• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

Final Fantasy 12 - second attempt and loving it

Go_Ly_Dow

Member
Nov 9, 2010
16,844
236
965
I first played FF12 back in 2007, back when I was 17 and never truly appreciated it - I think perhaps even despised it for breaking many series norms and not characterising the cast in the usual FF way. However, fast track to 2021 and now 30, I'm giving this a second playthrough and absolutely loving it.

Simply put, the game is a masterpiece of sorts. The sheer scale of the world and variety, the incredible art direction that is so good that the Zodiac Age remaster on PS4 Pro holds up incredibly well. The world building is fantastic, large cities/towns, fluid combat so many NPCs with ever changing dialogue etc....The gambit system and licence boards are a lot of fun to play around with too. I also forgot how CGI heavy the game is which has been a nice surprise.

Whilst I care little for Vaan and Penelo, the rest of the cast is great, as are the villains and other major characters. The writing and voice acting sells it, along with the political strife given how well done the world building is.

Most importantly, it's the music that I'm enjoying the most. I love the classic orchestral vibe and there are many nice tracks. Not as distinct as older and some newer FF games in the music department, but it complements the world well.




I recommend checking it out (Zodiac Age remaster on PC, PS, Switch, Xbox) if you've ever been on the fence. Once you get a few hours into the game, I think many would enjoy it.

I hope 16 takes some notes from 12.
 
Last edited:

Spukc

Member
Jan 24, 2015
17,049
18,241
920
I prefer the OG american version not this zodiac crap.

anyway dude.. this is THE BEST FF game imo.

i finished it 4 times.

it’s starwars+final fantasy

gambit system is so cool.
oh and FFS get a guide for missable items.
You will be thankful you did next playthrouh
 
Last edited:

TheContact

Gold Member
Jan 22, 2016
6,588
6,310
860
Which one would you recommend to someone looking to get into the series ?

the original one for psx ps2(non zodiac edition)
while the remaster has some nice qol stuff, and i actually prefer the zodiac board (i love classes/jobs) over the generic one, they made the game way too easy so unless you set up a restricted challenge for yourself (like only using one character or something) then it's just not fun
 
Last edited:

Go_Ly_Dow

Member
Nov 9, 2010
16,844
236
965
Which one would you recommend to someone looking to get into the series ?
Perhaps 12 - it's quite a big game, so it does take a slow approach to really get into the game and understand all the mechanics. It's not difficult, but a lot of different elements.

If you're accustomed to Japanese games, then I'd recommend the FF10 remaster too. It's very different from 12, but probably my favourite personally.

FF7, 8, 9 on PS1 are all also still great, if you're fine playing PS1 style presentation games.

FF11 and 14 are MMOs so perhaps ignore those.

FF13 and FF15 are disappointing and I consider them to be awful.

FF7 Remake, I personally love it and would highly recommend it. But perhaps after playing the original.

In summary, 10 or 12 for a newcomer / Then revisit 8 and 9 / 7 and 7 Remake I recommend too and up to you if you want to play the original first.
 
Last edited:

_Ex_

Member
Oct 5, 2019
291
434
295
USA
hardcoreretrogaming.boards.net
By far my favorite FF, and I didn't get around to playing it until 2012. I put over 100 hours into this one, loving every second. FF12 was simply ahead of its time, and most gamers of its day were not ready for its fresh ideas. Since the HD re-release, seems gamers of today are much more open to its design. Probably because so many other JRPGs ripped off ideas from FF12 throughout the years, that now FF12's design seems more familiar today.
 

kamkamkam

Member
Jan 11, 2021
215
487
295
the original one for psx (non zodiac edition)
while the remaster has some nice qol stuff, and i actually prefer the zodiac board (i love classes/jobs) over the generic one, they made the game way too easy so unless you set up a restricted challenge for yourself (like only using one character or something) then it's just not fun
The og was ps2.
 
Feb 23, 2018
2,029
4,493
510
The game got way, way, way, way, WAY too much LOL OFFLINE MMO shit when it came out, which was a shame because the gambit system is so freaking cool (and was ironically basically completely copied in Dragon Age 1 which people loved, and was a precursor to the current trend of AI companions except in FFXII you could completely customize their AI to whatever you want which is way better).

Anyway yeah the game rules, kind of falls flat towards the end (issues cut the dev time short) but the first half+ is just so solid.

Which one would you recommend to someone looking to get into the series ?
Personally I would always recommend 7, 9, or 10 as a first game to play (also 6 if you are willing to play an SNES game). I actually am not the biggest fan of 9 but everyone else seems to love it so I still recommend it. 12 is great but the gameplay is so drastically different than any other Final Fantasy game it wouldn't give an accurate first impression of the rest of the series.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cutty Flam

TheContact

Gold Member
Jan 22, 2016
6,588
6,310
860
The og was ps2.

ty brain fart

Which one would you recommend to someone looking to get into the series ?

this is a hard question to answer because it all depends on your preference.
if you enjoy retro games, definitely play 6 first. it will give you a great impression of what FF games are about, but keep in mind each iteration loves to change everything up from the time period to the gameplay to the story and basically everything about it besides the underlying themes (crystals, heroes)

7 is a game that you have to play even if you aren't hyped about it for the same reasons people need to watch shows like the Sopranos even if that isn't their favorite genre--they're cultural icons

9 is the most complete and polished FF on the PSX but the battle system was just too slow for me. the newer versions have a fast forward mode which helps though.

