Considered by many to be one of the best Final Fantasy titles in the series, Final Fantasy IX is finally getting a port to the PC, nearly 15 years after it was released on it’s native original PlayStation. Square Enix made the announcement via their Japanese site, drumming up excitement among fans once the news was translated. This does not ensure we will get a domestic release here in the in the USA, but we have received both Final Fantasy VII and VIII already. If anything, it would be obvious Square Enix would follow suit with IX, a game with a very strong cult following and near universal critical acclaim.
As with the previous two games that were ported, Square Enix promises to deliver this latest update with “high-definition graphics, newly added achievements, auto-save, high-speed mode, and several game boosting features.” Thankfully the graphics are getting a boost instead of a makeover, as many gamers are still complaining about the graphical overhaul that Final Fantasy VI was given, earning a collective boo from fans of the game. Like in Final Fantasy VII, high speed mode allows the game to be played at 3x speed, giving players the ability to zoom past the slower parts of the game, or make farming/grinding much less strenuous to do.
“Game boosting features” will likely consist of an option to make battles much easier to handle, typically keeping health and MP at maximum. While these features certainly do break the game and take away a degree of the difficulty and experience, this is a boon for those who have played through it many times before, and just wish to enjoy the game again without the drawn-out parts.
The previous two ports in the series have been met with critical acclaim, upscaling the graphics successfully and overall adding to the replay-ability of games that were already timeless classics. Given that the Final Fantasy series has changed so dramatically since the 2000s, it is fitting that Square Enix re-release these titles to show the current generation of gamers the series midway roots. Now that the circle will finally be complete with Final Fantasy XI, we can only wait to see if the PC gets to see the timeless PS2 classic, Final Fantasy X.