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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!!!
FFXII is by far the most time consuming FF ever. The world (Ivalice) is huge, with many different types of environment and terrain, even the weather changes, affecting which types of monsters inhabit an area.

With such a huge world in which to run around in it can seem somewhat overwhelming. Large areas can harbour some seriously handy treasures but with the...
Published on 22 Mar 2007 by D. Francis

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Automated story
Its been a while since a FF game has come out in this series. my first impressions were a little disapointed, the combat system is ripped straight out of the secret of mana games (90's square games), gone are the random battles and in with the "fast paced" fighting. It seems to me like they just tried to make this game into an action game but trying to keep elements of...
Published on 23 July 2007 by Alucard


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!!!, 22 Mar 2007
By 
D. Francis "viapurico" (Kent) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Final Fantasy XII (PS2) (Video Game)
FFXII is by far the most time consuming FF ever. The world (Ivalice) is huge, with many different types of environment and terrain, even the weather changes, affecting which types of monsters inhabit an area.

With such a huge world in which to run around in it can seem somewhat overwhelming. Large areas can harbour some seriously handy treasures but with the new "probability" system the treasure may only stand a 20% chance of being a useful item and maybe only a 60% chance of appearing at all. This can lead to hours of going away and coming back again, hoping to have re-spawned the treasure into something you need.

Monsters can be a serious pain, especially if they gang up on you. You can avoid a lot of battles by simply fleeing past them, because unlike other FF titles FFXII allows you to see monsters roaming arround so you can avoid tough battles. Sometimes fleeing seems like a great idea but you need to idealy spend hours and hours fighting them and "leveling up" otherwise you will stand no chance of completing the game.

There are 21 optional side quests, some of which you will have to complete to find hidden bonuses and bosses throughout the game.

Magicks, Weapons, Armour, Shields, Tecknics and Augments can be bought for the usuall transfer of GIL at traders, but (and this is a very big but) you will need to unlock the corresponding liscence on the liscence board using points you have gained from defeating monsters. For instance, you have bought a sword but need to unlock the liscence square for 25 LP (licence points) you will need to defeat 25 wolf type creatures, most of which only award 1 LP. when you have done this simply unlock the tile on the liscence board and slash away. Its exactly the same with everything else.

Thats the basics of the game really but i could go on and on, if i did this review would take up several pages. Its a brilliant game and well worth the wait. I hope you enjoy it as much as i have.

If there is one piece of advise i could give, i would suggest you buy the strategy guide when you buy the game. You can complete the game by not having it but you will find it very difficult to find the juicy bonuses throughout the game with out it.

Happy Gaming.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looks beautiful, plays well., 13 April 2007
By 
R. B. Moore "rmoore322" (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Final Fantasy XII (PS2) (Video Game)
I've been a fan of the FF series for a while now, dipping in and out to see how they progress. And I've been astounded with just what they have achieved here on a (relatively) elderly console. The cut scenes are just beautiful to watch, the play is smooth, the load times are minimal and the story plays out just nicely and draws you in.

There a couple of things to note - the battle scenes can get pretty complicated when you've got characters firing off gambits left right and centre and enemies are putting spells up, and using items. I didn't mind this - first time I had a big battle, I was struggling to keep up with the action, but after one or two more, I went with the flow and the pace that things happen feels true to combat. Secondly, the licence board is a definate case of there being a few key squares that you make for to get an early character boost. The Quickenings make things very easy for a while, and the HP boosts really help too. Thirdly, the overall difficulty swings up and down a bit. Early on, it felt easy, then it got a bit tricky, then I hit a mid game patch where five or six bosses were just trivial and then it got a lot harder again.

So this is a character based RPG, with a bit of grind in there, plenty of monsters, plenty of female characters with not much on (some of Fran's scenes are just wrong!) - you know what you're getting. But it is all very well done, and I'd recommend without any hesitation.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars up there with the best, 6 Mar 2007
By 
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Final Fantasy XII (PS2) (Video Game)
This game is the culmination of many previous Final Fantasies and Vagrant Story that was released on the Playstation. Rival kingdoms, air ships and petty thieves are all very reminiscent of FF9. Magicite, Espers, the Empire and underground resistance groups coming together to go against them is very FF6. In one sense this is great as you have essentially the FF6 story but told with all the panache that a next gen system can offer that the SNES couldn't.

