20 year old 'Final Fantasy VI' released on iOS systems
Mobile gaming continues to astound me every time I hear something new about it. On Feb. 6, "Final Fantasy VI" - the sixth game in the Final Fantasy series - was remade and released on iOS systems. Now, for just $16, you can download this classic and nearly 20-year-old title onto any iPod or iPhone.
To those who didn't play games when they were younger, this might not seem like such a big deal, but to me it absolutely is. When I was younger, it never even crossed my mind that these games, that once could function only on consoles, would one day be easily transported to a mobile setting. Something being transported to a handheld device meant that it would receive a downgrade in quality, not an upgrade. "Final Fantasy VI" has most certainly received the latter.
While the game still features the classic 2-D graphics that the early Final Fantasy games are known for, they have received a bright polish, making them glistening and modern. In fact, they almost seem to be functioning in a 2.5-D environment, rather than just a 2-D one. I know a lot of die-hard fans might not be in favor of the changes, but I think they look positively lovely.
Digital re-release is certainly not a new trend with developers. Most of them, notably Nintendo, have come to realize that there is plenty of money to be made in the re-releasing of games that are no longer supported by modern-day consoles. Take an old game, polish it a bit, allow it to be downloaded onto current-gen systems and let the money flow in. Gamers who have either sold these old games, lost them or no longer have the hardware to support them will quickly buy them up because of the nostalgia factor alone. Plus, exclusive digital releases mean that costs to the companies are significantly lower than producing physical copies. In short, re-releasing older content is a win-win scenario for everyone, but most of all the developers.
Square Enix, who has been in some pretty dire financial straits as of recently, has certainly taken full advantage. This re-release is only the next in Square's current lineup, following the release of the first five games in the "Final Fantasy" series on iOS. This brings the total number of games that Square Enix has released on iOS up to fifteen, with three of them being Japanese exclusives. Hopefully the release of "Final Fantasy VI," and what I can only presume to be the eventual release of all older "Final Fantasy" games onto iOS, will help inspire faith in the company's investors and pull them out of their current financial slump.
If you've got an iOS device and have never played "VI" I strongly recommend forking over the small bit of money and downloading it. It's one of the best in the series, and its impacts can still be felt in the more modern titles.
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