The Pixel Remaster versions of Final Fantasy I–VI have been rated by the ESRB for new systems, while Tetsuya Nomura has announced a delay for Ever Crisis.
The Electronic Software Ratings Board (ESRB) has updated their latest ratings of the first six Final Fantasy games, specifying their availability for Switch and the PlayStation 4. Since their announcement at E3 2021, and their subsequent launches from July 2021 through February 2022, these editions have only been available on PC and mobile (the latter of which doesn’t include controller support).
Per these updated listings, however—discovered by Reddit user cefaluu—this will soon change and console players will have a chance to experience the Pixel Remasters at last. Typically, such “leaks” through the ESRB are harbingers of upcoming announcements, and with the 35th anniversary of the original Final Fantasy coming this Sunday, it seems likely Square Enix could confirm this news within the next few days.
The Pixel Remasters were developed to make the original six games accessible to a new generation of players in an updated style that remains authentic to the original vision. As we mused in the Wark Digest a few months back, each title has quietly received a handful of patches for various bugs and glitches, bringing them up to par for a wider release.
The prior updates to these games (sans Final Fantasy III) were divisive among fans—praised by some for their bonus content but lambasted by others for what they did to character sprites. In a similar vein, some players were disappointed the latest versions dropped that bonus content, and a “is it blue or is it gold” debate broke out over the font. Nonetheless, a console release for the Pixel Remasters would mean that the vast majority of the main series would now be playable on either Switch or PS4, and as Steam users may tell you, it’s hard to argue with that convenience.
It remains to be seen when the Pixel Remasters will arrive on consoles, and in what form, but this is a positive bit of news to kick off the anniversary week.
Meanwhile, on a livestream for the release of Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII Reunion tomorrow, Tetsuya Nomura debuted a new trailer for Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis and provided an updated release window for the upcoming mobile title’s closed beta: summer 2023. This means a full year’s delay from the last date given—this closed beta was supposed to kick off in August.
The new trailer shows a considerable chunk of the compilation title’s Crisis Core chapter, as well as a handful of other scenes from the original Final Fantasy VII reinterpreted in Ever Crisis‘ dual styles, like a chibified Airbuster, the Chocobo Farm, and… Red XIII, Tifa, and Barrett fighting Reno in Aerith’s church? Capping the footage is a look at some royal outfits for Zack and Aerith and another look at young Sephiroth’s traumatic past, from one of the new, original chapters.
While it’s disappointing that we’ll have to wait even longer for the closed beta (not even the final launch version) of Ever Crisis, it’s also reassuring that the team will have had that much more time to polish the game. This could be an important step considering it will reinterpret the events and disparate presentation styles of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII‘s many titles.
Stay tuned to Final Fantasy Union for more news on the Pixel Remasters and anything else Square Enix may have up their sleeves for the series’ 35th anniversary December 18.