Final Fantasy 12 - An offline MMORPG.

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I always liked the final fantasy series but then there comes a time in our lives when everything we love is taken apart and thrown back at us. This is one of those times. Final Fantasy 12 got my hopes up after watching cut scenes and reading some happy reviews I went to go pick it up almost right away. Here is what I found

Characters
Some of these characters shouldn't even be in the game. Let's take the main character Vaan. He looks like a deformed michael Jackson and he is only following around the other characters around for the ride, and for a fun fact. He is the worst character despite being the main character.
Some of the other characters are the uncreative and unoriginal but, the only character I really liked was Basch he seemed pretty calm through out the whole game and had scars...scars are cool right? Most of the other characters are cannon fodder which talk when they aren't suppose to and most of the time. I wishing I could play as one of the best races not a damn bunny girl. Why not the hulking lizard guy or the stuffed animal thing?

Graphics and Soundtrack
The soundtrack of Final Fantasy is always excellent this time remixing some old final fantasy songs with new ones. One of the funniest moments while listening to the sound track was at the end one of battle. You hear a small "pop" what was this pop from? It sounds like someone opened a tube of pringles.
The graphics are pretty good to. Though I wish there was more variety in games. For example there are a majority of deserts through the whole game, and 90% of the enemies you will face are wolves with palette swaps. You got green wolf, red wolf, glowing wolf, and it just goes on.

Story line
The most important part of a game. This is what draws you in and keeps you there to make sure you keep going forward in the game. Now the story line is confusing here. First you're fighting this really big bad guy. I believe its emperor but then everything comes to a stop and you are fighting the empire now. Then you become a sky pirate!
Playing through this the first time there was almost no character development and near the end of the game everyone was pretty much done with Vaan and told him to go away. Seriously.

Gameplay
The gameplay of this game plays like a MMORPG if you played Final Fantasy XI then this is nothing new because the battle system is exactly the same. Except that Spears - Are powerful beyond on all god. Dealing 200+ damage each attack and they move faster than daggers. This is good considering they are easy to unlock.
One of he biggest complaints I have is with the license grid system. Why the do I need a license to use a calculator. Thats right a calculator is a weapon and it's incredibly weak and incredibly slow. I can use a gun and sword but I can't use a damn calculator. The license grid is good for abilities and such but using it for equipment is the like using a puppy for a chimeny sweep.

Overall
Final Fantasy 12 is a ok game. It isn't as good as the rest of the series but it is fun to play if you don't care about the story, and the short instances when Vaan gets his ass beaten down by some guards is extremely satisfying. The game play is meh. It plays like an offline MMORPG an unfun RPG that should've died out long ago but it's still around so I ask myself why?

Actually that is a good and accurate sum-up of the game. I agree with you.

Blunt but good. Nice job there.

I will be on honest with everyone. I tried extremely hard to enjoy the game but in the end I only looked back and regretted that I had used all that time playing a game that has so much potential to be good. Only to crush my hopes and dreams.
Again.

Work on your grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation usage, otherwise good review. And that's despite being sick of hearing FFXII being called an "offline MMORPG" no matter how accurate that is.

just because a game feels/plays like a MMORPG doesn't mean it is, by definition a MMORPG must be massive and/or multiplayer, and unless the game is telepathic (which im pretty sure would still be considered online), a MMORPG cannot be offline. Just a casual remark, paradoxes in subject lines really dont tide over well with me:)

I was actually saying it's an offline MMORPG because of the questing style and combat system.

I actually sort of like the combat system/quest system, though I wish they'de drop these shitty gimmicks like "Guilds" and crap. Keep your FFTA out of my REAL Final Fantasy Games, you bitches.

I just found it impossible to be interested in the game. Maybe had it played more political intruige... I dunno, something about it was just boring as shit all. Maybe i'll pick it back up and try again.

TsunamiWombat:
I actually sort of like the combat system/quest system, though I wish they'de drop these shitty gimmicks like "Guilds" and crap. Keep your FFTA out of my REAL Final Fantasy Games, you bitches.

