The 25th anniversary of Final Fantasy 8 is this month. It’s a game from the PS1 era with a story about teenage mercenaries and witchcraft. Some people think it would benefit from a remake more than the popular Final Fantasy 7. The original director of the game tells us what would have to change in a hypothetical remake. Speaking to IGN, Final Fantasy 8 director Yoshinori Kitase said that he would like to “completely redesign the combat system.” He noted that players had issues with the stat-based Junction system that powered the RPG’s characters and combat. “I think you’ll remember that in Final Fantasy 8 we had the Junction system,” he said. “And that system consisted of enemies leveling up based on the player’s level. And, obviously, you had to use the Junction system and customize it to overcome the challenge. And I think it was a very difficult system for some. Depending on the player’s skills, sometimes they didn’t find the best way to do it.” “So I think I would like to go back to that and remake the combat system of Final Fantasy 8 and make it into something where the level of difficulty and accessibility for some fans was much better balanced. So I think that’s what I would consider the most if I were to remake it.”
A remake of Final Fantasy 8 seems unlikely. “I’ve found that trying to recreate the volume of content that the RPG from back then is not something to be taken lightly,” says Kitase. “It’s such a massive investment of time and effort that we really have to think carefully before undertaking any kind of project like that.” Kitase’s words reinforce his recent comments about Final Fantasy 6, whose remake he estimates would take about 20 years. The director of Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Rebirth, Naoki Hamaguchi, emphasized the enormous undertaking that a remake represents: “If after finishing the three games of the remake trilogy [de Final Fantasy 7] Mr. Kitase comes up to me and says, ‘Okay, we’re going to remake another numbered Final Fantasy game and you’re on the project,’ and I’ll turn around and say, ‘No!'”
Although Hamaguchi was talking about the situation in a lighthearted tone, the conversation made it clear that remaking a Final Fantasy from the SNES or PS1 era is a colossal undertaking that requires a considerable budget, a long development period and, potentially, several installments. At the moment, it seems that we shouldn’t take the success of Final Fantasy 7 Remake as a clear sign that Square Enix is definitely going to remake other games. As for that remake project, our latest experience with Rebirth sheds new light on how the world of the original has been transformed in a modern open world. We also discover how the original game’s romance system has been improved and made less stressful, and how Cid and Vincent are being saved for the third game, at least in regards to their role in battle.
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