First Let me start off by saying that this is the first final fantasy game I have ever played, and I honestly couldn't have picked a better game to start off with, this is without a doubt the greatest gaming experience in my life, i know it's a bold claim and it is only my opinion, but final fantasy ix not only show's me what's wrong with the current gaming market "especially JRPG'S these days" but it shows me that a love story can be well written and not turn out cheesy at the same time.
Final Fantasy IX begins with Zidane and the Tantalus Theater Troupe kidnapping Princess Garnet during her sixteenth birthday celebration. The group learns that Garnet, who is concerned about Queen Brahne's increasingly erratic behavior, actually wanted to escape to Lindblum to meet with Regent Cid, and had planned to stow away on the theater ship. The Troupe's airship, Prima Vista, is damaged during the escape; it crashes in the Evil Forest, prompting Zidane to continue the trek to Lindblum without the rest of Tantalus Zidane and Garnet are accompanied by Vivi and Steiner, who became entangled with Tantalus during their escape from Alexandria. During their journey, Garnet adopts the alias "Dagger" and struggles to mingle with the locals The group learns of a factory inside the village of Dali that manufactures soulless black mage warriors for Alexandria's use. Brahne dispatches three powerful ones called "Black Waltzes" to retrieve Garnet by force, but their mission ends in failure.
Although the main story is about finding zidane's real family and to give him a reason "or a purpose" in this world, it just happens that a subplot which is in my opinion the best part of the story line
And that would be the love story between zidane and garnet, this all started on zidane's side, but as the story progresses, it is infact the princess who shows the strongest feelings towards the end, and this isn't an ordinary subplot, this romance could easily be mistaken as the main storyline to this game, and so it should, a good deal off time infact most of zidane and garnet's interactions had some sort of hint in it "especially towards the end"
Now my only problem with this is the lack of a "kiss" it seems the writers wanted to create a realistic love story rather then a fairytale one, which is ironic because the whole princess falling in love with a theif "or someone who isn't worthy" is a cliche in the fairytale lovestory.
I'm 50/50 on this, the game does play well, and it holds up very well to this day and age, but the slow loading times and the constant monster spamming can be alot to deal with as the game progresses, and i found myself yelling at the tv more then once, it's only a minor complaint to a near flawless mechanic though.
The pre-rendered backgrounds are so exquisitely drawn as to push the limits of the system's resolution, forests and cities and otherworldly realms filled to the corners with beautiful artwork, interactive elements, little bits of animation and huge swaths of movement laid over the backgrounds, It's just beautiful, i spent half an hour just exploring a jungle, it was awe inspiring, i have never been so impressed with a game's art style in my life, and for a playstation 1 game to do this, is just incredible, if a game that old can still impress, then it's doing something right.
The CG cutscenes on the otherhand are even more astonishing, and it easily immerses you into a story that a simple text couldn't do.
Although "melodies of life" was remixed in about every possible way in this game, it doesn't stop me from being impressed, it just had the perfect balance and that's just something that isn't easily accomplished these days, plus garnet's theme is without a doubt the best thing i have ever heard in my entire life, i was afraid to end it everytime it popped up.
This is not only the greatest PS1 game ever made "my personal opinion" but it's the best game period "my opinion again" and i'm not afraid to say this, but i cried alot "Especially when zidane came back for garnet", i have never been so immersed in a story in my entire life, i woke up every day wanting to play this game "i haven't felt this way in a long time" Not only has this game turned me into a final fantasy fanboy, but this game will be the measuring stick for every JRPG from now untill i quit gaming
Simple as that
Graphics : 10 (I'm judging this on PS1 Standards)
Music : 9.5 (melodies of life is enough to warrant this score)
Gameplay : 8 (slow loading times really effects this)
Difficulty : 10 (Just like any other JRPG)
Story : 10 (I would give it more if i could)
Length : 10 (took me 51+ hours to finish it)
Final Score : 9.8 (i didn't round it up, just my score for the game :P)
If you haven't played this game yet, then you should!
Infact the love story between zidane and garnet is worth the purchase alone, it's one of the most well written stories i have ever experienced.
This is my first review ever, be kind :(