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Square Enix’s 16-Bit Interpretation Of “Final Fantasty XIV” Shows That Games Haven’t Changed That Much

Gamers who grew up in the 16-bit era of the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis can find themselves intimidated by the lush, lovely graphics and highly-stylized gameplay of 2014-era games–and that’s never made more clear than when a franchise that existed in the early ’90s continues to make games tailored for the PlayStation 4 and the XBox One generation of consoles.


Square Enix, maker of the staggeringly long-lived Final Fantasy series–which launched on the 8-bit Nintendo in 1989–has long been finding ways to revisit its old games for a new generation of players that’s more accustomed to cut-scenes, 3-D action, and high-performance graphics. But in this new video the company posted to YouTube last week, they flip the script: Instead of, say, redeveloping Final Fantasy IV for current-generation devices, they take Final Fantasy XIV–which will be released with the subtitle A Realm Reborn for the PS4 next month–and retrofit the design to the 16-bit era.

The result is a video that serves as a reminder for old-timers that the games of today, while featuring plenty of cosmetic changes, still have a lot in common with the era of gaming they grew up with. Ultimately, as the video proves, fighting an evil bearded monster wearing a diaper in a 16-bit, choppily animated battle sequence isn’t that much different from fighting an evil bearded monster wearing a diaper that’s been rendered in stunning 3-D with HD graphics. Progress, in the end, is only a short Chocobo ride away.

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