Everyone has their own opinion on which is the best entry in the Final Fantasy series is, and many of those fans have seen their favourites appear on the PC in recent years. From the last gen console trilogy of XIII to ports of the 3D remakes of early classics III and IV, so many are available on Steam for JRPG fans. Two of the three PS1 entries in the series came to Steam years ago, and finally, the last of the three is making the jump, with Final Fantasy IX set to be released on Steam in early 2016.
This release isn’t just an effortless port of the PS1 classic either, with the game’s Steam page revealing more about this new version of the game. Most notable is the increase in detail in the character textures, which have presumably been through an upscaling process. This seems to cause a rather odd effect when set against some of the game’s backdrops, which don’t appear to have been given the same treatment. According to PCGamesN, higher detail art assets exist, but are sadly unavailable to Square Enix. Unfortunately, like many of Square’s FFX assets, the files that could be used to add these details into a game have been lost over the years, making improved versions of the games impossible without remaking them entirely. The addition of these higher resolution textures and new higher definition cutscenes come at a cost, with the game requiring a whopping 20 GB of disk space, which is a lot, especially for a game that was originally contained on four CDs.
Along with the graphic improvements, this version of FFIX also includes the usual set of new features to be found on Final Fantasy ports, with a suite of achievements available to unlock, as well as seven “game boosters”, which include a high-speed mode and the ability to disable encounters. Both of which could be a welcome addition to those who have played the game before and wish to zip through random battles. If the ports of the other two PS1 games are anything to go by, expect the other boosters to include character level and stat boosts and the ability to automatically max out your gil, with features more akin to cheats than anything else.
As a long time fan of the RPG franchise, I’m happy to see yet another of it’s entries make its way to the PC. With almost every single main game in the series now available on PC, including 2 MMOs, Final Fantasy is the most accessible it has ever been. I hope that this release of FFIX, one of the lesser known gems in the series will draw even more people into Final Fantasy and increase interest in a PC release of the upcoming Final Fantasy XV.