this release put *a lot* of love into it, as bearfield mentioned above, but those expansive touch-ups just reinforced how strong the bones of the original are. there are sequences that still take your breath away, 14 years later.
for those (like me) who've only played the original, the big (license classes) and small (overlap maps, 2x and 4x multiplier speeds) additions are much welcomed. I did a little more optimization than a decade ago -- back then I slapped on two gambits and just hacked/healed away -- but it's still fun just traveling and battling across Ivalice.
+ amazing remaster. the original was the best graphically impressive PS2 game ever, and this update really shines a light on that. 60 FPS on top of that (PC).
+ 4x is too much, but 2x is just right for getting across big maps with no teleport stone and grinding chains.
+ what a soundtrack! I prefer the re-orchestrated version, but I'd forgot how fantastic the music is here.
+ the license boards/class system makes everyone kind of useful in a way, which is better than the ultimate homogeneity of the original at endgame. I think locking the classes and esper skills makes people like me have a fear of missing out rather than an urge to experiment, so the recent update to reset your board entirely on all versions is perfect.
- I still don't get into the story. the cutscenes are well done, I just don't have much of a connection to it. which isn't a total loss -- I couldn't tell you what happened in Tactics, either, which is another classic. it just knocks down the game on my personal pedestal.
- the whole treasure chest spawning and diamond armlet situation is painful. zoning in and out for a chest to spawn, and then somehow having to know which chests give you the rare item with the diamond armlet (very few) versus which you should open without (most) is inane. I guess it was supposed to reward avid explorers but most people would miss this aspect on their own, and after you do find out about it, it becomes an unfun grind.
- I liked doing the hunts this time in tandem with the story. most are more challenging than bosses at that point in the game, and there is good loot for completing them.
- the endgame stuff is not for me. trying to get most of the best weapons added in the Zodiac versions is an absolute slog (I looked up the Mina dagger -- TF? 255 kills in that godforsaken Great Crystal location just to get the right monster to spawn, then more chains of a that monster for one shot at a rare drop?). trying to kill Omega XII sounds horrible to me, but a lot of MMORPG bullshit is along those lines, and I suppose heavy grinders enjoy it.