Square Enix has a long and even productive history of remakes. When a company’s lineup is so strongly revered by its fanbase, updating older classics is an easy decision to make. After all, if the people keep lining up to buy Final Fantasy IV for the umpteenth time, there’s no reason to stop. But while certain games have seen the remake (or remaster) treatment multiple times, other Square Enix classics are still stuck on their original platforms. Or, in some cases, we have seen re-releases, but ones that didn’t exactly live up to the quality of the originals. Sometimes this stuff is messy, and sometimes Square Enix is particularly messy. But we often still love it, even when it veers off the tracks a little. Because of that, we’re still eagerly awaiting the Final Fantasy VII remake, despite all the drama. That said, eventually that game will come out, and along the way there will be more remakes and re-releases of Square Enix classics. After all, it’s a good way to fund the big stuff. So, here’s a list of my favorite Square Enix games that still haven’t seen proper re-releases, remasters, remakes, you get the drill.
As a series, Parasite Eve has been all over the place. But the first game was a prime example of Square Enix’s willingness to do weird stuff at the height of its prominence, including dive into different genres outside of its bread and butter. Parasite Eve was a wild combination of RPG, horror, science fiction, and novel adaptation you would never expect to see from a big-budget video game in the 90s. Yet here’s this game, with high concept trappings well beyond the more typical storytelling devices found in the average Final Fantasy. Parasite Eve hasn’t exactly aged gracefully in the visual department, so a new version would do a lot to preserve its deserved reputation.
Brave Fencer Musashi
Speaking of Square Enix’s weird experiments, Brave Fencer Musashi was one of the earliest examples of the developer trying out real-time action post-Final Fantasy mainstreamy-ness. You could argue that Brave Fencer Musashi has a genetic connection to Kingdom Hearts, and if you do, that means we can be friends. While the sequel (of sorts) was more or less a dumpster fire, Square Enix fans still harbor affection for the original, and a modern update would probably be a hoot.
Final Fantasy 5 and 6
I’m lumping these two together, because that’s exactly what Square Enix has done with its unfortunate port jobs. From mangling the first official localization effort of Final Fantasy V, to the super ugly visual designs of the mobile ports, the best we really have are a couple of Game Boy Advance ports that suffer from that platform’s subpar sound capabilities. At the very least, something on the level of the Final Fantasy IV Complete Collection would show some proper respect to two of the series’ best titles, but something more akin to the DS-era remakes of IV and III would be the ideal. Or, perhaps something like Octopath Traveler or Bravely Default (in terms of visuals) would be dope too. These games both deserve much better.
Dragon Quest: Young Yangus and the Mysterious Dungeon
Fun fact: Fushigi no Dungeon, or Mystery Dungeon in North America, actually started as a set of Dragon Quest spinoffs for the Super Famicom. The only one in that series that was ever localized was Torneko: The Last Hope for the PlayStation. Since those super niche titles have come and gone, the series has gained a little more of a footing in the west, with series like Shiren the Wanderer even making the trip over. Square Enix recently re-released the third Chocobo game, so why not revisit the PlayStation 2’s Dragon Quest entry starring Yangus? He’s a fan favorite, and his own spinoff game is one of the Mystery Dungeon titles with slightly higher production values than most.
Dragon Quest IX
Yeah, I like Dragon Quest. Anyway, this is another series that is no stranger to remakes. You can even get the first six games on mobile, and those ports are miles ahead of some of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy stuff. There’s a port of VIII too, but the less said about it the better. Anyway, as a Nintendo DS game, Dragon Quest IX is no longer playable in full, as some of its (pretty substantial) online features have long been discontinued. It’s practically a moral obligation for Square Enix to craft a modern version on Dragon Quest IX, although getting it onto a PlayStation platform may be a pipe dream since Nintendo was so heavily involved with the original.
Live A Live
Square Enix did almost as much weird stuff with the Super Famicom as it did with the PlayStation. Live A Live was one such experiment, which along with the SaGa series played around with the concept of linear storytelling and things like time travel. In this title, which is an early turn-based tactical joint, players would actually get to choose between scenarios in whichever order they wanted, before everything converged together for the final chapter. The variety of settings was the key to Live A Live‘s appeal, moving from the literal era of cavemen to the far future. It’s a small chapter of Square Enix history, but a neat one we never got to experience officially.
Here’s another Super Famicom nugget of Square Enix’s colorful past that we in North America can only play through fan-translated emulation. Like Live A Live, it’s also a tactical sort of strategy RPG, but one much more comparable to the likes of Fire Emblem or Shining Force. The hook here though, other than its amazing late era Super Famicom visuals, is a core mechanic of raising dragons along with the regular cast of human characters.
Those are my picks for the Square Enix games I’d most love to see revisited in modern form. What do you all think? Did I criminally leave out the Mana series, or something else that deserves a spot more than my other choices? Who out there really wants a Dirge of Cerberus remake? (Editor’s Note: Me. Me!) Let us know in the comments!
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