Review by Valour

"Just because it is a FF game, doesn't mean it's a HIT!"

Just a note about me: I have played every FF game in the series, so I am very familiar with the ''Final Fantasy'' series. This is a review of the Japanese version of the game.

It seems to me that many FF fans refuse to give a FF game a fair rating. As long as the game has the Final Fantasy name and is made by Squaresoft, it is rated “an extraordinary HIT!” Before you rush out and buy FF IX, read this review.

First off, I'd like to thank SLASHR4 for the ''English Story Translation'' that can be found here at in the FF IX section:

Graphics: 9/10

The world of Final Fantasy IX is gorgeous as expected by a FF game. Square did a fantastic job as expected, but it is not much better than FF VIII. If you liked the graphics and CG movies in FF VIII, then you'll enjoy these…but as I stated above don't expect a huge difference in quality.

Music: 10/10

I am very biased about ''Nobuo Uematsu.'' I can't but help love his work! The soundtrack is one of the best…as good as all the others (like I said I am bias).

Story: 6/10

In my opinion, the story suffers greatly here as it did in certain other FF games (the series tends to go through these slumps); they run out of ideas. FF V and FF VIII had poor story and FF IX tends to borrow elements from the past FF stories, basically having nothing new. The so-called story ''Twists'' and ''Turns'' are no surprise to FF fans. As much as Amano is a famed character creator, this game just gave me the feeling that I was in the Land Of OZ (Wizard of OZ classic movie); it has a Tin-Man and has an extremely ''GAWKY'' look to it!

Gameplay: 6/10

This has changed in FF IX, basically the whole idea is to deliver letters. This also reverts back to the medieval setting (that tends to resemble the Wizard of Oz, rather than Old Brittain) and you can only save your game progress through ''Moogles.'' Forget about saving your game in the open fields, those days are long gone. So you play up to a save point…save your game and repeat the same thing across 4 CD-ROMS and finish the game in about 30 hours (this can vary upon your RPG skills and how much exploring you want to do).

Challenge 5/10

For me, this was the easiest FF game in the series and I cannot read a word of Japanese! Maybe it is because I have beaten every FF game to date and have acquired skills or maybe it was because of the walk-throughs provided here at Don't get me wrong, I had my moments. I actually died twice; yes, I am being sarcastic because I felt FF IX lacked challenge!

Replayability: 5/10

To make this simple, it is the same replayability as any other FF game. There are no different endings like in Chrono Trigger, Vagrant Story and Chrono Cross…but there are plenty of parts of the game I skipped and many items I did not find. FF games replay has always been only ''fair''.

Overall: 7/10

Unless you're a die-hard FF fan, wait for the US English version to come out. Do not buy the Japanese version, unless you happen to be Japanese :)!

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 08/10/00, Updated 08/10/00

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