Review by omegajustice
"Final Fantasy 12 is a deep masterpiece that lives up to it's name"
Ripping off the plastic with wide eyed anticipation, I grasped the case to FF12 in my sweaty palms as joy overcame my senses. Finally, a new Final Fantasy! After playing the brief demo that came bundled with Dragon Quest 8, I could say I was a little more than excited. The battle system we all grew up to love, was swapped with the all new real time battle system, a change which I think is for the better. As a long time fan of the series, my hopes were as high as any others. But when I loaded the game and started my quest, I had no idea I was in for a journey unlike any other previous game in the series. Welcome to the world of Ivalice and a street rat named Vaan as he travels a wonderfully deep world with an engrossing story that will captivate fans for years to come.
The story follows the usual group of youngsters on a quest for each of their own personal reasons. The cut-scenes are smoothly done and the CG movies will remind you of Star Wars more often than not. The tale begins with Vaan, a lowly street thief who is living on the dingy streets of Rabanastare. Compared with some of FF 's other stories out there, FF 12's does not contain that much substance. The story is pretty straight forward without any surprises or things that just make you say wow, or shake your head in amazement. You can definitely tell that famed creator Hironubu Sakaguchi has left the world of Final Fantasy. Though the story has its flaws, long time fans will be pleased none the less.
Game play- 10/10
And here is where Final Fantasy went in the right direction. The random battles of old are long gone and in their place you can finally see your enemies. The game controls smoothly without any flaws or hiccups. The all new gambit system lets your team do the work for you without having to press any buttons, players can map specific attacks, defense, healing, etc, to the controller for much more effective battle strategy. There are so many weapons, armor, etc, that your head will spin. The license grid has replaced the sphere grid from FF 10, which I think was not a good move, because the license grid is way, way, too small. But it seems there is the right amount of magic, skills, and other side quests to keep you busy for over 100 hours. Oh yes, and don't forget the awesome hunts that will keep you busy and sweating, just wait until the final mark. Oh my god.....
Though the famed conductor of the previous Final Fantasies has taken his leave, you will forget he was ever there. A beautiful and engrossing musical score accompanies you across you trek of Ivalice. Excellent voice acting and monster sounds are top notch. This is everything you would expect from Final Fantasy.
I think the new direction FF took is for the better. Though we all can't help but miss the beautiful games of old, we have to face it. FF is evolving. And whether you are with it or against it, FF continues to be the #1 selling RPG of all time. This game is excellent by all means, but I cant help but think that FF 10 bested it in so many ways. But I am not reviewing FF 10 so let me wrap this up. If you are a FF fan, you must play this game. It is huge, deep, and has so much packed onto that one disk, you will be playing into the wee hours of the night. Final Fantasy has struck a different cord with hardcore fans of the series, but we can't help but being captivated by the new departure the series has taken. Final Fantasy lives on.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 04/29/09
Game Release: Final Fantasy XII (Collector's Edition) (US, 10/31/06)
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