Final Fantasy IX Review

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January 18th, 2023 at 12:45:27 PM permalink
Mission146
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 20
Posts: 3153
Greetings!

I played this game a few weeks ago. I thought I had played it to completion more than two decades ago, but after recently doing so, decided that I did not. I've had the following review swirling around in my head and partially distracting me from other writings, so I'd better write it.

Since I am going to write it, I might as well put it where it might be read by someone.

Final Fantasy IX Review

System: Nintendo Switch
Original System: PlayStation
Release Year: 2000

For many, Final Fantasy IX represents the end of an era in mainline Final Fantasy games that presented a less mature style of animation and took on a less serious tone. At least, that's how it is remembered. Final Fantasy VII, of course, was the first with a darker overall mood and tone; Final Fantasy VIII combined those elements with an attempt at more realistic looking characters, within the limitations of the system.

Of course, Final Fantasy IX is only as light-hearted as a game with a plot line involving the genocide of entire towns can be.

We start in Alexandria, in which a plot to kidnap Princess Garnet has been undertaken by Regent Cid of Lindblum. This plot involves the Tantalus Theater Troupe, which moonlights as a gang of thieves and our other co-main character, Zidane, one of the actors.

Hereafter, Princess Garnet will be referred to as, "Celes," from Final Fantasy VI as Zidane has been renamed Locke, after Locke Cole, a much cooler thief, also from Final Fantasy VI.

The task is made easier as a result of the fact that Princess Garnet (who changes her name in the story anyway) WANTS to be kidnapped. In fact, she was attempting to flee the castle anyway and Lindblum and Regent Cid (who is her Uncle) would have been the most likely destination.

The rest of the story can be left for those who want to play the game, or alternatively, read a summary of the story. Obviously, this review will get into some key events, but it's not meant to be a reiteration of the entire tale.

In their travels, Locke and Celes will be joined by:

Vivi Ornitier: Vivi is a black mage who was custom-designed in a factory, but as with many other black mages, developed consciousness. Those who did not develop consciousness were used as mere pawns by Queen Brahne and Kuja (who began the game with Brahne as his puppet, unbeknownst to her) to inflict destruction and devastation on the other villages of the world in her quest for total power.

Vivi, of course, struggles to see black mages perform this way and also questions his own nature as the player progresses through the game. When optional, ViVi will be an often present party character in situations that specifically call for a black magic user, but other than that, isn't particularly good in a fight.

I kept Vivi's name because I couldn't think of anything else I wanted to make it. Also, my fiancee threatened to pull my beard if I changed it; she thinks Vivi is cute.

Adelbert Steiner: Renamed TubOLard. TubOLard is a mostly one-dimensional character whose most obvious attribute is jumping to conclusions about things and failing to think before he acts. He's mostly annoying. A love arc with the occasionally playable General Beatrix later in the game sort of shoves in a softer side of him that wasn't really necessary.

That said, Steiner was an important ingredient to my party as an absolute tank and damage dealer. He can also be used for an attack, in conjunction with Vivi, by which Vivi casts a spell on his sword for one turn. I didn't much need to use that very often, but it's good early in the game before one has had an opportunity to grind. He's still a flipping annoying character.

Freya Crescent: Freya is a Dragoon-class character who wields a lance and whose, 'Jump,' command can be used to temporarily remove her from battle for a full-turn and then, when she lands on one (or more) enemies, deals a greater amount of damage. My style of gameplay is such that anyone can be healing support (especially with items), at any time, so I don't like having a character out of action (necessarily) as things can become less predictable. Generally, you'd have Dragoons in the back row and use the jump ability, but I preferred her in the front row as her basic attack is as good as that of anyone else.

Not much of a backstory. Certainly none that was particularly necessary to the overall game. Knew Locke prior to the current adventure.

Quina Quen:-Named, "Emeril," after the chef. Attacks using a fork, which deals extremely random amounts of damage, so this character is not my cup of tea whatsoever. Has a sidequest that involves catching frogs to level up as a chef and can result in some pretty good stuff, otherwise fairly useless.

