Thanks to Scott Baird of ScreentRants.com for the inspiration!
12. THE LENGTHY INTRODUCTION BEFORE THE EVIL FOREST
One of the biggest problems that a lot of newcomers to Final Fantasy IX complain about is just how long it takes for the game to get started.
The beginning of the game keeps skipping between Zidane and Tantalus’ mission to kidnap Princess Garnet, Vivi’s attempt to see the play, and Steiner trying to get his soldiers in line before discovering the kidnapping plot.
These take the form of long, non-interactive cutscenes and set pieces.
You don’t really start the game until the airship crashes into the Evil Forest.
The best thing the Final Fantasy IX Remake can do is to trim these scenes or at least add a bit more gameplay to them. As it stands, you spend the first hour or so of gameplay doing nothing but hitting the confirm button over and over again.
Final Fantasy IX has a slow build-up. The game is slow in many other ways too (i.e. gameplay). I can imagine player frustration with the pace. But like Final Fantasy VII and VIII, it helps the players acclimate to the world and the main characters.
We get to know a bit about Zidane’s flirtatious and outgoing nature. Vivi’s timidity shows itself through these scenes. Garnet’s strong will and resoluteness shines through. And Final Fantasy IX’s lengthy scene establishes Steiner’s blind obedience to the Queen. In a sense, the rest of the characters suffer for not having this lengthy introduction.
If anything, elongate this lengthy introduction so we can explore more of Alexandria.