But on the other hand, you can't help but think the story has been told before. As another reviewer pointed out, it is more politically driven rather than character driven which is annoying because it is the characters that make or break a final fantasy in a lot of cases.

Graphically, the early hours are dark and gloomy, dungeons, sand and stone architecture which suits the context of 'ye olde cities and castles', but a more vibrant colour palette would have done wonders. These do come later on in the game but its a little off putting to begin with. This does not mean that the graphics are not suberb, the CG sequences are vintage SquareEnix and the in game graphics are a notch better than 10s but this is mainly due to being in control of the camera, so you can pan under your character to check the buildings and surrounding areas and get more of an appreciation for the amount of detail that has gone into this game.

The battle system is where this game comes into its own, sorting out your Gambits (simple algorithms like IF hit points fall below 50% THEN cast cura ELSE attack), including your own player means that if you don't fancy fighting yourself, you can just wander upto enemies and your characters will do all the work for you. This only gets annoying when you are wanting to retreat for whatever reason and your allies continue to battle away.

Overall, it kills any competition, the graphics, sound, voice acting and (if you liked FF6 and 9s) the story, which is far deeper and impressive than any other RPG out there but I personally preferred 8 and 10s storyline more. It is only because it is in its 12th incarnation that its hard not to be overly critical but compare it to any other RPG out there and it wins hands down.

Go buy and immerse yourself in the latest of the greatest game series ever.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The genius of Final Fantasy XII, 27 Feb 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Final Fantasy XII (PS2) (Video Game)
I really did think upon seeing the adverts for Final Fantasy XII, it was just going to be an absolute waste of time and effort, but as a true fan of the genre and the franchise i thought i would purchase the game anyway, and to my suprise i fell in love with the game.

Yes the fighting system was extremely bizzare if you have played any of the previous titles but it works so well no longer are battles just randomly thrown at you now you can actually see the enemies, the other advantage is there is less loading because you fight in the area you are running around in, the battles flow really easily and have a newly found 'complete' dimension to battles, not just a back and forth, enemy attacks you attack of the previous titles.

Another stroke of genius is the licences, with these you can develop the characters in anyway you want, rather than everyone having a 'set' path and position in the game anyone can be the mage,healer or the summoner.

The game also has things called gambits, these are in place so your party members actually do something as it would be way to hard to control everyone, you can cantrol everyone, but with the speed at which the battle runs you would be very hard pressed to pull this off as it now is 3-dimensional, thus makes it way to hard to control everyone as you just don't 'hop' from person to person, you get to choose what the gambits are and the priority of which the gambits are preformed.

Then we come to the graphics,stunning, there is just know other way to describe them, not only the standard in game graphics as they are exceptional, i would go as far to say they eclipse those of Final Fantasy X, but the FMV's are just superior to anything i have seen on the PS2, i very much doubt you will see better graphics now with the release of the PS3.

The music is OK in the game but know way near as good as the previous titles, and the voices of the actors do wear a little thin after a while, another thing i have to say about this game is it is probably the hardest of the Final Fantasys to date, so with this in mind you will have many different emotions through-out the game from joy to annoyance to a complete andrenaline rush when you complete a really hard part of the game, so its an emotional rollercoaster ride which is one, of many, reasons why i love this game, so overall this is a really good game and if you call yourself a Final Fantasy fan then you need to play this!
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!, 23 Oct 2006
By 
J. Lynch (London UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Final Fantasy XII (PS2) (Video Game)
I am about 2/3 of the way through the game at the moment and i can honestly say this is one of the best games I have ever played.

I only say this after much debate with myself due to the fact I play every new final fantasy with an open mind to how the game looks and feels. Before i played Final Fantasy XII I didn't like the fact square had changed the battle system nor how the game looks so much like a MMORPG.

The opening scene can only be described as epic with lush graphics bringing you 8 minutes of total eye candy. I will not tell you what happens because you need to see it for yourself.

The batte system does a fine job of bringing you in to the game with basics that most rpg players can quickly catch on to. The command list is still here in a familar fashion as always, you have the attack command, different magic spells (white,black,time,green) and items. Limit breaks are now called mist knacks and each player can have a total of 3 throughout the quest. Summons known as espers (FF6) are obtained by first finding them and then defeating them in battle, remember only one summon can be assigned to one character and once allocated can not be changed.

