Review by MCauthon
"A mix of old and new equals: Final Fantasy Throw Up"
The Good:Great Graphics and FMV
The Bad :Boring Story, unbalanced gameplay, weak music
When I first saw screen shots of Final Fantasy 9 I was extremely impressed and overly excited. I got my copy the day it came out, popped it into my Playstation and was immediately disappointed. When i was expecting a action packed opening like Final Fantasy 8, I got a calm FMV with a boat flying over Alexandria. I was upset at first, but decided every game has a different style. This game must be more laid back. So i continued on and grew more irritated.
STORY (4/10): Extremely slow, and hardly no plot. It starts off slow and stays slow. The game picks up a little at the end of Disc 3, but for regular gamers they want to be into the game by the end of Disc 1. I also found the dialogue meaningless and very irritating.
Graphics (9/10): The graphics are by far what saves the game from complete disaster. The character models are deformed, but extremely detailed in every aspect. The prerendered backgrounds are extremely detailed and push the Playstation to the max. Even the tiniest details were taken into consideration such as leaves blowing in the wind or shadows cast on the ground. Except for a little glitchy movements and jagged edges on characters, the graphics by far are awesome.
Sound(4/10): The music in this game offers nothing but bland tunes and atmosphere filler. Nothing really strikes you as inspirational, and Burmecia's Theme is down right annoying. Can you say mute button?! Another thing that is quite awkward is they gave on of the characters a voice. It is a small singing sequence which even continues into an FMV, and makes the game really feel out of balance. The theme song ''Melodies of Life'' was great in Japanese, but the English version is absolutely wretched. The lyrics just don't make sense. So, besides a few good tunes, the music overall isn't good at all.
Gameplay(5/10): I give this a 50/50 because it has good aspects and bad ones. The good is you have four members in your party and can complete battles quicker without taking as much damage. And the boss fights are really easy. The bad is...well really bad. Instead of Junctioning GF's like in Final Fantasy 9, your characters learn abilities from the different weapons they equip. This sounds good at first, until you start to level up. You don't learn abilities fast enough. And you constantly are having to go back to weaker weapons to get an ability. This soon becomes quite annoying. Another thing is you learn way too many. And you find yourself constantly scrolling through tons of abilities for 5 minutes just so you can find the right one while other members of your party are being killed off. Another problem is the random encounters. You will find yourself going through an area with practically no random encounters. So, basically you won't level up. And then you go to another area and are hit with random encounters every 2-3 seconds. And since your characters aren't properly leveled up you find yourself dying a whole lot.
Replay Value: I would never go through this game again.
Overall, this game isn't the best from Square and definitely is the best PSX game ever. It is worth playing one time through but no more. If your looking for a good RPG play Final Fantasy 7 or Final Fantasy 8. They mix all the RPG elements in a perfect balance.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 01/05/01, Updated 01/05/01
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