2019 in review: FINAL FANTASY IX and FINAL FANTASY VIIWe look back at early 2019… when two classic FINAL FANTASY games came to Switch and Xbox One
It feels like end of the year come around quick, but then again it’s been a busy year here at Square Enix.
As 2019 hurtles towards the inevitability of 2020, I thought it would be interesting to take stock, and look at some of my highlights of the last 12 months. And what better series to start with than FINAL FANTASY?
Early this year, some of our most beloved games made the leap to Switch and Xbox One. It great news for Nintendo and Microsoft fans, but - much more importantly - it gave me an excuse to play them again…
Let’s take a look back, and share some idle thoughts:
FINAL FANTASY IX
FINAL FANTASY IX arrived on Switch and Xbox One on February 14, 2019. It was an oddly appropriate release date because, perhaps more than any entry to date, FINAL FANTASY IX is a love letter to the series as a whole.
That’s what jumped out at me most when I replayed it this year - the story of Zidane, Dagger and the rest of the gang is charming and compelling in its own right, but it’s also overflowing with subtle (and not so subtle) references and throwbacks to earlier games in the series.
While none of it impacts the story or game, FINAL FANTASY veterans will be constantly smiling. It’s fan service done right.
FINAL FANTASY IX on the Blog
The release of FINAL FANTASY IX proved a perfect excuse to talk about why we, on the Square Enix Blog, think it’s one of the best in the series (although every game is one of Square Enix’s precious little children and we love them all equally et cetera, et cetera). You can read our thoughts here:
But that was far from the game’s only appearance in 2019. We’ve discussed it, and it’s characters, quite a bit. Here are just some of the highlights:
The making of FINAL FANTASY IX
Over the course of 2019, we’ve been releasing a series of video documentaries, detailing the creation of some of our most famous titles. The ‘Inside’ series are utterly essential viewing for FINAL FANTASY fans, and - no word of a lie - watching them has been one of the highlights of my year.
FINAL FANTASY IX’s was particularly good - some top-notch anecdotes in this one!
FINAL FANTASY IX’s villains take the stage
The bad guys of FINAL FANTASY IX got a lot of love from us in 2019.
In October we thought (probably too much to be honest) about which villains we’d put on the team if we were making a video game League of Eeeeevil. With his charm, power and ability to play the long game, Kuja was an easy choice. See the full list here:
We also highlighted some of the villains we think don’t get the respect they deserve. Zorn and Thorn did make the cut (make the cut did Zorn and Thorn)!
Here are some more FINAL FANTASY IX-themed articles we think you might enjoy:
- Take a look at this beautiful FINAL FANTASY IX character art
- Which FINAL FANTASY game should I play first?
- 10 amazing videogame forest themes
FINAL FANTASY VII
With the March 26, 2019 release of FINAL FANTASY VII on Switch and Xbox One, one of the most iconic games in the series became available on all major current gen platforms.
That’s fantastic news, because I think everyone should play this game at least once in their lifetime. Probably more than once. From the richness of the characters and world, to the flexibility of the combat system, everything in the game comes together really well.
I’ve revisited the game many, many times over the years, but the addition of boosters in this most recent version has made the most recent playthrough the most enjoyable to date - if only because they allowed me to take long-awaited revenge on a childhood bully: Emerald Weapon.
Oh, and on the subject of FINAL FANTASY VII… just a few months until FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE is out! Believe us - we’re just as excited as you are.
FINAL FANTASY VII on the Blog
Ha - try and stop us from writing about FINAL FANTASY VII! …although in fairness, nobody tried to.
Regardless, when the game released on Switch and Xbox One, we took a long look at why it continues to enjoy such popularity.
Don’t spoil VII!
The release of FINAL FANTASY VII ( and news of FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE), got us pondering spoilers. Is it fair to reveal major plot elements from a game - even if it’s 20 years old? Can we do it? Should we do it? The discussion was a lively one:
The making of FINAL FANTASY VII
Another entry in the ‘Inside’ video series: this one looks at the making of FINAL FANTASY VII. It features exclusive interviews with some of the key figures behind the creation of the game for first-hand accounts about how it all came together… and their reaction to its success.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg - we’ve written much more about FINAL FANTASY VII in 2019. Here are some of our highlights:
- Why would you live in the Shinra mansion?
- 5 Square Enix houses we’d live in - Community Edition
- Which FINAL FANTASY should I play first?
- Explore the history of FINAL FANTASY through music
- What makes a good videogame villain?
Two classic games available to all - that can only be a good thing.
And they were quickly followed by two more amazing releases: FINAL FANTASY X|X-2 Remaster and FINAL FANTASY XII THE ZODIAC AGE. We’ll take a look back at them later this week.
For now though, if you’re a fan of FINAL FANTASY, make sure you follow FINAL FANTASY on social media. There’s some really good stuff on the horizon there too…