Square Enix has released a bevy of Final Fantasy titles across almost every platform imaginable. Many of the company’s classic Final Fantasy titles have made their way to iOS and Android mobile devices. However, one Final Fantasy title that seems to have evaded these ports since it was first released is Final Fantasy 9. Almost every Final Fantasy game has been ported to mobile, PC or both, but Final Fantasy 9 (and a handful of others) were limited to the PlayStation and in some cases the PS3.
If you’re a fan of Final Fantasy 9, you may have wondered why Sony’s consoles were the only way you could play the game when so many other Final Fantasy titles were available on iOS, Android or PC. That will finally change early this year when Final Fantasy 9 gets a Steam and iOS release. It’s strange that Square Enix took so long to port the game when it’s the fourth best-selling game in the series behind Final Fantasy 7, Final Fantasy 8 and Final Fantasy 10.
In the end it doesn’t matter how long it has taken Square Enix to port one of the fan favorite Final Fantasy titles. All that matters is that we’re getting an updated version of the game with some moderately enhanced visuals and a few gameplay adjustments to improve the game. Let’s take a quick look at what fans can expect when Final Fantasy 9 hits Steam and iOS in early 2016.
The Steam port of the game will add achievements, showcase the cinematics in high-definition, and improve the character models. If you’ve played the PlayStation 4 or PC port of Final Fantasy 7, you should have a good idea of how these improves will look. This isn’t a full remake like Final Fantasy 7 Remake, but it will improve considerably on what fans saw in the original PlayStation release, and even the partially enhanced PlayStation 3 port.
In addition to the visual enhancements, there will also be a few gameplay changes. Fans will have the option to increase the speed of battles, turn off random encounters and more. There are a total of seven game boosters that players will have the option to turn on or off to improve the gaming experience.
While only increased battle speed and no random encounters have been confirmed, in other similar releases we’ve seen a variety of boosts. The PC version of Final Fantasy 8 offered High Speed mode, Battle Assistance, 9999, AP Max and Magic/Gil Max. High Speed mode to increase battle speed and move through cut-scenes faster. Battle Assistance to keep all party members’ ATB and HP gauges full and keep Limit Breaks available at all times. 9999 to make all attacks inflict 9,999 damage. AP max to maximize Guardian Force (summon) abilities and Magic/Gil Max to give players the maximum amount of spells and gil.
With five game boost modes unknown, it’s a safe bet many of the modes from the Final Fantasy 8 PC port will make their way into Final Fantasy 9. It’s currently unknown if these boost modes will be available in the iOS version as well or if they’ll be limited to the Steam release, but chances are both versions will get these boosts.
Game boosts aren’t designed to make these games super easy to complete, but that is one option should you activate all of the game boosters. These are completely optional, and some will make the game much more entertaining compared to today’s standards. For example, the battle speed in Final Fantasy 9 is considerably slower than more modern RPGs. While this was standard back in 2000 when the game released, RPGs have changed quite a bit in the last 16 years.
Final Fantasy 9 fans are still holding out for a full remake or remaster similar to Final Fantasy X on the PS3 and PS4 or the upcoming Final Fantasy 7 Remake, but for now the PC and mobile releases will have to suffice. We’ll have more on Final Fantasy 9 for PC and iOS in the coming weeks!