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Final Fantasy IX
Preview By: Jared Black

At Square's Millennium Conference today, Squaresoft showed off a number of upcoming titles for both the Playstation and Playstation2.  Perhaps one of the most surprising of these titles shown is Final Fantasy IX--not because we're surprised to see it, just surprised at the direction it's taken.  

In this installment of the Final Fantasy series, Square is returning to their roots a bit.  Instead of the more realistic approach that the last two titles in the series have taken, this series will be more akin to earlier games in the series in both setting and story.  In the few screens that have been released to date, we've seen black mages, dragons, and propeller-driven flying airships.  Any fan of the NES and SNES versions will surely remember these as being staples of the series' early days. 

Despite the retro design of the game, the graphics still appear to feature the refinement that the other Playstation installments have shown. You can surely expect lots of slick FMV, amazing spell effects, and lush worlds.

There's no word on the battle system just yet, but as you can see from the screens Magic Points will surely be involved. There's also no word on who will be doing the music for the game, but all rumors point to game music guru Nobuo Uematsu making a return for that as well.

Personally, I'm very excited about this game.  I've always preferred the fantasy-based setting over the more modern one, and I've yearned for the Final Fantasy series to return to this design. Assuming Square allows us the option to skip those long summon spells (instead of making us watch them thousands of times), this game promises to be great.

Posted: 1-29-00
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