Speaking with GameSpot recently, Producer Hiroaki Kato explained the reasons why Square Enix decided to remaster Final Fantasy XII for PlayStation 4, instead of other titles in the series:
Several reasons. But since we worked on the original XII, we have a lot of memories associated with that title. And when Final Fantasy X came out as an HD remaster on the PS4 and became a successful title, we thought that maybe we should bring this one back as well. So we brought together the core members of the original development team.
And then another reason was that when we created the original XII, we actually made it relatively high spec. So we were always thinking that we wanted to create an HD version of it sometime in the future. But if we did that, I wanted to have the original members work on it as well. It was difficult trying to find a time when everyone could work together again, just because everyone was on different projects.
With The Zodiac Age, Square Enix has added the Zodiac Job System, which is an improved character leveling system that now caters to your preferences. Additionally, you’ll find auto-save, shortened loading times, a Trial Mode, a Speed Mode, the ability to switch between the original and newly remastered soundtrack, and remastered graphics.
If you’ve never played Final Fantasy XII before, Kato hopes you get hooked by how fun it is to play an RPG:
From fighting, to field exploration, to character growth, The Zodiac Age has all that. It will feel good to have your characters grow. And while you’re leveling up your characters, you’ll find more items that you want to equip and then use them to fight stronger enemies. And so all the elements that you would consider normal for an RPG are included in this game in a really great balance.
Asked which Final Fantasy he’d like to see remastered next, Game Director Takashi Katano said any game that was released before the PS2 would likely see a remix/remake, rather than a remaster:
The PlayStation 2 would probably be the only hardware that we could really remaster from. Anything before that probably wouldn’t be a remaster anymore, but a remix because of all the polygon models and sprites, like Final Fantasy VII. That’s probably why they’re doing a remake, instead of like a remaster.
Asked the same question, Kato laughed and replied, “I’d love to see a remaster of Final Fantasy I and all the numbered titles, but that would be difficult to do.”
Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age releases on July 11 in North America and Europe for PlayStation 4, priced at $49.99 USD. You can learn more about the Limited and Collector’s editions over here.
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