Final Fantasy XII Reader Review
Do you know what it's like when you've had sugar in your tea for years, then you try it without. Doesn't feel right does it?
Introducing FFXII. The much touted "revolutionary" new Final Fantasy Game from our good old friends over at Square Enix. Supposedly in development since FFX was actually released in Japan, it's had a great deal of time and effort put into it, along with delay after delay but we love them for that of course.
You play as Vaan, a high-spirited young boy with the aspirations to be a Sky Pirate. During the Dalmascan War he lost his brother Rex and was left as an orphan and much to his own devices. In typical FF fashion, you meet several characters along an epic usually well thought out plot. Now I admit the plot is thrilling in FFXII, it's full of twists and turns and you're offered an amazing insight into the different Empires in the world of Ivalice, each one having a fervent history and much to learn about.
The real controversy comes within the gameplay. A much hyped and touted "revolutionary" feature sees the abolishment of random encounters and the replacement is a real-time battle system,whereby enemies are fully visible and approachable on the world map, a first for Final Fantasy. While the feature flows well. It seeming takes away the tradition we've been accustomed to, and for a lot of FF fans this will make the experience feel different, and its like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it, and once you hate it, you never love it and it leaves a nasty aftertaste like bacon after a night of sambucca (trust me, thats horrid). The classic "run around in circles waiting for a fight" might seem simple but it was tradition, people felt comfortable with it. Now change is all well and good, but when it serves to change an entire game experience it's a big risk, and one which I think wasn't really worth taking with this one. It felt more Star Ocean than Final Fantasy.
That being said, it's not a totally underwhelming game experience, but one that breaks tradition, not necessarily in the best way possible. It still has some of that traditional FF flavour (We love Chocobos and Moogles!) But if you are after a traditional FF experience, replay one of the earlier ones, as you won't get it here.
6 / 10