One of the strangest moments in Squaresoft history involves Final Fantasy V, and an eventually cancelled PC port that saw more than its share of troubles. Nearly 20 years later, and Square-Enix is finally capitalizing on the lucrative PC market, so it only makes sense their first release planned for this platform would eventually make the cut.
That's right: On September 24th, Final Fantasy V heads to PCs for the first time via Steam. That's good! Unfortunately, it's a port of the somewhat recent mobile version. That... raises some concerns.
I'll admit I've been fairly critical of Square-Enix's Final Fantasy PC ports, even when they're based on remakes I actually like. I panned Final Fantasy III PC for being a staggeringly low-effort production, which didn't even bother to adjust the UI to be more appropriate for the big screen. And, in a moment of weakness, I splurged on the similarly poor port of Final Fantasy IV, only to see it suffer from the exact same issues. (To date, it's the only game I've ever returned on Steam—see, people can actually do this for legitimate reasons!)
Of course, this is good news for PC enthusiasts who somehow missed out on Final Fantasy V in the nearly 20 years it's been playable on computers via legally dubious means. And, as far as Final Fantasy V releases go, this one is loaded with extras: it contains the bonus content from the 2006 Game Boy Advance release, a boss designed by Square-Enix director Tetsuya Nomura, as well as Steam Achievements and trading cards.
The all-around hideous visuals of Final Fantasy V's mobile port—which haven't been changed—make for a possible dealbreaker, though. Sure, Final Fantasy V is a great game, but asking players to stare at those awkward, ugly, inconsistent and amateurish RPG Maker-style sprites and backgrounds for 40 hours might be pushing it. Plus, just to add salt to the wound, the above trailer showcases high-res versions of the 2D designs Final Fantasy V's sprite artwork used as its basis, clearly showing that Square-Enix knows what this RPG should look like. (Those bastards.)
For $15.99, it'd be nice to see Final Fantasy V PC go the route of the Monkey Island and Grim Fandango remakes, giving players the choice to switch between old and new graphics on the fly—but apparently the disgust currently resonating throughout the nerdier parts of the Internet isn't loud enough for Square-Enix to take notice.