Final Fantasy 8 Remastered may not have the hype behind it that the Final Fantasy 7 Remaster does, but that’s not stopping Square Enix from trying to produce a game that all kinds of fans will love. And with the latest round of news, the developer has announced a few sweet tweaks to the PS1 classic that have people buzzing.
Square Enix is planning to allow a new system called “battle enhancements” to be used by players to completely alter the gameplay experience of the remaster, including turning off random encounters. Other options include having infinite HP, as well as a max level character from the beginning of the game.
Non-cheating options are also being included, as Final Fantasy 8 Remastered will have an option for triple battle speed.
Final Fantasy and other JRPG game franchises have had a long and sordid history with random encounter systems. Where some fans see an opportunity for grinding gold, rare items or XP; other players see them as an annoying impediment to the story or challenging boss fights which they consider more fun.
Whatever your stance, it’s nice to have options. After all, everyone likes being able to tailor the experience of a game to their liking. And with JRPGs, most traditional games have a very rigid structure that is often meticulously designed for a certain gameplay flow and style. Some gamers will turn to cheats, like those offered by memory editors of the GameShark ilk, in order to get the option to turn off certain gameplay elements.
JRPG fans have a pretty mixed opinion on these cheats though. Some love them, and some hate them. Square Enix choosing to offer not just the option to toggle random encounters, but also unlock all skills or gear right from the start is great for players that want it. If you want to breeze through boss battles just for the sake of the story, there’s now an easy path to that built right into the game.
Personally, I wish more game developers would build cheats like this into singleplayer games. It stops players who want to be able to tweak their gameplay experience having to give money to third-party cheat creators or having to mess with mods.