Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Retro Review : Final Fantasy XII
Remember this day for it is my first retro review of a game I have disdain for and own because it's the only game I don't like that I own. I only own this because of the fact I collect Final Fantasy's and this is a retro review of the worst true Final Fantasy games(true as in numbered Final Fantasy's) Final Fantasy XII or why the Final Fantasy franchise should never have continued without Hironobu Sakaguchi. I know people like this and it's highly rated but this review is from a real Final Fantasy Fan's perspective not a normal reviewers so please, keep the hatred toward me at a minimum.
Final Fantasy's were always great until 2 events happened... the merger of Squaresoft and Enix and the absence of Hironobu Sakaguchi. The decline started with Dirge of Cerberus and dragged it down with awful gameplay mechanics and a story that's was not as good as expected. Final Fantasy XI Online managed to help bring it down by attempting to give people a more interactive experience and force you to pay them for it. I can also mention some spin off Final Fantasy's but from 2003 they all sucked hard. Admittedly Crisis Core : Final Fantasy VII was a great game and the Final Fantasy VII : Advent Children movie was good and even Dissidia Final Fantasy wasn't too bad... except it's story but Final Fantasy XII just didn't do anything right at all.
Lets start with the Story of Final Fantasy XII. It starts out with Vaan, a boy who wants to become a sky pirate and decides to try and make his dream come true after meeting Balthier and Fran while stealing magicite from the Rabanastre castle. They get stuck in a sewer thanks to a fight between Rabanastre and Dalmascan troops and meet up with the True main character Princess Ashe pronounced as ash(well she isn't but trust me the actual main character is more of a tag-a-long in the story... even Yuffie is a more important character in VII then Vaan is in XII) and the plot turns into a political story that's not very interesting and feels like a chore to get though. The characters are pretty much unlikable especially Vaan and while the story has depth like every other Final Fantasy it lacks a lot of thing that made every other one great. Now the Gameplay my second biggest issue with the game, story being the first because if a story is good enough you can forgive the other elements of the game. The game plays like a f***ing MMO! You run around dungeons and fields like in a MMO and fight enemies like in a MMO and your teammates don't help much like in a MMO and it's slow like a MMO. I play Final Fantasy XI admittedly (once a month because even though it's not that good I already put in too much effort to quit) and this plays like it but crippled. Another thing is the Licence system you use to learn things like how to wear a hat for crying out loud! It's HORRIBLE! Ever play the .hack series of games? They play a lot better then this did! You don't have a action style presentation with turn based combat outside of a MMO it is stupid! If the game allowed multiplayer support then it might have been less annoying but with it's story who would want to play it?
Final Fantasy XII has a lot of problems to it but managed to appeal to some people. It's also probably the most traded in numbered Final Fantasy ever and I only keep it for my collection. I don't give retro reviews number score at all mainly because the game may no longer be available but if I did give this a score it would be in a negative value but that's in a bias outlook. I try to review games in a non bias way to be professional, that's why Cross Edge has 2 sets of scores on it.
This retro review was done bias but even in a non bias way I couldn't even say the game is good. I know a lot of Final Fantasy fans and even they returned the game or traded it in because they didn't like it so if that isn't proof enough of the game being bad then I don't know what is.