So the Definitive Edition hit Gamepass this week(along with Doom Eternal and some others), and I decided to give it a go after Jeff had actual positive things to say about it. I’ve been following Jeff’s game coverage for nearly 25 years at this point, and outside of the Persona games I don’t know that I could name another JRPG that he actually liked. At least none made since the PlayStation era.
Played until around where the quick look was and was surprised to find that I am actually enjoying it as well. The combat is really snappy, with the creative monster designs and their clever names keeping me interested. The story is super standard JRPG and Dragon Quest fare. Great evil set to destroy all reality. An orphan chosen one raised in a remote village who becomes a warrior of light. But the characters are all fun and well written, and honestly I will take simple and cliched over whatever Final Fantasy has become since 13.
This definitive version seems to have some solid quality of life improvements over the original. Just based on the quick look and some reviews I skimmed I noted that you can now craft anywhere, items dropped from trees and such are auto-collected, and I have yet to encounter the shop issue Jeff had in the quick look. Not sure if that is because of a change made to the game or if I am just doing something different, but I have yet to encounter any sort of inventory issue.
I saw on the Steam forums that the character models and/or textures in this version are worse than in the original due to being based off the Switch version. I can’t say I noticed any real issue here. Looking at footage of the original release compared to what I am playing, I am not seeing a huge downgrade, but I am not playing on a 4K monitor so perhaps it is more noticeable in uhd.
I will say that for whatever reason Square Enix went with fxaa over Unreal’s built in taa solution. Easy enough to fix in the config file, but begs the question of why they couldn’t include a toggle in the menu. Also adding motion blur requires going to the config files, and the in game menu also won’t let you render the game above 100% resolution, but again, easily fixed in the config file. Basically, a lot of really simple, built in ue4 features not being used for no reason. Lastly you have to quit using alt-f4, which is not uncommon for SE PC ports, but is it really that hard to make a quit button? (Answer: No it isn’t. I have programmed a quit button into a game in under half an hour. Pretty sure the very first time I made a quit button it took me under 2 hours including research)
So lackluster port but it runs fine being a ue4 game, haven’t noticed any bugs or glitches. Enjoying it so far and am interested to see if on PS5/Series X they can reach the level of visual quality seen in their gorgeous intro cutscene for the next game.