemies on your way to your objective. However, you need to fight to level up, so this option cannot be active all the time. Well It can be, but then if you keep it on your entire playthrough, you'll end up running into a mob that has 20,000 HP compared to your 300 HP... yeah good luck with that one bro, you dead as heck. If I'm going to be honest, this feature comes in handy when you're in a difficult situation and need to get to a safe place to heal without risk or restart. So basically its mot strategic than it is a necessity and is completely up to the player and their individual play style. Plus the games autosave every time you leave or enter something, and you can also save in the normal places or use Quick Save in emergencies. These features don't modernize the games, but they make the journey smoother. Trust me, this is going to be a godsend to anyone that forgets to level up and grind enough and allows you to have a chance to make up for your mistakes and actually get up off your damn butt and LEVEL YOUR FREAKING CHARACTER, YA NOOB. I'm sorry. Forgive me.
The best part of the collection is that if you want an experience similar to the original games, you can turn these options off and play the game in its original form. Which I call the ''kick my butt mode''. Why? well because if you play each game in their vanilla state, you better be prepared to grind, fight and strategize to the highest degree because these games do not hold back, especially for novice players or for people that are new to the RPG genre. If you fall into one of those categories, leave those features OFF, otherwise, have ad it and kick the game butt using all the features at your disposal. Another great feature is that the games also let you re-map your face buttons, which is a welcome option for those who prefer using Circle as the select button, like me, as I've been conditioned to that for so many years to OBEY THE CIRCLE, MWAHHAHA. . Additionally, you can choose between two modern or retro options for the text and the soundtrack. Yeah I know, not exactly a big feature compared to others, but would you prefer to have less? you silly goose. To me, you can never go wrong for the retro soundtrack as Final Fantasy games are home to some of the most catchy and amazing music in the entire industry, time and time again. Its pretty surreal. Play one of these titles one time and I guarantee you that in twenty years, you'll be taking a poo and reading the back of the lotion bottle because you forgot to bring your phone in with you - you'll randomly start humming one of the many iconic themes this franchise has to offer. It never fails. My go to poo song is always the Chocobo theme. Don't judge me.
Beyond just the music, new features or even the Final Fantasy name itself, for me personally, the franchise's game by game progression is a selling point of this collection, allowing you to see how basic things were, both visually and conceptually, and put you in the shoes of people that grew up with this titles as kids and were able to witness firsthand the ever changing and expanding RPG market. While the lack of narrative structure may get old quickly for some, since lets be fair, some of these are slow burners, there's still enough to keep you engaged even in your down time while searching caves, new treasures or new quests. In regards to game by game progression over the years for the franchise, the first three games walk a nice line between freedom to explore and story beats, even if they don't always correlate with each other. Final Fantasy 2, on the other hand, may be cumbersome, as leveling up requires the use of certain skills to level up specific stats. Which later became a mainstay in many other RPG's that followed it from other companies and even still going strong today in modern day RPG titles from A LOT of talented and amazing indie developers out there that are keeping the spirit of good ol classic RPG's alive. They're the true MVP's at the end of the day.
''ONE KICK AND THEY BOTH FALL TO THEIR DEATHS''
At the end of the day, The Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster Collection is an excellent way to experience and preserve these iconic games on current modern hardware, without limitations of only PC or on Mobile. Although some games work better than others in regards to some new features that were added, which can be a bummer, the games still make up for any shortcomings by bringing you the nostalgia ridden goodness of six classic titles of gaming's past. Whether you are a fan of the one that started it all with Final Fantasy 1, enjoy watching Kefka silly laugh and destroy the entire world, or you just like walking in the snow in a gigantic mech as foreboding and mystical sound music plays to prepare you for the adventure that is about to unfold - regardless of your tastes, hates or hesitations on any specific title on this collection, if you're a die hard fan of Final Fantasy or finally giving into the friend who WONT stop talking about how ''great'' a game is, then I say dive in right now, you won't regret it. So with all that having been said, my verdict is clear, GameNChick says BUY NOW.