Newest Review: ... and setting in a world of medieval castles, ancient caverns and generally dark locations. It even pays homage to the old contraptions us... more
A Worthy Throwback
Final Fantasy IX (PS)
Member Name: AverageJoseph
Final Fantasy IX (PS)
Advantages: Fmv's, Longevity, Storyline, Characters, Music
Disadvantages: Minimal Sidequests
So ends the trend in the series of renowned dialogue and compelling story telling..
The last of the single digits, predecessor to 10 which finally took on voice acting, remains somewhat hidden away from many fans who should know better. Final Fantasy IX must have had heaps of pressure on it considering it followed the flagship of the PS1, the massive success that is VII and an unfortunately lesser loved VIII. IX is clearly a final send of to the classic games on the Nintendo systems, what with its old school ability learning (from weapons, armour, accessories) system and subtle classes featuring black & white mages, thieves and fighters. However these are minor throwbacks compared to the overall story and setting in a world of medieval castles, ancient caverns and generally dark locations. It even pays homage to the old contraptions used in past games that are used to navigate around the world map, giant zeppelins, mist powered flying machines and of course chocobos.
I personally played this game about 5 years after its release, after a long stint with 8, and during my adolescence, shamefully cast it aside disliking the cartoonish characters and slow battle system. Another 5 years on and I pick it up again, and as with all final fantasy's, it needed a chance and surely enough, towards the end of disc 1, I was hooked. Characters made an impact and each had their own ways of keeping you interested with the likes of a pushy, stuck up Steiner, often the butt of jokes from the main character Zidane, a rambunctious young man who's origins remain unknown until the later of the game. The cliche' beautiful princess Garnet longing for an adventure, breaks the mould by learning how to be a commoner whilst possessing the almighty Eidolons, along with Eiko also a young summoner. The classic Dragoon class in Freya, a spear wielding rat women with a tragic lost love plot, the much loved little black mage, Vivi discovering his origins and a stubborn, giant, red headed man beast thing..
Unfortunately, not much fear or respect is conjured up for the initial bad guy, Kuja, a thong adorning pretty boy with a tongue for poetry. Yeah, my thoughts exactly *flick of the wrist* But in traditional FF style, Nobuo Uematsu does the trick with some brilliant musical scores. Another great positive is the FMV's, even with the unreal appearances of some characters, the videos are just incredible, its what you want Disney to be capable of. It may be harsh to say though, that this game feels a little rushed.. empty. Minimal side-quests and stories, almost no getting side tracked, pointless limit break system in 'Trance' and unusually poor and unrewarding mini game in tetra master. That and it is generally quite easy and simple, even without levelling characters often.
Perhaps its the nostalgia from the older, better games from a simpler time, and the growing discontent for the direction in which Square-Enix is taking its newest releases (There is no need or demand for a XIII-2) or maybe its just that these games truly are better and that we all know we won't see anything half as good in the near future..?
Summary: Still top