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Final Fantasy XII
Platform: PlayStation 2
Publisher: Square Enix, Inc.
Developer: Square Enix Co., Ltd.
Style(s): Third-Person 3D RPG
Synopsis: The Final Fantasy series' PS2 opus is set in Ivalice, a land of swords and sorcery familiar to veterans of Final Fantasy Tactics. Here, magic and technology coexist, as do humans and other intelligent races such a s the leporine viera and the scaly skinned bangaa. Airships, in the form of high-tech hovercraft, are also common in this land of Ivalice, and players will pilot these sky-speeders for transportation, warfare, and (perhaps) even a little privateering. Character development is designed to be as engaging and empowering as in any Final Fantasy game, and is accomplished by making strategic "license" choices in a chessboard-like graphic interface. Through the game's new "Active Dimension Battle" system, combat progresses in a pause-able real-time flow, offering a sense of action while retaining tactical options. Companion characters can be assigned customizable battle behaviors ahead of time, through the game's "gambit" system. Ashe, the princess of a small kingdom called Dalmasca, is the star of the story, although she is joined by several other driven and distinctly skilled characters. The nearby Archadian Empire is in a period of reckless, vicious expansion, and as heir to the throne of Dalmasca, it falls to Ashe and her companions to save the sovereignty of their tiny nation from imperial usurpers. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide
Package Contents: Registration Card
The manual felt a little sparse, but certainly did an adequate job of explaining the basics and introducing you to the world of Ivalice.
Graphics don't come any better on the PS2 than this.
Possibly one of the best games ever for the PlayStation 2, Final Fantasy XII is probably Square Enix's finest foray into RPGs since, well, Final Fantasy VII. Similar to that masterpiece, the most recent iteration of the series re-defines the genre in a way that makes other RPGs seem merely ordinary. The story opens with a youth named Vaan's attempt to get even with the empire that conquered his home country and murdered his brother. It eventually spirals ever-broader, involving the entire continent of Ivalice in its epic sweep. Exceptionally well-written, exquisitely paced, FFXII's story alone would be enough to recommend the game -- it's a far cry from the simplistic "save the world" plots typical of many RPGs. FFXII combines an intriguing story and complex characters with innovative, streamlined combat and detailed graphics, making for a fun ride. When not unpacking the story, you'll be spelunking through dungeons, exploring massive cities and strongholds, and wandering the face of the continent of Ivalice hunting monsters (the principal side-quest in the game) to develop skills and buy equipment. Battles take place in real-time, although it's possible to pause and manually issue commands to your party. Otherwise, your characters follow pre-defined guidelines called "gambits." With a gambit, you pre-designate an action, such as "Attack the nearest enemy," that the character then carries out on their own. Setting up gambits correctly often means the difference between an easy fight and ignominious flight, and possibly even death. FFXII has also done away with the random encounter -- you can actually see monsters before you fight them. In regards to game's overall production, this game has some of the finest graphics and sound ever seen or heard on a PS2 to date. Square Enix has mastered the art of the cut-scene, applying lessons learned in Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within to create near-cinematic CG interludes. Many scripted scenes (which all feature excellent full-voice) actually take place using the in-game graphic engine rather than a cut scene. Remarkably, not much of the quality of the higher-production CG-interludes is missing during the in-game scenes--right down to the subtle interplay of expressions and emotions on characters' faces. In a perfect world, every video game would feature the same amount of care, craftsmanship, and quality that Square Enix poured into Final Fantasy XII. Though the world isn't perfect, Final Fantasy XII is.
You'll probably be mentally and emotionally exhausted after finishing this one, but that doesn't mean there isn't more to find in the game.
The fully-orchestrated score is worth listening to on its own merits. Excellent voice-acting as well.
A joy to play in every way.
the game requires Joystick/Gamepad.