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on 20 February 2008
I'm gonna keep the main statement simple: this has GOT TO BE the best Final Fantasy game to-date on the PS2; OK, maybe not story-wise but gameplay and graphic-wise this is the shiznit...

...the all-new, original Active Dimension Battle system is a whole new view on classic RPG turn-based fighting, especially for the FF series. The Active Dimension Battle (or ADB) system, now "seamlessly integrates exploration and combat", so say 'goodbye' to all of those annoying random encounters...and say 'hello' to 3D mapping. Yes, now you can rotate the camera view (with the second analog stick) in ANY direction you require so no more hiding for those pesky chests full with valuable Elixir (true FF fans would understand).

...standing side-by-side with the ADB also is the "revolutionary Gambit System and Licence Board which give you complete control over the development and behaviour of your characters."

(1)The Gambit System are basically orders you pre-set so that, when in combat, your characters can automatically carry out their commands, e.g. 'Attack -> Nearest Enemy' or 'Curaga -> Ally <20% HP'; it might sound a bit confusing now, but trust me, you'll get the hang of it soon enough.

(2)The Licence Board is a unique take on the usual 'kill-an-enemy-acquire EXP-level-up' path. When you defeat an enemy, besides acquiring EXP points, you also acquire LP (Licence Points); the stronger the enemy, the more you will get. These LP are used on the LB to enable your characters to weild certain weapons or armour. Other than this, they can also be used to augment your characters' stats such as '+250 HP' or 'Decrease MP cost by 10%'. I'll admit that sometimes intentionally acquiring these LP is a pain but then again, at the same time you are gaining invaluable EXP points.

I could go more into detail but these features are the most cutting-edge for the FF series. I HIGHLY recommend this game for RPG-lovers and FF-fans alike and even if you do buy it, all we can do now is look forward to the various future-releases of more FF games.

This may be Final Fantasy but definitely not the last.
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on 30 October 2008
Final Fantasy XII is something I have been working through recently due to the current economic crisis. I heard some major changes were made to this game and so differs a lot to its predecessors.

Anticipating the horror of a new combat system in the manual, I actually was amazed at how efficient and engaging it is. The gambit system is a useful tool for those who are too lazy to issue your other characters an attack or defensive strategy. It makes the game very efficient during battles but I should point out the game still revolves loosely round a turn based system.

The GF's, those who can turn the tide of battle with a single summoning returns. They are known as Espers in this game and they are very hard to get hold of. They now roam around with their summoner fighting enemies like one of the characters and usually execute their finishing moves in a cut scene, classic Final Fantasy style.

There is little variation in the game, not many sub plots and sub games which is disappointing. It is needed because the structure of the main plot is very repetitive. One gets something to do, one travels through the desert and fights baddies, one goes through a ruin/dungeon to retrieve something fighting baddies along the way and the cycle goes on. What ever happened to those addictive sub games? The card game in FFVIII was classic.

So was the world roaming in the spaceship, the Ragnarok. Is there really no freedom? Actually there is in the towns. Good graphics help make these beautifully articulated places that are very memorable and you can almost believe in them. Sometimes it feels like you are on vacation. Very exotic places and an enjoyable experience roaming round the towns. When you are outside the towns its just desert or glacier, no suburbia or farmland! How do the people survive and where do they live? :D

I do agree with some others who reviewed this game stating that the characters were not very interesting. I think that would partially have to do with the English voice overs. They don't appear enthusiastic or emotional enough for instance when you expect them to be in order to help you engage with the plot. The plot is very political, subliminally sending out messages to those young gamers and well timed considering the political situation between the West and the Middle East. Although I am not sure that was intended :D

Good job for changing the combat system. If it was the same as all the other FF games I would not have continued playing. An addictive chill-out sub game would have been nice though.
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on 5 July 2009
I'm a die-hard FF fan, I've been playing it since the first PS-1 release and in my opinion, so far, FF12 is the best game of the series.

Some argue that the story and the characters were not as good as in the previous games which is a fair point. But to be honest I always found the plots a bit flimsy and the acting terrible - in FF10 the characters were always waving their arms every time they spoke. So I guess there isn't a lot of change in this aspect apart from the fact that there is not a lot of story and break-scenes as it used to. I won't say whether this is a bad or a good thing. I always watch the scenes but I know a lot of people that just skip all that.

About the character development, I really enjoyed it. In the previous games a character would be "stuck" with some specific abilities (one is good with swords, another with white magic and so on...) but FF12 gives you more freedom to make you character stronger in whichever way you like. Of course there are the "innate" abilities for each one, but it does not cripple the development of the others abilities. So your strong guy will be able to cast a white spell just as the delicate heroine will be able to slash and dice with the biggest sword in the world. The character development is made through a sort of grid with each grid representing different things, from enabling your character to fight with a certain type of weapon to increasing its strength. Each grid requires a number of points that you collect while defeating foes. You'll need the grip to equip the character with weapons and protectives and also to use magic.

The fighting mechanics is also a new step - no, sorry - a great leap forward. You have a sort of GPS of the area you're in and you can see the position of each enemy in relation to your team. I found it awesome that you can actually avoid fighting if you're too weak or you just cannot be bothered. Also you have non-aggressive foes which are much stronger but it will only fight you if you start fighting first. Another introduction to the fighting items is the Quickening. It's a special element that you have to develop using the grid, that allows you to chain commands from other characters in one go if you press the right sequence of buttons fast enough. It can be a life saver in some tough fights especially when there's a time limit.

