Read a review of FFXIII-2 and, by all accounts, the freedom typical of an FF game is back but the story is a bit naff. People are quite rightly nostalgic for FFVII (although FFIX was my personal favourite). But FFXII always seems to come in for a total drubbing on these forums and I loved it. Am I alone???
You're not alone! I've spent 100+ hours on this game and in my opinion neither story nor gameplay lacked depth in any way. What may have bothered me a bit is the apperance of the characters (well the women were some kind of... you know.. a bit too half-naked and the guys...just not my type...). Even loved the sidequests, but still wasn't able to beat the last monster (Yiazmat).
Apparently the last monster would have taken most of a day to wear down which is a commitment I was happy to let go...... I think it came under fire because of how radically the combat system had changed mainly, but for me it was certainly preferable to all that paradigm malarkey in the most recent one. Like you, I spent well over 100 hours on it and loved every minute.
Obviously, this is the kind of response I expected. I don't happen to agree, but horses for courses as they say. I guess one main point is that since FFX Square seem to have lost the plot a bit and instead of their games being totally lauded and congratulated, they tend to be very divisive. X-2 was a bit crappy and I didn't particularly enjoy playing XIII. It just felt like one tunnel after another with no exploration whatsoever. Loved XII, though.
XII isn't one of my favourites, largely because I wasn't particularly interested in the cast (apart from Balthier, who is amazing) and the storyline seemed to me to be stretched too thin, but gameplay-wise I think it's excellent. There's so much to explore and to do, and the combat system is great once you've got used to it. Fantastic translation and voice acting, too.
Conversely, XIII has very restricted gameplay, but I'd personally rank it above XII because I preferred XIII's cast and plot. Those are just my personal priorities, though, and I can definitely understand why someone would favour XII. It has many, many good qualities. Even if it didn't, I'd be able to forgive a lot for Balthier.
Not at all, i LOVED XII, my third fav after VII and VI. I don't understand the hate. Story wise it is one of the weakest, but game play is stunning and I loved the dungeon crawling aspect that's absent in many of the other games.
The battle system was amazing, flawless combining turn based with a real time feel.
I was very disappointed with XIII, but XII made my day :)
I loved FFXII, played it for hours, but I have enjoyer playing all but FFX-2. Why did I not enjoy FFX-2 - using that annoying changing outfits system which felt childish, I never enjoyed playing at dressing up dolls as a girl!! Even though much of the exploration was linear I was impressed with the appearance of the different environments. I have played all from VII onwards and enjoyed all for different reasons. I think I have replayed FFX most as I enjoyed the fact you could switch fighters during battle, and thought the sphere grid was fabulous coz it made you think for yourself. I played blitzball for hours, great fun.
I thought FFXII was incredible, too - see my Amazon review for a wall of text on why. It probably helped that I already loved both FF and the Ogre/Tactics/Vagrant Story stuff, as FFXII was a combination of all those strengths.
I was 50/50 with ff12. I jut don't get what enixs issue is with automatic battle commands. I hated the gambit system, absolutely hated it. I hated te fact that I was relying on the computer to do the work for me, that is not my way of enjoying an RPG. Apart from the gambits I quite liked the battle system it was different and new and I'm all for new with final fantasy, it's what sets it apart from other games. I hated the summons special abilities die to te fact that some of the requirements to use the special attack was downright ridiculous. The summons themselves were cool tho and I liked the levelling system.
13 on the other hand was just a pretty looking piece of poo. The story was ok an you got a good grasp of the characters but that was absolutely it. Level caps, utterly pointles and forced summons,linear game, lack of npcs, no exploration or visiting previous areas (apart from pulse) forced parties until 20+ hours. Game Over if 1 character dies (main character) I didn't mind the paradigm shift system so much much again all the auto commands and depending on the computer to play the game for you is ridiculous. There's just no fun to be had in ff13.
I'm liking 13-2 but again with the battling there's far to much auto battling going on.
I thought ff12 was amazing - just the right balance. Unfortunately 13 did nothing for me - more like an interactive movie than a game.
What's better about 12? It was non-linear, I could develop my characters how I wanted and the summons WORKED. Perhaps it was me but the eidolons in 13 always just broke my chains so were actually a liability.
Also 13 felt like 3 games held together with sticky tape - almost like the guys who wrote the game screen didnt speak to the guys who wrote the eidolon sequences and neither spoke to the guys who wrote the field parts of the game.
All time favourite was ff10 and 7, but these were the ones i played first...
I preferred 12 over 13. To be honest I think the Balthier character plays a big part in my preference. I have only ever played 9, 12 and 13 to completion but currently playing 7 and I did start 8 some years ago but will have to start that again as I have no idea where I am or what I am doing! I preferred the battle system in 12 and felt the characters were developed more. I really enjoyed 9 (the first one I started and finished so this might be a big factor) but I think the issue I had with it was that fact you seemed to run into battles every few steps which got very tiresome whereas with the latter games, You can pick and choose your battles to s certain extent as you can see where the bad guys are and just avoid them if you want. It will definitely be interesting to see where the series goes next...