Final Fantasy XII – PS2
Platform: PlayStation 2
Developer: Square Enix PDD4
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date (NA): October 31, 2006
Nerd Rating: 6.2 out of 10
Reviewed by Dovahkyle
“Hey isn’t that the guy from FF X?”, No, he’s not, I thought the same thing but that would just be wrong. Sid is the only guy that can be in all the games, besides his name isn’t Tidus, so just let it go. Remember how awesome real turn based battles were? Like on FF VII or even Mario RPG? Geez, even Poke’mon knew how to do it right. I may be the last guy out here hoping and wishing for a good, new, turn based RPG, unfortunately I think I will end up being disappointed.
As a relatively new fan to the series, meaning I have just started playing one through four this year, I can’t say I have years of devotion to back up my qualms. I can say that Square knows how to make a good product, and I get where they are trying to take us on these little journeys. As I revert to Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest, I see that the over-world approach with the little man in a dis-proportioned world is over, at least for the FF series. I do believe change can be a good thing, I don’t have Metathesiophobia, but I don’t believe all change is required, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should do something. Poke’mon is a perfect example of not changing their ways and continuing to be extremely successful.
Gameplay: Let’s get right to the brass tacks here. The new battle system, the ADB or Active Dimension Battle, has changed everything. If you’ve ever played a Final Fantasy game then you know that the battles are usually random encounters and they are turn based, this is simply not so with this new system. No more random encounters (which was really the anticipation that kept me on the edge of my seat when my whole team was almost dead), now the monsters can be seen in the active world. If the monsters can be seen, then you guessed it, they can be avoided…WHAT? Yes I said it, I could actually choose who I wanted to fight the majority of the time, which made the world a little less scary, and allot more boring.
The ADB allows an arc of light to pass from the player to a potential enemy as the enemy gets too close, eventually initiating battle, which happens in real time, no more turns…kind of. The fights are based on timers, as a move is made (attack, magic, item, etc...) the timer bar for that character starts to clock down, when the clock is done, the character needs to take a turn, ASAP. What screws this system up, is that the enemies have timers too, and if I haven’t quite decided which of the three thousand moves my character is going to make, the enemy could essentially attack me again! This made every battle, really stressful, so the only alternative is to use gambits.
If you’ve played Dragon Age II, then you will be familiar with the gambit system, as it was influenced by FF XII. The gambits are the only way to successfully battle without giving yourself a panic attack. The characters, including the main character Vaan, can be “programmed” to do whatever is necessary whenever needed, for example: A gambit can include, Use fire against weakest enemy, or give phoenix down to party member that faints. These gambits are set in the order of importance, eventually getting the player to the point of watching a battle instead of actually fighting in it. This bores me, at first it was cool, but after a while of just sitting back and watching the battles unfold, I was bored.
The leveling system is much like the Final Fantasy X Sphere Grid, in the aspect of working towards goals on a board. This one is called a License Board, as the characters level up, they earn points to be spent on acquiring new licenses, which in turn allows the characters to be stronger, healthier, or to learn new abilities and weapon skills. Again I like it, because it’s fairly easy to use once I got the hang of it, but the Sphere Grid just made more sense to me.
Story: Vaan, the main protagonist, and the little brother of the deceased Reks (a young knight who died after witnessing the assassination of the King), a street rat in Rabanastre, breaks into the Palace to steal Magicite (a magic rich mineral) and bumps into two sky pirates, who end up being the first two party members. Events unfold as Vaan travels from city to city by way of Air Ships and Chocobos, the story is filled with glorious cut scenes and amazing visuals. I found myself confused from time to time, as I really needed to pay attention to what was going on in the cut scenes and the conversations, or I would quickly become lost in the story and have no idea what was going on, overall good.
Graphics/Sound: I’d compare the visual graphics, cut scenes and soundtrack to FF-X, being they were both released on the PS2 I don’t know what else I was expecting. The soundtrack wasn’t near as annoying as it could have been, but listening to anything for as long as that game is can get pretty brutal, at least I got a break with the battle music.
Replayability: Zero to none. I wouldn’t play it again, I love Final Fantasy, but I would not play this title again, as it is not only a really long game, the only thing that could make the second time around interesting would be utilizing a different set of party members.
Bottom line is Final Fantasy XII is kind of a cheap knock-off of 10 to me, maybe I’m bias because 10 was the first FF I have ever played, and I loved it. So I really expected this game to be just as good if not better, I just got spoiled, maybe Square will make a game in the future worthy of being called a Turn Based Party RPG again, or maybe I just have false hopes.
*Flagstomos Rating System*
Share This Post