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Review: Final Fantasy IX
(IDG) -- The words "final" and "fantasy" have never been more appropriate for the legendary series of SquareSoft RPGs as they are for Final Fantasy IX. Not only is it the last appearance for the series on the PlayStation-the system that brought it massive worldwide popularity-but FFIX also departs from the dark, science fiction tone of the last two installments to return to a more light-hearted, fantasy-based adventure.
Each successive Final Fantasy game has more buzz and higher expectations, and yet SquareSoft has still delivered. FFIX is no exception-except for the fact that it does, at times, go beyond expectations to give gamers a true masterpiece. In fact, it further raises the stakes of what makes a great RPG and a worthy finale to possibly the greatest series of games the PlayStation has seen.
Graphics: FFIX offers the same stellar combination of prerendered backgrounds and amazing CG cinemas as previous FF PlayStation games, but this time in a unique fantasy-based world.
Sound: The music cues your emotions throughout the story, from battles to heartbreak to comedy. And it's still good after playing the game for 40 hours.
Control: The controls mix solid navigation through the world with the definitive turn-based battle system. FFIX's Ability system allows for experimentation without being overly complex.
Fun factor: A gripping story, terrific characters, impressive graphics, deep controls-this game has it all. The Final Fantasy series keeps improving with age.
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