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Final Fantasy XII (VG) More at IMDbPro »Fainaru fantajî XII (original title)

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24 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Rank high up there with the best of Final Fantasy

Author: ishjr85 from United States
2 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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17 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Great (once you get the hang of it)

Author: oodus347 from Buffalo, New York
9 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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20 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

In all honesty, I've never been this glued to PS2 since FFX

Author: badidosh from Philippines
21 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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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Final Fantasy finally returns to glory!

Author: BlackJack_B
26 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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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Ashe's story is the best. Great, New and completely original

Author: chrisrobbins-2 from United States
27 November 2006

*** This review may contain 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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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Worst of all final fantasy games! Storyline and gameplay.. what a piece of crap!

Author: Conrad Carlo Venzon from Philippines
9 November 2010

*** This review may contain 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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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The Final Fantasy Universe is expanding exponentially.

Author: Think66664 from United States
19 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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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Great Game (If I Must Say So Myself)

Author: Dyran from that one place with the people
29 December 2009

*** This review may contain 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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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

emotionless satisfaction

Author: toh-3 from Russian Federation
24 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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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful graphics, beautiful story, disappointing voice acting

Author: erinja from United States
24 January 2009

*** This review may contain 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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