Square's classic SNES RPG Final Fantasy III arrives on the Wii's Virtual Console download service this Friday, Nintendo has announced.
Square Enix has finally decided to bring Final Fantasy VI Advance to Europe, stamping a 29th June release date on it.
Think of a videogame you still love today, five or ten years after you first fell for it. Tell me what makes it special and you'll probably speak of how, at the time, the graphics transported your younger mind to new, exotic, unimagined places; of how its music perfectly soundtracked your leisure time leaving an indelible melodic stain on your mind; of how its perfectly balanced gameplay broke the separation between man and machine as your character and your thoughts acted as one; of muscle memory that will only be lost at the grave.
But, you know, you'll be lying. What makes that game still special today isn't the graphics, or the soundtrack or the gameplay so much as the memories of your life at the time you first played it. Old, beloved videogames, like old, beloved songs or films, unlock the sights, smells and emotions of where you were and what you were doing when you first encountered them. Super Mario World is grazed knees, orange squash and long, hot school holidays; Gunstar Heroes is the two-player Christmas morning when you and your brother got along; Tetris is the underside of a duvet saturated in yellow Gameboy light with the sound turned down to avoid detection.
This subtle but unshakeable historical subjectivity often holds videogame critics' opinions ransom when looking at re-releases of classic titles first loved in younger days. Nostalgia makes it difficult to separate a game's inherent qualities from the quality of the memories of playing it in happier, simpler times. With that in mind this correspondent decided to play Final Fantasy 6 - a game revered by both the Final Fantasy series and RPG aficionados perhaps more than any other - to fresh completion in the hope of discovering if the experience was the epiphany his fifteen-year-old mind routinely assures him it was. The warm mist of wistfulness is quickly burned up once you're forced to spend thirty hours alone with an old flame and so any sceptics should rest assured that is as sober and contemporary an evaluation as Eurogamer could prepare.
Occasionally a videogame so perfectly exemplifies a particular type of gameplay that its name becomes interchangeable with that of its genre. Mario is easy shorthand for the Platform game; Tetris, piece by piece epitomises the Puzzle genre; Dance Dance Revolution is foot sign language for Rhythm Action; and Street Fighter's Ryu and Ken, even today, bounce hunched as poster boys for Beat-‘em-ups everywhere.