When I was little, before girls and hair, me and my family used to march to a house full of old people and sing songs at them on Christmas Eve. Interesting creatures, full of stories and sticky toffee sweets, and if you played your cards right you might land your very first kiss. Funny smelling places though, like someone kept forgetting to flush the toilet, but then they are old so maybe it is forgiveable. Soap: another withered person smell. The moral is that old things are not useless and ready to be thrown away; my Grandma used to give me stacks of 20 pence pieces when I saw her. Back of the net.
It's when we see the crowd that my resolve fails. "Are you sure you don't..." I begin, before my friend cuts across me. "Is there a bookshop nearby?" she asks. "I'll pick something up and go and sit in Starbucks." I nod and direct her to Borders, across the road. I'll call her when we're done. She likes Final Fantasy, sure, and it might have been nice to meet some of the guys behind the game - but god, she doesn't like it this much.
The many surprising changes to the Final Fantasy series which Square Enix introduces with Final Fantasy XII are a little less surprising when you look at the pedigree of those involved in creating the game. The original man at the helm of the project was Yasumi Matsuno, creator of Ogre Battle, Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story; having never directed a "number series" Final Fantasy title before, he was given the roles of both director and producer on XII, and immediately set about the creation of a game which would bring to life the world of Ivalice (from FFT and Vagrant Story) and redefine many core things about the series as a whole.