Eiko Carol:-I thought she was a cute kid, so she gets to keep her name. Eiko grows up in a town of magic users and summoners and, along with Celes, is a white mage. You're woefully under leveled if you require two white mages in the same party, but because of the way the story plays out (vis-a-vis characters actually being available) she ended up being the choice over Celes, when the option to form a custom party is given.

Amarant Coral:-Renamed, "Galavant," after the TV show, which I wouldn't have done had I realized that he sucks. He's a fighter and mercenary roaming the world looking for worthy combat. He also fills the trope of being a fiercely independent character who learns that friendship and teamwork are sometimes important. If you care about the, 'Throw,' ability, then he could conceivably be in your main lineup, but wasn't in mine.

Main Lineup (When Given Freedom): Zidane, Freya, TuboLard, Eiko

Celes (Princess Garnet): Zidane's love interest, who seemingly rejects his advances early in the game and, well, it's a video game, folks...we all know what happens. She'll be your white mage until you get Eiko. Her character traits are honorable, determined, friendly and hopelessly naive.

Locke (Zidane): Noble thief archetype, though almost constantly has the ladies on his mind. He's okay.

Overall, the roster isn't that great from a storyline and character perspective. They range from, "Just okay," to, "Flatly annoying." I guess the characters are an improvement to Final Fantasy VIII, not that doing so would be difficult, but not as good as IV, VI or VII.

Gameplay

The gameplay in this one is somewhat woeful.

For one thing, it seems that a large portion of the budget was invested in cutscenes, so for those of you who revel in discovering new areas to explore, dungeons and monsters...this outing will leave a ton to be desired compared to previous Final Fantasy titles, including a few that were on the Super Nintendo, such as Final Fantasy VI.

Another swing and miss was the introduction of, "Active Time Events," largely because they are ridiculously overused. Generally in towns, what will happen is a pop-up will appear letting you know there is an ATE involving someone else on your roster, or some non-playable character. Unfortunately, you should probably watch all of these as there are one or two that will leave you confused as to what you should be doing if you don't.

Why unfortunate? Because there are a ton of them and they are almost all mostly pointless.

The biggest annoyance is that your party will separate when coming into a new town and you will be left in control of one character. As you are trying to look around the town and figure out where the shops are and what you're supposed to be doing, you will be bombarded with unceasing ATEs that you have to watch; generally every time you progress to a new screen or location.

This happens in Every. Single. Town. Late in the game, one of the characters will even crack a joke about it to really p^&* you off.

If, like me, you would prefer just to advance to new towns in the game and run around talking to people and checking stuff out, otherwise uninterrupted, then you will not be particularly pleased.

All that to say that the number of unique enemies is pitiful. Early grinding is somewhat rewarded, but not really, with the real goal to be progressing to the point where you can level grind against one particular enemy that gives boatloads of EXP so you can create your super team.

...That you don't often get to use as much as you would like because many of the story elements will cause teams to be formed for you. With that, you can sometimes be left with an awkward lineup at critical times. In the game's defense, you won't often find yourself in situations where you are hopelessly screwed. You do get to face the final boss(es) with your preferred teams, but overall, level grinding is not rewarded how it should be. There's really not much to discover anyway.

The Bad Guy

The bad guy is Kuja, who has been manipulating Queen Brahne. I don't want to spoil too much, so let's say that Kuja is really meant to be more of a, "Tool," of sorts, for the goal of merging a long-dead world into the world in which the player starts the game by way of transferring souls from one world to another. You can play the game, of course, but the sentence prior to this one still won't make a ton more sense.

Anyway, you defeat the guy who would be controller and Kuja decides that he is going to destroy all of existence, for reasons that are fairly stupid. In Final Fantasy VI, Kefka wanted to do the same thing, but that was more of a philosophical position of his (and Kefka's insanity---which was driven by something that happened to him, in-game) as opposed to wanting some measure of revenge for something really dumb.

All of that to discover that Kuja is not the final boss, though you do fight the final boss immediately after, who is someone unknown to Kuja, Locke or anyone else in the game and had not even been referenced (much less seen) at any point prior.

I get that living up to the likes of Kefka and Sephiroth, hell, even Ultimecia, is a tall order...but this was just a punt on the, 'Main,' antagonist, if the game can even really be said to have one after that.


