Final Fantasy XII (Video Game 2006) Poster

(2006 Video Game)

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Great (once you get the hang of it)
oodus3479 January 2007
Final Fantasy XII is a really great game with a lot of extras to keep you busy for a long time. The fighting system itself has been overhauled - instead of running into random encounters and being transported to a battle screen, the enemies are on the field and you fight them right there. The system does take some getting used to, especially in the beginning when you only have one person in your party. The system works best later on, when the enemies (and you and your party) are quicker, stronger, and smarter, resulting in fast, amazing battles. Any fan of World of Warcraft or other MMORPGs will adapt to this game in two seconds, as it's basically the same fighting system.

I found the weakest link was the story, which is odd because Final Fantasy is known for great stories. It never felt epic to me, and it didn't feel like the fate of the world was hanging in the balance. It had to do more with politics and war (probably because the head guy of this game was the same guy behind Final Fantasy Tactics, which focused less on fantasy and more on warring kingdoms). Also, while the game advertises Vaan as the main character, it's not really so. It makes you wonder why they didn't just scrap him and go with some other party member as the main character, as there are three others with more "main character" story lines than Vaan. The music is also nothing compared to past games. Finally, the only way to make serious money is by selling the "loot" you find off dead monsters. You will find yourself broke often because everything - weapons, armor, magic, Gambits, technicks, EVERYTHING - costs a lot of money.

But those are actually minor grievances once you start playing the game. The sidequests in this game, mainly hunting Marks, are incredibly fun. There are great bosses, the Judge Magisters are cool and intimidating, the voice acting is superb, the cutscenes are excellent, the graphics push to the PS2 to its limit, there are tons of different weapons and spells, the cities are large and sprawling with life, and Gambits - if you like 'em - can be mastered to perfection.

All in all, a great game and a great addition to the series
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Rank high up there with the best of Final Fantasy
ishjr852 November 2006
I have been playing this game for about 10 hours. Every minute of this game is worth it, the battle system is fantastic, and I really enjoy the new direction they took the series. The Gambit system is a fine addition to the battles, and it really gives players a lot to choose from when customizing each character for battle.

The license board is also done well, and it kills the sphere grid previously seen in Final Fantasy X. You can customize your characters differently or the same, and you have the freedom to do it, there are no restrictions like in the Sphere Grid.

It's refreshing to play something new from Final Fantasy, and it does not disappoint. The story so far is very interesting, and extremely involving. This is one game, especially in the Final Fantasy series that one will not want to miss.
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In all honesty, I've never been this glued to PS2 since FFX
Jay_Exiomo21 December 2006
Currently a little over than 60 hours into the game (with all characters at level 40), I'd say that "Final Fantasy XII" ("FFXII") ranks as perhaps one of the best video games I have ever played (not that I've played a lot).

Maintaining everything from previous installments that contributed to this franchise's incredible success, "FFXII" contains excellent graphics, gameplay and story. The world of Ivalice (particularly the kingdom of Dalmasca) is so meticulously rendered and it's refreshing to see Square Enix going for less traditional Japanese feel here than a faux-Mediterranean one. As a metaphor for the transition to PS3, perhaps? Maybe.

The Kingdom of Dalmasca is at war with the neighboring Kingdom of Archadia, which has since conquered and transformed the former to a state seized by military invasion. The Lady Ashe was then a 17-year old Hume (human) princess mandatorily married to Lord Rasler, who died in battle trying to claim the Nabradia Fortress. Two years later, in a desire to set out for revenge, she unites with street urchin (and playing character for most of the game) Vaan, sky pirate Balthier, the initially enigmatic Basch, the ex-Viera (a race of rabbit-like wood-dwellers) Fran, and the perky Penelo. Together, they embark on a journey across the snowy mountains of Paramina Rift to the white beaches of Phon Coast in an effort to restore peace in Dalmasca.

As with all the narratology of "Final Fantasy" installments, characters are given enough history to give the player a little more connection with them. (I agree with the previous comment of another user that Ashe has the best backstory which is why I often use her as the party leader.) While not necessarily attaining the lofty bars "Final Fantasy VII" and, to some extent, "Final Fantasy X" ("FFX") has reached as far as characters are concerned, "FFXII" more than makes up with a better storyline (the nature of which I understand may reduce the appeal to some) and excellent visuals. Rather than the usual narrative mostly involving otherworldly beings, "FFXII" gears more towards the political realm, even if the Victorian-style dialog feels a bit our of place in some parts (not really a complaint). Music-wise, the score is good although there are certain stretches I half-expect "FFXs"'s battle theme, as well as "Final Fantasy X-2"'s "Yuna's Ballad" and "Eternity of Lightwaves," would play.

Regarding gameplay, the battle system of "FFXII" is similar with "FFXI" in that it uses an active dimension battle (ADB) system, which means battles unfold in real time (yep, no more shattering screens and less victory fanfares). This, along with the gambit system (a set of preordained actions to be performed by each character depending on default and user input) and an ala-sphere grid license board (only much less confined regarding the characters), offer much creativity and flexibility to the part of the player. For instance, with the right gambit, license, weapons and/or armor, a character can both be an effective healer and a decent attacker.

"FFXII" is, needless to say, a great game that should satisfy fans as well as casual gamers alike. Honestly, I think it's a triumph for Square that fits as a nice send-off before the shift to PS3.

Oh, and on a relatively unrelated note, Penelo reminds me of ex-Morning Musume member Nozomi Tsuji. Heh.
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Final Fantasy finally returns to glory!
BlackJack_B26 August 2007
There comes a time in a game series' history that you need to overhaul the game engine. For many years, the Final Fantasy series lived on turn-based random battles. However, that style of RPG no longer is popular among many gamers. Many people such as myself prefer the Grandia/Tales Of Symphonia battle engines where you see the enemies and can choose to engage them. Then the battle becomes a battle royale until one side is dead.

