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 Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age - The Best Final Fantasy is Back Boys!

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Athrun888
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PostSubject: Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age - The Best Final Fantasy is Back Boys!   Wed 12 Jul 2017 - 11:34




At long last Square Enix has deigned to deliver us mere mortals with the divine nector that is Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, the first time us western plebians get to taste that sweet sweet honey originally from the chalice of the Zodiac Job System.  Yes, that's right, the best Final Fantasy in modern times is finally back, and given the treatment it deserves.  

Featuring a revamped form of the job system previously seen exclusively in the Japan-only "International" release on the PS2 to provide even veterans with a fresh experience, a revamped soundtrack with higher quality audio, revamped graphics, and trophies (everyone loves those things!!), this is truly the definitive version of the best Final Fantasy.  

So strap yourselves in for the return of Final Fantasy's Best Leading Man and Leading Lady and a new adventure in the land of Ivalice!



If it wasn't obvious I'm beyond thrilled to see this game happen.  XII was the first time I ever saw a Final Fantasy to completion, and while it's certainly not without flaws it captures ones imagination in ways I find previous and following modern Final Fantasy games do not.  The world was massive, yet at the same time varied, and filled with dangerous secrets.  Meanwhile the hunts provided a ton of fun challenges, and the story felt genuinely epic in scope due to the setting and nature of it.  

Alas it also comes at a time where I now have a horrible question I have to answer to myself: drop Persona 5 to play this or put this on one side until another time.  


Anyhow, anyone else pick this badboy up?
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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age - The Best Final Fantasy is Back Boys!   Wed 12 Jul 2017 - 17:47

I have the game and I've never played it as it was on PS2 and late in the life of that console but I'm not sure when I'll get to it and how I'll find it recently coming off the best JPRG, I've possibly played.

I thought Lightning Returns was the best FF? Also I've hard mixed things about FFXII mainly due to long time fans not liking the combat system.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age - The Best Final Fantasy is Back Boys!   Wed 12 Jul 2017 - 18:31

Honestly, I'm hankering for another JRPG considering I'm fairly far removed from P5, and FFXII is one that's passed me by!

From what I've seen of it, the gambit system looks a bit overwhelming - could you explain it and sell me on it, Athers?
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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age - The Best Final Fantasy is Back Boys!   Wed 12 Jul 2017 - 20:11

Yeah the licence board does look pretty overwhelming at the start (it was even more-so in the original where everyone had giant ones to navigate, although those ones led to some seriously cheesy strategies too like early limit breaks quickenings), but it fortunately gets pretty easy once you get used to it.  

To put it really simply every time you kill an enemy you get both exp and cp (I think that was the term anyway, been years since I played the game!), and you spend the latter on the licence board.  On the licence board you'll find slots that, once unlocked with cp, either allows access to certain equipment or certain skills and abilities (it's how you learn Libra and Thief for example).  You start at one part of the board and as you unlock squares you get the ability to select one of the adjacent squares next time you unlock a square, and you pretty much just make your way along picking the abilities and equipment you want at the time (for example you might at a point have the choice between unlocking the ability to use Firaga or a current shield and opt for the latter as you haven't bought the spell yet).

If I recall rightly the game also walks the player through how to use it the first time you access it too.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age - The Best Final Fantasy is Back Boys!   Wed 12 Jul 2017 - 20:18

I thought the gambit system was the auto system that you can setup, that if health drops below 25% then your white mage will heal you.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age - The Best Final Fantasy is Back Boys!   Wed 12 Jul 2017 - 20:47

Yep, that's what I thought it was as well. Like a macro system for your skills?
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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age - The Best Final Fantasy is Back Boys!   Wed 12 Jul 2017 - 21:36

Whoops, for some reason I read "gambit system" as "licence board" (that's what I get for staying up for twenty hours).  Right, the Gambit System, put simply it's a bit like setting an AI routine up.  I'll be honest, outside of abusing the infinite exp farming glitch in a specific area I didn't really use it, preferred to do things the old fashioned way.  Anyway, as you travel around the world you'll have the ability to buy "gambits", and the way these'd work is that each Gambit slot had three conditions you could set.  One would be the skill or spell, another would be at what point you want them to cast the spell or use the ability, and the third, iirc, was to designate what status the player was in.


