2019 is going to be a very interesting year for Final Fantasy fans, with the momentum Kingdom Hearts 3 had at the end of January Square is continuing its plans to port Final Fantasy games from previous generations on to mainstream consoles. With the 5 titles come this year Gamerspot are happy to say that 2019 is the year of Final Fantasy.
With the year just starting Square seem to be holding their cards close to their chest on release dates, however we have conformations on what will be released on what platform and will place the release dates below when they become available.
|XBOX ONE||Playstation 4||Switch|
|Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicals Remaster||No Xbox One||TBA||TBA|
|Final Fantasy 7||26/03/2019||N/A||26/03/2019|
|Final Fantasy 9||13/02/2019||N/A||13/02/2019|
|Final Fantasy 10/10-2||16/04/2019||N/A||16/04/2019|
|Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age||30/04/2019||N/A||30/04/2019|
Of the 3 mainstream Consoles, Nintendo Switch owners will be delighted to see that every game listed here will be on the Switch, Playstation 4 owners however already have most of the Games in the Playstation store, except for Crystal Chronicles which will be out later.
Moving into the Games themselves we’ll be covering what’s been announced about them, as well as our hopes for the improvements made in the game.
Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles
Release Date: TBA
Release Consoles: PS4, Switch
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles is one of the additions for Year of Final Fantasy and was a spin off game originally released on the Gamecube. The story took place in a world that was filled with a poisonous gas and the player character(s) was sent on a pilgrimage to collect magical crystal tears to power up the protective barrier around their hometown.
It was marketed as both a single and multi-player game and the multi-player could be achieved by using the Gameboy Advance and link cable which could connect up to four GBAs. However four GBAs combined with four link cables as well as the game itself were very expensive.
Each Gameboy Advance connected via the link cable gave the players small pieces of extra information such as enemy health bars, the area map and the loot table. In single player only one piece of information could be given and this was random. If the player needed a different set of information they had to disconnect the GBA and reconnect it.
Despite the inconvenience of having to disconnect and reconnect the GBA to gain access to different information players were no more at a disadvantage in single player as they were in the multi-player. This was due to the fact that a Moogle accompanies the player and carries the container.
This has its advantages as the Moogle doesn’t fight and can keep hold of the container while the player fights. Whereas in multi-player one of the players had to carry the container but they had to put it down to join in the combat. The Moogle however does get tired after a while but the player can tell it to put the container down and to pick it back up again once it had rested.
Leveling up characters required artefacts that increased stats. However there were also artefacts that could give characters new spells, more pockets etc. These were the main source of improvement in the game and progressing too soon resulted in some of these artefacts being permanently locked off.
So far Crystal Chronicles has only been confirmed for release on the Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4. However no release date has been confirmed yet. So far there has been no confirmation for an Xbox One release of the game.
Multi-player doesn’t require a GBA which would save the player money. All they would need is a console and an internet connection for their console as there will be online multi-player capabilities.
There is also the possibility of new areas within existing dungeons in the game. This would give players other areas to explore and to find items to help the get through the dungeon.
It has yet to be confirmed but there is the possibility of couch co-op for those who would rather play the game with each other in person rather than online. All they would need for this is a spare working controller.
Final Fantasy 7
Release Date: 26/03/2019
Release Consoles: XBOX ONE, Switch
Final Fantasy 7 is another game in the Year of Final Fantasy roster and told the story of former 1st Class SOLDIER Cloud Strife who joined the rebel group Avalanche to take on the evil corporation Shinra inc. Little did Cloud know was that his life would take a twisted turn as old nemesis Sephiroth returned from the dead hellbent on destroying the world.
Final Fantasy 7 has several boosters in the game which can make gameplay easier. Some of these boosters include: no random encounters,infinity limit breaks and 3x normal speed. Some of these boosters don’t affect achievements and can be used freely even if you’re looking to get 100% completion.
With the improved graphical capabilities of the Switch and the Xbox One Final Fantasy 7 has a much clearer and cleaner graphics. However as it is a PC port of the game it still only has very limited graphics.