As you begin you adventure you will notice two things, one is how big the areas are, especially the main city of the game Rabanastre. The streets are full of life with lots of shops and people to talk to. Second is certain areas change weather over time thus bringing more dangerous creatures with it.

The story evloves around Vaan a wanna be sky pirate who walks the streets and often steals to make a living. You will soon be introduced to Vaan's friend Penelo who seems to come from a similar background as Vaan, Fran and Balthier who is sky pirate. You go to steal treasure from the royal palace and soon find yourself involved in a star wars like battle between different empires.

The music and sound feel right for the environment your playing in with tracks ranging from epic battle music to slow temple vibes.

Before I played the game I tried and tried to find faults, I was starting to go mad because I was convinced Final Fantasy XII was not going to be as good as previous titles in the series boy was i wrong.

One game one word OUTSTANDING!
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91 of 101 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Final Fantasy Gone Off Track, 20 Dec 2006
By 
J. Hall "monkeys_ride_bikes" (Aberdeen, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Final Fantasy XII (PS2) (Video Game)
I recently finished FFXII after 80+ hours of enjoyable gameplay. When I first got this game I was surprised.

The first thing that struck me as odd was the battle system - there is no random encounters! A good thing this may seem, however, I was sceptical at first as the battle system is completely (almost) computer controlled. There is a pecuilar blend of time based action and real play, making it at some times chaotic and confusing. You are able to pre-program your characters actions using the Gambit system (you can buy gambits in shops and the like). This can be useful to save time when in a heated battle, however, to a degree it does take away some of the player involvement.

However, that said, the battle system began to grow on me. It is different but enjoyable and there is some satisfaction in watching your characters perform just as you ordered them!

The skills/magic system is comparable to FFX's Sphere Grid system. It is known as the License board - bascically you need a license to use or wear anything (so if you bought say a amulet you would first need the license to wear it). You gain license points by killing enemies which you can then spend to unlock licenses on the chess like board. I found this good as you could basically assign ANY roles to your characters as each have similiar stats (for instance you may want one to be black mage and one to specialise in great swords/katanas).

The story was one part where the game let itself down. Gone are all philosophical realisations and ponderings, to be replaced by a massive political debate that seems to span the entire world. Although this is a change, I feel that Square made it too complicated for it's own good and could have possibly focused more on character relationships and backgrounds as well as it did in it's previous titles. I also feel there is a disinct Star Wars feel to the story and graphics, making it more of a sc-fi than a fantasy. However, that being said, there are plenty of sidequests to flesh out the main storyline, giving a broader perspective of what is going on.

All in all FFXII is a magnificant game, perhaps not living up to it's predecessors, but nevertheless, a great RPG. The graphics are perhaps the best to be seen yet and the absolutely massive world can take many good hours to explore.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Close to perfect, 28 Mar 2007
By 
R. McDonald "rossmcdonald2" (Southampton) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Final Fantasy XII (PS2) (Video Game)
Every Final Fantasy game of the Playstation era inevitably gets compared to the legendary Final Fantasy VII, and this is the first one that really comes close to matching that legacy, although in fact so much has changed now that it's very hard to make a meaningful comparison. Both are superb games, but whereas VII told a tight, intense story, XII is a more of a sprawling, drawn-out epic that takes something like twice as long to complete and will sometimes see you exploring absolutely massive environments for hours on end between plot scenes.

The combat has been changed to do away with random battles, so that the gameplay has become a lot more fluid. The balance between direct and automated control, and between combat and exploration, has been tweaked very carefully, with the result that the game is a lot of fun to play, and very deep to boot. It's just as well that it's so good, because the game world is physically absolutely massive (we're talking MMORPG massive here), and you'll still find that you have to plough through endless hordes of monsters to progress, though now at least now you feel like you have some control over engaging them.

Graphically it's simply stunning. The individual character designs are awesome, and the environments you explore are astonishing. Each landscape is broken down into a series of `rooms' which you pass through loading screens to transition between, but you can always see beyond the area you're in, which means you can see geographical features that are miles away in game terms. The game must physically be something like 10-20 times as large as FFX, say, and the scale means that you'll no longer miss the world map.