When Square-Enix announced that they were going to bring in a Western RPG-style engine, many people were concerned it would hurt the series. Well, once people tried the demo and the critics praised the game all that changed and the game sold massive numbers.

FFXII is a fitting final bow to PS2 role-playing and gives us a glimpse of what the PS3 or the Wii will offer in the future.

The battle engine here is flawless and is better than any Western RPG. Similar to MMORPGs like Final Fantasy XI, your party wanders the land looking for battles to fight. You see the enemies and you can choose to engage them. You can choose real-time where the fighting occurs while you're choosing to attack or use magic or you can have the game pause when faced with a menu screen. The fights go smoothly and relatively quickly. Instead of collecting Gil, you earn items, weapons, medicine and various trinkets that you can sell for Gil. There's the element of Diablo where you can luck out and gain a special item that is more valuable than normal.

The game's other new feature is the License Board. Characters can only equip weapons, armor and use new magicks (of which there are many kinds such as black, white, green, etc.) if they have the license. As you battle and gain experience you will be able to buy licenses and mold your characters. This is a much simpler way than Final Fantasy X's difficult-to-love Sphere Grid.

The Gambit system, which allows you to micromanage your CPU mates, is very good and offers many different options that you can manipulate. Sometimes it can be annoying to constantly change the features as the situation changes but it allows you to not be surprised by any moves the CPU does.

The graphics are outstanding. The cities and towns you visit are alive and there's much to do. There might be a bit too much backtracking to do in Ivalice but you won't mind admiring the scenery. The music is stellar as always, although I did miss hearing the Final Fantasy victory music; only playing at the end of certain boss battles.

The voice-acting is superb, better than Final Fantasy X's. A lot of British accents. The game is an homage to Star Wars with the various characters and non-humans you will meet up with like the Vieras and the Bangaas. The story is superb and flows smoothly. Like Dragon Quest VIII, it's a simple plot that expands as you go through the game.

Where the game really shines is due to the sheer fun of running around and leveling up. Going out to collect new Espers and taking up Montblanc's Hunts are fun because the trip won't feature tedious random battles. You'll look forward to these battles and getting those main characters like Vaan, Balthier and that sexy Viera Fran to Level 99. And of course, there are tons of secrets.

All in all, this is a tremendous game in the Final Fantasy series and one of the best ever made along with FFVI and FFIX. I hope FFXIII will offer more of the same. Once again, along with Okami, FFXII is a fitting final bow to PS2 RPG gaming. This is how you do it, folks.
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Ashe's story is the best. Great, New and completely original
chrisrobbins-227 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I think RPGs are the best kind of game in the world for me personally. I have played Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy X-2, Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy VII Dirge Of Cerberus and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. So I know a thing or two about RPGs, but what I didn't know was Squaresoft would ever be stupid enough to create a game like FFXII. I will admit I had huge doubts about this game because it wasn't exactly RPG. Yet know I am thankful to the heavens Squaresoft did this, unlike Dirge of Cerberus.

The History of FF: This Final Fantasy really is one of the better ones in the series. Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy IX and Final Fantasy VI are okay, but 7 and X are sure to remain the best. Now Final Fantasy XII slips into the best category also. This was completely original and new, using a new type of RPG that will sure to be in FF13.

Gameplay: Most RPGs are basically run around and try to solve extremely hard riddles, clues and other obstacles and I think everyone can agree with that. I am still trying to beat Dragon Quest VIII Journey Of The Cursed King and I have spent countless hours on that. Yet unlike those RPGs, FF12 really is original, using new, high tech graphic system, amazing and original Combat system, great voice over actors and a stunning enjoyment ( I forgot I was playing a Playstation 2 ). I personally like this game because if you see a really powerful enemy ahead of you, basically just run away to a different side of the map. Also there are many, many villages, towns, cities and castles to visit that you probably won't know where you are going next. 10/10

The Characters: In this Final Fantasy game, the characters are very greatly described using about every single-celled speck of amazingness there was in computer technology. Ashe is probably the main character,setting out to find her true destiny and to prove that she is truly the only child of King Raminas and the sole heir to the Dalmascan throne.She is believed to a very many, and ally herself with the forces of thieves orphans, Royal Guards, Sky Pirates, and even the Viera themselves. Also another main character is Vaan who is not as rich,powerful, and wonderful as Ashe is, and also because he is a poor, stealing orphan trying very hard to make his dream a reality of becoming a famous Sky Pirate of Ivalice. He longs for a dream in the sky where no one can tell him what to do or what to become. Also accompanying them is the famous, loving Sky Pirate, his partner who left her home of strict laws to become free known as Fran, Basch, a captain of the Dalmascan army who turned traitor and slew his king, and of coarse, Vaan's best friend who were friends as long as they know Penelo. Very excellent descriptions of characters that you won't forget for a time to come. 10/10

The New Licence Board: This is a new and quite interesting thing placed in FF12, which is called the Licence Board. It's sort of like the sphere grid in Final Fantasy X, except you use it so you are able to use your new and really sweet weapons. Although the license board does have a few annoying disadvantages, it's still original and new 9/10

