Why Final Fantasy VIII?
By: Olen Bjorgo
With the recent announcement that Final Fantasy VIII is getting a graphical update, and that Final Fantasy X is getting an HD release for the PS3 later this year, AND there’s not a single word about Final Fantasy VII getting an updated look, I felt like now would be a good time to give my thoughts on these matters both on the series itself and on graphical updates to older games overall.
I should first start out by saying that I didn’t play any of these games when they first came out, my favorite in the series is a tie between VI and IX, and that I’m not really all that excited about any of these games. ‘So why write?’ you may be asking yourself. Well, I’m mostly writing this because I’m partially concerned at the implications this has but also because I’m uncertain if these are things that are needed to be done.
Graphical updates are nothing new to the industry. Even as far back as the 16-
The problem is that these days it seems like the games are being remade strictly for a cash grab. I’m not naïve enough to say that the examples I gave weren’t in the same vein but there’s just a difference between releasing a game that was made back when I was three years old and used pixels as opposed to a game that, for all intents and purposes, still looks fine if only a little bit rough around the edges. One example is how my favorite Legend of Zelda game, The Wind Waker, is going to have an HD remake for the Wii U. While I found the idea appealing at first, I still think the original looks fine and believe that it’s only to get more people to buy a Wii U. The money used to update a game could be used to fund other projects, maybe even something better like to fund a new property. However, it’ll sell because that is how the market works… which makes me wonder why Final Fantasy VIII, of all games, is getting the makeover.
In my experience, I’ve known few people who claim that VIII is their favorite in
the series, let alone in the three entries that were on the PlayStation. While Final
Fantasy VII is an environmental message wrapped in magitech, and Final Fantasy IX
is a love letter to the traditional roots of the series, VIII has always been this
Well… okay, that’s a bit hyperbolic, but my point is, why this particular game? People
(i.e. fans) have been clamoring for a Final Fantasy VII with updated graphics for
almost a decade now and have bought numerous amounts of merchandise related to this
single game in a decades old series. Regardless of personal opinions or favorites,
there can be no doubt that VII is the most popular and well-
Perhaps there are larger questions that need asking here: at what point does a game require a graphical update and a rerelease? Who or what decides what game gets the makeover? I know I wouldn’t mind seeing some older titles get a rerelease if only because they’re harder to find, or because their originals aren’t exactly cheap, or even because they never saw the light of day here in the US (I’m looking at you, Live A Live and Terranigma). At the same time, perhaps that’s why I’m here writing an article rather than conducting a focus group to gather market data on what games need to be remade.
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