|| Final Fantasy IX - Review
The Fantasy has returned
| Battle System
| Replay Value
| Time to Complete
When I was just a kid I can remember getting Final Fantasy for my
birthday. It was quite the ride home as I went through the manual, seeing
all the options, interesting weapons and spells. I couldn't wait to get
home and pop the game into my NES. The same continued for all FF games
after that, I was hooked. But some where along the way the FF series
dwindled, its flare turned to a glimmer. Thankfully I have FFIX, which
brings back the days of slaying dragons, saving princesses and casting powerful
spells without all the ten minute spells and really poor character development.
FFIX finally brought the series back what it was missing, fantasy.
Once again Square uses it's standard turn based battle
system. As usual they pump out a new and interesting way of acquiring
spells and abilities. Thank god that they brought back the old ways of
FFIV for this game; unlike FFVII and FFVIII there are huge difference in each
character. They equip different items and can use different abilities.
You will never see a thief casting Ultima or a wizard using Armor Break.
The game brings back that classic feel of "everyone has a purpose"
making it much more strategy based rather then making all your characters gods
through Materia combinations. And the return to FOUR people on the screen
at a time for battles is fantastic. Once again battles become innovative
and fun as it actually matters which characters you use, and in what
combination. And the ability system is very well done. The way in
which one can only equip so many abilities really adds to the strategy of the
game, battles are no longer just a walk in the park, now you must think again.
The game interacts with the player well. Square
introduces ATE, Active Time Events, which means you rarely have to leave your
character if you don't want to. In most games if something is happening
with other party members or at the head- quarters of the bad guys you are forced
to go watch what's happening. In FFIX you have a choice, you don't have to
watch most of the side plot if you don't want to. Watching certain
side-plots opens up new ones. For example if two ATEs come up and you pick
the first one then you'll have a change to pick another later; but if you were
to pick the second one, then you wouldn't get to see that one later, or if you
choose not to watch either it will open up a whole new ATE later. Very
The game's musical scores are nice. Certainly not
something to write home about, but they really fit the game's atmosphere.
But in the end it's the same old up beat techno music for battle and sad string
music for touching parts and so on. I was really disappointed that the
original theme music wasn't included at all.
FFIX is not too original when compared to the other games
in the series, it uses that same mix of elements that the others do. There
are new things here and there, but overall if you played any FF after IV you
know what to expect. The ability system is a breathe of fresh air along
with some other 'classic' options in the game. Overall expect this be a
routine FF experience with some nice additions.
The plot is amazing. Well not so much the plot as it
is the characters. Every character in the game, with the exception of one
in this reviewer’s opinion, is just so lovable! You can't help but feel
what they're feeling, and long to see their dreams and goals met. Each
character is so real and thought out that you can't help but cope with them in
their times of need and rejoice with them when they succeed. Each
character has a story to tell that comes in nicely to the plot and holds it
close. The main plot of the game is never disrupted by a 'side-quest' or
something else to explore the character's past. Rather the characters'
past jumps right at you as you progress through the story. The plot itself
is very nice and makes you want to continue to find out what happens next.
But the characters are the crowning achievement here, after FFVIII, I had though
Square had forgotten characters were in a game.
The game hasn't been to "Americanized" which is
good. After FFIV we really just want to see a game that just comes as it
is into your system and plays. There is a little adult language, but
totally appropriate. This game is just very fantasy oriented and doesn't
try to be all flashy like other games today; it works.
|The bluntly named Ice Cave
Compared to most FFs, FFIX has more replay value because of
the ATEs in the game. You may go through without taking any, or maybe
taking different ones than last time. And there are so many secrets to
uncover. But like almost all RPGs you can only read the same book so many
The visuals in the game are stunning to say the least.
Once again Square's ability to make FMV will have your jaw on the floor.
It's beautiful. The real time graphics are trying desperately to squeeze
every last bit of power out of the out dated hardware of the PSX. They did
well. Perhaps one of the best things is the non-life like look of the
characters. Final Fantasy gets to be a FANTASY game again. The
characters also move extremely life like, compared to earlier FFs on the PSX
where they move very rigid. In FFIX all the characters move just like they
would if they really existed. It's really nice to watch.
The game's difficulty is extremely difficult to measure. At some points
in the game you will fly through every battle, but then suddenly a boss or even
regular enemy will step up and slap you down like your nothing. This
varying difficulty is more annoying than challenging. Just expect the
unexpected at all times is your best bet, but even then you might want to have
saves from back a little bit so you can level up if you have to.
|Everyone loves black mages.
The game is huge, it has story and secrets up the wazoo and could be played
forever practically, but realistically speaking if one was just to go through
the game without worrying to much about secrets it would take between 30-55
hours to beat the game, again really depending on the ATEs and secrets one
chooses to go after.
Overall I couldn't be happier with Square. This is the third best FF in
the series for me; I loved every second of it. Never once did I back away
from it saying "I need a break" it was "I need to go to class, I
skipped them all yesterday to play, I can't do that today"! The
characters are flawless, the plot is inviting, the visuals are excellent, the
battle system is good again, and enough secrets to keep the most hard-core fan
interested. It is the RPG of the year for the PSX, if you have this
system, you should have this game. If your like me and FFVIII made you
lose complete faith in Square, come back to the light. FFIX has everything