Some missions were endless and boring (i.e. talking to a lot of people in the right order) - thankfully there were not a lot of them. But some are really gratifying like the Hunting Clan - even though is optional I think it is totally worth to do it. You can get special weapons and items through the hunts and a lot of money as well. Which brings me to another change in the series, where you can't loot Gil from the defeated foes anymore, but some items that you can sell to make some bucks.

I could go on and on with this review, but I'll stop here. There are loads of improvements that made the game more dynamic and less repetitive and even though the story won't bring tears to your eyes, you'll feel at the end that you don't want to finish and keep playing until you're sick of it.
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on 26 November 2012
After making an @rse of my first order and ordering a strategy guide instead of a game, I finally got the right thing. Quick delivery time (thank god) and the game was in perfect condition. thank you store for saving my bacon!!!
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on 18 March 2015
Although I love almost all single player FF titles, for my tastes wasn't really excited with this one. There was a new designer team behind this particular release, so ok, some fresh tones here and there (like the active battle system) but other than that, can't say I enjoyed playing the game. Personal point of view.
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on 10 August 2012
Final Fantasy XII is a decent if sometimes frustrating game that sees your typical group of rogues, princesses and the token bipedal animal person wander around generic fantasy land on their quest to the next dungeon.

Don't get me wrong though, it is a fun game. Combat is definitely moving in the right direction by allowing you to move and there something to be said about just running the hell away from enemies right from the beginning. There are so many spells, techniques etc that it'll take a looooong time before you master it. I'm currently trying to complete the Mark mini game which is a pure endurance test.

What this game also has is variety. Big open spaces of deserts, mountains, swamps, forrests, towns and bizzare plces that could only exist in a JRPG. Throw a large roster of enemies (although they all seem to be duplicated at least 5/6 times) and you've got plenty to keep you going for weeks.

The story is ok but too convoluted. For one thing, it's suffering from pointlessfetchquest syndrome which sees you going to one dungeon, picking up an item, seeing one of their many versions of gandalf, finding out that you need something else and repeating. Way too much padding but the wider context of the story is good, if hard to follow.

The main character Vaan is where I have a problem. Unlike other Final Fantasy games, his relevance in the story is slight at best to the extent that you could quite easily take both him and Penelo out the story and you wouldn't miss much. The other four characters have their own interesting quirks and backstory and even some of the guests characters like Reddas and Larsa add personality.

I'm not one for graphics. Its a last gen game and it looks it. Good voice acting though, apart from the noice Ashe makes whenever someone says something to her that's surprising, rude or annoying. You know that sound.

The levelling up and license board system I like and allows you to really customise your group however you want at the start of the game. Towards the end though, it suffers from the same problems that X had in that every character knows every ability so the tactics are lost.

All in all though, well worth the buy.
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on 1 January 2009
If only the programmers had considered those words of wisdom.

I absolutely love Final Fantasy. I spent literally DAYS playing VII, VIII, IX, X and X2 into the ground and I truly adored every minute.

Final Fantasy XII completely changes the battle system and feels totally different from its predecessors. I spent a long time trying to get to grips with it, and, whilst I don't dislike it as a game, it lacks too many of the trademark features of it's older siblings to truly consider it one of the family. I'd even go so far as to say this "isn't Final Fantasy", even though I am fully aware in saying so I am likely to infuriate a few hardcore fans of the game itself and of the series.

My main gripes relate to the combat system, which bears virtually no relation to previous Final Fantasy titles, making the entire experience feel immediately unfamiliar. Add to that the sad absence of some of the usual creatures (particularly Tonberry), and you are left with a bitter taste in the mouth throughout.

Please don't misunderstand me me - I like this game, but I do not consider it a true continuation of the series.
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on 25 June 2008
I enjoyed this game at first, but I soon realised I was doing the same thing over and over. The story in this game seems quite good, if a bit odd. Sometimes a character will come out off no where with no explaination.

I really enjoy the new battle system. It's bassically just like it always was with the massive difference of it being in real time. This means you can hold down the "Fleeing" button as soon as you see an enemy you don't won't to fight, and avoid him without any hasle. There are new things like Lisences, Gambits, and monster hunts. They're fun but the main gameplay never changes and I feel like I've wasted my money.
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I have been genuinely surprised at some of the pretty negative reviews that Final Fantasy XII has garnered.I think it is one of the best in the series and the fact that it is now available on Platinum makes it outstanding value.

You will spend many,many hours playing this game and although some of the battles do get tedious,this has ALWAYS been the case with a Final Fantasy game.There is something of a different look to this and it reminded me of a superb Square game from years ago 'Vagrant Story'.

On the whole I found the characters to be engaging and this effort features one of my newly added favourites,the fantastic Fran.I pretty much used her as a playable character as soon as I could and she is one of the few that could slip into the world of FFVII.Now that is a compliment believe me.

As usual there are several side quests that aren't essential to finishing the game but which most of us will try anyhow.One monster with 1,000,000 health points took me an absolute age to defeat.This isn't as good as FFVII(what is?) but it is an excellent addition to the series and a truly fantastic bargain.It fully deserves five stars.
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on 1 February 2009
Final Fantasy XII is a great game, the graphics make even better.The story may take a long time to complete but, it's very interesting to see what happens in the story.I would definitely recommed this game to buyers.This game is only really for patient players because some of the cut scenes and journeys take a long time.
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