Review by Jsn02682

Reviewed: 11/03/06

Half and half: I am disappointed to say the least

I'm going to cut straight to it and admit it: I set my expectations too high. I expected more of the game, with the reviews it was recieving to the already large fan base to the Japanese as well as North American importers. I am, in short, disappointed. There, I have said it. It pains me to no limit to say this; I tried my hardest to get the amount of fun out of Final Fantasy XII as I have the previous Final Fantasies.

I suppose yes, I am a Final Fantasy fanatic. I have played and completed every single Final Fantasy to date; MOST of which, create disappointments, especially in the spinoffs. This is the sad part: I, for the most part, consider FFXII a spinoff, rather than a name worthy of the title.

As I said, maybe I have set expectations too high? Probably; but I believe my opinions are valid indeed, to anyone who considers themselves a Hardcore Final Fantasy Fan.

The Graphics: Indeed, in all Final Fantasies in history, the graphics were almost always on par with the latest in technology available for their respective consoles. Final Fantasy XII doesn't disappoint in this department, you can be sure of that. The field graphics are astonishing, whilst the FMV's are breathtaking. Each areas are large, detailed, and will simply just leave you shocked. However, the vastness leads to part of it's downfall.

I don't know about the rest of you, but when I play a Final Fantasy, I expect the plot to advance swiftly, smoothly, and captivate me. This is the reason why I loved Final Fantasy in the first place: the plotline drew me in and made me stick. I am very saddened now. Most of the time is spent traversing the expansive areas, fending off waves, waves and more waves of mosters as you go. Don't want to fight them? No problem! Just run, and be mercilessly slaughtered by a boss monster when you reach them. Be prepared to get grinding those monsters if you wish to survive. Needless to say, the game is difficult. Very difficult....

....Too difficult if you ask me. Time for a little story: Jimmy and Suzie decided to buy Final Fantasy XII. Suzie decides she doesn't want to fight these oodles of monsters all of the time, and continues through the area until she reaches the boss. She's slain in around 40 seconds, give or take 10 or so. Jimmy fights everything. Cleans every area lickity split, and so he reaches the boss without trouble. Boss slays every character in the party in around 5 hits. So Jimmy decides to shell out his reserve items. He manages to defeat the boss, but by using his most precious items, and winning narrowly at that .

So I'll sum this up really quick: You have a choice: Don't fight, and die by bosses, or fight and use up all of your supplies TO Bosses. Leads you to grinding to hours upon hours for pelts to sell at the shop for a couple of Hi-Potions, only to have that supply ended with one boss. Kind of irritating. And I'll say it again; all this is just crap; it clogs up what made me fall in love with the series in the first place: the storyline.

Ah yes, forgot didn't you? The storyline! I can say this: it's good. The storyline is good. That's all the credit I can give it. It's just good. Final Fantasy X's? Amazing. Final Fantasy VII's? Breathtaking. Final Fantasy XII's? Good. For some odd reason, it couldn't draw me in, perhaps because of all the fighting? Suffice to say, there's still a storyline. Currently I'm about 34 hours into the game, and frankly I'm honestly thinking when in HELL is this going to pick up?

Ah well, the storyline doesn't captivate me as games in the previous series has, and between all the fighting, it has honestly given RELUCTANCE to continue playing. Back to the fighting; boy, this is becoming a habit isn't it? Well, I can't continue on with the fighting all day, but the fighting is the key point in why I enjoy even Final Fantasy X-2 more than Final Fantasy XII.

And to close off my opinion on the storyline, I'll say that I could have PROBABLY gotten into it, but the fighting just killed my mood. Sorry, Square.

Moving on: the audio. Ah yes....disappointing as well. Gotta love that word: Disappoint. Anyway, I don't find the music really gives me a positive atmosphere. It could have been better. That's all I can say. Final Fantasy X's is my absolute favorite, as it really gave the game an extremly satisfying vibe. Oddly enough, XII's doesn't really give me a "bang." It's good, as I can say, but it could have been better.

The voice acting....very good. Outstanding, to say the least. If how effective the voice acting turned out, was equivalent to how the entire game is, the entire world would give up war, buy a PS2 and play Final Fantasy XII until the end of time. No such luck, however. But needless to say, the voice acting gets a big thumbs up.

Time to sum it up: The fighting is what killed XII. Square knew the risk, Square took that risk, but hit a few bumps on that road. Almost FIVE years since the last "proper" Final Fantasy was released. (Omitting Final Fantasy X-2, XI and all the little whing-dings, spin-offs and other stuff) This result just disappoints. As I said, I tried so hard to get into it as I did the other games. Hell, I even shed a few tears at the end of Final Fantasy X. 'Tis sad of the result of this one. If you like the sort of fighting this game offers, FFXI would be a more reliable pick. If the fighting were to as the previous installments, and the difficulties were toned down, I would bump up the rating to a 9; a HUGE improvement; and on my personal opinion, a battle system a la Chrono Cross would have made it godly; the vast environments would just FEED on the battle system featured in Chrono Cross. No such luck, no such luck.

The Graphics are perfect, the voice acting is perfect, the gameplay is average, the storyline is good, the music is good. That is the sentence you could describe this game as. It's very disconcerning to the fact a 5 year development couldn't catch my eye, when considering that all except for 3 games who bear the Final Fantasy name were absolute gifts from whatever god is out there.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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