Review by DTMickeyB
The only review you need to read.
Like many people, I was psyched about Final Fantasy 12. After playing the game all the way through, I must say, I was very disappointed. This game has many strengths and tries many new things, but it has even more flaws. Turns out Square Enix took its best members of the staff out halfway through and sent them to work on 13, and it shows. I think the demo for 12 was cooler than the game, what happened to all the epicness? So what I'm going to do her is break down the strengths and weaknesses of this game and do reviews for each of those aspects.
The characters: 2/10
Final fantasy games have always been about story, and you cant have a good story without cool characters. Visually, the characters look cool for the setting (though why every guy runs around shirtless is beyond me), but this is not true for substance. Think back on every Final Fantasy since number 4. The characters will all very unique and had lots of development. This time around none of the characters were in any way amazing (Balthier is regarded as the coolest only because he is sarcastic). There is no character growth at all. The characters personalities end up exactly where they start (were the good guys, lets go save the kingdom!) I know this is commonplace among rpgs, but there is no reason why half of your characters are fighting. In most final fantasies there will at least come up with some excuse as to why your characters are joining you, but not here. It shows how they meet, but after that, why do they stick together? Why in the world is the princess running around with two sky pirates , some punk teenager, and his girlfriend? How on earth are they going to save the kingdom? Doesnt the princess have anybody else to put her trust in? No, no, no and no.
The game play 7/10
It was very unique and I liked the changes to the battle system, but they messed up a lot of other things that were going strong. Monsters that live in the water should not be weak to fire (all of the elemental resistances were completely random). Famfrit has the only water attack in the game. Boss fights should not require that you do the same thing over and over for 6 hours (Yiazmats ridiculous amount of HP is not cool or fun or challenging, just long and boring. Dont forget pointless). The new espers were cool and I was glad you could fight along side them, but you should be able to control them. Also, many of the espers were pointless and too similar. Since many of them couldnt even break the damage limit, there is really no point in two thirds of the way through. Quickening were useless as they consumed everybodys mp. Hey Square Enix, what ever happened to the limit bar? Plus doing the same quickening ten times in a row every time you activate it is really lame. Then there is also the fact that every quickening is the same. Another thing that bothers me is you have to use some sort of faq or guide to get anything, as they made ridiculous secrets with not clues to them. Who says to themselves, Hey, maybe if I turn all my gambits off and sit in this specific spot for 15 minutes, the giant snake Im looking for will show up! of Hey, maybe if I dont open these chests until later on, there will be a 1 in 100 chance of the zodiac spear showing up in a late dungeon!And what was up with having no map in the great crystal? Another problem is everybody is the same. You can learn every single skill in the game long within the first quarter of the game; the license board was a major step down from the sphere grid. What happened to the crazy number of abilities in 10? All 12 offers is a few techniques and the usual list of magic. Another thing is there were no interesting boss fights with cool strategies (for example, in 10 you fight an enemy where if you hit it with fire, it becomes immune to fire, et cetera).
The story: 5/10
There are no twists or surprises. You know whats going down from jump street. There actually is one twist but its really predictable and it takes place right in the beginning. The conflict itself is sort of pointless.
Once you spend 300 hours (thats what I had) playing through this game and fighting monsters with 100 trillion hp (while you cannot break the damage limit) you will never want to play this game again.
All in all its decent for one play, through not very captivating.
Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Product Release: Final Fantasy XII (US, 10/31/06)
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