Overall: This isn't the best Final Fantasy game in the whole series, yet never the less it should still be in your top three. The characters are well described, the game play is new and original, and the storyline is excellent 10/10
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Easily my least favorite Final Fantasy game yet.
Aaron137529 March 2007
Do not get me wrong I enjoyed it somewhat seeing as how I am a role playing game fanatic...still I did not enjoy it as much as any of the other Final Fantasy games I have played. I looked forward to this one for so long too, as it took forever for it to be released, but the end result has to many mixed results for my tastes. First the fighting engine, I know they want to cater to us Americans who when a button is pushed an action must be performed, but give me the good old turn based fighting any day of the week. Especially, when I have more than one character to control. That isn't entirely fair though as the fighting has some turn based elements to it...the fighting is exactly the same as Knights of the Old Republic to be honest. It took me a bit to get a handle on it, but in the end it was okay and I was able to totally destroy the final boss of the game. However, to do so I had to level up and level up and level up. I have never spent so much time trying to boost my characters in a FF than I did in this one. I ended up taking at least over twenty hours of my 70 hours of playing time just leveling up. That is too much, you should only be required to level up that much if you just want to beat the extra bosses, not just the regular enemies in the field. Also, be sure to make good use of the gambits as that is how I finally won the game. Magic casting takes forever here too so that can cost you as well. Then it is too long, seventy hours and I did not complete all the extra stuff you could, I mean if I did not have a life or job sure I would love to have a game that long, but not when I am working and stuff. The story is okay as it follows a wannabe pirate named Van (or the Tidus clone) as he helps Princess Ashe (the Yuna clone) regain her kingdom. Accompying them are a former guardsmen, an actual sky pirate and his rabbit eared sidekick and a little gal named Penelo. The story has some interesting elements, but gets to political for my tastes. Also with the time you spend walking places and leveling you forget stuff and characters that will be important later become forgotten as they are not seen for long stretches. I think to myself, "who is he?" and then oh yeah I saw him ten or so hours ago. Also, the whole sky pirate plot is a bit dumb here, as you might as well be walking pirates, because if you don't walk everywhere you will not level up enough to beat anyone. Still the character's are likable enough and the beginning part of the game is rather good, cut some time off of it and it would be great...the layout of the land is excellent though as this world is very detailed.
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Worst of all final fantasy games! Storyline and gameplay.. what a piece of crap!
conradcarlo_venzon-19 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
First of all, an RPG's main flame is its story… If you don't care about what's going on, there isn't much reason to play. The story starts off with a striking bang, the first 10 hours of the game are highly entertaining because of this, but soon after all of the main characters are in your party, the excitement ends. Most characters have poor reasons for being on their quest. At least half of the party has no real reason to be there at all. Ashe, the center of the story that keeps it moving, isn't a likable character at all, leaving the player spending 89% of the story trying to help her get her poorly-planned revenge to "save" the country that was taken from her.

This sort of story would probably come out a lot more interesting if the country she was trying to "save" seemed to be in danger. The ruler Ashe is attempting to overthrow seems to be a better ruler than she could ever be, and the people in Ashe's homeland seem happy even under "enemy" rule, which leads the player to wonder if there really is a point to her little revenge adventure. The only thing that I like about Ashe is that she's got half her ass hangin' out of her mini skirt! Superb job Square Enix!

Awful conversations further hinder the plot. Every line of story in the game has more crap than content. While such writing does fit the "fantasy" theme, it's often very difficult to understand what the characters are talking about. Though the characters' long-winded speeches sound quite pretty, their overall lack of content and coherency makes them very boring.

There's just nothing in the story to make the player want to smile. NPCs have nothing interesting to say, the plot is terrible, and the main characters (excluding Balthier, whose witty lines are quite entertaining) are dull and unresponsive.

Unfortunately, though, in Final Fantasy XII, the characters spend almost the entire game wandering around like silent unresponsive zombies, making no effort to interact with their environments.

Sheeesh! I can't believe that FF12 got 8.4 in here... CRAP CRAP CRAP!
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Great Game (If I Must Say So Myself)
krelsman1229 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The only other flaw that prevents me from givin' this game the whole 10 is because of its storyline, (which I thought was probably one of the worst of the series'), and occasional feeling of tediousness.

But aside from that, it hooked me as soon as I started playin' it.

I was addicted to its new gameplay; in my opinion, it felt far more realistic and enjoyable than the game's many predecessors, unless, that is, you'd rather not have such a realistic feel.

I also thought the new license board system was great; but what constantly concerned me was the fact that, in the end, the characters would end up all being the same, instead of the diverse character classes that were available to the player in previous Final Fantasy games.

Nevertheless, despite the somewhat 'bad' storyline and plot, the visuals and in-depth gameplay caught my interest, and overall I enjoyed it.
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Almost there...
artemis-fowl-sues4 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Final Fantasy XII has promised a lot when it was first announced a few years back. Many have waited in anticipation on how it will turn out and when it did, news spread like wildfire about it's amazing battle system, refreshing plot and the characters themselves. Famitsu, the tough-as-nail game magazine gave it a perfect 40/40, sealing it as one of the best games out there. Now, after 70+ hours of gameplay, wondering (read:lost) the massive world of Ivalice and watching the characters interact, I'm beginning to wonder if we are playing the same game.

Don't get me wrong, when I first started this game, I was drooling all over the DVD cover, refuse to sleep, eat (I showered, however) or even move myself from my room, sparing only fifteen minutes of sun so that I don't die of the lack of vitamin D. In other-words, I loved it. Keyword "loved it".

Let's talk about the gameplay.

Aah, gameplay. Kicking out the old random battles, ATB, enemies on one side and characters on another whacking each other while waiting for their turn, you get to actually kick enemies' butt in Real Time. They even have the gambit system which if you customise properly, you can just travel all around the extremely VAST world of Ivalice and let the AI do your battles while you sit around drinking, reading and heck text-messaging at the same time. Only to rise up when you encounter nasty (random and in odd times, meaningless) bosses or rare fiends.

Which brings me to the plot. I have to say I adore the characters and their VA. After the trainwreck that was FFX and FFX-2, I was prepared to tune out the emotionless VA throughout the game. Surprisingly, many they were decent enough and some were beyond excellent, although there were some room for improvement like Resslar's VA and sometimes Fran's. But overall it wasn't cringe inducing and now I can't imagine anyone else doing those characters. VA aside, the characters suffered in terms of development.

While they have a strong start and seem to tease you for more, the writers decided to drop the storyline half-way through and focus on the battle system. I mean it's not a bad thing, but when you're side-tracked by the Mark Hunts mini-game and arrive at one place wondering where you're suppose to go next and forgetting the reason WHY you need to go there in the first place, then you have a problem. They wasted a chance here to move Final Fantasy away from the usual sappy-story-pseudo-philosophical genre that it had done for the last few games. I enjoyed the political plot, it had a lot going for it. Sadly, it died half-way through and somehow you feel like you've lost the actual drive to go on. This plus the massive landscape you have to explore can feel draggy. I mean, it does wonders for the atmosphere and it works in setting up a world far different than ours. However, an airship is much needed, one that does not cost 120 gil or a transport stone to rely on. Of course there are chocobos, but they range from 600 to 1000+ gils and they will kick you off after a certain time.

