Good day Hackinformer readers! A while back you read in one of my reviews that Final Fantasy 12 would be reviewed soon. Well, here you go! I’m proud to give you my favorite Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy 12!
Where to begin? I guess we can start where the game starts. You begin as Reks, a young soldier with really no business being in the army. He is joined by a couple of key members of the cast as they attempt to stop the king of Dalmasca from being assassinated while you also go through the tutorial to learn the gameplay! He arrives just in time to witness what looks to be one of his own betraying him and the king by killing them both. This is quite a tragic event to say the least and sets the tone for the entire game. You are then whisked away to the royal city of Rabanastre, center of Dalmasca, where you’re introduced to the character that will be your lead for the remainder of the game, Vaan. He is Reks’ younger brother and an orphan.
The game takes off quite slowly and you spend several hours inside Rabanastre doing odd jobs and eventually breaking into the palace to “take back what’s ours” from the treasury. There you run into my favorite character, Balthier, along with Fran, and the journey across Ivalice begins. To be completely honest I attempted to play this game a couple of times, only to get bored with it. I never got out of Rabanastre and I thought it would be another Final Fantasy I didn’t like, akin to Final Fantasy 8 and 9. Wow, was I wrong.
One day I was bound and determined to play this game and get to something good. Once I got out of Rabanstre, I discovered an extremely amazing game. First, this is the only mainline Final Fantasy to have what I consider open-world combat. In some of the others you will see enemies but you still transition to the battle screen.
In Final Fantasy 12 you see enemies on screen and you fight them right there on screen. If there is one enemy then you have one to fight. If there are 12 enemies on screen, you have to try to stay away from some otherwise you’ll have 12 to fight if you’re not careful. This combat style makes it interesting to say the least.
About ¼ of the way through the game you get introduced to the Gambit system. This is one of my favorite things about Final Fantasy 12. It allows you to set actions determined by conditions met. For example, you can set it to attack the closest enemy, set it to cast cure if your HP falls below 60% or set it to steal from any enemy with 100% HP. Essentially you can have the game battle for you. It’s really neat. Also, acquiring an item or spell isn’t enough. You have a License Board that you must purchase the license for weapons and spells, basically anything you do in the game has a license you must purchase to use. You obviously earn LP by defeating enemies.
Now we get to the summons. There are 13 summons in the game. They aren’t your regular, run-of-the-mill summons. First of all, you must fight and defeat all of them to be able to wield their power. The first one you get is Belias, the Gigas. He’s pretty cool. There are a couple more you’ll get throughout the story line but most must be obtained by venturing off the beaten path. The only real problem with summons is that by the time you get most of them they aren’t a lot of use to you as you’re stronger than they are, Especially Zodiark. I fooled around and wandered one screen too far during my first playthrough and ran into Adrammalech when I was not ready for him at all. He almost killed me but I PREVIALED!
You also have “mist charges” that you can use to either summon espers or, once you unlock them on the license board, you may use them for “quickenings.” These are akin to limit breaks and you may chain them together with some skill. You can easily get 4-6 every time. It gets more difficult to continue as you are timed and the timer moves faster with each additional quickening. If you manage to do a certain combination of quickenings you can engage a final blast of sorts. You first get a glimpse of a quickening at the beginning of the game when you’re controlling Reks as Basch does a quickening to finish off a boss.
The storyline in this game is absolutely amazing. You are part of the princess’ entourage and are trying to stop an evil ruler from basically destroying everything. That’s your standard Final Fantasy. What makes Final Fantasy 12 so amazing is the bumps and twists and turns along the way; the discoveries you make about other characters and about yourself as well; the villains that are certainly not who you expected them to be. It really does bring an entire new spin to Final Fantasy that makes you wonder what in the world could come next. There is great character development and depth. The graphics, being later PS2, are stunning. I truly wish Square Enix would just step up to the plate and give me an HD release of this game. It wouldn’t take that much work and would be really spectacular.
There is a sequel to this on the DS called Final Fantasy 12: Revenant Wings and also in 2007 Final Fantasy 12: International Zodiac Job System was released which took the license board and separated it into 12 different boards for 12 different “jobs.” I haven’t had the pleasure of playing either of these but I will soon. I know I will get flamed for this but that’s cool; as far as a rating I give this game a 9/10.
It has such an amazing story and the graphics along with gameplay make it my favorite in the series. If you want to add your two cents feel free to do so in the comments below. Thanks for reading guys and as always… HAPPY GAMING!