After being ungodly disappointed at Squares FF8, I was a bit skittish about 9. My worries were misplaced though. FF9 KICKS ASS (to put it bluntly). Square got their act together and did it right this time.
I havent even passed the 1st disc so I cant pass judgement on the storyline (it seems very excellent so far), but the graphics are of FF8 quality while still hanging on to the anime-style exagerations of FF7. Battles arent spent constantly summoning stuff or drawing magic either, and they introduced a new card game (very addicting).
The music, although nice, isnt anything to write home about. I still love FF6 & 7s soundtracks much better. It ranges from slightly techno to regular background music. Thank heavens they brought back the old battle and victory music!!
Not everything is perfect though. As I mentioned, the music could be better in some spots. Battles seem to rely heavily on potion usage, and the game doesnt seem to like the texture smoothing option of the PS2 in some areas.