Square Enix has previously been guilty of teasing mobile gamers by announcing that the much anticipated Final Fantasy VI would be coming to mobile sometime "this winter". Developers and publishers are often understandably reluctant to commit to concrete launch dates for fear of having a spanner thrown in the works and subsequently having to renege on that promise. The winter is now well and truly upon us, and although we haven’t yet been blessed with an actual release date, Square Enix has used the annual Jump Festa expo to release two official screenshots of the visuals that gamers can expect on iOS and Android when the title launches.
The Jump Festa expo is held annually in Japan, with its primary concern being centered on anime and manga. Respected companies like Square Enix, Namco and Bandai usually take the opportunity to gatecrash the gathering, with the aim of being something new and fresh to participants each year. Japanese consumers already have the launch of Final Fantasy X and X-2 penciled into their diaries for December 26th which leads the rest of us to focus our attentions on Final Fantasy VI for mobile.
The released screenshots don’t actually reveal a great deal of information about the game itself. The visual assets of the player environments look to be significantly improved over previous ports of the game, but it’s the representation of the characters that could prove problematic for some of the hardcore elite. The evolution of mobile hardware and gaming advancements has meant that the character visuals look smooth and refined, something that isn’t usually synonymous with the dark gameplay that accompanies Final Fantasy releases.
Long-term fans of the franchise will however be pleased to learn that the mobile release of Final Fantasy VI will essentially be a remake of the original game. Takashi Tokita is the director and producer of the title and has stated that there have been "some enhancements" to the game over the original, with the primary aim being to make the experience a lot more manageable and enjoyable for gamers on iOS and Android. Previous mobile versions of Final Fantasy games have had a lot of attention paid to the in-game battle systems, which has also been integrated into this release.