Review Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster (I-II-III): the rise of the legend shines with pure nostalgia

Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster brings the classic games of the series to modern platforms to celebrate its history. We tell you why it's important, and what you're going to come across, in this note!

Final Fantasy is undoubtedly the most important saga of JRPGs in history, and today it is synonymous with charismatic characters, heroes, high-definition graphics, and intense fanaticism around the world. However, before the iconic FF7, the saga was much smaller and quite different from what we associate with it today. Square Enix once again relaunches the classic games under the name Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster, and the first three games in the series are now available for PC and smartphones. 

Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster as a collection has at the moment Final Fantasy I, Final Fantasy II, and Final Fantasy III, in a format where the idea is to stay as faithful as possible to their original releases but without the limitations of the technology of the 80s. The games were originally released on the NES/FamilyGame but are now carefully recreated to look at a game that could have been released on SNES or PS1. These games have new translations, re-recorded music, redrawn sprites, and the most faithful version in spirit to Square Enix proposed.

 

Except for Final Fantasy I, none of these games were released in the West in their original version, and in the specific case of Final Fantasy III, we never had an official pixel art release, only its 3D version existed for DS/Mobile/PC. However, these titles were re-released several times in expanded and improved versions over the years with lots of extra content and all sorts of changes. Since the mission of this collection is to preserve the original content, you're going to find that a lot of that extra content doesn't exist.

Final Fantasy I

The first game in the series tells the story of four warriors of light that we can create by choosing from six classes (warrior, thief, white mage, black mage, red mage, and monk), and undertake our quest to save the four crystals. For this we will have to travel the world, meet its characters and go through very dangerous dungeons. The story has an incredibly unique twist to what is an '80s game, and it does a lot to show the saga's potential to surprise us. Also to keep in mind, there are a couple of extra lines of dialogue to reinforce the characterization that contributes to making the world feel more alive.

Final Fantasy II

This is the game with the most emphasis on the narrative of the three, and it starts with a unique twist. When our village is attacked, four boys try to defend it and are spectacularly defeated in the first combat. Our task will then be to find the rebels and destroy the empire while we seek revenge for what they did to us. This game debuts the chocobos, Cid, and more iconic aspects of the series.

Of course, the game has a progression system where instead of adding experience, your stats improve when you use them (you literally gain experience) – and for example, if you use your sword, you gain strength, if you use your magic, you gain intelligence and so on. This sounds good on paper, but the truth is that it ends up being counterproductive and you end up playing fights where you stick to yourself and then heal and level up that way. Although the system is more balanced and has fewer bugs, it is still controversial today.

Final Fantasy III

Not only did this game not release in the West until we had the 3D port but it never existed in the Pixel Art version and this is the first time we can experience it. At the plot level, the game is a mixture of FF1 and FF2, where four orphans accidentally fall into a glass cave and learn that they must start a pilgrimage between them to save the world. The grace of this game is to be able to change our jobs and not be tied to them permanently, which will allow a rather unique fight design where sometimes we will have to use four of the same class for the best results.

 

FF3, in addition, has a lot of emphasis on the dialogue, the plot, and the characters that accompany us as FF2. In our quest many times we will have a fifth character that accompanies us and gives support randomly in combats as if we literally had one more by our side. There will also be quite creative sequences in this game where we will have to change our size or even become frogs to explore small spaces. It is an excellent synthesis of the first era of the saga.

The collection

While all three games are very cohesive and it makes sense that they are all part of the same package, they can hardly be considered the definitive version of each game. With FF3 there's nothing to argue – this is the version that feels best about bringing its original style to the West for the first time. However, in the case of FF1 and FF2, we find that it is the ultimate way to listen to the games, but not to play them. The PSP version, with high-definition sprites and lots of extra dungeons, feels more complete. You understand the reason – this is a nostalgic version that preserves the spirit of the NES content, not that adds things, and the graphics, bestiaries, art compilations, soundtracks, and so on are excellent, but we expected a surpassing version, the definitive version with all the content ever created for each game.

Especially in these first three games, the art style does a lot of favors to the NES art that was originally 8-bit. The details are preserved and the colors and flood the screen, but also the view was simplified to show the combats as in FF4 onwards. Even though the whole game is turn-based, for example in FF1 you no longer fight on a split-screen. Finally, the most remarkable detail: now on the map you can walk diagonally, which may seem like little but means you can no longer pass when an NPC blocks your way.

Lineesh Kumar

"Lk Techsky is Expertise in covering technology news, reviews, producing quality tech videos, graphic designing, VFX editing, and more..." facebook instagram linkedin

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