Superbosses/Optional Bosses

I explore games pretty throughly, so I beat a few of them without even knowing I was doing it. The only one I didn't fight was Ozma, but it turned out that the conditions for getting to Ozma involved doing the one sidequest that I absolutely couldn't have cared less about otherwise and I couldn't be paid to care about the fact that I will never beat Ozma. (I went online and looked up optional bosses after completing the main game)

Strategies/Character Mechanics

One area where Final Fantasy, in particular, gets a lot of credit is that they are always willing to try new things with character battle development, mechanics and strategies.

Final Fantasy VI, despite being my favorite of I-IX (all of which I have played) is actually the most lacking in that regard comparing VI, VII, VIII and IX. With VI, each character had a unique ability, some more, 'Broken,' than others, but you could use the stat boosts that came with equipped Espers to basically turn every character into whatever archetype you wanted. Characters also didn't have any limitations to speak of, in that any character could become a proficient attacker and all characters (barring one) could use any type of magic.

Of course, Final Fantasy VI was not focused on any particular, 'Main character,' as one of the objectives of the game was to not have one. Certainly, some characters were more focal than some others, but that actually game to be largely as a result of the developers' preferences.

So, I understand the goal of Final Fantasy VI, in that regard: You could make a main party of whatever characters you happened to like the best and they could be anything you wanted them to be. It made sense.

Final Fantasy VII would see characters more tightly, though still quite loosely, conform to traditional character classes. Still, the Materia system (similar to Espers, though with much more detail and customization) was such that you could make characters whatever you wanted them to be.

Final Fantasy VIII operated mainly on the Draw/Junction system. I will never write a Final Fantasy VIII review. It remains one of the more contentious mechanics to this day; you either loved it or hated it.

Final Fantasy IX conforms more strictly to character classes than does previous iterations. It also adds an Ability system by which your gear enables the character to choose certain, 'Abilities,' to have access to; some of these are character-based whilst some abilities are universal. After acquiring so many ability points, with the equipped gear in question, the player will permanently have access to spend ability points (which increase as you level up) towards having that ability, "Equipped."

The ability system creates the capacity for the player to make situational decisions or to just create all-around tough characters. For example, you can have characters who are immune to virtually any status ailment, and provided you have leveled sufficiently, have plenty of ability points to allocate on other stuff. It's slightly less restrictive than the Materia system of Final Fantasy VII in that you don't necessarily have to have gear that is capable of an ability that you have unlocked, whereas, if you want Cloud (FFVII) to have abilities such as Counter or Cover, then he must always have Counter and Cover materia equipped to his armor or weapon.

OVERALL

Overall, this game is okay.

The main downfall of this game is that so much of it is an absolute nightmare of a slog...and I am not talking about the grinding. Players will come to dread discovering a village for the first time and so much of the budget and time was devoted to cutscenes that the developers either neglected, or simply didn't have time (or perhaps memory storage space on the system) to actually have unique dungeons to explore or several unique enemies to fight.

Is it a completionist's dream because there is not really all that much to complete, or does that make it a nightmare? I guess that is for the completionist to decide.

Also, the optional bosses in a game like Final Fantasy VII were, at least, woven into the overall story somewhat. This game's final boss wasn't even really a part of the story.

The game's Ability Points system is the shining star for me; I just wish there were more unique enemies, and combinations of enemies, that would have created the need to fiddle around with it a bit more. The game never requires any great creativity, or problem-solving, on the part of the player.

I might score it higher if it were a non Final Fantasy title...and I know that VI and VII created an extremely high, perhaps even unreasonable, expectation to live up to...but it is a Final Fantasy title:

Story: 2/10
Characters: 4/10
Gameplay: 3/10
Depth: 2/10
Mechanics/Systems: 8/10

OVERALL: 3.8/10

Were I younger, I also probably would have scored this higher. Should I review the remastered Final Fantasy VI, after it comes out, (and I will most certainly be playing it) then it will probably be starting with two free points in every category out of nostalgia alone.

