The remastered version of Final Fantasy IX is now available on the Nintendo Switch, following today’s Nintendo Direct.
Remastered ports of various classic Final Fantasy games for the Nintendo Switch were announced some time ago. The first of the lineup is Final Fantasy IX, originally released for the Playstation in 1999. It has also been announced that a Switch port of Final Fantasy VII will be released on March 26.
Final Fantasy IX follows the tale of Zidane, a thief whose initial attempt to kidnap Princess Garnet of Alexandria ends up embroiling him and his friends in a complex political conspiracy revolving around the mysterious arms dealer Kuja. Although it initially received a polarising response due to its more cartoony art style (as well as being released in the back end of the PlayStation’s console generation), its gameplay and graphics have aged phenomenally well.
It has since been re-released on the PS3, Vita, Steam and most recently the PS4. This marks the first time that Final Fantasy IX is available on a Nintendo platform.
The remastered version comes with many cool additional features that make it worth diving back into. For one, there is the option to speed up the gameplay (which makes the Excalibur II sidequest less of a chore), as well as the ability to turn off random encounters from the pause menu. The game now autosaves at every screen transition, making the long gaps between save points less of a hassle.
There are some optional boosters to automatically give you gold or level ups if you are only in it for the story. Alternately, you can fast forward the dialogue and skip the FMV scenes if you prefer. Whether you want to emphasise the combat or story, this version of FFIX lets you customise how you play. Finally, the gorgeous FMV cutscenes and in-game character models have been remastered in HD, making an already-pretty game look even better.
It is great that this great game is available to Switch and Xbox One owners. Admittedly, it is a bit of a shame that Final Fantasy VIII, which recently celebrated its 20th birthday, is not among this lineup of Final Fantasy remasters. However, Final Fantasy IX is one of the best in the series, and now is the perfect opportunity to check it out, whether you’re a Final Fantasy veteran, or totally new to the franchise. (Also, Vivi is the freakin’ best – Ed)