I just found it impossible to be interested in the game. Maybe had it played more political intruige... I dunno, something about it was just boring as shit all. Maybe i'll pick it back up and try again.

If you liked the battle system and if you enjoy online game you should try out FFXI I found the game extremely boring (battle system mainly) but it's pretty fun if you meet the right people (till they all freakin quit)

Honestly I think the battle system in FF XII was just a bridge to what they're going to be doing in XIII. They were experimenting with what they could do in real time, and for the next installment, they're going to make it more interactive.
Think about it. Playing the 100% turn based combat systems of FFI and II ends up being kind of dull and flawed (think about all the times you revive someone who is immediately killed because there was no way to heal them before they were hit with the next attack). But when they added the ATB element it made for a much improved combat system.
With the long dev cycle currently in place, hopefully they'll be able to make those kind of improvements in one iteration, instead of 3 or 4.

ccjav:
just because a game feels/plays like a MMORPG doesn't mean it is, by definition a MMORPG must be massive and/or multiplayer, and unless the game is telepathic (which im pretty sure would still be considered online), a MMORPG cannot be offline. Just a casual remark, paradoxes in subject lines really dont tide over well with me:)

i think he just meant that it play TOO much like an mmorpg...which i agree with, btw.

eh i was done with FF games when i tried FFX. i hate turned based games, but now that its real time i might try it out again.

I agree with some of your points, apart from characters and story.
To be fair after getting some way into the game on my first playthrough I just felt I wasn't getting it.
Now I'm on my second playthrough and have made a nice bit of headway and things are much better.
I appreciate the characters and the story far more this time round, the mix of contempt and desire to be a mentor towards vaan you see in balthier is more interesting second time round.
Also I agree that the story is very very confusing, but again 2nd time through its making a lot more sense.
Again I would say that it has the feel of an MMORPG, but is actually enjoyable.
A lot of the aspects (licence grid, loot) are different from a conventional FF and take a while to get used to, but personally I find it one the best and most addictive of the FF series.

Sword and Shields:

Let's take the main character Vaan. He looks like a deformed michael Jackson and he is only following around the other characters around for the ride, and for a fun fact. He is the worst character despite being the main character.

You seem to have missed the point here. I can see how the comparison between Vaan and Tidus seems obvious, but Vaan was never meant to be the main character. Like Terra in FF VI, his story just gets the game started by providing some context to introduce the bad guy(s). After that, you are free to pick and choose party members as you wish throughout most of the game. I admit that he gets a bit too much "screen time" compared to some of the more interesting characters, but by no means do I see him as the protagonist of the story.

The graphics are pretty good to. Though I wish there was more variety in games. For example there are nothing but deserts through the whole game

That's not even remotely true. The first bit of the game contains a lot of desert, but there are huge areas with both rain, snow, plains, jungle, beach, caves, large cities... you must not have played much of the game if all you saw was desert.

Some decent points were made, but it doesn't really sound to me like you are a fan of JRPG's from the general tone of the review, yet that is what you seem to want us to believe? I'm confused.

You should at least change the title, its not as clever as you think. An MMORPG without the MMO part is an RPG, which is exactly what FF has always been.

You seem to have missed the point here. I can see how the comparison between Vaan and Tidus seems obvious, but Vaan was never meant to be the main character.

Vaan is the viewpoint character. He's not the main character.

Essentially, where the normal JRPG has the player as the Big Destined Hero who saves the world, Vaan is a fairly ordinary dude caught up in events way beyond the scope of his understanding, whilst Ashe and Basch are the traditional "main character" types, and Balthier outright thinks he is the main character. (Vaan is still one of the best characters in battle though, as his inherent stat growth is about the best).

It's a refreshing perspective, actually. Though I think other games have pulled it off as well or better. (Ratix in the original Star Ocean is one of the best examples of an ordinary dude thrust into things way beyond his understanding, whereas the traditional "main character" for the genre, hotshot rule breaking starship captain Ronixis "Not Kirk At All Honest", is just a party character).