Excitement for the Final Fantasy 7 Remake is still high but it may be a few years before we even see this. So this game is really just something to tide fans over until such a time as the Remake does get released.
Final Fantasy 9
Release Date: 13/02/2019
Release Consoles: XBOX ONE, Switch
Final Fantasy 9 is the first game in the Year of Final Fantasy to be released and told the story of Zidane a monkey tailed thief who takes part in a plot to kidnap Princess Garnet. However, Garnet had plans of her own and actually wanted to be kidnapped so that she could stop her mother Queen Brahne from committing atrocious acts against other kingdoms.
Like with Final Fantasy 7 this game has boosters within it that make gameplay faster and easier. These boosters include: safe travel (no random encounters, battle assist (easy mode), 9999 (all damage and healing maxed) and high speed mode. These four boosters don’t affect achievements and can be activated and deactivated at any time in the pause menu..
These four boosters make it much easier to obtain the weapon Excalibur 2. In previous versions of the game players had to jump through many hoops to get to it. Now with these boosters it cuts out the hoop jumping and makes it easier for players to get hold of Excalibur 2.
There are however three boosters that do effect achievements. These are: master abilities, level/magic stone max and gil max. These boosters can’t be disabled once activated so if you’re looking to get achievements it’s best to leave these three boosters inactive.
With the improved graphical capabilities of the Switch and the Xbox One Final Fantasy 9 has a much clearer and cleaner graphics. However as it is a PC port of the game it still only has very limited graphics.
Final Fantasy 10/10-2 HD
Release Date: 16/04/2019
Release Consoles: XBOX ONE, Switch
Another addition of Year of Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy X follows a young man named Tidus who was swept away from his home and landed in the world of Spira which was being ravaged by a powerful monster known as Sin. Tidus meets the summoner Yuna and her guardians and travels with her on a pilgrimage through Spira to obtain creatures called Aeons to aid in the battle against Sin.
Final X-2 takes place two years later where Yuna is now a member of a group of sphere hunters called the Gullwings. She travels Spira with her two partners Riku and Paine to search for a missing friend.
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD was given massive graphical improvements over the original games and has even been updated for modern consoles. It also contains extra content from the Japanese release of X-2 as well as some minor tweaks and improvements.
Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age
Release Date: 30/04/2019
Release Consoles: XBOX ONE, Switch
As the final addition of Year of Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy XII follows a street urchin named Vaan and his childhood friend Penlo as he leaves his home with the hopes and dreams of becoming a sky pirate.
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age has greatly improved graphics when compared to the original being able to run in HD.
In the original game all characters used the same license board. This made customisation very limited. In the Zodiac Age players were able to choose 12 different classes that were based around the signs of the Zodiac. While this was an interesting idea the main drawback is that with their being only 6 characters the player would have to play the game twice to be able to test all 12 classes.
With the improvements to the job system magic was also separated among the classes rather than being on the same license board.
In Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age has added more loot to the game. This means that players can obtain extra weapons and items. Treasure chests were also changed to make things more rewarding for the player.
A new feature that was added to the game was Trial Mode. This could be accessed from the title screen and can be accessed anytime throughout the story. Players can take their team through 100 different stages of enemies that becoming progressively more difficult. Any LP and loot that is gained during Trial Mode can be carried back over to Story Mode.
In New Game+ two new challenge modes were released called Strong Mode and Weak Mode. Strong Mode allowed all characters to start at level 90 whereas Weak Mode forces all characters to start at level 1 and never level up. Strong Mode is unlocked after the completion of the main game and Weak Mode is unlocked when the player completes all 100 levels in Trial Mode.
Speed Mode allows the game to move 2x or 4x faster than normal at the push of a button.
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age has a new function where a transparent version of the map is overlaid on the screen at the push of a button. This allows players to see where they are and how far they are from their objective without having to pause the game. Pressing the same button will make the map disappear.
Party guests and Espers can now be controlled by the player which gives much greater control over battles.
In conclusion, as long time fans of the series we are looking forward to the Year of Final Fantasy and seeing how these games fair on more modern consoles.