Gil is scarce, unless you're one of those gamers who has the time to explore every single nook and cranny of each section of the continent, you'd be hard pressed to afford most of the items sold. The Monographs (a key item that you can obtain once you've fulfilled certain rules) can help but they require a certain amount of gil.

The music is lackluster. Nothing much is memorable, it's passable so that you can play the game without needing to turn down the music, but nothing actually sticks. And if you listen carefully you can catch a few tunes straight out of Kingdom Hearts and the previous Final Fantasies. I wished they had done more instead of recycling the same old thing for each town, village and so on.

In a strange way the game seems to revolve around the mini-games and side-quests. For example the Mark Hunt will without a doubt consumes 3/4 of the entire gameplay. Unfortunately, like the Main Gameplay it becomes boring after a while. I mean find bill, the person who post it, find creature, beat creature, return to person for reward, then find another bill repeat 45 times...while it is a sidequest, there are a few things unlockable only if you obtain certain the useful Bubble Spell.

Then there are the Espers, rewarded once you've defeated them in battle. Sadly they are near useless and are there most of the time as in-game Bosses or window dressings to fill your Clan Premier. Although I did find the designs interesting.

I like the License Board system. It's flexible and allows you to be absurdly powerful at parts of the game. If you are somebody who loves spending time levelling up , have tonnes of gils and gazillion License Points then you will love this system, for it allows you to make anyone a Warrior, Mage, Summoner and maybe even all. There's no limit to what the Board can you, if you're up to a great deal of killing, looting and traveling.

I noticed that a lot of history and writing was put into the past history of Ivalice, there's a sense of overwhelming history and culture into it, begging to be discovered but the same could not be said for the present storyline. While it did start out with a bang, the entire game fizzles after the 70+ hours of gaming and when you discover that you still have, possibly, 70+ hours to go, the urge to slam your head against the wall becomes quite tempting...

I give it a 6 out 10.
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The Final Fantasy Universe is expanding exponentially.
Think6666419 August 2009
I am going to keep this sweet. I have played every single Final Fantasy game this includes spin offs such as dirge of Cerberus and Ergheiz anything by square really heck I even played the Bouncer and Vagrant Story.

As a hardcore final fantasy fan I was excited when I heard 12 was coming out I remember going out that week and buying it for 60$. I took the game home popped it in my PS2 and was amazed by the graphics and the story that was happening. Then the combat system started and at first it wasn't so bad it was just a huge leap from what Final Fantasy games were before. As I played more and more the battle system seemed to need me less and less to the point where i could set the controller down and go get food or read a book and I would be leveling up.

The problem, with the game is not the story itself by the characters in it. In the beginning I was interested in the characters but as the game went on I learned less and less and noticed that these were flat characters so much to the point where I could not stand playing any more. I gave up the game 3/4 of the way through because I could not connect with the characters.

This is not a bad game its just not a great one. lets Hope FFXIII/Versus is better.
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Great Game, But Lacks Heart
jshunter13 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I can imagine the developers of FF-XII having this discussion before they started designing: "This is a fantasy game. What's made a lot of money in the fantasy genre lately? Lord of the Rings! Let's run with that. Our characters will speak with unnatural formality. Any exuberance, fun, or whimsy in a character will be replaced with restraint, stoicism and dry humour." The problem for me was that everyone was so... serious. The usual Final Fantasy archetypes were there, but they were all grown up, and frankly, not as interesting as their previous FF incarnations.

Young Hero: Vaan's brother was murdered. You think that would put a fire in his belly. More like mild heartburn. Romantic chemistry? Nah, more like amicable companionship. Desire to set the world to right? Nope, just following everyone else really. Even the aloof Cloud (FF-VII) and taciturn Squall (FF-VIII) got to develop their characters. It's like the real hero got sick and an NPC was drafted to replace him.

Heroine: nobody could say that Ashe doesn't take her regal responsibilities seriously. She makes the reserved and self-sacrificing Yuna (FF-X) look like a party-girl in comparison.

Cool Veteran: Okay, Balthier does cut a suave James Bond-like figure, and he had an interesting back story.

Femme Fatale: Fran is a confident, kick-ass woman, like Lulu (FF-X) or Edea (FF-VIII). She also looks like a playboy bunny, in terms of dress and ears. For a supporting character she's in danger of stealing the limelight.

Cute Kid: Penelo is just there to even up the gender balance and give Vann someone he knows to talk to. Eiko (FF-IX) was only six years old and had more personality and gumption.

Loyal Protector: Basch is steadfast and stoic, so he actually fits his role, like Kimahri (FF-X) or Steiner (FF-IX).

Weirdo: As if. There are occasional touches of zaniness, such as the head-falling-off Mandagora Bosses, but the main party has no place for a Cait Sith (FF-VII) or Quina (FF-IX) or Gau (FF-VI).

These characters had resolve, but they didn't have passion, which made it hard for me to care about their quest. The emotional engine wasn't firing on all cylinders. And without the incomparable Nobuo Uematsu composing the music (as he did for Final Fantasy 1 through 10) the game was missing a lot of heart.

That's not to say that it wasn't a lot of fun. Visually, it has a well-crafted and detailed 3-D environment (although my wife complained that the landscapes were too samey and not fantastic enough).

It has an innovative system of controlling a party via the Gambit system which can be described as "programming" actions for party members, which isn't as complicated as it sounds. The same Gambits will work for most fights, which certainly saves the mindless button mashing for minor encounters: you basically steer the party towards enemies and let them do the rest. However, for tougher fights you have to manually choose your actions and it is fun to tweak Gambit strategies depending on the situation; hit 'n' heal will only get you so far.

