Written by  :  Ocram (8)
Written on  :  Jun 18, 2004
Platform  :  PlayStation
Rating  :  4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars
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An Unforgettable Epic Adventure!

The Good

FF9 was my first traditional, console RPG and the start of my interest in story-driven games. I remember when my cousin had borrowed it to me one day a few years back and I was a little reluctant to give it play. When I started to play, I couldn’t put it down. It was unlike anything I had ever played before.

Graphics: First you thing you’ll notice when you start this gem up is the beauty of the FMVs. Characters are cartoon-styled (not that I’m complaining, they still look neat) but the environments are quite believable. Same goes for the in-game graphics. I guarantee that FF9 is one of the most visually impressive games on the console available. There is detail that is well implemented in both characters and areas. The way the graphics are is full-polygonal characters in pre-rendered environments, which I may add are truly works of art.

Gameplay: The game involves exploring environments, interacting with NPCs, creating weapons/equipment, building up your characters (by combat), and engaging in turn-based combat for leisure or to advance the story. Plus there are some mini-games here and there that give you items. Some of them are optional while others like combat are used to advance the story. Did I mention you get to fly airships in the overworld map? It’s truly fun and offers a change of pace from traveling on foot instead. You really get that sense of soaring through the skies!

Story: This was the game’s strongest point. It was what hooked me into it the first place. Both the story and its memorable cast of characters was what made the game magical. The dialogue between them was enjoyable and well-written. The story goes at a solid pace and there’s constantly something unexpected happening. That’s another great thing about this epic story…the unexpected twists and turns. A lot of mysteries to encounter here folks! But don’t worry, questions are answered and this epic tale comes to a powerful close which will leave you satisfied. Plus there’s a bit of philosophy implemented into the story’s themes and characters. Some people may think they were just put in to make the game seem intelligent, but to be honest it does just that. The themes are well implemented and complement the story and its characters well. The themes include powerful ones like courage, love, existence, and corruption.

Music: Ahhhh…the music! Its’ so well done that you’d probably wouldn’t mind owning the soundtrack. There is a huge variety of musical themes that fit well with the scenes. The tracks range from ones that are comical, emotional, dramatic, action-packed, or just plain evil sounding.

The Bad

Alright that’s enough praising this gem and time for the negatives. Actually to be more specific, I only found two negatives with this game. First is the battle system. It was enjoyable but you don’t really get to control your attacks on the enemy. It would’ve been neat if they had put in attack options instead like Chrono Cross. Second are the random encounters, they tend to get annoying at times but that’s something I overlooked.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking to get into the console RPG genre then give this gem a rent! If you’re the cautious type then rent to see if it’s to your liking. Above all if you’re looking for a game with an engaging epic story/characters, beautiful visuals/audio, plenty of places to explore, and long length, then this is a dream come true for you.