This is my favorite game from my favorite series. My first experience with it, as well as my fondest time playing it, was on the SNES a hundred years ago. So when I decided to play an updated version, I was nervous… I’d heard literally nothing good about this release and I was afraid playing it was going to shatter the rose tinted glasses I’ve seeing the game through for over twenty years.
Lucky for me, that didn’t happen. In fact, I’d consider this the best way to play the game. I didn’t play the GBA version of the game so, sure, the updated translation and patched bugs came as a serious shock at first – but I was ultimately more engaged by the game because of it. I fought bosses I’d never fought before because I couldn’t Vanish/Doom my way to victory. I read every line of dialogue to see how it differed from the original. The new espers were a pleasant surprise and a nice additional challenge. And, as awful as it might sound, I really enjoyed the updated visuals. (I finally know that Umaro’s profile is actually a picture of their face, not just a vomit of blue and white pixels!) Plus, the soundtrack and sounds effects were still the glorious originals, though probably remastered.
This review isn’t meant to encourage gamers raised in more modern times to play this one: this still plays like a very old game. Random encounters are frequent, the mechanics are fairly simplistic, and the writing, while excellent, shows its age. But, if you’re a gamer that has fond memories of the original but has dismissed this version as a lazy port, it might still be worth trying out if you’re wanting to play this absolute classic but don’t feel like dusting off the SNES to do so.
(See the original review on Steam.)