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Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

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Final Fantasy Chronicles / Anthology

Final Fantasy Chronicles / Anthology (2001/2002)

  • Gamepage
  • Developer: Square
  • Publisher: Square

It's cheating a little bit to consider these titles as PSone cult classics, perhaps - but Square's decision to port SNES-era Final Fantasies IV, V and VI, along with classic SNES RPG Chrono Trigger, to the PlayStation yielded arguably some of the best gaming value of the PlayStation era. Not only that, it raises the intriguing possibility that Sony might end up capitalising on some of the Virtual Console loving which Nintendo has secured for the Wii - via the slightly roundabout route of looking to the PlayStation's own back catalogue of retro re-releases.

Unfortunately for European audiences, FFVI and Chrono Trigger were never fully translated for launch here (a situation which, perhaps, could be rectified for a PSN release - hey, we can dream). However, the games have significant merit, unsurprisingly, which recommends a further look at them. For the most part, the 2D graphics have aged extremely gracefully, especially when looked at on the smaller screen of a handheld platform; and the gameplay of some of the titles, most notably FFVI and Chrono Trigger, remains as compelling today as it has ever been.

The biggest flaw which these games had on the PlayStation platform, in fact, is that the loading speed of the CD drive couldn't compare to the lightning fast loading times of the SNES cartridges on which they started life. Of course, were Sony and Square to strike a deal bringing these titles to PSN, they'd be loaded off hard disc or Memory Stick - thus eliminating any loading problems, and granting Sony, arguably, the definitive versions of all four games. The irony wouldn't be lost on us, should that happen - but we'd also be very happy gamers.