The day that a million RPG purists have been waiting for is finally at hand – Final Fantasy VI is now available on the Apple iOS App Store.
Whilst this may not be particularly surprising, as Square Enix has already brought the preceding five titles to Apple’s handheld devices, it’s arguably the most important release yet.
It’s hard to express the significance that the sixth iteration of the iconic Final Fantasy franchise had on the world of gaming. Regarded by many as the pinnacle of the JRPG, VI was streets ahead of its peers in terms of graphics, gameplay, story, music… just about every quantifiable area possible.
Almost exactly 20 years on from its original Japanese release, VI is now available on Apple’s app store (following an Android release last month). With the original Super Nintendo game having lost none of its charms over a two-decade spell, it was really a no-brainer that VI should receive an HD re-release for mobile.
Yes, the game costs an eye-watering £10.99. Will that deter enthusiasts? No chance.
Square Enix have managed to bring the first six Final Fantasy titles to mobile in a remarkably short time-span – the seminal first title only landed on the App Store one year ago.
Square Enix may have somewhat painted themselves into a corner, though. Now that all six of the sprite-based Final Fantasy titles have been released (plus the ‘Tactics’ spinoff), the monolithic Japanese developers have left themselves nowhere to go. Well, nowhere except the logical, obvious next step: Final Fantasy VII.
You were thinking it. We all were. It’s what gamers have clamoured for for years. Final Fantasy VII is the people’s choice of JRPG’s. The most successful game in the franchise and the first of the 3D era, FFVII is a game held close to the hearts of an enormous amount of gamers between the ages of 18 – 35.
Every year the gaming public beseech of Square Enix to end the madness and rerelease FFVII. They don’t care where or how, they just want to see Cloud and friends one more time.
Will Square Enix ever be presented with a better opportunity than this? Short of a time-consuming, expensive, high-risk full remake of the title, surely bringing FFVII to Android and iOS makes the most sense. After all, the gamers who first fell in love with VII upon its initial release are not getting any younger. Not every 20-something has time to play a game as lengthy and deep as VII, and they’re not getting any younger. Surely leaving a re-release any longer would see the company throw away millions of dollars on what would be a financial and commercial slam-dunk?
Come on Square Enix. Do the right thing.