This game was the return to the classic days of Final Fantasy. The basis of the Final Fantasy series has been in telling a gripping tale, engrossing characters, and incredible graphics. This game certainly doesn’t disappoint with any of these aspects. The basic story of the game isn’t nearly as compelling as that of say FF7, but the themes are universal. Love, fear, death, and many other emotions and ideas are explored thoroughly by an intriguing cast of characters. When I first played this for the first time, I couldn’t help but notice how childish the game felt. You have a child mage with a pinty hat, rat people, and I don’t even know where to begin with Quina. Even the gameplay seemed fairly easy, at least by Final Fantasy standards. To be honest, I walked through the end of the game. This being said, the shallow appearance of the characters certainly doesn’t represent the subject matter that they are dealing with. The depth and growth of the characters is outstanding. There aren’t too many games that can be so lighthearted at times and question one’s existence at another. Rather than going for innovation in gameplay, it was much in the fashion of the older generation of games, where each character has a certain role to play on the battlefield. The classic mages (black, blue, and white), the knight, the thief and a few others are all present. The basic battle algorithms are the same as any other previous installment, but with four characters in battle simultaneously. A full set of equipment from head to toe also brings it closer to the earlier games. The producers of the game seem as if they intentionally created a throwback with this one, which is definitely enjoyable, but a little surprising considering the success of seven and eight. The mini-games within are all actually a lot of fun. You can play some jump rope with random kids, go to an auction house, and the chocograph is actually one of the better mini-games I have found in any game. The graphics are what most RPG fans typically look for, and in this game it certainly does not let you down. The artwork is flawless (if you have the opportunity to pick up the book, get it, it’s a nice little investment). The backgrounds are vibrant to say the least, the characters aren’t outstanding, but still well done. This is basically the limit of the PS1’s capability. There isn’t anything that stands out technically compared to the other games of the time. *Spoiler* The FMV where Garnet cuts her hair is a personal favourite. The fact that they rendered basically every strand of hair creates a sense of reality that the rest of the game doesn’t seem to have in its fantastical setting. The soundtrack leaves a little (if you don’t know me, I’m usually pretty sarcastic, so that means a lot) to be desired, despite having one of, if not the best ever, Nobuo Uematsu, work on some of the tracks. There are a few standouts, but most just seem to blend in rather than heighten the emotion of the scene. The sense of nostalgia that the producer’s went for is obvious. Some may not enjoy this, and not even give the game a chance (my brother won’t even play it because Zidane has a rat tail), but I loved it. I’m going to give this 4 out of 5 stars.