Players: 1 Player Game | Genre: RPG
Release Date: 10/31/06
Few series in gaming can claim the kind of popularity that Square Enix’s Final Fantasy has enjoyed for the past two decades. Each new game in the FF series is cause for celebration across the globe. That’s why even though there’s already a demo floating around and you’ve seen dozens of previews for it, we’re going to go ahead and give Final Fantasy XII some more time in the spotlight here.
As you probably already know, FF XII takes place in the world of Ivalice. Two warring nations, Arcadia and Rosaria, end up in a fight to gain control of the relatively small kingdom of Dalmasca which would be a great strategic stronghold for either side. After an Arcadian invasion, Dalmasca falls under the invading army’s control and the princess of Dalmasca and heiress to the throne, Ashe, joins with the resistance movement. You, of course, play the role of Vaan, a scrappy young buck who dreams of commanding his own airship someday.
It’s no secret that the gameplay in FF XII is a radical departure from what previous games in the series had to offer. The long standing ATB battle system is no longer present and instead is replaced by a system similar to that found in the online Final Fantasy XI. Enemies freely roaming the vast overworld areas are free to rush you without notice and start attacking. This system also allows you to run from battles in a literal manner, but should you choose to stay and fight you’ll have to make quick decisions to pull out a victory. You’ll usually have several party members with you as well and you can take control of their actions too if you need a quick cure. However, the game also features “gambits” which are basically predefined commands that you can assign to party members. For instance, you can set one member to be aggressive and always attack, or instead instruct them to cast a cure spell whenever a party member falls below thirty percent HP. There are several slots for applying more than one gambit to an individual party member at the same time. Not only can you set more than one behavior, but you can also prioritize them by moving a certain gambit up or down the list.
The magic in the game has been broken down into more categories than before. There are now several kinds; in addition to the standard white and black magic, you will also have green magic. Green magic contains former white magic spells such as protect, shell, sleepga and silence while also mixing in some middle of the road spells like poison, oil and toxic. Also, summons will now follow you around on the map and engage in combat in a more direct manner than in previous titles.
The game looks about as good as a PS2 game can these days. The hardware is definitely showing its age, but still, we’re not complaining…too much. The CGI movies are, of course, staggeringly beautiful. It’s also a safe bet that the soundtrack will be solid. The music in the Final Fantasy series has always been among the best in the business.
This game has been a long time coming. In fact, it’s so late, Final Fantasy XIII has already been announced and shown while twelve is still waiting to hit retail shelves in North America. Currently, the game is scheduled to come out this October and this time, it will actually make the ship date…we hope.