There is a large Ability list to play with, although some of the explanations are rather vague, and the manual is rather thin. "Horology does damage based on time" is an example. Time starting from when? What type of damage? Based on what stat? Even basics like what the Elemental Magic icons meant were missing (c.f. the comprehensive Help in FF-VIII).

In summary, it looks good, plays well, but really needed an infusion of personality in the main characters to be a real winner.
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One of my all time favorites
ArcadiaEternal19 January 2019
This game is simply amazing. The epic story, interesting characters and dynamic battle system always leave me wanting more. The Bestiary system is also a fantastic touch, providing background lore to deepen an already amazing world. Would highly recommend.
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Great Way to end up the PS2 Final Fantays series
Chibichasechan9 March 2007
Excellent! Bravo! Best game out there, i'd give it a 20 out of 10.

But this game took me 185 hours to beat! But I completed all of the side quests along with all the optional bosses etc. Probably 1/4 of that 185 hours was storyline.

I still remember the feeling of waiting for the game to come out, staying in my room playing 10 and 8, just thinking and wondering what the game was going to be like, then I got it and was thrown into a world of war and peace and kings and queens. Definitely the Final Fantasy that is apart from the others. You know what I mean FF fans, the other FF games are all corny and crap, then 12 comes in and it's about war and crap, which definitely made it better.

I loved the game play. No more random battles people! Thats a thing of the past man, they had to move on and they did! I was very happy. You could actually see the enemies in ADVANCE! The storyline was well thought out but It could of been better I believe.

Square Enix also had the time to make huge and extremely hard bosses. Take Yiazmat for example. A total of approximately 50 million HP, and doubles his level to level 146 when you almost kill him. Took me 5 hours to beat.

Well there you have it, reasons the game had gotten the best rank of the FInal Fantays series, all in a couple paragraphs.
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emotionless satisfaction
toh-324 December 2009
Finally I've completed FFXII! Spent 80 hours! Did almost all side-quests, got to level 63.

My biggest problem with FF XII is i was not emotionally involved in the game AT ALL. I was trying to focus on the important cut-scenes but keep finding myself thinking about something else (real life, lol ). Like on the boring lecture in university. Some voices of the characters was emotionless. Thou I've got some "mind"-satisfaction, will explain later. The plot was just weak, characters - underdeveloped. At least FF X-2 had no story at all, and there was nothing to criticize Plus we had FFX background, familiar characters and the last final FMV (which SHOULD be the FIRST intro to the FFX-2, not the last one! Damn it).

But FFXII is not all bad. I liked that they made so many FMVs. After FF8 the number of FMV cut-scenes was down dramatically! They were beautiful. The in-game graphics was also just amazing, few times i was not sure if it is FMV or in-game.

I have a mixed feeling about Gambit battle system. At first i did not like it. I could just run through the battlefield and do nothing else, the basic Attack worked just fine. There was no need for something more complex. And the first bosses. I did not "saw" first bosses, because i could eliminate them with chain of boring quickening without a scratch. But later in game the enemies became more harder, and my gambit tactic - more complex. This is where i've got a lot of fun (mind pleasure) from the game. I just love to plan things. And the quickenings became not so effective against bosses, so i've got to know them too But since i did side-quests and became quite strong, the last chapter of the game was too easy for me. Add the gambit system to the mix and i found myself replying to IM message while my soldiers fought and killed the semi-final bosses. It is bad. No suspense at all. At least in previous FF's i HAD to push SOME buttons

License board. I like it. It was not so hard to earn points (FF8) and not so easy (FF10). Just the right difficulty. And i did use a lot of abilities. This was refreshing after the FFX-2 (usage of strong abilities was POINTLESS, since was learning Points for actions. 3 fires = 3 points, 1 firaga = 1 point, which is more logical to use?) Unfortunately, after some time i've realized, that the most optimal thing to do is to train the characters in a same way (axes and heavy armor), plus some chars could inherit armor from each-other, no need to buy 3 different types of armor if you low on Gil. I've heard it was fixed in FFXII international (different class specialties)

Music. I liked the Rabanastre theme and i HATED lowtown's irritating theme.

Overall, i am really scared about the fate of FFXIII since in my opinion, FFs keep getting worse and worse (plot-wise).
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Good game, but Final Fantasy is supposed to be GREAT
donkeylipz1 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
FFXII is very well presented. The opening cutscene was a huge hook, and I began playing. The prologue was helpful in adjusting to the fighting style, another feature I enjoyed. It was fresh. Random encounters were really getting old. I was indifferent about gambits. Useful, just didn't want to spend time collecting. Also, there is a lot of replay value regarding side quests and the like. Enough to keep you entertained for a long time. Where is the problem though....

In short, the story and the plot and characters that are integral to it. Let's start with the characters. Take Vaan. He is supposedly our main character and starts out as such, but, along with all the other playable characters added, fizzles out of the story as time progresses. It's the same thing with Penelo. She never develops. Fran and Balthier have decent development and attention, and Basch's background is revealed, but the character development overall is still flawed. It's not due to too many characters, but rather an unbalanced focus on one, Ashe.

We understand she's a princess of the main kingdom in question, but the story really shifts its focus on her. That is not bad, but it seems like it is always so Ashe driven. Some might say that that FFVII and FFVIII are too Cloud and Squall driven respectively, but it's different because those two are established as the center characters of the story. FFXII introduces Ashe a fifth or sixth of the way through, and suddenly she is the linchpin of all the adventures after we have dedicated a significant percentage of storyline to Vaan's development.

There is nothing wrong with having Ashe be the main character; just don't set us up with one character, then supplant him, and put in extras like Fran, Balthier and (especially) Basch to pick up the slack here and there with little pieces of Dialogue.

