Rating

B

Specific Ratings

GameplayC+
GraphicsA
Learning CurveB+
Replay ValueB
SoundA

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Outstanding graphics for its time
  • Great music
  • Sticks to the old Final Fantasy battle system
  • The characters are all unique and likeable
Cons
  • Too much pointless, repeated dialogue
  • Very easy game
  • Too many random encounters

Final Fantasy IX (PlayStation)

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Summary

A wonderful experience, despite its flaws.

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Description

Final Fantasy IX had a US release date in the year 2000 for the Sony Playstation console, and was the final Final Fantasy released for the PS1.

Story - The story starts out as a group of thieves called Tantalus attempts to kidnap Princess Garnet, of a city called Alexandria. It just so happens that Princess Garnet wanted to be kidnapped, and the main protagonist Zidane, a fellow thief has no qualms about stealing her. As the game unfolds the reason why she wanted to be kidnapped will be revealed, as well as the whole "save the world" theme in RPGs. 7/10

Graphics - Wonderful graphics for its time. All the sprites are carefully detailed, and the background looks very natural and realistic. The battle sequences are great as well as you can see the details in the characters faces very lucidly. The world map is very bland, but it has been like that in every Final Fantasy. The graphics give the game a darker feel to it as well, unlike Final Fantasy X. There are also CGI cutscenes in this game, which look incredible especially considering how many Squaresoft fit on one disk while still maintaining quality. Sure, there not as nice as Final Fantasy X's CGI's, but what can you expect from a seven-year-old game? 9/10

Sound - As usual, superb. Everything is so great, from the battle music to the theme of a town called Treno. I believe this is the game's strongest point. I'd go as far to say that this has the best music in any Final Fantasy game. The music makes the game come alive, so to speak. 10/10

Gameplay - The usual classic Final Fantasy formula. In battles there is a bar that must wait to be filled before you can execute any commands. You can not customize your characters like you can in as in a sword wielding warrior will not be able to cast magic, a la Final Fantasy VII. However, you can equip special abilities to your characters with a special amount of points, such as having HP +20% or being immune to poison. It's a great feature, but it makes the game a bit too easy.

One problem I have with this game is that there are an abundance of random battles. Sometimes it gets frustrating to walk for two seconds, only to be entering another battle. Another problem is not with the gameplay itself, but there are too many random, pointless conversations that have been said many times before, and it makes the storyline seem like a burden at times. Besides the usual combat, there is also a card battling mini game that you can play, that is fun after a while. You collect cards from either defeating foes or winning card battles. 7/10

Characters - Along your journey, you meet a bunch of characters that are more than willing to join your party. All of them are very useful and distinct in their personalities. Most of them are quite humorous and make the game a joy to play. A large portion of them are not generic either, so you really don't know what to expect from them. Even their appearances are all vastly different, and have mysterious pasts. 10/10

Length - I beat the main quest in about 31 hours. However, there are plenty of side quests you could do to get more value out of your game. I'd say it would take about 60-80 hours to beat the game, including a large portion of side quests. 8/10

Replay value - As always with an RPG, at some point you'll want to replay it, even if just for the story or to do a couple side quests. Once you know the story, the main quest seems very boring to replay. Some things never change. 8/10

Learning curve - Easy game to pick up and feel like you know what you're doing. There is also a help section that is narrated by a moogle that pops up at various points in the game that explains everything you need to know how to play. 9/10

Overall - The graphics, sound, and characters bring the game to life. The gameplay gets repetitive if you've played any Final Fantasy (or any RPG for that matter) before. The good outweighs the bad in this game, and it's truly a gem that should be played if you own a PS1/PS2/PS3. It truly is an epic adventure that should be experienced. 8.5/10

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