So I grabbed the PSN release of Complete Collection last night, and I made it past Octomammoth. Some quick observations:
The game runs at a LIGHTNING fast clip. I don't just mean load times, which, at least running off of the memory stick, is non-existent. Menus open up instantaneously and the battle speed (even on 3 of 5) is super-streamlined. Thankfully, none of the menu lagging and off-timed battle glitches that plagued the GBA port are evident here. There's also a 'Memory' feature that remembers what menu commands you chose last, something that was sorely missed from the DS version. In short, it all feels as zippy as the 16-bit entries used to play - maybe even faster than FFV!
The graphics look amazingly sleek. It's a treat to see these iconic enemies and bosses reincarnated into new, HD sprites. Their look is faithful, but they look bigger, cleaner and more detailed. I'm particularly impressed by the new overworld map; it adopts that slight three-dimensional perspective that FFVI had, and it certainly livens up the old, flat 2D look that we're so accustomed to.
For those who couldn't hang with the DS version's tough difficulty or even the Japanese difficulty of the original, rejoice, for this one appears to opt for an Easy Mode mentality. In fact, some are calling it even EASIER. I can't make the call yet myself, but enemies do appear to put up much less of a resistance between turns, and Rydia never went into 'Danger' status, even during this early part of the game. Frankly, this breezier difficulty is a refreshing change of pace from the nuts-crusher that was the DS version.
The "arranged" music, regrettably, was taken straight from the DS version's soundtrack. On the plus side, there's none of the compression that you'd hear from playing the DS version, so it is closer to CD quality than before. For the purists, you have the option to play with the original SNES soundtrack. I am miffed that they've opted not to allow the overworld/dungeon themes to pick up exactly where they leave off after battle. The DS version managed to remedy this problem, but they've fallen back to old habits..... and with the encounter rate being just as high as the original, there's no way you'll hear said themes all the way through without simply standing still.