Rumor: This Week in Gaming: PlayStation Assimilation


I MAY HAVE SURVIVED AN ABSURD HEATWAVE, BUT NOW MY EYES HURT. THANKS, SQUEENIX!

The good news: the debate over the redrawn sprites has mostly cooled off. The bad news: Hope you like squinting.

Living on the West Coast along with a freelancer’s schedule (go to bed at 2, wake up around 10) means that sometimes I wake up and see that a particular topic has absolutely blown up my Twitter feed. A couple days ago, I woke up to everybody talking about the Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters, the first three of which now have a release date of July 28th across Steam, Android, and iOS.

Remember back when HD consoles first debuted and developers were so eager to take advantage of the upgraded resolution that they made their in-game fonts ludicrously tiny? Remember how much that sucked? Well, Square Enix sure doesn’t! The moment these screens hit the web everyone was decrying the tiny, ugly font they went with. Just looking at that image above makes my head hurt. Now imagine playing that on the teensy screen of a mobile phone – likely the platforms most will download these games on – for hours on end. That sounds extremely unpleasant!

On the plus side, though, Square Enix is finally removing the awful old FF5 and FF6 ports from storefronts. A small victory, but a victory nonetheless.

Besides the size and generic ugliness of the font, there’s also the issue of the dialogue and battle windows having so much empty space, leaving bright white letters in the middle of a sea of bright blue background. I’m sure you’ll be able to change window colors, but all of that empty space isn’t great! In fact, empty space seems to be an issue overall in the combat scenes, with a whole lot of nothing between and surrounding your party and the enemies. It doesn’t really feel as threatening when the sprites of Final Fantasy’s Four Fiends only take up a small portion of the screen. Bigger sprites and text overall would be ideal! Perhaps the emptiness issue will get better when we get to the SNES-era games that had more complex, screen-covering backgrounds, but right now, I’m not liking what I’m seeing.

SONY GOES ON AN ACQUISITION SPREE

The past couple of years have seen Microsoft going on a big acquisition spree, snapping up promising and established development teams to fold them into the greater Microsoft Game Studios entity. This culminated with the massive Microsoft acquisition of Bethesda/Zenimax, the repercussions of which we’ll likely be feeling for years to come. That must have rattled Sony some, as they’ve been recently going on a little shopping spree of their own. None of their deals have even come close to approaching the magnitude of the MS/Zenimax coupling, but it does give you a feel as to what Sony thinks will be important in the console wars going forward.

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  • This Week in Gaming: PlayStation Assimilation
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