Slight recommend for fans of the series, neutral recommend for RPG enthusiasts and DO NOT recommend for gamers generally uninterested in RPGs.
"War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen..let us give them all they want." William T. Sherman
January 18th, 2023 at 1:03:28 PM permalink
terapined
Member since: Aug 6, 2014
Threads: 55
Posts: 11120
Too long.
Anyway this is old school reporting
Nobody reads video game reviews anymore
People do watch YouTube video game reviews
You get to actually see the game in action as its being reviewed. Much better way of deciding if you want to play or not.
Get a youtube video showing what you are describing and I might watch

Best RPG ever
Breath of the Wild
Sometimes we live no particular way but our own - Grateful Dead "Eyes of the World"
January 18th, 2023 at 1:11:51 PM permalink
terapined
Member since: Aug 6, 2014
Threads: 55
Posts: 11120
This is how it's done today
Sometimes we live no particular way but our own - Grateful Dead "Eyes of the World"
January 18th, 2023 at 1:17:22 PM permalink
Mission146
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 20
Posts: 3153
Quote: terapined
Too long.
Anyway this is old school reporting
Nobody reads video game reviews anymore
People do watch YouTube video game reviews
You get to actually see the game in action as its being reviewed. Much better way of deciding if you want to play or not.
Get a youtube video showing what you are describing and I might watch

Best RPG ever
Breath of the Wild


Fifty words would be too long, for some. I can generally read faster than I can watch a video. The latter also requires I turn off the music, so, consequently, demands my full attention.

This also isn't, 'Reporting,' it's just something I felt like writing.

YouTube game reviews have their place. Written reviews have their place. Most reviews on proper video gaming related sites tend to do both, from what I have seen.

Breath of the Wild isn't even the best Legends of Zelda title; that honor belongs to Link to the Past.
"War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen..let us give them all they want." William T. Sherman
January 18th, 2023 at 1:39:40 PM permalink
Mission146
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 20
Posts: 3153
Quote: terapined
This is how it's done today


Watched it; it was fine. Probably too long. He got into some stuff I didn't; I got into some stuff he didn't. He gets pretty in-depth on audio/graphics, which I don't really care about, because I think everyone can agree that it's not going to hold a candle to modern games under any circumstances.

I would say, despite his video's 15-minute run time (compared to my time to read of under ten minutes and comparable speaking time) that my review provides significantly more on actual gameplay, strategies and mechanics, but I suspect that is just a difference in where our interests lie when it comes to these types of games. He's mostly interested in graphical/sound and I am mostly interested in gameplay aspects. I'm sure there are videos, though they might be more of the, 'Tutorial,' variety, that also address the elements that were a larger focus in my review.

Aside from the, "First four," characters, in his review, he directly says that he's not going to get into any detail as to the other four.

I also notice that he does fewer comparisons to previous Final Fantasy games than I did, so I think my review might be more useful for those who have played previous games in the series and want to know where some of the nuances in mechanics might differ.

Either way, his review is fine. You'll forgive me if anything in my OP implied that my review is superior to anything, which I don't think it did. I also don't get paid to review video games, at least, not any unrelated to gambling.
"War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen..let us give them all they want." William T. Sherman
January 18th, 2023 at 2:35:02 PM permalink
DRich
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 46
Posts: 4119
Quote: Mission146
Greetings!

I played this game a few weeks ago. I thought I had played it to completion more than two decades ago, but after recently doing so, decided that I did not. I've had the following review swirling around in my head and partially distracting me from other writings, so I'd better write it.

Since I am going to write it, I might as well put it where it might be read by someone.

Final Fantasy IX Review

System: Nintendo Switch
Original System: PlayStation
Release Year: 2000

For many, Final Fantasy IX represents the end of an era in mainline Final Fantasy games that presented a less mature style of animation and took on a less serious tone. At least, that's how it is remembered. Final Fantasy VII, of course, was the first with a darker overall mood and tone; Final Fantasy VIII combined those elements with an attempt at more realistic looking characters, within the limitations of the system.

Of course, Final Fantasy IX is only as light-hearted as a game with a plot line involving the genocide of entire towns can be.

We start in Alexandria, in which a plot to kidnap Princess Garnet has been undertaken by Regent Cid of Lindblum. This plot involves the Tantalus Theater Troupe, which moonlights as a gang of thieves and our other co-main character, Zidane, one of the actors.

