1. Ridiculous battle system early on. Transition time, ATB speed (even at max), normal encounters take help that much either because the animations were painfully slow. It was a dreadful experience and I don't know why they made it sooo slow. - At least you are actually doing something. Also blame the ageing tech of the PS1. 2. Equipment grinding. - Not really, especially when compared to grinding for abilities and weapons in this. 3. Extremely terrible cast. - 0_o compared to XIII wtf 4. Ridiculously slow story for the first 2 discs, overall bland and very boring - It's called character building 5. Distorted art style. - Subjective, I think it works for the game as it is based on the sprites of earlier games. 6. Bad Limit Break system - Totally agree 7. Joke of an antagonist - How so? He's incredibly likeable, he's optimistic and happy yet not annoying like Tidus. Lightning is a joke, in fact she's the creepy fantasy of Toriyama.
1. Go compare IX speed to VII and VIII, aging tech my bollocks. 2. That's exactly what I meant, grinding abilities from equipment. VI's relic system is much better. 3. XIII was bad enough, but IX took it to a whole nother level. I don't feel like going into detail atm, but princess of cliche, dirty monkey, filthy rat, ugly knight is the least of my concerns regarding the characters. Their corny dialogue, bland and cliche personalities, and how much they whine just make things worse. 4. Well character building must've failed since I didn't get invested into these silly characters in the first place 5. 2D is best and always will be best for FF. IX's art style was closer to the first six FFs but it just looked like a joke. 6. Exactly 7. I lol'd. Thank you for describing Zidane, the antagonist to me. I wish he was, so I could stab him countless times for bringing death to the FF franchise.
I'm going to regret this. I really really am. But for curiosity sake, how was Kuja a joke of an antagonist? He was one of the most successful antagonists in Final Fantasy. He blew up Terra, he manipulated the Queen unleashing Atomos on Lindblum, he wiped out Burmecia, took control over Bahamut and would have obliterated Garnet's city (the name escapes me atm) if she and Eiko hadn't summoned Alexander to save it. He did so much more damage around the world that I can't recall currently.
Sure, he didn't achieve Kefka levels of victory, but if any villain has come close, it was Kuja.