Infinite Undiscovery seems to be going for the same thing. You come into the story in media res, the party is all formed, the main character is an acknowledged hero the world over, and you just happen to look like him.

i purchased the game.

it played itself.

i returned the game.

Ya know, I honestly liked the game, except the whole gambit thing. As that Mongoose fellow said, it basically played itself. I got into a fight with the final boss, I went to go make some food, I came back, he was dead.

If it weren't for the Hunts such as King Behemoth, I'd have given up on it.

Sword and Shields:
Story line
The most important part of a game. This is what draws you in and keeps you there to make sure you keep going forward in the game. Now the story line is confusing here. First you're fighting this really big bad guy. I believe its emperor but then everything comes to a stop and you are fighting the empire now. Then you become a sky pirate!
Playing through this the first time there was almost no character development and near the end of the game everyone was pretty much done with Vaan and told him to go away. Seriously.

Quite the opposite. I thought FFXII's story was excellent, partly due to the absolute brilliance of the translation job. There's plenty of character development; did you miss Ashe's entire internal conflict about power lust, for instance? Balthier's father issues? Vaan's distress at his seeming aimlessness? Basch's massive character arc? What I found was that each character had more than a few character traits; none were caricatures or single issue wonks, and, like real people, they didn't always say what they were feeling.

As to the plot itself... it was certainly very atypical for a Final Fantasy game, I'll give you that. They wrote a story about nations, rulers, war, and politics. Most of the time FF concerns itself very much with individuals, but FFXII tried to put all that into a greater context. I found that Ivalice sold itself as a coherent, self-consistent world in a way that most FF worlds don't, and better still, it didn't seem to revolve around our characters and one or two antagonists. The story itself could be difficult to follow for some, but if you pay attention and are reasonably intelligent, there are no insurmountable problems. It may not be terribly clear why you the player hate the Archadian Empire at the start (though it's perfectly clear why the characters hate it; war orphans and deposed royalty, it's kind of obvious), but after the cutscenes at Mt. Bur-Omisace all those niggling doubts removed themselves.

If FFXII's story has a flaw, it's this. FFXII clearly wants to be a movie trilogy or an epic fantasy novel. The story is excellent, but it's not particularly well-suited to be a video game. FFX's story, by comparison, was on the whole less inspired, but it worked better in a video game context, and for that reason I rate FFX higher for storytelling. FFXII should have been a novel series. I would love FFXII as written by, say, George R. R. Martin. The problem is that it is simply not suited to the media.

FFX's story, by comparison, was on the whole less inspired, but it worked better in a video game context

FFX's story worked fantastically in a game. A game called Grandia.

Sword and Shields:
I always liked the final fantasy series but then there comes a time in our lives when everything we love is taken apart and thrown back at us. This is one of those times. Final Fantasy 12 got my hopes up after watching cut scenes and reading some happy reviews I went to go pick it up almost right away. Here is what I found

Characters
Some of these characters shouldn't even be in the game. Let's take the main character Vaan. He looks like a deformed michael Jackson and he is only following around the other characters around for the ride, and for a fun fact. He is the worst character despite being the main character.
Some of the other characters are the uncreative and unoriginal but, the only character I really liked was Basch he seemed pretty calm through out the whole game and had scars...scars are cool right? Most of the other characters are cannon fodder which talk when they aren't suppose to and most of the time. I wishing I could play as one of the best races not a damn bunny girl. Why not the hulking lizard guy or the stuffed animal thing?

Graphics and Soundtrack
The soundtrack of Final Fantasy is always excellent this time remixing some old final fantasy songs with new ones. One of the funniest moments while listening to the sound track was at the end one of battle. You hear a small "pop" what was this pop from? It sounds like someone opened a tube of pringles.
The graphics are pretty good to. Though I wish there was more variety in games. For example there are nothing but deserts through the whole game, and 90% of the enemies you will face are wolves with palette swaps. You got green wolf, red wolf, glowing wolf, and it just goes on.

