Ok, so, Final Fantasy Gaiden: it’s a 2D RPG throwback to the very first Final Fantasy game. Instead of saving Princess Sara from Garland, these four warriors must save Princess Horun from the Witch of the North. Producer Tomoya Asano has called the game “a classic fantasy RPG using today’s technology,” suggesting a bare-bones retro feel: turn-based battles, magic points, generic storyline.
While that’s certainly true, Final Fantasy Gaiden doesn’t seem to be a slapdash re-tread of the original game. Enter the “Crown system,” as detailed by Game|Life. In a brilliant OMGcute moment befitting the game’s visuals, characters in Gaiden will change classes by putting tiny little hats on their huge chibi heads. As far as I know, changing classes seems as simple as drag-and-dropping a different hat onto your character, although I’m sure there’s some sort of penalty — Matrix can’t let players switch jobs all willy-nilly, after all.
I’ve always been a big fan of job systems like the ones in Final Fantasies III, V, and hell, even X-2, so I’m considering this to be good news. Besides, while I love the original Final Fantasy, it’s nice to know that developer Matrix Software (responsible for the DS remakes of FF III and IV) are spicing things up a bit.
Besides the fact that Square Enix refuses to give up the Final Fantasy moniker (dead horse), I can’t see any reason not to be excited about Gaiden. I mean, look at that little guy up there! He has an adorable tophat! Check out the gallery for a bevy of screenshots (they’re a little stretched, right-click and “View image” for better results). On a side note, I’m really digging the bright color palette and impressionistic style.