Me and Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy IX and me.
I’ve told the story of our love affair, back in the cracked out summer of 2001. There’s no going back to that year or the setup we had then, but playing Final Fantasy IX can fill your heart with the breast-like warmth of life if you play it in good times.
This is one of those times.
I abandoned my Final Fantasy VII quest (abandoning the initial equipment challenge as well) right around where Cloud’s in the clinic and you have to go and find the huge materia before the Shinra Electric Company gets ahold of it. I figure it will be a fine place to pick up from whenever I get the urge to play FFVII again. And I will.
I began a new game of Final Fantasy IX on the same PSP just because it’s fucking wonderful and I needed a change of pace. I adore everything about Final Fantasy IX up until about the fourth disc, and then the story just gets too fucked up to believe and the last boss never made any sense to me. Saying his name could not possibly be a spoiler because at no point in the story could you ever guess it was him. Here, I’m gonna say it: Necron. See? I’ll bet that if you never finished the game, there’s no way you could possibly suspect the involvement of such a random asshole. Everyone’s always clamoring for an HD remake of FFVII, and though that’s long overdue, it would be just as great for IX to get its due and be re-released with a brand new ending.
Still, the game looks really good on a PSP (even better on a Vita, I hear!), and is a happy companion to have. This game will never scratch, skip, snap, or get lost unless I lose the whole PSP, or in essence, the third chamber of my heart, which will not be happening.
The PSP has seen a huge revival in my daily gaming, being the go-to system when out of the house, whenever possible. My commute to work is much shorter this year, but I find ways to either plug headphones into the PSP on the train, or keep Howard Stern and UYD playing on my phone while I play my game on mute. The latter is fine for FFIX most of the time, but the former is necessary for my newest acquisition: Patapon.
Patapon is a fucking awesome game. My friend bought it for me at the same flea market where I bought FFIX for the PS1 all those years ago. That is a major coincidence, and was completely unexpected. Unexpected and delightfully welcome. You play drums to advance a small band of little dudes who collect supplies and fight hostile tribes and monsters. It’s really cool, and I had no idea. More on Patapon later.
Ah, but Final Fantasy IX. You’re really something. Still crazy after all these years and so on. There’s a real challenge to it, and balancing the advancement of your characters’ stats with the advancement of the wild story is a sexy dance around the ring of fire. And with the PSP, you can pick it up and put it to sleep at will, and I can’t express how wonderful that really is. Anyone who gets sentimental for old games but has a tenuous relationship with old hardware will know, and I’m telling you, this game is for you. Them. Whatever. I’m at work. I could go to the toilet and play for the next three hours, but I won’t because… uh… I would like.. never do that or something.
Hey, look at the time!