Square delivers another win =)
Well, Final Fantasy XII came out, and I'm not quite through it yet to be honest. This game is extremely refreshing. While some of the systems are a little funky and could even use a tune up or so, this title is definately worthy of the company's flagship line.
Final Fantasy XII does a great job harmonizing concepts that old school Final Fantasy fans love with the new generation's style and drive. The fully 3-D environment is a big step for the series, (sorry but Final Fantasy XI's world just get's counted separately) and they did a great job. The world is massive, intricate and dynamic. It was fun to see how far ahead of the story I could venture into the wilds for once and there was *plenty* to do.
Quests, clan hunts and personal goals are big. For those who like to get high levels, this is a blessing as deviated from the story no longer means hours of running in a circle just outside of the nearest save point. Still, for those who like to jet through and be as low level as possible, there are plenty of ways to get by. Providing you've got a good sense for strategy, you could just run past many areas - though the boss battles are no walk in the park when underleveled, they're not impossible with the right balance of magics, techniques, items and quickenings.
The graphics are nice.. nothing eyepopping after seeing Final Fantasy X, but certainly a little more refined and basicly what I expected from a game on the same console. The license board system is a bit overwhelming at first but a huge improvement over the sphere grid IMO. The best improvement by far is the voice acting. I don't know about you but one more squeek out of Titus from Final Fantasy X and I thought I would blow up my TV.. This cast is professional and vonvincing. Kudos, Square.
Complaints? Well.. The story could use a bit more spice; maybe I'll get suprised but I doubt it. It is good, but not as twisty as usuall and without as much bite. This wont be may favorite, but it is definately going to have some replay value ;) The music is a bit generic in most places. Finally I don't much care for the Espers' backstory.. ah well. None of these issues are very major however and the final product more than makes up for them, its compelling and addictive.
All in all, Final Fantasy XII is one of the best made, though perhaps not the best written, Final Fantasies of the series and well worth the cash O_~