Monday, August 30, 2010
retro review: Final Fantasy IX
Well, this little gem dropped back in 2000, and was just fantastic. It was marketed as some kind of throw-back to the earlier games, but that really didn't mean much to me at the time. What DID mean much to me was the story, awesome ability system, and pretty sweet battle system. Not to say the battle system was anything revolutionary, because it was essentially the same as in the other numbered entries on the PSX. Anyhoo, apparently there's actually some kind of backlash against this game among the Final Fantasy community. I just don't understand that at all. I played the missed-abortion that was Final Fantasy XIII, and I would have easily traded an HD remake of IX instead of that garbage. The story is deep yet still has elements of whimsy, and there's a girl whose pants don't even have a crotch. That's just how Squaresoft rolled before they had to go and bring Enix into the picture.
Held up against the other PSX Final Fantasies, I'd say IX is superior in multiple aspects. Ability system and graphics for sure, with the story being arguably better than VIII's incoherent time-witches-but-we're-in-love babble (not hating on VIII, that's just the best synopsis I can think of) and close to that of VII. I don't know where Square has gone awry over the years, but this entry had everything that made Final Fantasy great. I can't honestly say I've enjoyed a console RPG in years, but they were gold back in this generation and you know it. I don't own a PS3, so I have no idea if this game is on the PSN, but I'd say go out to your local game-trading store (preferably not the conglomerate that is GameStop) and find yourself a copy. You won't regret it.
This is of course assuming you live under some kind of RPG rock and somehow missed this game. Which doesn't seem likely. I'd go so far as to say that if you consider yourself a fan of Final Fantasy or RPGs in general and haven't played this game, you're an idiot.
Also somebody please motivate me to like Final Fantasy Tactics again. After playing Tactics Ogre, I just can't stand only putting 5 people on the battlefield.