Review by ChickenBot

"Another Fantastic Fantasy of Fun!"

Square's great series continues with the release of Final Fantasy XII, another fantasy that scales the RPG universe and brings into it a new touch of colour. Final Fantasy XII uses a mechanism that merges real-time RPG's with turn-based. The story goes involves more war than any other Final Fantasy and brings a beginning of great suspense. While playing, your urge to advance will increase as you face greater challenges and events of excitement. Now, let's start up this review!

Square has always been up-to-date with graphics. This is true in the case of Final Fantasy XII; realistic characters, wonderful animation and tip-top environments lie on your path. Encounter deserts, forests, jungles and dungeons. The lip synch quality however, has slightly decreased, but that doesn't remove the game of its great animation and graphics engine. We have a distinct set of foes: wolves, dinosaurs, cacti, tomatoes, fireballs and hissing cobras. The characters are also distinct from each other, and some resemble characters from previous Final Fantasies. But come on, with all of those millions of game characters Square's made, they really don't have a choice.

This FF circles around war and conquest. It takes place in the land of Ivalice. In the opening, we'll see a cutscene involving the events of a great war. After that, we'll be in control of Reks, who you'll be playing as for the first half-hour. More events unfold in the palace, and then we listen to the narrator talk for a while. Then, you'll finally gain control of the protagonist Vaan, a 17-year-old boy with dreams of someday getting an Airship of his own and becoming a sky pirate. The story will dig deeper, and you'll meet a cast of characters like Penelo, Migelo, Ashe, and more. The story will make you more eager to see what happens next, and you'll be on the edge of your seat, until you fall off.

This time, the gameplay is much more than what it used to be. It combines real-time with turn-based. Sort of. You have to move around until you have the chance to attack, then press X to bring up the battle menu and choose how you wish to attack. Your party members will support you, and you can actually control them by taking them as the leader! There are magic techs as usual, like the shocking Thunder spell, the helpful Cure, and the frosty Blizzard. You have to use LP to unlock new moves and abilities this time. You also have the ability to choose if you want someone with great defense, a mage to work his/ her magic, or a heavy armed warrior. The game system is quite complicated and takes some getting used to, but if you can learn it, you'll enjoy it the way you enjoy all the other Final Fantasies.

This game has gotten some nice music tones to it. Fast-paced for battle, calm for the peaceful towns, and eerie for dark places, the game's soundtrack is suitable to its surrounding. Take Lowtown for example; it is a dark and dull little underground town, with creepy-ish music and …. claps. The voice acting has great expressions, and the sound effects of barking wolves, roaring dinosaurs, squawking birds and mystical creatures of fantasy. The sound effects of your swishing weapons and shot bows are done very realistically.

Playtime/ Replayability
The game lasts for long, similar to other Final Fantasies, and is also more difficult in my opinion. That, of course, adds to the playtime. As for the replayability, I can't really say anything. The game may be so long that one playthrough will be enough to entertain you. On the other hand, you may want to go through it again for increasing your fun. Well, it depends really.

Should I Buy It?
Final Fantasy XII is an awesome game to add to your PlayStation 2 collection, but don't start counting your gil if you'd rather prefer the good old-fashioned (yet fun) turn-based system. If that's the case, rent it, try it out. I'd recommend trying out the game to all genre fans, it's quite entertaining and helps to pass the time. It's also gotten a decent story; you're bound to enjoy this game! Well, at least in my opinion.

Final Rankings/ Summary

Graphics: 9/10
Story: 9/10
Gameplay: 9/10
Audio: 8/10
Playtime/ Replayability: 8/10
Should I Buy It?: Yes
Final Score: 10/10.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/09/06

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