The biggest problem with this game is the plot. First of all, why are you using a world that has been used in another FF game already? I know the previous game (Crystal Chronicles, right?) wasn't mainstream series, BUT THIS IS! Be original. The actual story starts out well. We see this kingdom, Dalmasca, subjugated by Arcadia and in entertaining fashion. I really have no problem with the plot up to the tomb or Wraithwall. This is where all the rest of the adventure becomes Ashe-driven, the conflict becomes blurred and where map progression is confusing.

We already discussed the overbalanced development of Ashe, now onto the meat: the plot. There are so many things going on in this game that it forgets to develop the main story line, and before you know it, the game is over. Don't get me wrong. Side quests and the like are always a welcome edition, but a FF should never have an anemic storyline, NEVER! We understand that, in hindsight, Vayne and Cid, with Venat, are trying to establish a rule where humans can dictate their own terms of history, not by the hands of the Ocurria. This leads me to ask: if the Ocurria are the ones to whom Vayne directs his true hatred, then why not align with the rest of Ivalice to combat these nasty beings? They obviously are not very friendly and would prefer to keep the people of Ivalice in bondage by deciding who wins and loses by giving the winners some nethicite. In fact, what is so wrong with Vayne? He doesn't want to enslave people. He wants to lead them. At least those are his true feelings albeit he doesn't express them well by dominating other nations into submission; however, he does not want to hurt people. His true intentions are not inherently malicious.

With all that said, let's go to the direct conflict at hand: Arcadia vs. Rozarria. Vayne wants Rozarria. He needs the people united against the Ocurria, and Rozarria is that big continent we don't get to see. That's right. We don't get to see an ENTIRE CONTINENT THAT'S PART OF THE STORY! It's there, but we as gamers will not be able to see it. Do you remember Esthar in FFVIII? I was pretty amazed at the cutscene that introduced it. In FFXII though, we are deprived of perhaps a rich and beautiful civilization, certainly on terms with the less-than-inspirational-looking Arcadia (it was good looking, but I expected better.) We travel far West to the Tomb of Wraithwall, we hear about Rozarria, and we see their people, but we don't get to see their land….sounds like the project had major plot changes that might have contributed to the wait…leaving us with something less than desired. One of the most insulting plot devices is the Bahamut. We hear nothing about this project until the last twentieth of the game? Talk about laziness.

Along with plot in general, is plot advancement, particularly on the map. We go from center (Dalmsca) to North, to center, to East (Bujherrba), back to center, to West, back to Center to South, to WAY North, to WAY South, WAY East, then back to Dalmasca. Normally, I would not have such a problem with it, but I feel like the gang could have explored Giruvegan while they were trekking about at the Stillshrine. Why couldn't we put Giruvegan up North after Arcadia? It would make the progression a little more linear in the sense that it would complicate travel a little less. Since the way you move on the map is FFX style (no world map area), the main progression should move in a more predictable pattern.

Good game, but it could have been great. There just wasn't enough focus and development on the plot to make it epic and enjoyable. It ended too short, and bad character development hampered the plot more. Better luck next time with FFXIII!
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And we're walking!
Zachman300126 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
You may be wondering what my summary is referring to, and I'll get to that shortly. I want to start out by saying that there were so many things that began so very promising in this game. The beginning scenes were amazing, I loved them! The people looked extremely realistic and the battles they were having kept me glued to the screen. I thought to myself, 'Wow, I can't wait to get started!' The beginning of the game places you right in the middle of the fighting during the 'prologue' of the story line. It's a nice way to get the player used to the new battle system and all the features that come with Final Fantasy XII, while keeping you in the middle of the action.

Once you are finished with the prologue, you control the character Vaan. Vaan is an orphan due to the war and is a small time thief. As usual with a Final Fantasy you must run around and do little, trivial tasks to get used to the game, no problem there. After the simple, beginning tasks Vaan is assigned is where my issues with the game began.

First of all, the Gambit battle system. Is it a good idea? I believe so. But it made the battles so boring! If you set your gambits correctly you don't even have to do anything! I could honestly walk up to a foe, set my controller down, walk out of the room, make a sandwich, eat the sandwich, and finally return to find that my party had successfully defeated my enemies. The only time you actually had to watch your party and tell them what to do was when you were fighting something big, such as a boss or during a hunt. I have even heard of people suggesting that you leave your gambits on and go do something else for a few hours and come back to find your characters had leveled up. I don't know how well this works as I want to actually PLAY the game.

Secondly, this is where I address my summary, probably my biggest issue with this game is that you walk and walk and walk! Finally you get to a boss or a town you are supposed to, but unfortunately it has been so long since the last time you saw a video or even heard from the characters that you most likely forgot what is going on. I did! I was always either asking a friend who had played the game what I was doing or looking online for a tip. It was so frustrating!

Third, the characters in this game were just...there. At one point Balthier asks Vaan why he is with the group and going on these dangerous missions, and Vaan doesn't even answer. Then the girl Penelo is just along for the ride because the party finds her at one point and she suddenly decides to travel with you. Why? Who knows? There is NO character development at all. It's just, go here and do this, go there and do that. *Yawn*

My fourth complaint about Final Fantasy XII is the voice acting. What is up with everyone having an accent and being hard to understand? I don't know if anyone else had any sort of problem with this but no matter how loud I turned my TV up, I could not seem to understand the characters completely.

The fifth large problem with this game(yes I know there is a lot!) is the overall plot itself. Has no one else gotten tired of a 'Big Bad Empire is trying to take over the World'? If you have ever played the beginning Final Fantasy games many of those had that same plot. At first I was not against this as I believed that this classic plot could be told better and have a greater overall effect, but it didn't.

Lastly, my sixth and final complaint includes the bosses of this game. I must say that they are much harder than any other bosses of any other Final Fantasy I have ever played. I have always believed that Final Fantasy bosses needed to be tougher, but this?! Some of the bosses you really did not have a chance against, at all. It was literally walk in, attack once or twice, and die. Wow, fun... Even my roommate who flew through the game could not help me from time to time.

