Yea, I mean, I was 9.
I didn't use to visit forums (the internet was pretty young too) or comment much about the games I liked.
I didn't even know about the criticisms until much, much later.
So don't come and point the finger at us, OP :p Just saying, lol.
Btw, Final Fantasy IX is my #1 game of all time and I've always said it.
It's actually the game that made me a fan of this industry.
I still love every minute of it. I think it's the game that I have spent the most time with.
I remember printing out sheets full of tricks and stuff about the game. Man, the memories!
FF9 shouldn't be compared to World of FF. World of FF can go on somewhere, honestly.
FF9 was all right, but at the time it didn't bring it like FF7 or 8 had done. I got it on release, but that game becomes a slog. It's not bad by any means, but all together lacked the punch that FFX brought when it showed up for PS2. Zidane is a throw away lead like Vaan. Zidane over Vaan though
I was 9 at the release year, only played on like 2002/3, had no internet access or $$$ for magazines back then. Knew zero stuff about critic/public opinion on FFIX. Me and people around me just loved all the FFs in the PS1, even if just for the neat cg stuff.
I wasn't really on game forums around the time of FFIX's release, at least for Final Fantasy, so I don't think I even knew there was a fan backlash towards it until a bit later. (Same with VIII). To me all the FF's just seemed like they were considered awesome. It wasn't until X that I personally disliked one myself.
I 100% remember thinking the Wind Waker backlash was stupid though.
I actually bought a PS1 and FFIX on PAL launch day and it was the first PS1 FF played, (I had previously played FF 1, 2 and 3 US versions) and since I only wanted to have a N64 as a teenager, I never bothered with PS stuff until a few years later when I was over the console wars stuff.
Final Fantasy had up until that point with 7 and 8 appealed to the mass market with a lot of eye candy. Those games were typically the prettiest things on the PS1, with some fairly impressive CGI cutscenes in an era where those things still mattered.
9 unfortunately was a victim of bad timing. Not only was that game launched a few short months before the highly anticipated PS2, but it launched almost a year AFTER the Dreamcast- by the time FF9 launched, game media and the casual market had long since moved on to next gen games like Soul Calibur, Shenmue, Dead or Alive, Jet Set Radio, Space Channel 5, Sonic Adventure, Skies of Arcadia, etc.
FF9 was NEVER going to draw a second look from the crowd chasing the latest and greatest. The PS1 was old news. It's a miracle and a testament to the quality of the game (it's probably the best of the PS1 FFs from a story and mechanics standpoint, graphics aside) that it sold the 5 million or so copies that it did.
I was 12 and our family only had an N64. Any talk of getting a Playstation was met with some variant of "isn't one console enough?".
All my friends had an N64 as well. When FFIX released, we were all eagerly waiting for IGN 64 to drop the latest edition of 72 Hours so that we could pore over every last bit of sub-240p video footage of Majora's Mask. NOSTALGIA!
Anyway, yeah, blame my family. Or not, since FFIX sold really well without my 12-year-old self's "help".
Bought the game, bought the guide book, even bought a load of figures
Was one of my favourite FF’s - though the original encounter rate and respective load times each time were a little “trying”
Modern gamers with their QOL improvements don’t know how good they have it compared to the dreaded disk whirl and loads of PSOne etc era RPGs