Hereafter, Princess Garnet will be referred to as, "Celes," from Final Fantasy VI as Zidane has been renamed Locke, after Locke Cole, a much cooler thief, also from Final Fantasy VI.

The task is made easier as a result of the fact that Princess Garnet (who changes her name in the story anyway) WANTS to be kidnapped. In fact, she was attempting to flee the castle anyway and Lindblum and Regent Cid (who is her Uncle) would have been the most likely destination.

The rest of the story can be left for those who want to play the game, or alternatively, read a summary of the story. Obviously, this review will get into some key events, but it's not meant to be a reiteration of the entire tale.

In their travels, Locke and Celes will be joined by:

Vivi Ornitier: Vivi is a black mage who was custom-designed in a factory, but as with many other black mages, developed consciousness. Those who did not develop consciousness were used as mere pawns by Queen Brahne and Kuja (who began the game with Brahne as his puppet, unbeknownst to her) to inflict destruction and devastation on the other villages of the world in her quest for total power.

Vivi, of course, struggles to see black mages perform this way and also questions his own nature as the player progresses through the game. When optional, ViVi will be an often present party character in situations that specifically call for a black magic user, but other than that, isn't particularly good in a fight.

I kept Vivi's name because I couldn't think of anything else I wanted to make it. Also, my fiancee threatened to pull my beard if I changed it; she thinks Vivi is cute.

Adelbert Steiner: Renamed TubOLard. TubOLard is a mostly one-dimensional character whose most obvious attribute is jumping to conclusions about things and failing to think before he acts. He's mostly annoying. A love arc with the occasionally playable General Beatrix later in the game sort of shoves in a softer side of him that wasn't really necessary.

That said, Steiner was an important ingredient to my party as an absolute tank and damage dealer. He can also be used for an attack, in conjunction with Vivi, by which Vivi casts a spell on his sword for one turn. I didn't much need to use that very often, but it's good early in the game before one has had an opportunity to grind. He's still a flipping annoying character.

Freya Crescent: Freya is a Dragoon-class character who wields a lance and whose, 'Jump,' command can be used to temporarily remove her from battle for a full-turn and then, when she lands on one (or more) enemies, deals a greater amount of damage. My style of gameplay is such that anyone can be healing support (especially with items), at any time, so I don't like having a character out of action (necessarily) as things can become less predictable. Generally, you'd have Dragoons in the back row and use the jump ability, but I preferred her in the front row as her basic attack is as good as that of anyone else.

Not much of a backstory. Certainly none that was particularly necessary to the overall game. Knew Locke prior to the current adventure.

Quina Quen:-Named, "Emeril," after the chef. Attacks using a fork, which deals extremely random amounts of damage, so this character is not my cup of tea whatsoever. Has a sidequest that involves catching frogs to level up as a chef and can result in some pretty good stuff, otherwise fairly useless.

Eiko Carol:-I thought she was a cute kid, so she gets to keep her name. Eiko grows up in a town of magic users and summoners and, along with Celes, is a white mage. You're woefully under leveled if you require two white mages in the same party, but because of the way the story plays out (vis-a-vis characters actually being available) she ended up being the choice over Celes, when the option to form a custom party is given.

Amarant Coral:-Renamed, "Galavant," after the TV show, which I wouldn't have done had I realized that he sucks. He's a fighter and mercenary roaming the world looking for worthy combat. He also fills the trope of being a fiercely independent character who learns that friendship and teamwork are sometimes important. If you care about the, 'Throw,' ability, then he could conceivably be in your main lineup, but wasn't in mine.

Main Lineup (When Given Freedom): Zidane, Freya, TuboLard, Eiko

Celes (Princess Garnet): Zidane's love interest, who seemingly rejects his advances early in the game and, well, it's a video game, folks...we all know what happens. She'll be your white mage until you get Eiko. Her character traits are honorable, determined, friendly and hopelessly naive.

Locke (Zidane): Noble thief archetype, though almost constantly has the ladies on his mind. He's okay.

