Final Fantasy XII
Written: Dec 21, 2006
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Fast, new fighting system, Lots of side quests, Graphically beautiful
Cons:Muffelled voice acting at times, little rewards for side quest completion, Story is meh
The Bottom Line: Final Fantasy XII may not be as rememberable as its predecessors, but it is nonetheless a beautiful and fun game.
Final Fantasy XII combines elements of old with a fresh new gameplay system to create a solid game that just isn't as rememerable as other Final Fantasy games. Although the storyline is rather mundane, it is the delivery that makes the game shine. While it may not be the best Final Fantasy game out there, XII is addicting and well delivered.
Set in Final Fantasy Tactics Ivalice, our little story starts out with a war between the Empire and two smaller kingdoms, Nabradia and Dalmasca. With Nabradia fallen already, the tiny country of Dalmasca fights a losing battle. When Dalmasca falls, the princess Ashe not only loses her country, but also her husband, Nabradias Prince Rassler. In the days that follow, the king of Dalmasca, about to sign a peace treaty is assassinated by Captain Basch and the first playable character, Reks, is killed in the process. Two years down the road, the true game starts, with Vaan, Reks little brother, and his friend Penelo basically being little thieves and getting themselves into trouble. When he runs into two sky pirates Balthier and Fran, the question becomes, did he bite off more than he can chew? Will the Empires iron grip loosen?
** The story receives a 2/5. It is not very creative and the majority of the twists occur too early in the game. Even the later twists didnt really shock me.
The gameplay changes are drastic, but for the better. Players run around the map and automatically engage foes. From there, it is a race to get the next command off, since there is no queue line for general commands. This gives players the option to fight only the meaningful battles; a nice touch for those looking to just speed through the game. The whole feel of the game is more open and in the latter parts of the game, more intense. Even though it is a RPG at heart, it feels more like an action game when more than 2 enemies are engaged.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of FFXII is the Gambit system. The Gambit system is not only what makes this game tick, but also what makes it shine. Gambits are automatic commands used by all six of the characters. Gambits what if/then statements that, done right, let the game play by itself. Instead of constantly inputting commands the Gambit system will let the player control the battle with previously entered guidelines for healing, fighting, and spell casting.
Magick power can be used for two things, Mist Quickenings and Summons. Quickenings stop the battle and let the player input allowed button commands to create a divesting spell. I say allowed, because the game will limit the choices the player has and force him or her to shuffle the choices for a better draw. Since the magic bar is broken up into three sections, there are three different ranks of Quickening. The more power a Quickening is, the more costly it is. Throughout the game, Quickenings will be essential as they are the quickest way to deal heavy damage. Summons require no introduction, as they have been a Final Fantasy staple for quite some time. Summons can be allotted to only one character and when summoned join up with that character in a two man team. Like Quickening , they have three ranks. I found most Summons to be completely useless since most enemies took either my exposed summoner or my summon out relatively quick.
Sadly, the best fights come optional in the form of hunts. The hunts, 45 in all, are the best fights in the game. Hunts can be taken up at a hunt board or through your clan. The monsters in the hunts are more ferocious, faster, and clever than any single one found in the main game. The bonuses for killing these super monsters are great weapons, loot, and loads of money, which is very hard to come by in the game.
Like previous Final Fantasy games, this game can be hard, but with some leveling up, there main story will be a breeze. The problem lies in the disparity between the side quests and the main quests. While the main game can be ran through easily, the monsters will simply devour those who veer off the main course. For a series like Final Fantasy that relies so heavily on side quests, this disparity has enough strength to break the hearts of gamers; however, for those who stay the course, the games depth dramatically increases, but with little to offer at the end. While most of the best weapons can be bought in the bazaar by selling loot (Very, very rare loot) dropped from enemies, there are some that are hit and miss (10% chance with Diamond Armlet equipped). Though most of the best weapons can still be acquired, the time and luck it takes in accessing them leaves a bitter taste.
The License Board system is basically upgrading for dummies, yet its logic is a little off at times. When enemies are defeated, they give up License points, which can be used to purchase tiles on the License board. Working from the inside out, the player unlocks weapons, armors, spells, and more than could then be bought and used. Its simple nature makes it easy to use, but the problem is that acquiring that tile does not mean usage of the weapon, armor, spell, etc, as the player must still purchase the aforementioned article.
XII feels like an MMO when it comes to traveling, which may not be a bad thing. XII forces the player to walk for most of the game, allowing for more thorough exploration and leveling up. The walking also allows the player to look at some of the fabulous backdrops within the game. Teleport stones are the second (and best) option. Teleport stones are the quickest and most accurate way to access an area. The tickets (Stones) are relatively cheap and can even be dropped by enemies. The final way, by private airship, is not available until the last 1/16 of the game and since its areas are limited, is rendered pointless compared to teleport stones.
**** I have to give gameplay a 4/5. The gambit system and the Quickenings really made this game. Upgrading was simple and play was a blast. If you really want to get your full dollar out of the this game, and it is wholly possible, the side-quests and hunts are a must. The problems lie in the lack of rewards for those who want to chug through the side quests, which make up the meat of this game. I would have much rather just been rewarded with the ultimate weapons by defeating a boss instead of tirelessly searching for all the rare loot.
Anyway you slice it, Final Fantasy XII is a beautiful game to look at. From the worlds to enemies to cut scenes, XII is eye candy. The worlds are diverse as they are beautiful. They are well-detailed and crisp. The enemies are incredibly detailed, right down to the last notch on an imperial zipper. Cut scenes seem to have been taken to the next level in XII as they are some of the most realistic graphics that I have ever seen.
***** 5/5 For a downright gorgeous game.
Final Fantasy games have always had solid soundtracks and Final Fantasy XII is no different. While not as strong as previous Final Fantasy games, XIIs soundtrack is still pretty strong. The problem with the soundtrack is that no one song is mind boggling. Also, Ivalice isnt the only thing that XII shares with Final Fantasy Tactics as there are numerous similarities between the soundtracks. I could only help but feel like I had heard most of the songs before. The voice acting in the game was outstanding, period, especially Baltheir's; however, at times, the voices of the characters sounded like they were stuffed under a pillow.
*** 3/5 While not as creative or impacting as previous Final Fantasy soundtracks, it is still a solid soundtrack. Though it is not one I would buy.
Soup Value Rating- (Hours of gameplay / Cost of game = SVR)
Scores of .8 or higher are good.
Main quest - Seeing as how I could have probably beaten the game at level 40, the game can take about 40 hours minimum. (40 Hours / $50 = .8)
Total game time - I am on hour 100 and still have to get a couple more weapons and I have know idea how much longer it will take me. (100 Hours / $50 = 2)
***** Value gets a 5/5 with a SVR of .8 through 2
Final Fantasy XII may not be as memorable as previous FF games, but it is by no means a bad game. The gameplay has certainly changed, but the sacrifice of a slower turn-based system for a faster real time system speeds up the game and adds a fun factor that FF games havent seen before. Graphically beautiful, XII is eye candy. The soundtrack is solid, but compared to other FF soundtracks, it is rather disappointing. XII is a solid game, but the Final Fantasy title is just too much of a burden as this game isnt as memorable as its predecessors.
**** (Not an average)
Read all 25 Reviews
Write a Review