Story line
The most important part of a game. This is what draws you in and keeps you there to make sure you keep going forward in the game. Now the story line is confusing here. First you're fighting this really big bad guy. I believe its emperor but then everything comes to a stop and you are fighting the empire now. Then you become a sky pirate!
Playing through this the first time there was almost no character development and near the end of the game everyone was pretty much done with Vaan and told him to go away. Seriously.

Gameplay
The gameplay of this game plays like a MMORPG if you played Final Fantasy XI then this is nothing new because the battle system is exactly the same. Except that Spears - Are powerful beyond on all god. Dealing 200+ damage each attack and they move faster than daggers. This is good considering they are easy to unlock.
One of he biggest complaints I have is with the license grid system. Why the do I need a license to use a calculator. Thats right a calculator is a weapon and it's incredibly weak and incredibly slow. I can use a gun and sword but I can't use a damn calculator. The license grid is good for abilities and such but using it for equipment is the like using a puppy for a chimeny sweep.

Overall
Final Fantasy 12 is a ok game. It isn't as good as the rest of the series but it is fun to play if you don't care about the story, and the short instances when Vaan gets his ass beaten down by some guards is extremely satisfying. The game play is meh. It plays like an offline MMORPG an unfun RPG that should've died out long ago but it's still around so I ask myself why?

Spot on!
Except that the music is ok, rather than phenomenal like in the earlier games.

I've only gotten up to FFX, despite being a major fan of 7 and 8 (9 was meh, but I still pick it up from time to time). I've yet to actually complete 10 though, I just don't have the time for it anymore which is kinda depressing. I love to play these kinds of games for hours and hours and hours on end, but the only thing I can do for that amount of time these days is work.

One thing I simply love about Final Fantasy games is how even though on the outside they all look "the same", it's the inner workings that are constantly progressing, the battle systems seem to always change, Square-Enix are clearly on a mission to find the best possible one, and they can't do that without a mass of user input. So that's the way it has to, and has been. They develop it, they test it... it passes tests, it's workable.. great! Send it out to the public... bad feedback, "uh oh's", they try again.

This is possibly the main reason as to why I don't get all argumentative when someone says something that I happen to strongly disagree with, because the end result, somewhere along the line... will mean a better game at another time. I'll start raising fists when the games get worse, but from my perspective (as a fellow developer) I see nothing but progression in the FF games, Art work always gets massively improved, new systems for doing things which must take SO much freakin' time to get right are always tried and tested... infact, thinking about it, my brain can't logically fathom the amount of subtle differences that go into each new FF game.

Hail to FF! Even If I'll never have enough time to actually play any of them ever again.

I'm actually quite a fan of JRPGs but I always hold them to a standard that I expect from them. I agree I didn' t go far into the game but It was just dead. I remember some forests and other areas but not as much as the desert or wastelands area. Again I expect my areas to be colorful and diverse, but I came into FF12 with my expections high. I was disappointed.

Some of my favorite JRPGs are
Parasite Eve
Grandia 2
Dragon Quest
Xenogears
Final Fantasy 8
Final Fantasy 5 and 6
Final Fantasy 7 and 9
Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2

Again most of the time. I expect a level of quality from the JRPG developers I have come to love over the years.
I hope Final Fantasy 13, The Next kingdom hearts, and parasite eve third birthday (I believe it's called) Satsify my craving for a good JRPG
Some of them that have been released have been good but lack a certain charm square enix seems to capture in this game.
Final Fantasy 12 had this charm. Just not enough of it.

I think the reviewer lost his credibility when he said most of the terrain was desert.

As for the combat system, i think its the deepest and most customizable of any FF game, ur not limited to 1 or 2 weapon types per char, positioning plays a big role in battle, archers actually benefit from their range ( not that front row/ back row BS from older FF's.

If there is a problem with the battle system its the fact that you will only need it against bosses and hunts, everyone else can be beaten with your good old gambits, creating a sense of monotony.