The story. On the one hand it's much more daunting than previous Final Fantasies. On the other hand it's much more mature, better written, and beautifully translated. FFXII requires you to keep track of dozens of characters and the internal politics of at least three warring kingdoms. The difference is that in previous games, the player would learn what was happening as the characters did. This time the characters are intimately involved in the labyrinthine plot, and it's sometimes frustrating to feel that they understand a lot more about what's going on than you do. Occasionally the game will send you out to retrieve an artefact without any very clear idea of why you're doing it or what you're trying to accomplish. But it doesn't really matter, because the plot and dialogue are so good, and the characters so deeply engaging, that it keeps you playing. FFXII is much more subtle than the previous games, much more westernised, and almost completely devoid of Japanese quirkiness. Some people will love this, others will be alienated by it. This game is not going to please everyone. But it is a great return to form for the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long, Massive and Absolutly Amazing, 21 July 2008
By 
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Final Fantasy XII (PS2) (Video Game)
When I played this for the first time I didn't really see how this game was good. I've played many of the other Final Fantasy games and so at first I was disapointed with how the battle system was layed out and I know that a lot of people don't like this game because of the battle system. Thats where I come in. I'm just here to tell you to just play it for a few hours(about 10-20). It may seem like a lot but if your an RPG fan then all you need to do is play this game for about that length of time and you won't be wanting to come off of it. And the best part is...this is the most time consuming Final Fantasy game of them all so if you like long games and you can manage to get into this then you'll be spending over 200 hours on it. If you want to complete the game 100% then I'd probaly say 220 hours (I'm not to sure cause I havn't yet completed it 100%). Another good thing is...if you like a world that is big then Final Fantasy XII will probaly be the biggest world you'll find on a Playstation 2 console. Some people have said that it's a bit too big but personally I think they should make the next Final Fantasy game a lot bigger. Final Fantasy XII has a total of 21 side-quests. Some of these side-quests you'll have to keep up with throughout the entire game and won't even be able to complete a couple of them until the end of the game. If you do get well into this game then you probaly will at some point think 'when the hell is this game coming to an end'. You do however have to fight a lot of monsters in order to gain levels but if your a person who is into RPG then that shouldn't be much of a problem for you. Going up in levels doesn't just raise your stats, there's also all sorts of weapons, shields, helms, armour and accesories to obtain however in this game to equip an item (any item) you'll need to purchase the licence for it. Every item you can aquire in the game will appear on the licence board and you have to spend licence points (LP) on each square to unlock the licence to use a weapon. Even then you have to buy the weapon but it's still very fun and very addictive. Like I said if your aiming to complete this game then be prepared to spend about 200 hours on this game. Sorry if I spelt any words wrong in this review. I'm writing this at 1:58am and can't keep my eyes open.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wave farewell to PS2 on the highest note possible, 29 Oct 2007
By 
P. Stokes "fox2125" (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Final Fantasy XII (PS2) (Video Game)
Since FFVII on the PS1, I've been spellbound by the series. When you play an FF game you know certain things are going to come as a standard.
Great graphics, great music, great gameplay and more importantly, longevity. It's this point alone which brings players back for more.
FFXII has a new fight system, and in some respects brings back the old school of combat. However, you no longer get a fight cut scene and you now fight in the arena you stand in. Tips throughout the character building assist you with map exploration and when you get to fight bosses, you're left in complete awe. A key point to raise as well is that some of the foes can't be beaten no matter what, because you don't have the necessary experience level. I didn't find this a problem when it was encountered as it clearly leaves you hunting and trading to get to the next step. Side games are helpful and once again the FMV is pure eye-candy. It took me over 100 hours to complete the game and I must have only touched 50% of the capacity the story holds.
If one game was going to get me to part with money for a PS3, it's this series and FFXII has pushed the PS2 to its absolute limit. Must buy for RPG/arcade adventure fans.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive, 27 Feb 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Final Fantasy XII (PS2) (Video Game)
Like everyone else I am a massive FF fan and was concerned when I haerd the whole fight engine was being overhauled. But I wasn't disappointed once I started playing. What seems a bizarre system at first soon turns into a logical progression for the series.

I simply don't understand where the comments from some of these so-called FF experts are coming from. This is a beautiful game with incredible detail, a more mature storyline and a nicely nostalgic score. Although at times this feels a far darker and broodier game than the typical FF fodder. The gothic, detailed graphics, political intrigue and often moody score reminds me very much of Vagrant Story on the PS1. There's even a very similar battle system.

If you want an impressive and new gaming experience give this a go - if not go play FF7 and remind yourself how much the franchise has improved.
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Final Fantasy XII (PS2)
Final Fantasy XII (PS2) by Square Enix (PlayStation2)
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