Overall, the roster isn't that great from a storyline and character perspective. They range from, "Just okay," to, "Flatly annoying." I guess the characters are an improvement to Final Fantasy VIII, not that doing so would be difficult, but not as good as IV, VI or VII.

Gameplay

The gameplay in this one is somewhat woeful.

For one thing, it seems that a large portion of the budget was invested in cutscenes, so for those of you who revel in discovering new areas to explore, dungeons and monsters...this outing will leave a ton to be desired compared to previous Final Fantasy titles, including a few that were on the Super Nintendo, such as Final Fantasy VI.

Another swing and miss was the introduction of, "Active Time Events," largely because they are ridiculously overused. Generally in towns, what will happen is a pop-up will appear letting you know there is an ATE involving someone else on your roster, or some non-playable character. Unfortunately, you should probably watch all of these as there are one or two that will leave you confused as to what you should be doing if you don't.

Why unfortunate? Because there are a ton of them and they are almost all mostly pointless.

The biggest annoyance is that your party will separate when coming into a new town and you will be left in control of one character. As you are trying to look around the town and figure out where the shops are and what you're supposed to be doing, you will be bombarded with unceasing ATEs that you have to watch; generally every time you progress to a new screen or location.

This happens in Every. Single. Town. Late in the game, one of the characters will even crack a joke about it to really p^&* you off.

If, like me, you would prefer just to advance to new towns in the game and run around talking to people and checking stuff out, otherwise uninterrupted, then you will not be particularly pleased.

All that to say that the number of unique enemies is pitiful. Early grinding is somewhat rewarded, but not really, with the real goal to be progressing to the point where you can level grind against one particular enemy that gives boatloads of EXP so you can create your super team.

...That you don't often get to use as much as you would like because many of the story elements will cause teams to be formed for you. With that, you can sometimes be left with an awkward lineup at critical times. In the game's defense, you won't often find yourself in situations where you are hopelessly screwed. You do get to face the final boss(es) with your preferred teams, but overall, level grinding is not rewarded how it should be. There's really not much to discover anyway.

The Bad Guy

The bad guy is Kuja, who has been manipulating Queen Brahne. I don't want to spoil too much, so let's say that Kuja is really meant to be more of a, "Tool," of sorts, for the goal of merging a long-dead world into the world in which the player starts the game by way of transferring souls from one world to another. You can play the game, of course, but the sentence prior to this one still won't make a ton more sense.

Anyway, you defeat the guy who would be controller and Kuja decides that he is going to destroy all of existence, for reasons that are fairly stupid. In Final Fantasy VI, Kefka wanted to do the same thing, but that was more of a philosophical position of his (and Kefka's insanity---which was driven by something that happened to him, in-game) as opposed to wanting some measure of revenge for something really dumb.

All of that to discover that Kuja is not the final boss, though you do fight the final boss immediately after, who is someone unknown to Kuja, Locke or anyone else in the game and had not even been referenced (much less seen) at any point prior.

I get that living up to the likes of Kefka and Sephiroth, hell, even Ultimecia, is a tall order...but this was just a punt on the, 'Main,' antagonist, if the game can even really be said to have one after that.


Superbosses/Optional Bosses

I explore games pretty throughly, so I beat a few of them without even knowing I was doing it. The only one I didn't fight was Ozma, but it turned out that the conditions for getting to Ozma involved doing the one sidequest that I absolutely couldn't have cared less about otherwise and I couldn't be paid to care about the fact that I will never beat Ozma. (I went online and looked up optional bosses after completing the main game)

Strategies/Character Mechanics

One area where Final Fantasy, in particular, gets a lot of credit is that they are always willing to try new things with character battle development, mechanics and strategies.

Final Fantasy VI, despite being my favorite of I-IX (all of which I have played) is actually the most lacking in that regard comparing VI, VII, VIII and IX. With VI, each character had a unique ability, some more, 'Broken,' than others, but you could use the stat boosts that came with equipped Espers to basically turn every character into whatever archetype you wanted. Characters also didn't have any limitations to speak of, in that any character could become a proficient attacker and all characters (barring one) could use any type of magic.

Of course, Final Fantasy VI was not focused on any particular, 'Main character,' as one of the objectives of the game was to not have one. Certainly, some characters were more focal than some others, but that actually game to be largely as a result of the developers' preferences.