10 is the last GREAT final fantasy game. the remaster is well done and makes it very easy to play in 2021. it's definitely in my top 5 jrpgs of all time.

so only you can answer this question, though if you forced me to pick one I would say play X
 
Last edited:

Go_Ly_Dow

Member
Nov 9, 2010
16,844
236
965
Yeah it's always really hard recommending the perfect FF for a newcomer.

Most would probably say 7 (R), 8, 9, 10 or 12. So take your pick from those.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cutty Flam

kamkamkam

Member
Jan 11, 2021
215
487
295
ty brain fart



this is a hard question to answer because it all depends on your preference.
if you enjoy retro games, definitely play 6 first. it will give you a great impression of what FF games are about, but keep in mind each iteration loves to change everything up from the time period to the gameplay to the story and basically everything about it besides the underlying themes (crystals, heroes)

7 is a game that you have to play even if you aren't hyped about it for the same reasons people need to watch shows like the Sopranos even if that isn't their favorite genre--they're cultural icons

9 is the most complete and polished FF on the PSX but the battle system was just too slow for me. the newer versions have a fast forward mode which helps though.

10 is the last GREAT final fantasy game. the remaster is well done and makes it very easy to play in 2021. it's definitely in my top 5 jrpgs of all time.

so only you can answer this question, though if you forced me to pick one I would say play X

I think we all know the best FF is Xenogears
 

AJUMP23

Member
Sep 29, 2020
2,914
3,131
425
I think this is one of the best FF games. I loved playing through the original and thought it had great combat and good characters. It is essentially Star Wars in everything but name.
 

Spukc

Member
Jan 24, 2015
17,049
18,241
920
XII is the best FF next to 6.
...and it completely destroys 7.

Fran is one of gaming's greatest characters.
 

TomoItagaki

Neo Member
Dec 7, 2020
38
120
195
I've given XII 4 chances and hated it every time. Still, I did get the zodiac edition so maybe the 5th time is the charm.

Are you me?
It's a shame really, I really like the art direction and the story, but the game itself is such a slog to play. I also strongly dislike the gambit system.
 

cireza

Member
Jun 1, 2014
8,203
6,911
700
Have the game installed on Xbox but haven't tried it yet. My favorite FF are X, XIII trilogy and XV. I am not too hot about XII, feels a bit too MMOish to me, and I not a big fan of the art direction... Still, I will give it a try someday.
 

kunonabi

Member
Dec 2, 2010
18,704
4,248
1,000
Are you me?
It's a shame really, I really like the art direction and the story, but the game itself is such a slog to play. I also strongly dislike the gambit system.

Yeah, that's exactly my trouble with it. I also hate not being able to plan out my character builds since license nodes or whatever are only revealed after you unlock adjacent ones.
 

Fuz

Member
Jun 8, 2009
8,420
9,968
1,255
Cagliari, Italy
Great art direction and decent combat (still prefer VII and IX), I also liked the pseudo open world system, but the story is completely idiotic and the characters are super bland.
 

Zelent

Member
Sep 13, 2019
113
143
290
You've completely motivated me to give this game another shot.

I'm also 30 years old now, and I played this game in my youth, back when the game first came out.
I completed HATED it for all the reasons you described. It just didn't feel like a traditional FF game, and lacked a lot of the aspects that made FF10 such an amazing RPG.

I'll grab the Switch version and see if my opinion changes.
 

Synless

Member
May 13, 2007
11,421
552
1,470
Michigan
Did the ps version ever get the 60fps patch? I beat it back when it launched for the second time, but I know Xbox got a superior version which disappointed me.
 

Amish Prince

Member
Feb 14, 2015
93
120
420
I've always been on the FFXII train, ever since it's release. The only FF game I simp for, honestly I'm so glad it's picked up a lot of love years after it's release. It deserves every bit thrown it's way. Beaten it at least 3 times by now and the way you approach your party/gambits/combat allows it to differentiate itself each and every playthru.

Thanks for the thread OP
 

SkylineRKR

Member
Jun 22, 2011
10,729
1,918
865
Holland
Zodiac Age is the best FF ever made imho.

And I hated the initial PS2 release. It wasn't the direction I wanted to see FF go into. But I guess its the improvements since IZJS, and getting older that I came to appreciate it. Its less emo, its less Nomura designed feminine guys, its more down to earth. Even though Vaan's design is awful, pretty much the only awful design in here, his personality is okay. He's not a whiny kid with daddy issues throughout the story. I loved how he changes rather early in the game. He's not that bad, just his design is.

If it comes to GP, and the S is running it at 60fps, I might return to it since all I played was the vanilla PS4 release.
 
