, Let Be Honest About: Games That Aged Badly – Final Fantasy Edition
Let Be Honest About: Games That Aged Badly – Final Fantasy Edition

When it comes to classic games that hold a warm place in our heart, there are four states of existence.

  • The Original Looks Good For Its Age.
  • The Original Looks It’s Age.
  • The Remaster Looks Awesome.
  • The Remaster Looks Worse Than The Original.

Final Fantasy is a much-beloved series that, in many ways, is responsible for the widespread acceptance and enjoyment of the JRPGs in the western world. Still, even our favourite childhood games grow older, and in the case of Final Fantasy, not all of them have aged gracefully.

Final Fantasy 3.

, Let Be Honest About: Games That Aged Badly – Final Fantasy Edition

“Look at how they butchered my poor boy” is the first thing that springs to mind when I see the monstrosity that is the 2014 PC remaster of Final Fantasy III, call me elitist, but I prefer my warriors to look older than ten and have noses, the graphics have lost all the charm of the original sprite-based artwork, and the constant loading screens between every random battle quickly grows tiresome.

In less than 2 minutes, I encountered no less than eight random battles, all 8 of the battles were over in 1-2 seconds, followed by 5-10 seconds of music and stats.

I understand if loading screens every few seconds were needed in 1990, but in 2014 it was awful, and by 2020 it’s nearly unplayable.

I can only recommend Final Fantasy III for absolute diehard fans of the franchise, as the constant random encounters and the awful 3D graphics of the remaster have not held up well.

Rating: The Remaster Looks Worse Than The Original.

Final Fantasy IV

, Let Be Honest About: Games That Aged Badly – Final Fantasy Edition

Final Fantasy IV shares the same awful graphical remaster than its elder sibling endured, but wears it better due to characters having some facial features beyond eyes.

Sadly the character models all feel like they are from a DS port and have incredibly low resolution, with jagged-edged sticking out in all directions.

Medehniclaly it’s a better game with battles lasting longer and feeling more exciting.

Random encounters occur far less often an feel more rewarding due to the better combat animations and a wider selection of attacks and abilities.

Graphics aside I feel the armour design of this game is terrible and lacks any semblance of realism which later titles employ.

A decent game for those who want to try a retro Final Fantasy, but nothing groundbreaking when compared to the far superior modern JRPG.

Rating: The Remaster Looks Worse Than The Original.

Final Fantasy V

, Let Be Honest About: Games That Aged Badly – Final Fantasy Edition

Final Fantasy V was spared a horrid DS port and as such the 2D sprites are still in their original glory, yet despite having a great sprite style the artists seem to have never seen their two portrait presentations as my picture above shoes that young lady with the bubblegum pink hair and lime green shirt represents the blonde-haired admiral in the black and gold jacket.

This disconnect of appearances plagues almost every character, and while I love the sprite and portrait work separately, together they just don’t mesh well.

Final Fantasy V has a far more interesting story than some of the earlier games.

If you can get past how pale everyone’s portrait looks, you will find a mechanically solid Final Fantasy title that is both authentic to the original release and optimised for modern PCs.

Combat feels smooth and offers a massive selection of jobs/classes to choose from.

Rating: The Original Looks Good For Its Age.

Final Fantasy VI

, Let Be Honest About: Games That Aged Badly – Final Fantasy Edition

Final Fantasy VI is brilliant, it has avoided the awful 3D remaster that crippled III and IV, unlike V the sprites and portraits match, and it was made during the height of high-quality 2D video games, while its sequel would venture into the jagged edges of early 3D JRPG, Final Fantasy 6 proudly shows us why the golden age of 2D JRPG was so good.

Combat feels snappy and random encounters feel more realistic due to having to literally run into the visible mobs on the top-down map to trigger the encounter, far better than magically being ambushed by invisible goblins every 5 seconds like Final Fantasy III.

Sadly the Sprites and the monsters in the battle really match up, having been attacked by European style heavily armoured sprites the battle mode image was that of an Arabic looking desert soldier complete with cloth robes and sand mask.

Looking past this however the combat animations look fantastic for a 2D title of its age, and I really enjoyed the combat, which felt both rewarding and fast-paced.

Rating: The Original Looks Good For Its Age.

Final Fantasy VII

, Let Be Honest About: Games That Aged Badly – Final Fantasy Edition

I am sorry to upset traditionalists but the original Final Fantasy VII while good for its day looks terrible in 2020, despite managing to look much better than the 3D remasters of III and IV.

With the excellent Final Fantasy VII remaster coming to PC in 2021, and already becoming a GOTY contender on PS4, there is no reason to play the original except for nostalgia.

Lack of full controller support also takes away from this titles enjoyment, the FF games always feel better with a controller,m and considering FF7 was a PlayStation one release, lacking controller support on the Pc is bizarre.

The early Psone Graphics lacked the charm of  Final Fantasy VI, and overall offer a diminished experience.

The story is one of the high points of the series, so I am glad it will be expanded upon in Final Fantasy VII remastered titles, currently rumoured to be a trilogy, with each chapter offering roughly 30-50 hours of gameplay and narrative.

Rating: The Original Looks Its Age

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