After Dragon Quest III, What’s Next for HD-2D?
The HD-2D future has arrived!
Dragon Quest III, one of Japan’s most beloved JRPGs, is making a glorious return via the Octopath Traveler HD-2D engine. Announced at the Dragon Quest 35th Anniversary Event, Dragon Quest III: HD-2D Remake showcases beautiful visuals and faithful recreations of this classic game’s towns, monsters, heroes, and game mechanics. Barring any modern Square Enix chicanery, we could be looking at the most substantial RPG remake of all time, a game that could pave the way for a myriad of future remakes down the line.
But what games are we mostly likely to see remade in a post Dragon Quest III: HD-2D Remake world? Let’s explore.
Final Fantasy VI
Despite already being included in Square Enix’s Pixel Remasters series, I simply can’t resist including Final Fantasy VI on this list. Standing alongside Dragon Quest V and Chrono Trigger as one of the best golden era JRPGs, Final Fantasy VI is a game that is just BEGGING to be remade in HD-2D. Featuring some of the best 2D spritework of the SNES era, Final Fantasy VI is poised to smoothly transition straight into the Octopath Traveler engine.
Loudly proclaimed by many to be the “best RPG of all time,” Chrono Trigger is the game that blended the talents behind both Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest to create a new RPG experience all its own. Chrono Trigger was very much the swan song of 16-bit era RPGs, featuring amazing spritework, an engaging storyline, unique battle mechanics, and nine different game endings. In terms of HD-2D conversion, it’s a no-brainer, especially when you consider that the game’s art design is based on the work of Akira Toriyama, whose work is already being adapted for Dragon Quest III: HD-2D Remake.
Final Fantasy V
Yes, we already talked about how classic Final Fantasy games aren’t like to get the HD-2D treatment in light of the Pixel Remaster series. But hear me out!
By selecting Dragon Quest III as their first remake in the HD-2D engine, Square Enix very much signaled that they are most interested in adapting games popular in the Japanese market, rather than in the U.S. or Worldwide in particular. By that logic, when choosing an SNES-era Final Fantasy to modernize, they may be more likely to look to Final Fantasy V, rather than VI. Final Fantasy V is massively popular in Japan, and provides a lot of opportunities to make the HD-2D engine really shine. The FFV class system could be brought forward in HD-2D glory, very much mirroring the more limited job-based sprites from Octopath Traveler. I, for one, would not at all balk at the chance to replay this masterpiece on modern consoles.
Dragon Quest V
Of course, if we really want to talk about what game is most likely to get the remake treatment, we need look no further than Dragon Quest V. Considered by many to be the best of the Dragon Quest series, Dragon Quest V tells a sweeping tale that covers the entire life of the game’s protagonist. Like Dragon Quest III, this fifth entry in the classic series has already seen its fair share of remakes, so there’s no reason to doubt that Square Enix would dip their toes back into the well if they felt they could make some money off of it.
Final Fantasy Tactics
Finally, let’s step away from turn-based JRPGs for a moment and consider MY favorite pick for HD-2D remake – Final Fantasy Tactics. We already know from Project Triangle Strategy that this game engine can be adapted to a tactical RPG setting, and if the demo for Triangle Strategy is any indication, an HD-2D Final Fantasy Tactics would look and play beautifully. I literally get giddy over the idea of seeing Final Fantasy Tactics’ summon monsters displayed in HD-2D, and to see how much more expressive and impactful the game’s epic story could be when supported by a modern graphics engine. Make it happen, Square Enix!
These are all, of course, the most commonly cited examples of games deserving an HD-2D remake. However, Square Enix’s back catalog is filled to the brim with quality RPGs that could make the plunge. With Dragon Quest III and Project Triangle Strategy on the horizon, we may only need to wait a short time before the next HD-2D project is revealed.