Review by Masterkanoopy

"I didn't want to love you, but I did anyways."

Final Fantasy XII
Okay so I am going to start off with admitting that I was not to sure I wanted to buy this game. Why? Yes you have all heard it, the sissy look of Vaan. However when one of my co-workers got it and was talking about how fun it was in the break room I sort of got excited. I asked him if Vaan sounds as sissy as he looked and he said no. That was reason enough for me.

Graphics: 10

Amazing! Have you ever listened to music that almost made you weep tears of joy? Well this is the equivalent thing, except it is for your sense of sight. Heck if the PS2 was a person it'd cry tears of joy too. There is not many cut-scenes in the traditional sense but there is some real time and you might notice some so so graphics on the hair or some of their clothes. However when they get moving and fighting it is amazing. The CGI scenes however are just breathtaking! Watch as Vayne's hair flows in the wind (seriously watch it does in some scenes). Or as Fran's bounces and waves side to side (still talking about hair..). Faces look dare I say realistic. However some people complained they look too white...who cares about if they look Caucasian, the lady has bunny ears, and you get hit on by a lizard/pig creature. The monsters look pretty good especially the summonings and the bosses however some of the normal monster look completely the same and you'll say to yourself, hey I've killed you before only you were purple then.

Voice Acting:9

Alright I am sorry but yes there is a nine here. Just because during some scenes you will notice it will be slightly off. The co-worker noticed this too. However if your not staring at their mouths you won't really notice it. The voices in this work out really well. They match up with the character's face and personality in a way I really didn't expect to see happen. They sometimes don't have voices for people I want to here. It would of been nice to hear a Garif talk or maybe a Seeq however it's mostly just humes. Heck you don't even hear monteblanc talk. Then again even the non-human characters voices seem to fit in with their stereotypical (but fricken sweet) look. I will go on to say that if they had made more voices in this then it would be a 10, however to see peoples lips move but not to be able to hear what there saying, come on..I turned sub titles off thank you very much.

Story Line: 8

It's only failing point is it's storyline. If you don't watch every cut scene, you'll miss something huge! My brother likes to watch me play through the story, but not the side quests (which I will get too in a second) so when he leaves for work and I am still going through the story and I try to explain it too him. It is a bit complex. In the jist of it I managed to understand that; Princess Ashe married the prince, he dies in the war. Arcadia is invading the neighboring empire Rozaria. Vaans brother Reks was fighting in the war as a soldier but died because Basch's twin brother pretending to be Basch kills the king of Rabanastre and then frames Basch making Basch look like a traitor then stabs Reks. Vaan goes on an adventure for no reason really with two sky pirates he meet while ransacking the palace that the Archadians have now taken over. Then they discover this substance called nethicite that absorbs mist or something like that. Then you discover about the Dawn Shards and the Sun Shard and the sword and Princess Ashe has to decide whether or not to destroy the source of nethicite even though the evil Archadians can Manufacture Nethicite, or to cut new shards from it and use it's power to destroy the Empire. The immortal ghosts are plotting against someone however it's not clear who their plotting against, and some poor kids dad is being held ransom by cactuses. Also there a village of scantily clad women sensitive about their age who have bunny ears.

Fighting System:9

Was originally goign to be in gameplay however is to amazing and needs it own section. The only reason it got a 9 was because it is so slow in the beginning. It is comepletly dependant upon your stats when you battle which is nice for once. Speed effects how fast the bar moves and how often you combo. Weapons actually depend on stats other then attack and strength and defense of opponent. The ninja swords are stronger with speed, however axes get stronger with strength and vitality. Or even use the gun which solely goes on it's attack/ammunition power and doesn't add into effect your stats or your enemies (sometimes beneficial). Clothes mages wear have decent defense but more physical hits. However there is also the light armor which isn't quite either but increases your health so you can take more hit. Then their also the amulets. They can do anything from make you counter, to make you immune from stop slow or poison, to make you have 2x health 50x faster or immune to all negative status effects. There is a lot of customizing whether you want this person to be support, this one to be a tank, this one to be ranger, or this one to be a mage, heck can have some people try and fill in more then one spot or you could make up your own. It's useful on how you can specialize people into doing things and the gambits! The single best innovation ever to come about in a video game since..graphics isthe gambit system. You choose when they automatically cast what you can even do it to your main character. When somebody gets poisoned use an antidote, or better yet cast poisona or heck make sure everyone else is cured cast ensunga and cure all negative status effects (well most) for the entire party. Somebody low on hp, give them a potion, or give them an x-potion if they are below 10% heck heal them, or heal everybody. They even let you choose attack commands, so if an enemy is weak to fire cast oil, if enemy has oil on them then cast firaga. Also if they are flying use 1000needles or if they have protect or shell on them cast dispel. Can have your guy auto-steal, or auto-heal you can do anything possible with the gambits.
The magic system and teknicks are a bit strange though. You have to buy them in shops that upgrade what they carry as you go through the story. Then you have to purchase the license on the license board (same goes for weapons and armor) which sometimes get difficult if you don't know where it is. The range of magic and teknicks though are awesome. From shades of black which randomly casts a random black magic, to decoy which makes enemies focus on one character, or even telekinesis which allows you to use your melee weapons against flying enemies. One kind of bummer is summonings and your “limit breaks”. They take up all to 1/3 your mist points depending on how far you are in the game and what summoning it is. Along with quickenings/mist knacks (i.e. limit breaks). They are powerful moves that use up your entire bar of magic to cast an all powerful attack. However if you get a really strong weapon and berserk someone then haste them then and put on bravery they easily outdo a quickening and cost way less magic. Summoning however look great but let down a little. Early on they are useful and powerful however in the middle of the game they are weak and just seem to be eye candy if you level up decently. In the end though when you get the final espers (summons) you'll be amazed at the sight and power of them, not to mention they were fun to aquire.

Gameplay:10

When you think it over this game is long. I like that about it, makes me glad I spent $50-$60 on something that when actually calculating it out your spending like 50 cents an hour to play or if you try replaying it (easy to do) more like a nickel an hour. The battle system keeps you entertained along with fishing, or going on hunts for marks/mobs, or searching down rare game for trophies or fighting secret bosses with millions (yea millions) of hp that can whittle away hours (2-7 for some). Collecting all the espers finishing your pirates den, to getting the best weapons maxing out levels or even exploring every map. Could do them all, heck you can even replay it doing solo game with only one person if the games too easy, or you can level up if it's to hard. Takes some strategy too. If you just run in and don't buff your characters or have someone healing or you have the wrong weapon equipped, you'll get killed quickly.

Replay:8

Yea you can milk some replay out of this video game cow. Look online and people have set up different method of replaying. You can play with castes systems or play without using the license board (except for mandatory licenses) you can play with no weapons, or you can play with an all mage team. There is plenty to try, some people like playing it solo with only one party member leveling up and out at a time. You can also even play it and try and beat it at as low of level as possible making it really tough. You can even play it without using gambits or any magick if you really want. There is replay, you jsut have to look for it.

Overall:9

Final Fantasy XII shines above many other games, it's up there with the greats of the rpg world. If you like Final Fantasy you'll love this one, if you don't like Final Fantasy you'll still probably like this one. It has quality and lives up to the name of the franchise (excluding what FF X-2 and Xi did to it *tears*). If your looking for a game to kill your time while you save money up for the new Wii or PS3 (Boo 360) Play this one, it can range from 40hours of playing or upwards of 100 if you want. Buy it play it, if you don't love it just sell it.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/03/07


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