Now that I have my complaints listed, I feel that the good points of this game should also be recognized. The license board was a new and inventive way of learning how to use equipment, which I rather enjoyed. While having to buy and learn magick, in no particular order mind you, kind of took away from it, the overall system is good. The omission of random encounters really does help out, especially when your party is low on life and magick. The best part of the game has to be the hunts. This is a great option for a change of pace from "And we're walking!" to hunting a beast. While they are not always easy to find, it was always more fun to go on a hunt than progress the lack of storyline.

Overall, this game was a large disappointment for me. I feel that the makers of this game were lazy with the lack of in game movies and left the game with too little dialogue. If you are a big Final Fantasy fan, or you just love strategy games, Final Fantasy XII will not be the worst choice for you, but do not expect to be blown away.

And we're walking...
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A Revolutionary and Enjoyable Final Fantasy
kjhizzle24 December 2009
To be honest, after the disappointment of X-2, i didn't have good feelings about XII, but man was i wrong. As soon as i picked up this game, i could not put it down. The graphics are even better than its predecessors, the plot was very good, and the dialogue wasn't unbearable or cheesy. Not to mention the new battle system, which was very well done because instead of random encounters, you now have the option of fighting the enemies wondering around (with the exception of boss battles). The game also offers a lot to do to keep the players occupied. The hidden bosses, the hunts, completing the sky pirates den (achievements within the game) and even acquiring the best weapons of each class gives the game player plenty to do and very well entertained. For me, it truly revolutionized the style of Final Fantasy (IMO).

This game is definitely an excellent addition to the final fantasy series and is a game that should not be missed by any final fantasy fans.

Rating: 10/10
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Beautiful graphics, beautiful story, disappointing voice acting
erinja24 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I'm an avid Final Fantasy fan and have played everything from 1 up to 12 (excluding 11).

It's important to note that the game doesn't follow the general battle system that most FF games would. No longer burdened by the linear combat system Final Fantasy has come to be recognized by, you can now do a number of hands-on and personal strategic integrations to control combat at your speed and with your battle preferences almost automatically. It takes some getting used to, and I wouldn't say it's my favorite combat system of any Final Fantasy, but it's very innovative and fits well enough with the graphics and storyline.

The characters come with a set-up not unlike FFX, where a board exists for each person to level skills and magicks. Coupled with such talents are the licenses to use certain items and equipment. It's absolutely imperative for a player to pay attention to the path they choose, and to keep leveling up in order to afford license points for new equipment and skills. The character layout is very detailed and unique, just like the new combat system.

The story, as always, is quite ingenious and keeps you hooked as you play along. It contains, like many other RPGs, side-quests and other off-hand adventures to keep your interest piqued as you level.

My one qualm with this game is the voice acting. I'm not saying it's bad, and it certainly can't be any worse than Tidus was in FFX, but I do think it could've been better. I personally abhor the voice actor for Vaan, as I've been quoted numerous times saying that I think he recorded himself talking through a tin can. The quality of his acting AND of his voice seems subpar, and because he is the "main character" of the game it still disappoints me to this day. There are some very noteworthy performances in the game, however, and I have had to learn to live with Vaan's execrable statements in order to experience the true jewels of the trade. With games like these, I do feel that voice acting is crucial in order to experience the game at its fullest, and if an actor falls short it can often mean the death of the game's innocence.

If you're not a fan of in-depth games that require you to exert an effort, you may not like this one. However, if you're a real supporter of Final Fantasy you certainly won't want to miss it. Despite its flaws, it's a beautiful game and holds a number of aspects its predecessors do not.
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Sorely disappointed
hdepot56819 July 2008
It seems to come in waves- FF VII and FF X were absolutely amazing. Breathtaking, etc. However FF VIII, IX and XI were increasingly terrible. They were progressively worse. This game was a different sort of bad than I was expecting.

I couldn't stand the skill board. I want to see what's coming and how to progress in the game. I don't want to gain the ability to use a certain weapon, i should either be able to or not (character specific). The worst part about this game was that I beat it thinking there were another good 20 hours coming. I had no idea I was fighting the main boss in the game. I had my suspicions but couldn't understand why- I liked him! Terrible!

Why the six? Well, its Final Fantasy! It's terrible rating is way better than so many other games. The music was great and the battle system was unique. There were gems in the game, but by no means was this game magnificent.
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what a great game
xxjerseygrlxx27 November 2007
This game just is the highest RPG I have. Next to Kingdom Hearts. The Characters are just great. From Living in Rabanastre, to fighting alongside the princess, the storyline is just way past fantastica!

When I first bought this game, I thought it would be like the last RPG square enix had created. Just picture perfect. The races in the game are excellent.

If you don't have the game, get 50 bucks go to a video game store and get this game, you won't never regret it. I said it before and I'll say it again, This game is just perfect. The gameplay, the story, the characters is perfect. Rock on Square.
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Final Fantasy revived
tolkienreader200518 February 2007
To start off let me just say that I have played Final Fantay since its inception on the NES and therefore have seen and played the best and worst of the series. After FF 8 I saw a steady decline in the quality of the FF series 9, although a good game and interesting storyline, no where near matched the quality and grace of 7 or 8 (which btw are the two best in the series to date). FF 10 was a good game and very innovative in its own way with the use of voice actors, but the sphere system was very confusing at first it took too long to understand the how it worked but once it was understood it was a very powerful tool. FF 10-2 was possibly the worst idea I have ever heard of in a Final Fantasy period. FF 11 was a bit better but I did not like the idea of it being and MMORPG.

