For almost 2 weeks now I have been casually playing perhaps one of my favourite video game titles, Final Fantasy IX. Because Final Fantasy IX is a fairly long game, I have decided to blog about it in 2 parts. Right now I have put in approximately 25 hours play time and have just about completed what would have been disc 2 of 4.
Final Fantasy IX is a Japanese Role-playing game (JRPG) for the PlayStation and was released in the summer of 2000. Developed and published by Square before it merged with Enix, I believe Final Fantasy IX is possibly the last masterpiece created by Square. I have no doubt that many people will disagree with that opinion, especially when it comes to Final Fantasy X which was released in 2002 in the EU. Final Fantasy IX was released at the end of the PlayStation lifespan as the current generation of games console, showing us what the PlayStation was capable of before the dawn of a new era in games consoles.
I first heard about Final Fantasy IX when I saw a TV advertisement for it. Believe it or not a TV add for a video game, at least in the UK back in 2000, was pretty unusual. Being a gamer was still taboo, but things were starting to change. My mother, who has always shown me kindness, generosity, support and love bought the game for me shortly after release and even bought the official strategy guide to go with it as an additional surprize. Sadly my strategy guide was stolen which for years left me feeling kind of empty and bitter. Recently however I got replacement after I sourced a brand new one still in its wrapping. Because I am a sentimental geezer, I asked my mother if she would buy it for my birthday last year. Because of this I think both the PlayStation game and strategy guide are among my most prized possessions.
To be honest, when I first started playing Final Fantasy IX, I wasn’t very keen on the setting and didn’t really think much of the characters. I was disappointed but kept going to find that the sort of steampunk setting grew on me and as the story started to unfold, I was hooked. For me Final Fantasy IX is much better than the previous game in the series, Final Fantasy VIII, and while this is not a particularly difficult game, it is one of the more difficult Final Fantasy games and features some excellent ‘mini’ games which include chocobo treasure hunting and a card game. As you can see from my screenshot below, right now I only have 22 out of 100 unique cards and have only won 4 games.
For a few years now I have wanted to re-play through Final Fantasy IX, but I don’t want to rush it. In part 2 I want to write about how I have completed the game so that I can add it to my list of completed games, but I also feel like I want to to improve my card collection, treasure hunting mini game and defeat some of the optional bosses and side quests with highly trained and well equipped characters.