Final Fantasy XII: Final Review

On October 3, 2007, in General, by Neil Stevens

It wasn’t a bad game. The license system wasn’t a bad idea, but it quickly became irrelevant when I had the whole board bought for every character. I kept wanting to see a ‘hyper grid.’

The combat system worked well enough; I only really had problems with it late game when multiple spellcastings would start conflicting with each other, causing long hangs in which no spells were cast, but other forms of combat continued. I’m not sure if it was buggy or not, but it seemed so.

The gambits are a good start for something that hopefully will get more development across many games over time. I didn’t expect the system to work well at all, but it worked reasonably well most of the time, including most boss battles which was interesting. A way of creating a palette of stored sets of gambits, and swapping them in and out would have been very useful though.

The hunts were a neat idea but executed badly. Too many things involved where you have to stand in this exact spot for this exact time, in the right weather which means you have to follow this exact route from A to B, all without any meaningful hints or feedback, wrecked the hunts for me though. I didn’t complete them, and in fact wouldn’t have done most of them except that I allowed myself to look several up on the Internet.

Stealing got incredibly tedious even with Thief Cuffs, which is stupid, so I eventually quit doing that, too.

The camera control worked most of the time, but got very buggy when you stand next to a wall, and the camera gets shoved up right next to your character looking at the ground, such that you can see NOTHING. That sort of issue is infuriating and should have been fixed before release.

The main plot was interesting, and the moogles were nice. The exaggerated accents of the cockatrices were stupid though, and way overdone to the point where they were annoying. I could have done without Vaan, Penelo, and the Viera, as well. Balthier was absolutely right: in the normal Final Fantasy tradition, he would have been the main character. He, Fran, Ashe, and Basch would be the main party. I wish it’d have gone like that in actuality.

The map’s arbitrary lockdowns were annoying at times, but I was able to clear out most of Nabudis and the Necrohol long, long, long before the plot called for me to, picking up Maximillians in the process, though, so I guess the lockdown wasn’t total. It didn’t feel as open as Star Ocean: ‘Til the End of Time, though.

The bazaar done properly requires ridiculous amounts of time spent stealing and killing every monster type on the map. Booooring.

All in all, one of the top FFs I’ve played. I’d put it third, below V and the original. Which puts it above only IV of the ones I’ve played all the way through, but keeps it way above the ones I tried and didn’t like: II, VII, VIII, X.

Now on to Twilight Princess.


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