|Final Fantasy IX goes back to its cartoony roots, setting aside the gorgeous characterizations of FF8. While FF8 was like playing characters in a well done anime movie, FF IX has you controlling rounded, playful looking characters that give the game more kid-appeal.|
The graphics in general are stellar. The opening sequence, the animation of water, of birds, of fire, and of other things normally challenging to an animation crew are amazing to watch. Gameplay graphics are quite good, although at times the pretty backgrounds can make finding an object or figuring out an exit to a room a bit difficult.
FF IX is a bit restrictive in its characters. Your thief, mage, knight, and "princess healer" each need to pretty much specialize within their class. Each can find special items to help them learn and grow, and choose how to aim their growth. This can be done automatically for new players, or with great attention to detail for the more advanced gamers.
Battle is also nice in this way - beginners can have the game pause while they choose exactly which magic to fire at their enemies, while those wanting a challenge can have the entire battle run in real time, depending on quick reflexes and fast fingers. In addition to the players, there are also 'helpers', or Eidolons, which add to the drama of a battle.
Active Time Events (ATE) will show up occasionally to fill you in on the storyline, showing short movies of things happening elsewhere in the game. These are well done - if you've already seen a particular ATE from a different game, you can simply bypass these. Some ATEs help progress the plot, while others give the player help with new commands.
In all, this is a great game for all playing levels. New and young gamers can set the game up so it gives you time to think during combat, and helps out out with skill setting. Advanced players can tweak all of the details themselves, and immerse themselves in the challenging card games that are part of the plot. There's something in it for everyone!
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Final Fantasy IX Walkthrough
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