Final Fantasy IX - Review

A simple story, wonderfully told

By: Kevin Harper

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 8
   Interface 8
   Music/Sound 7
   Originality 5
   Plot 9
   Localization 8
   Replay Value 6
   Visuals 10
   Difficulty Medium
   Time to Complete

40 - 60 hours


Title Screen

   Intro Paragraph. Leading into the game, you want to prepare the readers for what's to come. This paragraph should tell a little bit about when the game was published if a retroview, if it is part of series, whom the developer or publisher is (Like Square for example-they'd rate a mention if it was a Square game), a general statement of intent (If you though the game was good, this is a positive remark. If you didn't, this will be a negative remark). The next paragraphs are put in order of the ratings, which is logical. The point of a review is to give a game a numerical score and then back up your score with your comments in your review

   Battle System. This is to explain how the battle system works. This would also cover (possibly in a seperate paragraph) levelling up, special skills (such as the materia system, or espers, or arts, or techs). Explain the flow of battle (and note if it's speed is a positive or negative if applicable). You want to give enough of a feeling that someone picking up the game would have a fair chance of winning their first fight without really messing up ;)

   Interface. Covers non-combat gameplay, and how well the game interfaces with the player. This covers a lot of different values. The speed of the overall game (For example, people complained FFVIII had slow gameplay), as well as ease of interface (are the menus stupid friendly? Are there even menus?) and overall enjoyment of the game as you go through it. How well you're put into the hero's role may also apply here. Occasionally there will be no need to have a control paragraph all it's own if most or all of these elements are explored within other criteria.

got em yet?
Atomos is summoned, and descends.  

   Music/Sound. This covers the actual game music, as well as sound effects. Generally there will be about 10-15 unqiue scores to a game. Bad music sounds bad; that's an obvious one. Good music is enjoyeable to the ear and adds another depth to the game. Music can, for some people, make or break a game. If you mute the game to listen to your fave CD, that's a bad sign ;) As aa note: This isn't just music any more, it's the little 'sching' you hear when blades cross, the popping of a gun, and the sound of an enemy kickin' the bucket. Every noise coming from the game now falls under this category.

   Originality. This one's sometimes easy and sometimes hard. As an example: The Suikoden series has a high originality, but both games have the same general gameplay, and though the story is different you do a lot of plot points (like gathering characters) in both. It is highly original, but it's done repeatedly, so it could be seen both ways. Always try to look if there are two views and it'll make your review reflect the game better. Always stand up fpor your point and don't argue both sides in one review :)

   Plot. People tend to mistakenly put plot *details*. That doesn't belong in a review. This is to describe how well the plot progressed, how it brought the characters as well as the player in, and how well it flowed, as well as realism. If it's a low tech world and you suddenly get blown away with a Nuke with NO explanation ever, that's a bad thing.

   Localization. This covers how well a game has been translated and adapted to the market its been released in.

Cutesy or Realistic Name
Cutesy or Realistic Name  

   Replay Value. Would you play this? Again and again and once more just for kicks? Did you hate it so much you traded it away? Here's where your experience with the game comes strongly into effect. This is one place any extreme rating needs to be really backed up.

Visuals. This covers more than just graphics, if that makes any sense. It's everything you see in the game, just like sound is everything to hear. Games who score highly should have not necessarily eye-popping FMVs but all around good eyecandy.

Difficulty. While this, of course, varies wildly from player to play most times a general consensus can be agreed upon. Just use your best juisdgement and compare it to other games you've played.

You know the deal-title it.
You know the deal-title it.  

Time To complete. This ca be part of the closing paragraph. Give a generaly range of the hours required to beat the game at the fastest and slowest pace.

Concluding thoughts. Sum up your initial positive or negative feeling and try to bring everything you've touched to a close. As an additional note, Screenshots should be placed about one per 'screen', which generally amounts to the title screen and 3 others. Pick wisely, and if you're using your own and not those on rpgamer itself, please check the submission guidelines for acceptable formats.

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