Final Fantasy XII Reader Review
This is one of those difficult games to write about. Final Fantasy has a heritage unlike most other series - it carries a crushing weight of expectation that can be both a joy and a curse... because the series needs to move forward, but the rebid fanbase doesn't want too many changes.
Me? I think FF is a brilliant, artistic joy as a series, but by FF X-2 on playstation 2, it had become tired.
What FFXII brings to the table is a new battle system and slight change of focus - this has been controversial amongst the hardcore,but for my money the changes make this the best FF ever.
So now you know i like it... what's so good about it?
1 - The Battle System.
You finally (no pun intended) get to see enemies and choose to engage on your terms. Also, the turn based battle system has been replaced with an active system, that, while still not quite realtime, allows you to make choices and act while your enemies are attacking. You can also see which character is being targetted via a neat laser-like target line.... this allows you to react instantly: For instance, if an enemy is targetting the leader of your party, you can choose to have everyone attack that character, protect them, heal them... whatever. What this realy means is that it's more fluid, enagaging, and exciting. It also feels genuinely new.
2 - The Gambit System
Gambits work with the battle system, and effectively allow you to 'program' other members of your party to react. For instance, you can set characters to attack if they are being targetted, heal if another characters HP fall below a certain point, and so on. It sounds odd, and maybe I'm not doing it justice, but this ads layers of strategy like you would not believe.
3 - The Presentation
It's a given that Squares flagship game has amazing levels of technical accomplishment - put simply, this game squeezes sights out of your PS2 that you'd never think possible.... and artistically, this totally trounces many so-called next gen titles. I'd rank this alongside God of War and Okami as the most amazing titles on the system
In short, if you like amazingly designed games, that push boundaries in artistic, technical, and game design - you have to give this a try. If these things aren't your bag, well, i'm sure EA have a game out this week you can shuffle off and buy.
10 / 10