Ok Yes about 2-3 weeks ago I did a review of Final Fantasy IX. I have gotten a few messages and Tips and I now feel as though my original one sucked.
So I am now Redoing it. I will be going into the characters, Plot, and maybe Artwork more in this redo, the rest will probably stay the same...
So without further ado lets delve into my favorite game again!
Bad-ass dragon vs GIANT Winged castle = Amazing
Let us start at the graphics. This game came out in the year 2000 and that about the end of the PS1 life and the beginning of the PS2. That being said this game most definatly takes advantage of the PS1s full capabilities. As with the 2 Final Fantasy's before it, most the traveling takes place on many beautiful hand drawn backgrounds, which is given layers for the leader at the time runs around on. (Do not know the technical terms for most stuff, but if you ever played FF7-9 you know what I am saying.) The world map is a bit bland because the textures on each Continent have been copy and pasted through the entire chunk of land. But the maps are still varied by a good degree and all the locations have good placements. And the battles look good. And I can only think of one enemy that is pallet-swapped, and that is MUCH better then the future installments can say. Especially FFXIII
Also the pre-rendered cutscenes are all beautiful.
Now try telling me those were not
Badass great looking with a straight face. The quality of those graphics is amazing and it is hard to not see that.
Speaking of high quality lets delve into the Soundtrack.
This game probably has the best soundtrack out of the Final Fantasy games. It has MANY wonderful tracks that I adore and actually listen to on a semi-regular basis. It will be impossible to describe their awesomeness so I will let a few of the REALLY good ones do it themselves in the following spoiler:
All of the music is absolutely wonderful, although some of it may need context for it to have effect on the player. But it does what a good soundtrack is supposed to. Set the mood and enrich the experience for the player.
Now another bit that can enrich the experience would be the artwork. A lot of people do not like that artwork of FF9 but that is because it is "Too Cartoony" but it is like that for a reason. It conveys the games attitude which is Sunny and lighthearted... At least for the first half of the game but I will get into that later.
I personally love the art but this can put people off I guess.
Now for the gameplay...
He is pink. And furry.
Now this is probably the one that will get the lowest score. Mainly cause it is basically the same as the gameplay from the first six Final Fantasies. Not that there is any wrong with that! It just feels a bit too simplistic. There are a few things though that separate this game from the other Final Fantasies before it. First we will cover the Battle system, which suffers from cloning the previous games the most. The battle system is what you expect from the old games but with a few things added. First is the Trance system. Works pretty much the same as the Limit breaks from FF7 when you are not using it. By getting hurt and dealing damage you fill the trance meter for your character. Then when it is full your character goes through a texture change (And 2 of the characters get model changes on top of that), glows brightly, and has a huge increase in their stats. Each character has different Trances.
Other features to the battle system is the Gem allocation. When you equip your characters with items they can learn special abilities that are on them. When those abilities are mastered you can take the item away and they will still know the ability. Most of the abilites are passive but can't be used unless you allocate gems to those abilities. Which gems can be earned by leveling up.
Ok enough on the Battle system. Now onto side things. Other gameplay things would be the infamously fun Chocobo Hot and Cold minigame. In which you ride your Chocobo and try to find Treasures in a small area. Those treasure include things like Potions and phoenix downs as well as special items called Chocographs. What those are are basically hints to where you can find treasure on the world map while riding your chocobo.
Now onto Plot.
This game has the most lighthearted story... Least till the half-way point.
The main character is Zidane Tribal, a lovable rogue and thief with a bit of pervert thrown in. He basically comes across as a simple kid whose goals in life seem limited to talking to girls, helping strangers, and making a quick buck wherever he can. Zidane's story begins when he arrives at Alexandria in hopes of kidnapping Princess Garnet by force, only for the princess to ask him to kidnap her to which he gladly complies. He's happy to travel with the young woman and show her what the world is like.
And then he witnesses the death and genocide of people from nearly every town he visits. It turns out there's a man (yes, man) named Kuja running around, who has his sights set on Princess Garnet's dormant summons - and will murder for them. In the middle of the carefree, sunny atmosphere of the game, a plot slowly unfolds that explores the themes of genocide and what is the purpose of a persons existence in a thoroughly mature, respectful way.
Anyways the Plot is much more simple then previous and future titles staying comfortably away from too much symbolism but still featuring some wonderfully surreal elements.
This is Vivi. And I love him.
There are many characters in the game but I will go over a few of the main characters.
... Well I already went over him
Princess Garnet til Alexandros XVII
The sheltered but Rebellious princess. She runs away from home to find help for her increasingly evil mother, Queen Brahne. Once she witnesses the atrocities her mother has committed, she is torn between her love for her mother and her desire to help her kingdom.
A small black mage who is trying to find out his origins. Most of his story is spent with him learning how to deal with his emotions and his own existence, as well as learning how to deal with the hate thrown at him when mass produced Black Mages are used to destroy cities. He is 9, Extremely shy, and very sweet and innocent.
Princess Garnets loyal bodyguard. He will do anything to serve his country but is eventually torn between his duties to the Princess, Queen, and his own morals. he is also the butt monkey of the game. He is always serious but is constantly placed in hilarious predicaments. Most of the jokes aimed at him or about him fly over his head.
The story mainly focuses on the characters' efforts at self-discovery. Which makes this game have the BEST character development then any other Final Fantasy game.
Vivi must learn what he is and why he exists, as well as what this means for his life. Zidane must learn what he is as well, and how this has to do with Kuja. Garnet must learn the truth about her mother, her own origins, and the nature of the eidolons that are her birthright. Steiner must learn what honor and duty truly mean, when those he is loyal to stand opposed to one another, and his loyalty may be invoked to betray itself.
The game also has one of the best Villains in Final Fantasy history. Who in my opinion is also the most powerful and maybe the most evil. He destroys an entire planet, and is the man behind mass genocide of many people and cities.
I personally think he is the best villain in FF history. And maybe from any game ever. But he wears a Man Thong so I must take that award from him and give it to someone else. Maybe Eggman from Sonic the Hedgehog.
This game also has a bit of multiplayer but it is unimportant. You can basically just change the settings so that you can choose which controller controls which character in battle. Nothing else so just pretend it is nonexistent.
Anyways I have covered my thoughts on this game and now for the rating. The parts are Graphics, Soundtrack, Artwork, Gameplay, Plot, Character development, and multiplayer, and have ranked them out of 5. I would also normally include Voice Acting but there is none. So scratch that.
Character development: 5
Overall score for Final Fantasy IX: 4.5
Absolutly a wonderful game. I recommend it to all JRPG fans and even non-JRPG fans. Might convert some over.
Thank you for your time and please tell me if I did better then my previous review.
(Link here: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.337604-Final-Fantasy-IX-review)