Awesome Art from Abysswolf
I love this game. I usually find some things worth criticism by this point in my playthrough, but I barely have any complaints. I have one, but it's minor. I'll get to that in a bit.
The story is so much more developed in Final Fantasy IX compared to the other games up to this point. I'm fully invested in all the main characters. I'm constantly interested in seeing what happens next. There is real character growth and development. The party splits up and comes back together organically and it gives the characters interesting plot points that diverge from each other. I don't want to go into all the story details right now, but this is definitely my favorite Final Fantasy story up to this point in the series.
My only complaint is the battle speed. It's slow. I talked about it in my initial impressions but the more I play through the game the more it bugs me. In the first 10 minutes of playing the game I went into the options and turned the battle speed up to it's highest setting. That helped, but not enough. Not only are the ATB gauges slow to fill, but the battle animations take too long as well. Overall, it makes battles drag out when they really don't need to.
But that's it. My only complaint so far. I'll probably come up with a few more by the end, but I don't have them right now.
Right now I'm just enjoying the game. I love the story, characters, music, visuals, and ability system. I'm going to keep having fun with it and report back later.