Final Fantasy XII Review
By DragonSLAYER45



Final Fantasy XII review


The twelfth installment in the long running Final Fantasy franchise and the first Final Fantasy to obtain a perfect score of 40/40 from Famitsu. Final Fantasy XII is perhaps my second favorite RPG and my favorite in the entire franchise.

Final Fantasy XII is set in the world of Ivalice, a world where other games like Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story took place.


Story and Characters


Ivalice is divided into three continents: Ordalia, Valendia, and Kerwon. The empire of Rozarria lies within Ordalia, while Archadia lies within the continent of Valendia. Caught in an endless conflict, these two empires wage war against each other. In the middle, the Dalmascan Empire has been subjugated. The story follows Vaan, a street urchin from the city of Rabanastre who wants revenge on the Empire for taking away the only family he has left. Along the way, he meets a variety of companions including the fallen from grace Princess of Dalmasca, Ashelia B'Nargin Dalmasca. (Ashe for short)

It's an average RPG story that could use a few improvements here and there. It is much more political compared to other Final Fantasy games.

The characters I give a mixed reception. Out of all of the characters, Balthier, Basch and Ashe are the ones I found most interesting. The others I feel just tagged along because they had too, but were given a good purpose to be there.

Gameplay


Final Fantasy XII is the first mainstream Final Fantasy that allows you to maneuver throughout battle, does not feature a turn-based battle system, and where battles are pretty much seamless. Gambits allow you to set certain tactics for your characters and what they do when they are otherwise not at your control. It also makes up for bad AI, since you can pretty much control whatever your allies need to do in battle. Assuming there are no Gambits involved, you need to press the X button to bring up the attack menu. Here, you can select to attack, cast magic, use items, summon Espers, or use Quickenings. It's a pretty basic battle system once you completely get the hang of it. My biggest gripe is the License Board. Through battles, you also gain License Points (LP) from enemies; normally just 1LP apiece. Through the License Board, you can spend LP on magic spells, add-ons to gambits, summons when you obtain them, abilites and augments. It may sound pretty fun, but you also have to spend it on Weapons and Armor. Now, I really think they didn't need to take it that far. My main gripe is the fact that every character could practically be the same, meaning combat doesn't supply too much. In the International Version, this was fixed and every character was different but that is not this game. Summons are sort of useless like they have always been and are just a waste of your MP.

Extras


There are variety of things to do in the world of Ivalice. Hey, let's start with Hunts. Hunts are the equivalent of missions in other games. You can accept these as you see fit and only two are required to complete to advance through the game. Once you accept the hunt, you have to speak to the person who posted the request to know the target. They will send you to a variety of different places, and your goal is always to eliminate a powerful enemy. Normally, the enemy will just be there waiting for you. As you advance through the ranks, you will need to do something in order to trigger the mark out into the open. Throughout the game, you will also find Rare Games; which are a powerful variety of monsters. Finding all 80 could be a nice task to do that could take plenty of hours of gameplay. Filling the bestiary and sky pirates den (which are sort of trophies that you unlock by completing certain tasks) make Final Fantasy XII one of the most expansive games in the series.

Sound


The game has some nice voice-over work. Most characters have some nice Scottish/British accents and there are no characters who I wanted to just shut up due to their mirror shattering voices. The music in this game is composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto and he made some pretty good soundtracks in the past, and Final Fantasy XII is no exception. Most tracks are really suspenseful and have a great buildup. I have to commend for Sakimoto for making Final Fantasy XII's soundtrack fit so well with the mood of the game.

Replay Factor: MEDIUM - HIGH


To acquire everything in this game takes an awfully long time, especially gathering Loot for the rare weapons, as well as finishing the bestiary. It's worth playing more than one time. Some also try to challenge the game by having all characters at the lowest possible level, since the game was so easy.

Final Thoughts


Final Fantasy XII deserves a spot in every RPG gamer's library. There may be a few negative spots here and there; such as a lack of depth in gameplay and the License Board being the general cause of it. It may lack in certain fields but I can assure you that your time in Ivalice will be an unforgettable adventure.

Pros and Cons


+Expansive world
+Hunts are a nice diversion from the storyline
+Challenges are a nice way to... well, challenge yourself.
+Tons to do in this game
+/- Average RPG plot
-Lack of depth in gameplay
-License Board
-Lack of interesting characters



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