Written by Katelyn. Follow her on Twitter @KRF91!
When someone asks you what your favourite Final Fantasy game is, your typical answer will be VII, VIII or X. My favourite title in the series gets disappointingly little love from most fans, despite receiving critical acclaim in reviews – Final Fantasy IX. Apparently this is Final Fantasy series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi’s overall favourite game and the “closest to what a Final Fantasy game should be”.
WHAT I LIKED
The game has a gripping story and interesting characters (well, most of them). The core four are truly the heart and soul of the game. Plus, this game introduced one of the most memorable and loved characters in Final Fantasy history, Vivi. I really love that this game is such a throwback, right down to the game design. The medieval setting is a nice breath of fresh air from the grungy Final Fantasy VII and the futuristic Final Fantasy VII. There are also a ton of references to previous Final Fantasy titles that have been cleverly hidden throughout the game. All that is old is new again. Who doesn’t love themselves some nostalgia?
The gameplay is exceptionally easy to grasp. The job classes are reintroduced, so each character has unique abilities, and they can all be learned at a faster pace if you catch on to some small tricks. There are also a plethora of fun sidequests and mini-games. I spent hours trying to jump the skipping rope and trying to race that fat but fast hippo. Chocobo Hot ‘n’ Cold was immensely frustrating yet super addictive. On the other hand, Tetra Master is just a jank version of Triple Triad. And who else kept calling Moguo so often that he threatened to stab you?
WHAT I DISLIKED
Eidolons. There is a huge focus on them in the middle of the game, however by the time you are able to begin learning how to use summons in battle, your characters are usually so highly leveled that the eidolons are virtually useless. The final boss. Anyone who has played this game knows what I mean. He is so irrelevant to the overall plot of the game.
I would definitely recommend this game. I think it is really underrated. While there is no shortage of serious moments or things that hit you right in the feels, overall it is just an enjoyable ride.