So, if you had the right gambits, you could set up one so that if you came across a monster weak to wind attacks you would automatically cast Aero, and you could restrict it using the third slot so that it would only continue to use Aero until you reached a certain amount of MP.  The game starts you off with only a few basic gambits like "target enemy with XX% or lower health remaining" and slowly adds in more as you reach new towns who have new gambits to buy.  You also start off with a few all-encompassing gambits, and iirc all skills and spells would be selectable just by having access to them.  


There's one final aspect of Gambits I should cover.  I likened it to setting up a AI routine partly because of the aspects I've already detailed, but also for the final detail.  The order of the gambits is the priority the game will use them in.  So you can have slot 1 targeting a enemy weak to electric spells with electric spells, and slot two targeting something weak to fire with a fire spell.  If you end up in a fight with enemies of both weaknesses (or an enemy who is weak to both) involved the game will prioritise the first gambit, then the second, and so on.


It can get a bit complex at times, especially when you've got a ton of gambits and you're making a very long setup, but fortunately the game is fine even without them as a turn-based affair. I do like them for minimising heal management however, they're very welcome for uninteresting tasks like that.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age - The Best Final Fantasy is Back Boys!   Wed 12 Jul 2017 - 23:04

Ahhhh, so they're not mandatory then? Okay, I'm definitely interested now. Part of my hesitation in playing FFXII was the seemingly overwhelming snippets of battle I've watched with lines extending out of every character and characters moving automatically casting spells at certain point - frazzled my brain!

Besides that, my only other exposure to the world of FFXII was through FFTA2, but I liked the world and races in FFTA2 as well as Vaan and Penelo when they turned up during that game's story.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age - The Best Final Fantasy is Back Boys!   Thu 13 Jul 2017 - 16:14

I started the game last night after these chats. I've only done the tutorial and first hunt but seems pretty good.

I don't know how much more I will play soon though as I want to get HZD done really also I'm yet to finish FFX or FFVII, start FFX-2 which I really like the look off and thought about playing a few times as even though it's a sequel seems to be out there, both episodes in FFXV and play more then 5mins in FFXIV.

The game even though I've seen side-by-sides does look like what we remember PS2 games look like they what they actually look like but it does seem to have a bit of art-style over FFX, with the eyes looking sort of drawn on with a Skyward Sword like look.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age - The Best Final Fantasy is Back Boys!   Mon 23 Oct 2017 - 15:28

So far this has been better than I remember (and also easier, although they did say the difficulty was reduced so as to not screw-over people with unoptmised job selections. That and there's a large difference in skill between me now and me when I was 15). The Gambits, which I never bothered with on my first two playthroughs of the game on ps2, are as intrusive or as absent as one wants, and being able to just delegate tedious jobs like topping up HP or replacing status buffs/debuffs is a godsend that allows the player to focus on the larger picture and strategy of a fight.

The story is something I appreciate now a lot more than I did as a teenager. Sweeping tales of melodrama are amazing to a teen, but a more grounded story with more grounded characters is something that takes a tad more maturity to appreciate, and having a cast that consists mostly of adults (holy crap, a JRPG led by adult characters? Biggest plot twist ever!) is utterly refreshing.


h don't get me wrong, there's a typical teenager in the cast that the game desperately tries to sell as the protagonist in the opening hours of the game, but once Bashe and Ashe join he quickly fades into the background. So much so that the second act even starts with a cutscene that basically ignores him for the entire duration and ends practically asking him what he's still doing there!

Overall they've taken a game I loved and spruced it up in all the right areas. The ability to have the game run at double or quadruple speeds is a godsend that removes pain from grinding, the class system allows for more focus on what character does what, and the updated graphics, in my opinion, remind me exactly why I dislike the direction bigger budget games have taken since the PS2 era.


TLDR: game's just as awesome as remembered, best Final Fantasy, play now.
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