With that out of the way I move on to FF 12, the much needed revival of the Final Fantasy series. When I first heard of its release I was a bit apprehensive given the lack of quality in the ones preceding it. What convinced me to pick up this game (more than it being a Final Fantasy) was a review of it I saw on X-Play on G4. Now any one who has ever watched the show knows that Adam and Morgan judge games on a scale that is near impossible to get anything above a 3 out of 5, they gave this game a 5 out of 5 so I played it. This game is the revival that I have been longing for in the Final Fantasy series; any gamer who loves the series needs this game. The people at Square Enix decided to get rid of the old random battle sequence (thank God, I was tired of running in to Ruby Dragons in Centra). They instead went with a more live action style of battle system where you see the enemy and can decide to either engage the enemy of you feel you can win or flee with out sustaining any damage. Also new was the Licences system, which I like, it is reminiscent of the sphere system of FF 10 but is much easier to pick up and run with. Another think that I loved about the game was that Yoshitaka Amano is back on with the Final Fantasy crew (Welcome Back!!!). For those who don't know Yoshitaka Amano has been director of character design for all of the Final Fantasy's except for 11 and 10-2 I believe, but he was back on for this one. The movie sequences are beautiful they are the true gem of this game, if you love CGI you'll love this game even more. I like the story line for this one because it is different, which is what the FF series needed, in that it isn't a win or the world ends; it's more political but still very in-depth and interesting as each character has a defined back-story and their own purpose for joining the quest against the empire.

The only think that I really didn't like was in the beginning it seemed like I was just playing a little between movie sequences, but that soon changed and more game time was alloted and less movies.

Over all this is a must have for Final Fantasy fanatics and hard core gamers alike or if you just love awesome games.
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A BABY step in the right direction
soloriamagic0831 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I told myself after the only other Final Fantasy I have ever played(10)that I wasn't going to play another because 10 bored me so much. Other than the ending I hate 10 with a passion, but as I was browsing the electronic section I saw Ff12 and decided to give the Final Fantasy series one final shot,and I have to say if the other FF's to come are like this with a few twinks here and there I might buy them,and like them a lot more.

Plot:Final Fantasy XII takes place mostly in the kingdom of Dalmasca, a small city-state in Ivalice. A neutral party in the past wars between its neighboring kingdoms of Arcadia and Rozaria, Dalmasca was ultimately conquered by Arcadia and reduced to the status of an occupied state under Arcadian rule.Arcadia has the king of Dalmasca killed in the mist of a fake treaty signing,and thus his only daughter Princess Ashe(Arcadia lies and said she took her own life) is forced to hide and aid the resistance to take back her kingdom that has been loss to her for two years. She gets the help of some unlikely allies. Two street urchins of dalmasca,two sky pirates, a disgraced and framed captain of the Dalmascan army, and even the brother of the very man who has Dalmasca under his control. They each have their own back-stories with different twist and turns that tie up nicely with the main story. Bring in some godlike beings named the Occuria,a mad scientist who likes to play with powerful stones of the gods with some sorrowful effects, a power-hungry Prince of Arcadia who wants the reigns of history to be man's not a God's and will try to get that end even if it means taking on the God's themselves and you have a interesting story indeed. Another good thing is you don't quite know who the bad guys are. Both sides want freedom,but one side just goes about the wrong way of getting it. I agree with people who say that you have cut-scenes and then hour long dungeons,then another cut-scene then another dungeon, and so on and so on. I liked the story but it did get bogged down with the tedium of the dungeon crawls.

Characters: I liked them. To Balthier the sky pirates dashing charm and funny one-liners to Basch a failed captain who vows to keep safe the one remaining royal of a Kingdom he failed to protect,and Princess Ashe. A strong, opinionated female character unlike the perfect damsel in distress Yuna of FF10 and from what I've heard the other FF's as well. You even feel sympathy for Young Lord Larsa and the Judges both of Arcadia. Feeling sympathy for who in essence should be the bad guys just shows that their really isn't a good and evil in this story.The voice acting was top-notch. I just wish it was just a little bit of emotion in some of their voices in key cut-scenes especially the ending. I'm also glad that their wasn't a fake a** I fell in love with you in five minutes love story. I NEVER believed for a millisecond that Tidus and Yuna(FF10) were in love. There were subtle hints that some romance was going on between some characters, the sky-pirates Fran and Baltier,Lord Larsa,and the street urchin Penelo,and Basch,and Princess Ashe. That's all there was to it SUBTLE, Believable romance. Not the Unbelievable, shoved down your throat,over the top, five minutes I'm in love romance of 10 and from what I've heard the other FF's as well.

Music:I'm not fond of FF music so I'll just sat this was okay.I especially hated the ending music. The melody went with the scenes,but the women singing was ear-grating. Cut her voice out and I would have loved it.

Battle System:100% in the right direction.The turn-based system of 10 and the other FF's is the most boring way to play a game EVER.That is one of the main reasons I'll never touch FF10 again or any FF before it. This one integrated real-time and a gambit AI system that makes battling and leveling ENJOYABLE and more fast paced. No more random boring a** battles, no more breaking glass screens that makes loading times slow as hell,and especially no more my guys stand in line and your guys stand in line and we take TURNS hitting each other! The battles and monsters are on the same screen as your characters and with REAL-TIME! Visuals: Out-game cut-scenes are very beautiful just like ten,but unlike ten their clothes and hair and jewelry actually MOVE in the in-game cut-scenes.

I'm going to have to give this game a 5 because although I liked some things I hated some things as well and they should be addressed in other FF's if Square-Enix every wants me to be a fan. Plots needs to be more interesting and LESS boring. Even though I liked this story way better than X it did suffer from being extremely boring at times. Character Development has got to be stronger. If a game is meant to tell a story then tell a story. Don't go full-forced with gameplay and long dungeon crawls and forget what you are supposed to be doing. Men have GOT to start looking like men.Not she-males(EffeminateBaltier,Basch the judges,and Lord Vayne are the only ones who remotely resemble males. The other *males* looked liked females and in Larsa's case sounded like them to. The clothes have GOT to start looking realistic. If you are looking for the most ugly, mismatched clothes in the history of video games then look NO FURTHER than the Final Fantasy series. Stop with the stupid Cid reference's, stupid espers names in every FF and please for the love of God stop having the characters ride K.F.C(chocobos) It definitely takes down a few thousand notches the seriousness of these games.
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