Final Fantasy Remasters Reignite Controversies Over Pixel Art

Few role-playing experiences are as beloved as the original Final Fantasy games, which is why Square Enix announcing a new brand it's calling Pixel Remasters for the first six games was greeted with equal parts shock and horror. For every brilliant reinvention, like last year's Final Fantasy 7 Remake, you have these nightmarish updates to classics like Final Fantasy 6 that are so abjectly awful to look at that fans created mods to try and replace the visuals.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qj83yp/final-fantasy-remasters-reignite-controversies-over-pixel-art
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This articles comes at a great time as I am currently playing Final Fantasy IV (called II) for the SNES. It is, admittedly, not the best looking SNES game I’ve ever played. The sprites for characters are clunky in a way that is, frankly, unappealing in raw pixel forms. However, the emulator that I’m using has a variety of filter options, and after fiddling for awhile I found a great CRT filter. Everything looks much nicer, the pixels blend to form a great picture. The backgrounds also seem much more artistic and purposeful with the filter, rather than blocky and unclear in the raw form (this is also apparent with the Castlevania screenshot from the article. Look at the pillar on the left!).

I’m no Final Fantasy veteran, so I can’t say I know the best way to handle the pixels. I can’t help but feel that redrawing pixels takes away from the original artists’ work and is bad for game preservation onto modern consoles/pcs. It’s like Square is asking people to play their games on emulators in order to play the originals. There should at least be an option to change between sprites, as well as CRT filter options.

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I’d love a huge Street Fighter style collection with all the games, all their versions, graphical options, and even the Ultimania art book. But no.

So oh well. I’ll stick to my GBA copy if I ever need to play FFVI again. The sound is worse, but the Ultima Weapon boss music sounds better.

I’d be real cool if SE remembered that they own Chrono Trigger too.

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Squenix is the most frustrating videogames company, no doubt. It would be so incredible easy to give everyone what they want, but they just refuse to. Old and existing fans are obviously going to want the original sprites, and new players wouldn’t care either way. And yeah, just slap an optional CRT filter on it, but it doesn’t need it. And frankly, the notion that this publisher care about any aesthetic qualities when it comes to these games seems absurd considering the ugly ass mobile fonts they insist on using for every port. They don’t know what the heck they are doing!

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Nah, Nintendo has this crown, and it isn’t even close.

I’ve been fending off my parents’ attempts to sell a big CRT TV at home for years. Trying to find a smaller one all the time. Definitely interested in becoming the “old consoles on CRTs” guy. Think if I was very wealthy this would be my rich guy eccentricity.

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I thought i wanted to be that guy, until i recently actually found a small-enough CRT and then turned it on and THE NOISE. i had forgotten the loud CRT whine, and i could hear it throughout my entire house. now maybe it’s just not in good condition, but i had assumed that i just couldn’t hear that stuff anymore. nope, hearing is as clear as ever i suppose. i tried to deal with it but it’s 0 to headache city in a way that made me wonder how i ever got literally anything done with that whine going all the time when i was young. jesus.

So yeah, i quickly went from "it seems smart to test my stuff on crts and to understand pixel art more as a medium " to “lol nope” in a heartbeat. no idea waht to do with it, cuz even with a 20 inch screen the darn thing weighs 50 pounds.

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My god, what black magic is this!!?

It’s amazing how defined and nigh-three-dimensional the hair looks on CRT! These are some hobby-grade pixels.

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Dracula looking like a snack on CRT.

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I recently got a pretty big CRT for free on the local version of craigslist, and I can testify to both the weight and sound! The thing probably weights more than 100 pounds. It was heavy enough that I noticed a difference in how my car handled when I was driving it home. The sound when I turned it on was legitimately startling! I will say that it looks AMAZING. This thing probably didn’t get much use, and was probably purchased after flat screens were pretty mainstream. The fuzziness of the display makes the lower resolution less noticeable. Shadow of the Colossus looks immaculate, and Windwaker bathes the entire room in a bright blue light. It’s not going to replace my monitor as my primary gaming display, but it has been worth the hassle so far.

My current quest is to find a cheap table that is strong enough to hold it’s weight. That is proving to be nigh impossible. I might just leave it where it is. Maybe these games were made to be played in basements in the middle of the night, sitting cross-legged on the floor.

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