Ever since Octopath Traveler exploded onto the JRPG scene with its unique HD-2D graphics, fans have been dreaming about which games could get the same treatment. Square Enix’s president even stated recently that they want to remake more games using this art style. With upcoming games like triangle Strategy, Live A Live, and the Dragon Quest III remake using HD-2D, the industry has found an interesting way to bring back older franchises and genres.
Some games need it more than others though, and other games may fit the art style better. Here are five classic Square Enix games that would work best with the HD-2D art style — and not necessarily the company’s most popular games of yesterday.
Often considered one of the greatest JRPGs of all time and one of the greatest games of all time, Chrono Trigger is more than worthy of an HD-2D remake. An argument could even be made that the original game is so perfect that altering it by any standard would only lessen the quality.
Chrono Trigger was developed by the “dream team,” as Square called them. This included famous developers and artists such as Hironobu Sakaguchi, the father of Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii, and renowned manga artist Akira Toriyama, known for his work in Dragon Ball and Dragon Quest. Chrono Trigger’s music was by legendary Japanese composers Yasunori Mitsuda & Nobuo Uematsu. Not many games have had this many prolific developers behind one title.
Chrono Trigger would benefit from a new release since the only modern hardware it’s available on is Steam; the SNES and DS versions are quite expensive now. Chrono Trigger still remains a fantastic-looking game to this day, but it’s hard to deny that the HD-2D would enhance its beauty. The HD-2D engine brings better lighting effects, depth of field, and excellent environments. Chrono Trigger isn’t doing much sitting in the past, an upgraded version is more than justified.
Dragon Quest I
Predating even the first Final Fantasy game, to say that Dragon Quest had an impact on the industry is an understatement. Creator Yuji Horii took elements from other popular role-playing games like Wizardry and Ultima and made a more newcomer-friendly experience.
Dragon Quest follows a simple plot of a hero trying to save a princess from a dragon; it couldn’t get any more cliche. It only features one playable character instead of the usual role-playing party and features battles shown from the first-person perspective.
While there are much more mechanically deep and interesting Dragon Quest games that might deserve the HD-2D treatment, the first game getting such a remake would make sense for continuities sake. Dragon Quest III, the first game in the franchise’s timeline, is already getting an HD-2D remake, and the first game is a sequel to that. The HD-2D engine is perfect for NES & SNES era games just like Dragon Quest.
Final Fantasy I
The first Final Fantasy started a franchise that has endured almost forty years and gone on to sell millions upon millions of copies. Final Fantasy changed the RPG genre forever, taking from other popular franchises like Dragon Quest and Dungeons & Dragons, and turning it into something of its own.
At the start of the first Final Fantasy, you get to choose the classes of four avatar characters, choosing from Knight, Black Mage, Thief, White Mage, etc. The story involves the four characters traveling across the land, attempting to expel the darkness within the four elemental crystals they carry to restore balance to the world. Final Fantasy set the standard for many JRPG tropes still used today, but the first game in the franchise feels like it has been forgotten in the conversation.
The first six games have gotten new editions with the pixel remasters, but they don’t do a lot to make the games look better and have changes that some fans dislike. Full HD-2D remakes would heighten these adventures in a way the Pixel Remasters never could.
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
While it may surprise some that Final Fantasy Tactics, one of the most popular tactics games ever, is not on this list, its sequel is. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance’s pixel art graphics would translate better from the original into the HD-2D engine. The first game was on the PS1 and featured polygonal graphics, not pixelated graphics.
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is a fantastic game set in the world of Ivalice and was the building block for the setting of Final Fantasy XII. It built upon its predecessor by adding different races, and thus more jobs. The job system is the cornerstone of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and allows the player to master jobs by obtaining new equipment and learning new attacks and passive abilities.
Tactics Advance is also played from an isometric point of view and features maps that look like cute little dioramas. Since Triangle Strategy, a new tactics game in the HD-2D engine, already uses the same field of view and diorama type settings, assets could be resued. A remake for a game in the series that pushed the genre to new heights only makes sense.
Despite starting as Final Fantasy Legends, Romancing SaGa turned into its own series that has gone on to influence many other franchises. Unlike many other JRPGs of its time, Romancing SaGa allows the player to roam an open world and experience an overarching story in a non-linear way with its eight main protagonists.
Romancing SaGa takes a lot of inspiration from Final Fantasy II by allowing characters to grow in tandem with how they act in battle. So if your character gets hit a lot, their health will increase, and so on and so forth. Characters choose classes and master abilities by repeatedly using them in battle.
Unbeknownst to many, Romancing SaGa has gone on to influence games such as Dragon Age, Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and even future Final Fantasy games, thanks to its method of storytelling via an open world. It’s also one of the first games to feature enemies scaling with the player’s level. Romancing SaGa is a lesser-known gem that has had a lot of influence on the video game industry as a whole. It features the pixelated graphics of the SNES that are perfect for an HD-2D remake.