About to Start Final Fantasy 9

I have ePSXE download (PlayStation 1 Emulator) and my Final Fantasy 9 ISO downloaded and I plan to dive into Final Fantasy 9 real soon. Before you guys tell me that pirating is wrong and evil, HOLD YOUR horses, as I OWN a genuine copy of Final Fantasy 9. I own a genuine copy of all the Final Fantasy games I’ve ever played. I just prefer playing them on the emulator over the actual PlayStation console. Mostly due to the fact that Final Fantasy 9 looks gorgeous on my PC compared to the console. Forced anti-aliasing and a higher resolution makes the game look quite crisp. Sure it’s not Final Fantasy 13, but Final Fantasy 9 is a game I never really ‘finished’. I started it as a kid and only got half way through before shelf’ing it.

I decided to give them the game another try now, as I recently quit playing Atlantica Online – a free MMORPG with turn based combat. I actually played a bunch of random free to play MMORPGs over the last few weeks, including games like Runes of Magic, Dungeons and Dragons Online and even Emil Chronicle Online, but I couldn’t really ‘get’ into any of these games, so I quit them all together. I have a lot of free time so I figured i’d give Final Fantasy 9 another chance.

I waited so long to play the game because even though it’s hailed as one of the best games in the series, I can’t get over the fact that Steiner looks mad stupid. It’s hard to take the game seriously when the art style is so silly. Characters like Zidane and Garnet look perfectly fine but the Queen of Alexandria (Forgot her name) and Steiner just look absurd. I know the game is supposed to be a bit more light hearted than Final Fantasy 7 and 8, but still, these characters look so dumb.

On the positive side, I remember how awesome the music was in the game. The Final Fantasy 9 soundtrack is one of my favorites. Especially the track “The Place I’ll Return to Someday”. I actually think Nobuo Uematsu said at one point his favorite music in the series was from Final Fantasy 9, so at least I have that to look forward to.

Final Fantasy 9 should hopefully keep me occupied until Final Fantasy Versus 13 or Persona 5. I know i’m being a bit hopeful, as both of these RPGs are so far from release. In fact, neither even has an official release date yet, so I may have to wait a bit longer.

Posted in Final Fantasy | Leave a comment

Final Fantasy Has Such Beautiful Music

I don’t really listen to much music and by no stretch do I consider myself an expert on the topic, but I absolutely love the music in Final Fantasy games. As I gamer, I’ve noticed that RPGs in general have better soundtracks than other genres. Final Fantasy games though, in particular, have by far the best video game music. Nobou Uemetsu, who’s been scoring many of the soundtracks for the games is a musical genius. Not everyone considers Final Fantasy to be the holy grail of RPGs, but I don’t think there’s any argument that Final Fantasy games have the best music in the genre.

Final Fantasy 9 and 10 in particular have excellent music. In the Final Fantasy 9 soundtrack, my favorite track is “The Place I’ll Return to Someday”. I think it’s fair to say that Final Fantasy 9 has some of the best music on the entire PlayStation 1. On the Final Fantasy 10 Soundtrack, my favorite two tracks are To Zanarkand and Someday The Dream Will End. These pieces are so powerful because they’re emotional. When I first popped in Final Fantasy X years ago, I loved the title theme, which is To Zanarkand. After beating the game and hearing the music again, I’ve grown to appreciate it significantly more. Someday the Dream Will End is also powerful because it fits in the game so well. I actually have the soundtracks to both of these games and listen to them regularly.

Final Fantasy 13 also has an excellent soundtrack. Nobou Uemetsu didn’t play much of a role, if any role in this installment, but it still game out great. The game itself was phenomenal, but the game’s music and graphics stood out the most. I thought Final Fantasy X had great graphics, but Final Fantasy 13 took my breath away. In the Final Fantasy 13 soundtrack, my favorite tune is Serahs Theme, which has great vocals. The soundtrack itself has 80+ tracks in it, and has many other gems as well. The music in the game was easily on par with Final Fantasy 9 and 10 in my opinion. The story in the game is great as well, but it could have been explained a bit better. But that’s a discussion for another day.

So why is it that RPGs in general have such great music? It’s not just Final Fantasy. I play a lot of other RPGs as well, and am a fan of the Tales series. Final Fantasy music stands out the most though for some reason. Know of any other RPGs with great soundtracks? Or even MMORPGs? Let me know in the comments below!

Posted in Final Fantasy | Leave a comment

Final Fantasy 8 is Under Rated

I Remember after finishing Final Fantasy 7 back when I was 12 or so, I was very eager to try the next installment in the series. After purchasing and playing Final Fantasy 8, I was a bit disappointed. I played it for a few hours and never figured out that after completing the SeeD ‘Test’ by defeating Ifrit with Quistis, I had to go back to my room as Squall to change into formal attire to progress the story. I ended up walking around the starting area for HOURS on end killing random encounters. I was like 11 or so at the time, so I didn’t think about searching Google for a guide. I don’t even know if GameFaqs existed back then. I ended up getting so powerful by grinding random encounters that I ended up pwning  that one tough T-rex enemy that was supposed to be really difficult. After killing random encounters for like 7 hours in the course of a week I told myself, “This game sucks” and threw Final Fantasy 8 on the shelf.

This Game Is So Under Rated!

It was only a year or so later that I decided to give the game another chance. This time I figured out how to advance the story. As the story progressed I became more and more interested in the game. Unfortunately, after being 10 or so hours into the game, Final Fantasy 8 just felt too difficult. I was getting destroyed in random encounters regularly. Boss Fighters felt impossible and I eventually quit the game again. My problem was that I didn’t know how the game’s draw system worked. I had no idea you could ‘equip’ the items obtained through drawing enemies. So I was 10 or so hours into the game and I didn’t equip one item. I obviously didn’t read the tutorials at the beginning. After all, who reads those?  I was using my starting sword and not one other item. Come to think of it, it was  quite an achievement to get as far as I did in Final Fantasy 8 without ever equipping an item or spell obtained through drawing. So again, Final Fantasy 8 was shelved.

Squall Was Emo, But Cool

Fast forward 6 years or so and I’m 17 years old. I’ve played Final Fantasy X and loved it. Itching for some more Final Fantasy, I wanted to give Final Fantasy 8 another chance. This time, I was a lot older and more competent. I owned Final Fantasy 8 for the Playstation 1, but wanted to play the game on my PC – so I downloaded an emulator and made a backup of my game and played it there. I did increase the game speed on occasion to make drawing faster, but I didn’t abuse quicksaving or anything like that. It’s remarkable how much easier Final Fantasy 8 is when you actually know how to play the game. Needless to say, I really enjoyed the game. The story was very interesting and everything was put together really well. I enjoyed FFX more, but Final Fantasy 8 is easily one of the most under rated Final Fantasy games ever. I actually liked it more than Final Fantasy 7, but I’m not going to compare the two. Both were great games, but I liked the story in Final Fantasy 8 more.

I couldn’t have been the only one to fail at figuring Final Fantasy 8 out. Was anyone else on the same boat as me? Post your comments below!

Posted in Final Fantasy | Leave a comment