It all started during a week off this last November. Long story short, I had too many holiday days and I wanted to use some, so I thought: the children are at school, I guess I can rest and perhaps do something different without them.
It wasn’t a bad plan, but then I got a bad cold, and because it is likely that the source was one of the boys, the young one was ill at home the first part of the week, and then the other one the second half. Stuck at home, not feeling great, so I started playing games: a bit of “Super Mario Sunshine” –but my 3D platforming skills aren’t great–, and then settling for “Final Fantasy IX” on the PlayStation.
Not that I played a lot that first week, because I found difficult to keep focused on the game: the story is goofy and I found little game in the first 4 hours. I complained on Twitter that it was a linear story with sprinkles of combat –and not a lot of it!–. Not what I was expecting from a JRPG.
Arguably I haven’t played many of these, and it was many years ago with emulation of 8 and 16 bit titles on DOS with my Pentium 100MHz. Besides, the only one I managed to finish was Chrono Trigger, that is a bit different –shorter and more accessible, perhaps?–.
Have you played other PS1 FF games? Them all start very guided, but later the world opens and you have a lot more freedom. 4 hours in a 30+ hour game is still early. Japanese RPGs never were the ones with the most hardcore RPG mechanics anyway.
I’m now 14+ hours into the story –I’m still on the second disk of four, the median to beat the game is around 39 hours–, and it is still very linear and… easy? Granted that there have been some party splits and the story is all over the place, but so far I haven’t encountered any hard puzzles or combat –there are a couple of fights that you can’t win, and are basically scripted story–. I don’t know if I’m nailing it, or is just that FF IX is not what I was expecting.
I want to finish it during the Christmas break. Very doable to play one or two hours a day, because the boys like it, and find fun the encounters and when one of the party members execute a super-powerful move that kills a funny-looking monster.