Good afternoon, VGChartz breathen.
I just beat FFIX for the first time last night, stayed up till 4 in the morning to see the ending. It would've been earlier had it not been for Trance Kuja using Flare Star 3 times in a row, all the time..there may be spoilers in this thread.
Anyways, I loved Final Fantasy IX, much more than other Final Fantasies. I'm not the biggest FF Fan but the only other FF that I really enjoyed was Final Fantasy VI. I absolutely loved FFIX's world and atmosphere. The cities of Alexandria, Lindblum, and Treno were a joy to explore and had amazing backgrounds that truly made the cities come to life. One of the things that was fascinating was seeing the clear blue sky in Cleyra after the sandstorm dissapears. It's supposed to be a tense moment because the skies represent a bad omen for Cleyra without the sandstorm but damn, that clear blue sky was amazing. By the way for a late PS1 title, I think FFIX still looks great today. It looks a lot better than FF7 which hasn't aged particularly well. The FMV sequences were also really well done and felt cinematic and really emphasized the situation.
In terms of gameplay, FFIX is simple and effective. I loved how characters could easily learn abilities through their equipment by gaining AP and the battles are your standard turn based battles. To be honest, the gameplay isn't anything groundbreaking but I don't think it was meant to be. It refined the basic turned based formula and offered a good amount of character customization, that's all I need in an RPG. Trances make characters stronger and the opportunity to use strong spells, kinda like Limit Breaks. I just didn't like how they activiated during an easy random battle whereas, I would've saved it for a boss.
The story and characters in FFIX is great. I didn't feel anywhere near as annoyed I was with other FF characters. These characters were fun, had goals in mind and went through vasts amount of character development. The tragic struggle with Vivi as he tries to find a reason to exist, the responsibility and leader that Dagger tries to strive to become and the choice of whether Steiner should follow his duty or his own ideals, etc. I loved the cast of FFIX and the supporting characters were great as well. The villains in the game were pretty good. Queen Brahne is basically a tyrant trying to destroy everything and Kuja is a pretty conveying villain as his own inner struggle involves life and death. I'm not so sure I would call Garland evil as he was trying to accomplish his goal but then again, no villain in FFIX is truly evil because they all repent and kinda become "good guys" by the end.
The soundtrack in FFIX is amazing and I think it's truly underappreciated. I've read some reviews on this game from major gaming sites and some have said that the soundtrack in the game is not as good as others or just kinda there. I strongly disagree, Final Fantasy IX's soundtrack is very much up there as one of my favorite soundtracks of all time. Some of my favorite tracks include Vivi's theme, Feel My Blade, Vamo' alla Flamenco, Jesters of the Moon, the Game Over theme, Song of Memory, Eiko's theme, Terra, Melodies of Life, etc. Seriously, if you're not interested in playing the game check out the soundtrack.
Overall, I love Final Fantasy IX. Although, I'm not sure if it dethrones FFVI as my favorite FF but it's definitely up there with it. Do you guys agree with me?
Also let me know if you guys liked this thread, I might do a similar one to Skies of Arcadia Legends when I get around to beating that game.