Yes, Mistwalker; Please Port Fantasian to PC
In the years since reviewing our RPG of the Year 2021, Fantasian, I’ve tried - and mostly failed - to get friends to give the game a chance. For as good as the game is, there’s always been an albatross around its neck; Apple Arcade exclusivity. If you wanted to play Hironobu Sakaguchi’s modern classic, not only do you need to own an Apple product to play it on, but you also need to subscribe to the tech giant’s $5 per month service. There was no way to buy and actually own a copy of the game for yourself. Considering that all signs pointed towards the game being funded entirely by Tim Cook’s Apple, I’d long since given up any hopes of the game being ported to other platforms - until recently, that is.
A few weeks back, Sakaguchi implied that a PC port of Fantasian might be a possibility; and while I’d absolutely ask for ports to other platforms like the Switch as well, I can’t stress enough how much the industry needs any port to happen. Over time, I’ve realized that Fantasian is perhaps one of the best RPGs I’ve ever played, and it's only pained me to think that one day the game might be lost to history. We’re fast approaching the closure of the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U eShops, and games preservation is hot on the industry’s mind; if one day Apple Arcade were to close its doors for good, as of right now there would be no way for even those who had already played the game to maintain access to it.
It would be a tragedy if Fantasian was merely left to be forgotten on a platform that many of the same people who would love the game if given the chance to play it, will never touch. Time and again I’ve sung the game’s praises to those who would listen, and yet the answer has remained the same; while Fantasian is a killer app for Apple Arcade, it deserves to be freed from its prison.
How many players would love Fantasian if given the chance? It’s no coincidence that everyone on staff ended up vouching for it when it came time to crown our favorite RPGs of 2021; so much of what Fantasian brings to the table feels uncharacteristic of what players expect from mobile-only titles, and it really does feel like a game of the SNES/PS1 era of RPGs, albeit with its own modern twists. Yet as it stands it’s impossible to recommend to anyone outside of Apple’s ecosystem, or who refuse to rent their games on a subscription service.
There are other, less altruistic reasons I’d like the game to be ported, of course; if possible, I’d like to hope that a PC version of Fantasian might make use of higher-resolution scans of the dioramas that make up much of the game’s world; not to mention a higher resolution in general, and a higher framerate. While I personally loved the difficulty the game included, it would be nice if a re-release might include options to help smooth things over for anyone who might’ve found the original’s too off-putting.
If Fantasian were to be ported to PC, not only would many more players be able to get their hands on it - I’d personally love to give it a replay on Steam Deck, if that option were available to me - but it would help ensure that the game could be properly preserved into the future, especially if released DRM free on platforms like GOG. Most importantly, it gives players an option to actually own a copy of the game; whether they’ve never touched it before, or even if they’d already played the game on Apple’s own service.
So, Mistwalker - if you’re listening - please port Fantasian to PC. Maybe Lost Odyssey, too, if I’m being honest here; but at a minimum Fantasian needs to be preserved. You crafted one of the best RPGs of the modern era, and it deserves to be played and remembered by far more people.