So, I understand the goal of Final Fantasy VI, in that regard: You could make a main party of whatever characters you happened to like the best and they could be anything you wanted them to be. It made sense.

Final Fantasy VII would see characters more tightly, though still quite loosely, conform to traditional character classes. Still, the Materia system (similar to Espers, though with much more detail and customization) was such that you could make characters whatever you wanted them to be.

Final Fantasy VIII operated mainly on the Draw/Junction system. I will never write a Final Fantasy VIII review. It remains one of the more contentious mechanics to this day; you either loved it or hated it.

Final Fantasy IX conforms more strictly to character classes than does previous iterations. It also adds an Ability system by which your gear enables the character to choose certain, 'Abilities,' to have access to; some of these are character-based whilst some abilities are universal. After acquiring so many ability points, with the equipped gear in question, the player will permanently have access to spend ability points (which increase as you level up) towards having that ability, "Equipped."

The ability system creates the capacity for the player to make situational decisions or to just create all-around tough characters. For example, you can have characters who are immune to virtually any status ailment, and provided you have leveled sufficiently, have plenty of ability points to allocate on other stuff. It's slightly less restrictive than the Materia system of Final Fantasy VII in that you don't necessarily have to have gear that is capable of an ability that you have unlocked, whereas, if you want Cloud (FFVII) to have abilities such as Counter or Cover, then he must always have Counter and Cover materia equipped to his armor or weapon.

OVERALL

Overall, this game is okay.

The main downfall of this game is that so much of it is an absolute nightmare of a slog...and I am not talking about the grinding. Players will come to dread discovering a village for the first time and so much of the budget and time was devoted to cutscenes that the developers either neglected, or simply didn't have time (or perhaps memory storage space on the system) to actually have unique dungeons to explore or several unique enemies to fight.

Is it a completionist's dream because there is not really all that much to complete, or does that make it a nightmare? I guess that is for the completionist to decide.

Also, the optional bosses in a game like Final Fantasy VII were, at least, woven into the overall story somewhat. This game's final boss wasn't even really a part of the story.

The game's Ability Points system is the shining star for me; I just wish there were more unique enemies, and combinations of enemies, that would have created the need to fiddle around with it a bit more. The game never requires any great creativity, or problem-solving, on the part of the player.

I might score it higher if it were a non Final Fantasy title...and I know that VI and VII created an extremely high, perhaps even unreasonable, expectation to live up to...but it is a Final Fantasy title:

Story: 2/10
Characters: 4/10
Gameplay: 3/10
Depth: 2/10
Mechanics/Systems: 8/10

OVERALL: 3.8/10

Were I younger, I also probably would have scored this higher. Should I review the remastered Final Fantasy VI, after it comes out, (and I will most certainly be playing it) then it will probably be starting with two free points in every category out of nostalgia alone.

Slight recommend for fans of the series, neutral recommend for RPG enthusiasts and DO NOT recommend for gamers generally uninterested in RPGs.


You spent more time writing that post on a video game than I have spent playing video games.
We are all going to die, why procrastinate?
January 18th, 2023 at 4:16:07 PM permalink
Gandler
Member since: Aug 15, 2019
Threads: 24
Posts: 3687
Mission,

Excellent review. And, way to return to DT with a banger!

I have not played IX since it's original release (over 20 years ago), so my comments may be dated (not sure if this is a remake/new version or just a remaster). But, I remember having mixed feelings as a kid playing this XII (PS1) was my first, and I was blown away by the depth, story, and characters (this I have played relatively recently -last ten years- and I feel it holds up, I have not played the remake which I have heard mixed things about).

You review pretty much validates my memories of the game, I enjoyed the opening, but it turned into a slog (I honestly can't recall if I got around to completing it). I do recall enjoying the play/theatre scene quite a bit.

This is not a game, that I feel as an adult would be worth the time of a replay (and your review seems to validate this). I do respect the fact that this is the last of an era (PS1 FF games with "that feel"), but it is a shame that the era ended with such a whimper. VII and VIII were so solid, that I feel expectations were too high for IX and it just did not deliver.

