Square Enix studio frequently releases remakes of their hits, from Final Fantasy to Dragon Quest. Which ones are the best?
Final Fantasy 7 Remake became one of the main games of 2020. It all started with a simple techno demo for PS3, with which Square Enix wanted to demonstrate the capabilities of the new platform, but the fans were already overwhelmed: they began to persistently ask the studio to make a full remake of the game.
After nearly two decades, the dreams of fans have finally come true, and with this there is hope for updated versions of other games. Final Fantasy 7 Remake is not the first and certainly not the last remake by Square Enix, so it’s time to remember the best remakes in the history of the studio.
Lufia: Curse of The Sinistrals
Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals is not so much a remake as it is a reimagining of Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals. The original game was a classic turn-based RPG for the SNES that was released in North America in 1996.
The remake was released on the DS console in 2010 and turned into an action RPG. Some of the storylines from the original moved to the remake unchanged, but otherwise Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals is a completely different game.
SaGa 2: Hiho Densetsu Goddess of Destiny
SaGa 2: Hiho Densetsu Goddess of Destiny is a remake of Final Fantasy Legend 2. The original was released in 1991 on the Game Boy platform, and the remake visited the DS console in 2009. Despite the title, the original had nothing to do with the Final Fantasy franchise and was part of the SaGa series.
The confusing title is the attempts of the authors to sell as many copies of the game as possible to unsuspecting gamers. There are not so many differences between the old and the new versions: the remake, which was released only in Japan, can only boast of slightly prettier graphics and a reduced level of difficulty of the passage.
Dragon Quest 3
Dragon Quest 3 was released in 1988 on the NES console and remained exclusive to the Japanese market until 1992, after which the game was released in North America. Released in 1996, the remake for the SNES was also released only in Japan, and then Square Enix released a kit with remakes of the first two parts for the SNES, but, again, only Japanese gamers could appreciate it.
For both kits, there are fan localizations, and the digital versions of the Switch kits can be called official releases in English, because they are practically the same as the SNES versions. By the way, the studio has planned another (this time more ambitious) remake for 2022.
Star Ocean: First Departure
Star Ocean was released on SNES consoles in 1996 only in Japan. Western gamers were able to get to know the project only after the release of the remake for the PSP in 2008. In it, the picture was redesigned from scratch, new content was added and the story was partially changed.
And already in 2019, this PSP version received an HD update with the subtitle Star Ocean: First Departure R. And even though it is only a cosmetically improved edition of the classic action RPG, finding it today is much easier than the original.
Final Fantasy 3
Final Fantasy 3 was released on the NES in 1990 only in Japan. In the same year, the very first Final Fantasy reached North America, after the release of which the numbering in the titles of the English versions often did not correspond to the numbers in the original.
Final Fantasy 3 only made it to the West in 2006 as a remake for the DS. The original game dates back to the time the series focused on gameplay with little or no history, while the remake fills in any plot gaps by gracefully linking Final Fantasy 3 scenes into a cohesive narrative.
Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories
Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories is a 3D remake of Game Boy Advance’s Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. The first version of the remake was released in 2004 on the same console, and in 2007 its updated version visited the PS2 console.
During this period, Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories came as a bonus bundle with the re-release of Kingdom Hearts 2 in Japan. The same reissue of Kingdom Hearts 2 made it to Western gamers only in HD remaster format for the PS3, while Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories has been sold separately in North America since 2008.
Trials of Mana
The original Trials of Mana was released in 1995 on the SNES in Japan only. And in 2019, Square Enix released a Mana game bundle for Switch that included Final Fantasy Adventure, Secret of Mana, and Trials of Mana, which had never been seen in the Western market before.
Already in 2020, Trials of Mana received a full-fledged 3D remake, much to the delight of Western fans of the series, who recently managed to play the original. And in 2021, Square Enix is slated to release a remaster of Legend of Mana.
Final Fantasy 4
The original Final Fantasy 4 was released in 1991 on the SNES platform, and in the West it was called Final Fantasy 2. A few years later, the port was released for PS1, where the number in the title was changed to the correct one. And in 2008, a remake for the DS platform was released in North America.
The remake of Final Fantasy 4 was made in the spirit of the updated Final Fantasy 3, and therefore fans were eagerly awaiting remakes and the rest of the famous franchise. By the way, remakes of other parts of the series did not come out on DS – in this case, Square Enix was limited to only two projects.
Dragon Quest 7: Fragments of The Forgotten Past
Dragon Quest 7: Fragments of the Forgotten Past was released in North America on PS1 in 2001, and did not enjoy much success with Western gamers for several reasons. The fact is that the PS1’s life cycle was already coming to an end, and in 2000 the PS2 appeared on the market. Second, Dragon Quest 7 looked downright outdated compared to other PS1 RPGs (like Final Fantasy 7, released in 1997). It might even seem like Dragon Quest 7 is a project that has moved from the SNES console.
In 2013, Dragon Quest 7 received an impressive quality remake, which was released in Japan on the 3DS platform and reached the United States in 2016. He got rid of most of the problems of the original, but failed to become a full-fledged hit.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake
Final Fantasy 7 was released in 1997 on the PS1. The game gained immense popularity in the West, becoming for many players the first acquaintance with the RPG genre. To say that it was revolutionary is to say nothing.
Fans have been begging the studio to release a remake of Final Fantasy 7 ever since the techno demo was shown for PS3. In 2020, this remake did take place and showed impressive sales results. So impressive that Square Enix plans to release a slightly improved version of the remake called Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade in 2021. And, apparently, it will be followed by several more remakes of the early parts of the franchise, designed for the next generation platforms.