This afternoon's Top Story is the news that classic RPG Final Fantasy V is on the way to PSN's PSone Classics section.
Square Enix Ltd, the European arm of Square Enix as a whole, told us this morning that Final Fantasy V was currently in development for PS3 and PSP, to be released via PSN. They claimed that the game would include "all-new CG sequences exclusive to the PSN version" as well as allowing gamers to experience the game's iconic Job System either at home or on the go.
Since that announcement, however, it's been revealed that their wording may have been a little misleading. Final Fantasy V is scheduled for release this week on the Japanese PSN, and it's the PS1 version. This suggests that the version on the way is not, in fact, a new remake with new CG sequences, but a PSone Classics version. This was subsequently confirmed by a post on the European Square Enix Members site.
A shame, then, that it's not a complete reimagining of the game in the style of the DS version of FFIV or even the high-resolution remixes of FFI and II for PSP. But it's a chance for people who missed FFV on either its original PS1 or GBA releases to experience one of the best play mechanics the series has had on offer.
FFV is also an entry in the series which has had relatively limited Western exposure. It never saw a Western release on its original platform of the Super NES, and so the PSone version was the first official English translation. Fan translations had done the rounds via ROM images on the Internet prior to this, but the PS1 version was the first officially-sanctioned version from Square Enix. It also hasn't seen anywhere near as many remakes as FFI, II and IV.
The PS1 version wasn't a perfect port; there were loading breaks and slowdown that marred the experience somewhat, and the fact this "new" version is a PSone Classic suggests these issues may be present for the re-release, too. But they're not enough to spoil a great game that's well worth a playthrough.
Square Enix hasn't yet announced a release date for the PSN version of Final Fantasy V, but they are currently preparing it for release, so keep an eye out for the latest news.
The only remaining question, as ever, is "where are the HD remakes of VI, VII, VIII, IX, X and XII?"
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