I was honestly not expecting such a thorough review of FFIX on DT, certainly a nostalgic blast (even if the game itself left much to be desired, but the time in my life and people I played it with I still remember). Though, in a smarmy way I guess I will say, thank you for replaying it so that I do not have to.

And, I feel the need to add, I truly do enjoy the detailed review, I like long posts on interesting topics (I say this to counter the backlash), but I also enjoy your writing style so that helps. I would not mind more game reviews by you, as like all of your reviews they are thorough and well-written.
January 19th, 2023 at 6:53:06 AM permalink
Mission146
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 20
Posts: 3153
Quote: DRich


You spent more time writing that post on a video game than I have spent playing video games.


I've probably spent more time writing about gambling than the combined population of some small towns have spent doing it.
"War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen..let us give them all they want." William T. Sherman
January 19th, 2023 at 7:01:34 AM permalink
Mission146
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 20
Posts: 3153
Quote: Gandler
Mission,

Excellent review. And, way to return to DT with a banger!

I have not played IX since it's original release (over 20 years ago), so my comments may be dated (not sure if this is a remake/new version or just a remaster). But, I remember having mixed feelings as a kid playing this XII (PS1) was my first, and I was blown away by the depth, story, and characters (this I have played relatively recently -last ten years- and I feel it holds up, I have not played the remake which I have heard mixed things about).

You review pretty much validates my memories of the game, I enjoyed the opening, but it turned into a slog (I honestly can't recall if I got around to completing it). I do recall enjoying the play/theatre scene quite a bit.

This is not a game, that I feel as an adult would be worth the time of a replay (and your review seems to validate this). I do respect the fact that this is the last of an era (PS1 FF games with "that feel"), but it is a shame that the era ended with such a whimper. VII and VIII were so solid, that I feel expectations were too high for IX and it just did not deliver.

I was honestly not expecting such a thorough review of FFIX on DT, certainly a nostalgic blast (even if the game itself left much to be desired, but the time in my life and people I played it with I still remember). Though, in a smarmy way I guess I will say, thank you for replaying it so that I do not have to.

And, I feel the need to add, I truly do enjoy the detailed review, I like long posts on interesting topics (I say this to counter the backlash), but I also enjoy your writing style so that helps. I would not mind more game reviews by you, as like all of your reviews they are thorough and well-written.


Thank you for the compliment; very kind of you to say so.

This game is a remaster; I guess the possibility of a remake of IX is being discussed, but I don't know why anyone would want to do that.

I agree that it's really not worth a replay as an adult, at least, for most people. IX might have been the first Final Fantasy title for some people, or perhaps even the first RPG, and I suspect that the nostalgia factor would have positively influenced my review had that been the case for me. I suspect VI will get a much better review from me if I do review it, (it's coming to Switch in a couple of months) but I already know that certain aspects of the story haven't aged well...because I have aged well.

I would also say that some people who gravitate towards the whimsical might enjoy this title as adults, but only if they are fans of the series in the first place. That's why I give it a weak recommend for people who are already huge fans of the series. I don't think you would like it. You would first have to want to play a highly story-driven game, and second, not think that the story is actually fairly weak.

You're quite welcome! Have you played Earthbound? I'm somewhat slowly making my way through that game and will likely review it. I'm not sure exactly where I am at with it, but I can say it's going to be a much more favorable review than this one, barring a sudden mid-game turn to massive sucktitude.

Thank you for the compliment on my writing style! Quite frankly, I suspect Terapined doesn't like me, for some reason. Unusual, because he and I met in person once and I thought we got on pretty well. If I had to suspect anything, I would suspect it's because my political views don't align with his as closely as they once did. For someone who is supposedly enjoying life and doing whatever he wants, he sure does make curmudgeonly posts sometimes.
"War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen..let us give them all they want." William T. Sherman
January 19th, 2023 at 7:05:08 AM permalink
Mission146
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 20
Posts: 3153
I always enjoy, "Too long," comments, though.

Okay, so just don't f&*^$ing read it. lol

Final Fantasy IX Review (For Terapined)

It's not very good.
"War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen..let us give them all they want." William T. Sherman
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