This is the only FF from the entire series 1-X-2 (Not counting 11) I never finished.. Reason: Story. Minors: Battle system and Characters.

Its not all about progression at the end of the day, Progression doesn't always = Fun.

In terms of the battle system (sort of real-timeish) look at Star Ocean: Till The End of time and more recently Infinite Undiscovery (both by tri-Ace btw, god i love tri-Ace) the system is much better in them (hell look at the majority of WRPGS). What Square, Squaresoft urg Square Enix have always been good at is variations of the ATB system the best thing about FFX-2 is that (going of course but hey) because of the major advancement of the ATB system in FFX-2. I say stick to their guns and make that better and better, whilst let the real professionals work on real-time battle systems and what not.

If you look at the gambit system, it's essentially the system you have for donald and goofy in the Kingdom Hearts games, but fully customizable.
Hence when I first played FFXII I did not use gambits for Vaan, believing I could control him like Sora, I discovered this was a mistake.
Personally I don't agree with the view that it's it removes you from the action, you need to constantly refine gambits according to your foes, and you often need to step in and changes what one party member is doing.

Problems With XII:

Characters - Fran and Basch were the only interesting ones, and even then, they were pretty lackluster

Story - Convoluted, boring, what was this game about again?

Gambits - Hey lets make the players purchase/earn AI commands that should have been available from the start of the game. horrible idea

License Grid - How does this even make sense as a system for earning spell/weapons? It doesn't. I'd even take the much more linear, sensible, sphere grid over this.

Mist Quickenings - Ok, so it's a super move that randomly gives the chance to chain it into a bigger super move. I remember losing to a boss a few times, one of the judges, eventually I got lucky and just hit like 8 mist quickenings in a row and he died. Anytime luck causes that big of a difference, somethings broken.

Actually with the gambit system. The game pretty much plays with itself while I read a book and get stronger, after pressing up with my foot for awhile. My characters are 10 levels higher, and have more license points.

I wholeheartedly agree. The combat was what really turned me off FFXII.

That's why it felt like an MMO like you said. It was equivalant to macro-ing in any MMO game

The Game is Good to watch.
Nuff said buy esuna, curaga, all gambits and write them in.
Find spot with respawning enemies
Tape analog stick down so charectors runs in a circles
lvl without being there!
i dont mind that play style but id say plays more like a rts as you set attack type and when to attack thats the only stratergy part.

'FF12 you play a programmer' would have been an awsome tag line

wunderguy:
The Game is Good to watch.
Nuff said buy esuna, curaga, all gambits and write them in.
Find spot with respawning enemies
Tape analog stick down so charectors runs in a circles
lvl without being there!
i dont mind that play style but id say plays more like a rts as you set attack type and when to attack thats the only stratergy part.

'FF12 you play a programmer' would have been an awsome tag line

Hehe i agree with the play a programmer it felt like that at times guess they forgot games are supposed to be engaging xD

Wow, so much hate for this game. Am I the only one that thought the combat was like KOTOR, with way more customization ? Sure you can use gambits and let the game play itself, but the ability to briefly pause and give commands to all 3 party members totally reminded me of KOTOR.

As for the license system...afaik everyone except Japan got the dumbed down version. Each character had their own license tree in the Japanese release, whereas here in North America every character had the same.

Look up Ashe10 on youtube and check some of his/her vids to see what I mean. (no its not me)

As for the story, I dont understand all the hate I'm reading for it either. I understood just fine the first and second time I played through.

Anyhow, not trying to talk down to anyone. Just my 2gil... :)

Nobody else mentioned this, but if all you say the game played it self with the gambits on, then would it make sense if you turned the gambits off so you can actually play the game. Crazy idea I know. Same Idea with the quickenings.

Log Dropper M.D.:
Characters - Fran and Basch were the only interesting ones, and even then, they were pretty lackluster

Fran? She was the most boring one of the six, I thought. Where does she get any character development?

Story - Convoluted, boring, what was this game about again?

The reigns of history back in the hands of man. Were you not paying attention?

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