Final Fantasy IX Review

Final Fantasy IX is a 2000 science fantasy role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the PlayStation.  It is the ninth title in the Final Fantasy series and centers on a war between nations, focusing on a young thief named Zidane Tribal, who joins with others to defeat Queen Brahne of Alexandria, the one responsible for starting the war; however the characters realize that Brahne is working with an even more threatening person called Kuja.


Positives:

  • Great story
  • Great characters
  • Awesome soundtrack
  • Extensive campaign
  • Great, fun gameplay
  • Massive open world
  • Tetra Master is fun
  • Lots of unlockables

Negatives:

  • Dated graphics
  • Tedious grinding

Campaign: Features of very extensive and exciting campaign. The story is well written and it’s filled with twist and the various subplots that make it immersive. The game is set in the world of Gaia, which is split into four continents, it’s cities filled with various anthropomorphic species.  The story follows a thief named Zidane who, along with his companions, who become involved in the war between nations and discover an even bigger threat.  A powerful being named Kuja is setting the mechanizations for war and has a deep connection with Zidane.  The main protagonists are Zidane Tribal (a thief), Garnet Til Alexandros XVII (the princess of Alexandria), Vivi Ornitier (a young black mage), Adelbert Steiner (Captain of the Knights of Pluto), Freya Crescent (a Burmecian Dragon Knight), Quina Quen (a Qu Blue Mage), Eiko Carol (a young summoner), and Amarant Coral (a bandit). The antagonists are Queen Brahne and Kuja and honestly, they’re pretty sweet. There are some pretty memorable characters.  Deep backstories on the characters give them depth. (4 out of 5)

Gameplay:  Players randomly encounters enemies, which switches the environment to a turn-based battle area where characters and enemies await their turn to attack. The gameplay is fun but can be challenging. The large variety of enemy types will definitely have players use more strategic battle tactics. Like any RPG there are leveling up stats and customization and the tons of grinding for those poor bastards who want to get ahead of the next enemy or train up equipment. The combat system is pretty simple with playable characters each having specific skill sets. IX takes a more traditional approach with the characters being more class specific (Zidane is a theif, Dagger a summoner, Quina a blue mage, etc.). New features added are Active Time Events (allow the player to view events unfolding at different locations), Mognet (players deliver letters from Moogles to other Moogles and possibly receive letters from non-playable characters), and abilities are learned through equipment with active and passive abilities. Characters can activate “Trance mode” which is activated for a short duration when a special gauge fills as characters sustains damage in battle.  When the gauge is full, characters will go into a trance which amplifies their abilities and even features special commands.  (4 out of 5)

Graphics:  Visually the game does look dated. The characters creatures and environment do have a certain level of detail however the cinematics could definitely use an overhaul as well as some of the in-game visuals. (3 out of 5)

Score:  Great job by composer Nobuo Uematsu. The soundtrack is f****** fantastic. There are a lot of terrific songs that definitely gIve it a medieval feel.  It does suck that game doesn’t have anyone’s performance which sucks because it has great characters. (4 out of 5)

Replay Value:  The world is vast and has so much content. There’s a lot of room for exploration, mini-games, treasure hunts, and continuous battles. There’s also the highly addictive card-based minigame, Tetra Master, which nearly any NPC will engage players.  Whether players will compete to be the best or to attain the most powerful cards, they’ll have quite a blast.


The Verdict:  In the end Final Fantasy IX is not only a great game but a great Final Fantasy game. Despite the lack of voice performances as well as the dated CGI, the game features a compelling story, great characters, in-depth combat system, a massive world for exploration, and a fantastic soundtrack. Final Fantasy IX definitely deserves 5 out of 5.

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