Review by KrayzieJay
"Final Fantasy XII is simply a game you must play if your a fan of the series."
If you've heard of Final Fantasy then you would know the series has a history of being great. Final Fantasy XII is no exception. The game may have ditched the traditional random encounters but that does not ruin the game at all.
The game takes place in the fictional location called Ivalice, where the empires of Archadia and Rozarria are waging an endless war. Dalmasca, a small kingdom, is caught between the warring nations. When Archadia invades and occupies Dalmasca, its princess, Ashe, creates a resistance movement. During the struggle, she meets Vaan, a young adventurer who dreams of commanding an airship. They are quickly joined by a band of allies; together, they rally against the tyranny of the Archadian Empire.
Graphics in this game are truely amazing for a dying PS2. Each chracter, monster, city etc, has tremendous detail, although Vaan's eyes are kinda weird. Cut scenes are top class and the cinematics are mind blowing! To be honest FFX had phenomenal cinematics much more amazing than XII, but cinematics in this game are still great for a PS2. Square Enix is always at the top when it comes to graphics. Even the little things like hair blowing in the wind, which happens alot in cut scenes, make the game very detailed and nice to look at. Cities are beatifully done and are packed with NPCs to talk to. Some cities are packed with heaps of people but not everyone is availible to talk to. Magic spells or "magicks" as they are called in the game look decent too. Mist moves which are like FFXs Overdrives have the same cool and over dramatic sequences which are simply awesome to look at.
Unlike previous Final Fantasy games, the battle system in FFXII is now completely different. Instead of random encounters your enemies will appear while you are adventuring and can attack you at any moment. You move with the left analog stick and can control the camera with the right. To battle you press X and a menu will appear. Select attack and then an arrow will appear above an enemy you can battle with. Select the enemy you wish to fight and you and your party will commence the attack. Pressing X will freeze the game giving you all the time you need to plan an attack. When the menu appears you can also choose to cast white and black magic spells and use items. If you have full MP you can activate your Mist attack. Mist attacks are like Overdrives from FFX with the same cool sequences.
Instead of the sphere grid, this game has a license board which is slightly more simpler to understand. It's actually quite complicated for me to explain it, but I'm sure there are other reviewers who have gone into a lot of detail about it.
There are loads of different weapons you can equip to your characters that range from guns, poles, axes, swords and great swords, each with a different look. Unlike FFX some weapons had different names but just looked the same. Although this time round you can't customize them to add a flame attribute or extra strength etc.
This game is just amazing. There are side quests to keep you occupied which include bounty hunts where you have to track a certain monster in a certain place and kill it. You'll be rewarded for your bounty by the person who requested the hunt when you get back from your mission.The game could possibly take 40+ hours to complete if you don't rush it, so it will last you for quite a while. Graphics and gameplay are simply top notch.
Buy or rent?
I'd suggest you rent the game first to see if you like the changes made compared to past Final Fantasy games. Remember there are no more random encounters and turn based gameplay. Some people look down on this game because of that.
My final score is a 9.5/10 which is superb. FFXII is definitely one of PS2's finest.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/03/08
Game Release: Final Fantasy XII (EU, 02/23/07)
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