February 13's Nintendo Direct previewed a lot of games coming out for the Switch later this year, but it also announced an immediate arrival: A port of Final Fantasy 9. While it's good to see one of the best games in the series find its way to the Switch, it appears the port is the exact same one you can find on PC, PlayStation 4, and mobile—warts, bugs, and all.
Kotaku's Jason Schreier confirms Final Fantasy 9 is "the same port that Square had put on PC and PS4, which itself was based on the versions the publisher developed for iOS and Android." That comes with some good news, some bad news, and some worse news. Good news: There are high-res character models and an option to speed through battles. Bad news: The menu fonts, clearly developed with mobile in mind, are uglier than the hind-end of Kuja's silver dragon. Worse news: Square Enix didn't fix a notable bug native to those ports.
By now we're used to Square Enix's "Eh, good enough" approach to ports of its classic games (and I still found Final Fantasy 9's speed-up option extremely useful when I played the game for the first time in 2017). However, it's disappointing to learn Square Enix left in a significant bug that plagues all the iterations of Final Fantasy 9's modern ports: The field music resets after every random encounter, something that's not supposed to happen. That's a shame, given Final Fantasy 9 has a lovely overworld theme.
It's also a shame Square Enix refuses to make the smallest of fixes even after outrage over Steam's awful port of Chrono Trigger seemingly lit a fire under its butt. Why is this so hard for you, Square Enix? Why does this keep happening? Do we need to break out the "tough love?"
However you choose to play Final Fantasy 9, it's still an epic RPG. Kat and I recorded a "Final Fantasy 9 Report" on Axe of the Blood God to discuss the game while I played it for the first time. Listen!