A new update available for the Pixel Remaster series of Final Fantasy games adds some interesting options that will change the way you play these retro gems. In fact, these changes can make the games downright cozy.
New Gameplay Features
Let’s get right to it. The headline refers to the fact that you can now turn enemy encounters off. This means you can play through the story without constantly fighting through hordes of random monster encounters. This new relaxed way to enjoy the games veers it sharply into “cozy” territory.
There are also new settings available to let you adjust the amount of experience or money earned from encounters. So for example, you can boost your experience and gil earned x4 and greatly tune down the number of monster encounters you need trudge through to level up.
The game already features an auto-battle mode that can help take the tedium out of grinding monster encounters. Just sit back and watch your team fight to victory.
If you want to live your power (final) fantasy, you can crank up experience and gil but keep the monster encounters normal… You’ll be cutting through bosses like butter in no time. Alternately, you can tune down the experience gained to half and grind to your heart’s content.
New Non-Gameplay Features
Outside of gameplay changes, there’s also a new option to choose your background music. You can go with the new arrangements or you can turn on the classic music. I did immediately and it only adds to the nostalgia factor.
Likewise, you can switch the game font back to the original versions if you don’t care for the updated one (I definitely recommend using the classic font).
Tired of holding down a button to run? You can set that speed as your default and hold down a button to walk slowly.
There are some other quality of life changes that players will likely appreciate. Mostly they are tweaks that make navigating the game’s menus easier.
Is Final Fantasy Really Cozy Now?
I don’t think its hyperbole to view these gameplay changes as a way to reach out to players who enjoy a more casual and relaxing gaming experience. However you define the Cozy genre of games, those two factors are usually agreed upon. So while the games aren’t chore-based farm-sims now, they do offer a low key approach that can feel very cozy compared to the standard way to play them.
This is the first update to the games since August 2022. It’s always nice to see fresh support after so long.
Released on January 30, the new content update adds some significant new features to all six of the Final Fantasy pixel remaster games. Read the full patch notes below.
■ Major new features
- Assistance features have been added to the config. menu. These new features open up a wide variety of gameplay possibilities. They offer options such as applying a x0 to x4 modifier to the amount of EXP or gil obtained or turning enemy encounters off.
> It is now possible to use holding down the right stick or the F3 key as a shortcut command for switching between encounters
- A “BGM source” option has been added to the config screen. This allows you to select between the special “arrangement” BGM made for this version of the game or the “original” versions in the style of the original game. In addition, both versions of the music can be listened to from the sound player.
- A “Font type” option has been added to the config screen. This allows you to select between the “modern” font made for this version of the game or the “classic” font in the style of the original game.
■ Additions and alterations to game menus
- It is now possible to load saved data from the menu screen.
- It is now possible to open the pause menu while travelling or during battle. You can also return to the title screen or check control settings from the pause menu.
- An option to switch movement speeds has been added to the config. screen. This allows you to switch the default movement speed from walking to running. Holding down the cancel button while moving will move characters at the other speed not set as the default.
> It is also possible to switch between movements speeds using the F1 key or holding down the left stick as a short cut.
- It is now possible to view the monster bestiary from the in-game config menu
- It is now possible to select to fight against a monster of your choice from the monster bestiary on the title screen. The game progress from the most recent save data will be applied to decide what monsters the player can select. (It is not possible to select to fight monsters from the monster bestiary on the config. screen)
- A “config.” option has been added to the title menu. Most of the same settings that can be changed in-game can also be changed from here.
■ Other changes and adjustments
- The “auto” icon is no longer shown on the battle screen as standard.
- It is now possible to skip scenes during the ending.
- Some changes and adjustments have been made to game graphics.
- Some changes and adjustments have been made to sound effects.
- Several bugs have been fixed.