The Final Fantasy Franchise is one of the largest in the gaming world. Earlier this year at E3 it was announced that Final Fantasy VII, possibly the most loved Final Fantasy, will be getting a remake.
You can see the trailer and many more E3 trailers and posts from the Sony conference (here). Now, IGN confirmed earlier today that another member of the family is getting the remaster/remake treatment – Final Fantasy XII. As of yet they do not know whether it will be a remaster, like Final Fantasy X HD or a full remake similar to what Final Fantasy VII is going to receive.
What is important to note is that this information comes from the world famous Final Fantasy Distant Worlds conductor Arnie Roth during a concert in Pittsburgh. If you ever get the chance to hear them it’s definitely worth it.
IGN explains that “Due to the nature of his role, we’re inclined to think Roth probably means a HD Remaster of Final Fantasy XII”
It makes sense for the remaster instead of a remake. It was always only the Final Fantasy games from X and higher could get the HD remaster treatment. This is because of the graphics of those games. Final Fantasy X used incredible graphics for its time and was an easy base with which to adapt to make it HD. The polygons and 3D graphics of it could be adapted and reshaped a lot easier than any of the previous games. FFXII has better graphics still and so should be significantly easier than X was to remaster.
Furthermore, a remaster means that the basic core of the game is able to remain intact. Final Fantasy X was still able to use its cut scenes; sound and game play the same with little to no changes. This was what made it, in my opinion, special. If Final Fantasy XII gets the same treatment then I would welcome that gladly.
I was a rare fan of XII. It’s a very good game but not a normal Final Fantasy Game. Yes, it still had magic, espers/aeons, an amazing story and complex characters and enemies but its gameplay was very different. It was more open-world and real-time, not turn based and linear like nearly all of its predecessors. It worked almost like modern RPGs and not the classic JRPGs. I remember one time when I was around level 12 and walked into a level 30 area!
That could not previously be done on Final Fantasy games as the linear storyline set you down one path, if you were too weak for that path it did usually allow you to go back a bit and train but it wasn’t easy. The other difference of XII was the use of the ‘Gambit System’ that you could use to adapt your allies before battle to make them work their best. I had so much joy in meddling with the gambits; it was a highly tactical part of the game.
On the other hand, if FFXII got the remake treatment it would make some sense. The article from IGN explains that during its production the game suffered badly from delays and arguments with ideas and plot. Many of the original ideas were scrapped just to finish the game. It is likely this is what made it so different to all the other Final Fantasy games.
Therefore this could be a second chance for Square Enix to make the game they wanted. I’d hope not: remakes are needed for the earlier titles due to the basic blocky polygons in the games. They are fully unable to become HD unless remade completely. As I noted earlier though, Final Fantasy XII is basically all there from the start.
The music may be changed slightly and it’s likely some of the voice actors may return but fundamentally the game itself is a really good game that doesn’t need to change. I’ve always wanted it to have a remake; since it was the last Final Fantasy out on PS2 back in 2007, I’ve waited 8 years for this confirmation. I had a great sense of nostalgia playing Final Fantast X HD and I hope to get the same from XII HD.
IGN has produced an update of their Final Fantasy XII post based on a recent update from Distant World’s conductor Arnie Roth, who issued a statement via the Distant Worlds Facebook page.
“In response to comments posted by fans, I want to rectify a statement made from the stage Saturday night at our Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY concert in Pittsburgh,” it reads.
“Following conversations with composer Hitoshi Sakimoto regarding new concert arrangements of music from FINAL FANTASY XII, regrettably, the term ‘remake’ was used in error during one of the announcements that took place from the stage during the concert. We sincerely regret any confusion this has caused.”
This is sad news yes but it’s wise to note he said nothing about a remaster. If you consider this, along with the fact Final Fantasy XII is the only Final Fantasy title not on current generation consoles, then there is hope yet. We are likely to hear a confirmation in the next few days or at GamesCom if this was all just a misunderstanding or if there will be a remaster. I greatly hope there will be and if not its almost guaranteed there will be one now.