Last edited:
  • Strength
Reactions: Khalid M.

Lady Bird

Matsuno's Goebbels
Feb 26, 2006
1,737
1,034
1,835
31
Portugal
Yeah, that's exactly my trouble with it. I also hate not being able to plan out my character builds since license nodes or whatever are only revealed after you unlock adjacent ones.
I think you can still check out what each license node offers by moving onto them, even if their icon is still invisible.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BeardGawd

dwish

Member
Jul 1, 2020
131
256
240
I first played FF12 back in 2007, back when I was 17 and never truly appreciated it - I think perhaps even despised it for breaking many series norms and not characterising the cast in the usual FF way. However, fast track to 2021 and now 30, I'm giving this a second playthrough and absolutely loving it.

Simply put, the game is a masterpiece of sorts. The sheer scale of the world and variety, the incredible art direction that is so good that the Zodiac Age remaster on PS4 Pro holds up incredibly well. The world building is fantastic, large cities/towns, fluid combat so many NPCs with ever changing dialogue etc....The gambit system and licence boards are a lot of fun to play around with too. I also forgot how CGI heavy the game is which has been a nice surprise.

Whilst I care little for Vaan and Penelo, the rest of the cast is great, as are the villains and other major characters. The writing and voice acting sells it, along with the political strife given how well done the world building is.

Most importantly, it's the music that I'm enjoying the most. I love the classic orchestral vibe and there are many nice tracks. Not as distinct as older and some newer FF games in the music department, but it complements the world well.




I recommend checking it out (Zodiac Age remaster on PC, PS, Switch, Xbox) if you've ever been on the fence. Once you get a few hours into the game, I think many would enjoy it.

I hope 16 takes some notes from 12.

Nice. I was also around 17 when I tried it. Been on and off whether to get the Zodiac Age edition.

The major issues I had was the story, the monotonic map design (like the tunnels below Bhujerba or the Pharos), the hands-off combat (program your characters and hold the left analogue stick) and the music (I missed the distinctiveness).

I completed it but probably wouldn't if I bought it again. Sucks as I was sooo hyped for it after reading about it in magazines.
 

Ixion

Member
Sep 18, 2010
2,093
714
895
Yeah, my situation was similar to the OP. I certainly didn't hate the game or anything when I first played it as a teenager. I liked it well enough, but it just didn't tick the boxes I wanted from Final Fantasy. I also though it was "too political".

I think I played it a second time about 5-6 years later and I just loved it. Ultimately I think it comes down to the initial fear upon release that this game is going to pave the future direction of the series, but once you see how the future entries changed things again (often with bad results), I really came to appreciate FF12 for what it added to the franchise. And now I'd say it's one of my favorite RPGs ever.

Also, having the fast forward option in the Zodiac Age is a HUGE plus that removes one of the big negatives from the original game. The battle system is cool, but can obviously get mind-numbingly repetitive after being in straight combat for a while. So grinding was a huge pain, but being able to just put your grinding at 4X speed completely removes that negative. That also kind of helps with the game's main story issue, which is that the story kind of goes into a lull towards the last 1/3. Being able to speed up the grinding helps the story pacing.
 
Last edited:
Mar 26, 2010
4,233
2,198
1,035
It's a great game, I like the characters and combat and going after "Marks" is really fun, like chasing powerful tyrants in a xenoblade game.

Just know that the supreme late game is fucked up. If you like to 100% everything the way I do you will be walking around in a confusing crystal maze where everything looks the same and there's no map, it's bullshit
 
Last edited:

Komatsu

Gold Member
Oct 17, 2016
1,699
3,922
845
Between Chicago and NYC
Have the game installed on Xbox but haven't tried it yet. My favorite FF are X, XIII trilogy and XV. I am not too hot about XII, feels a bit too MMOish to me, and I not a big fan of the art direction... Still, I will give it a try someday.

Cireza, as a fellow SEGA nerd I can assure you FFXII is fantastic. Art direction is superb, graphics hold up very well and the gambit system is fun. It'll even remind you of the late Phantasy Stars, to some extent, as this version of Ivalice is very desertic, full of browns and grays.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cireza

longdi

Ni hao ma, fellow kids?
Jun 7, 2004
8,451
5,845
1,865
the writing is very good, mostly, for a FF game

the cutscenes and cinematics are also very good

the scale and exploration seem bigger than recent FF. though i wished the towns are more interactive like the old 2d ones
 
Last edited:

Ten_Fold

Member
Jan 18, 2017
2,465
2,171
480
First time I played FF12 was when it came bundled with DQ8 as a demo and I hated the game as a teen. I played it a few years ago and enjoyed it, I feel it’s one of the better FF games and probably the last really good one outside of FF14.
 

EruditeHobo

Member
Jun 5, 2013
475
373
540
San Francisco, CA
Yeah, it's pretty damn good. You needed to get away from the idea that it should be at all like the 5 previous entries. Seems like you did that and now can see it for what it is. It's an ensemble cast game much moreso than it's predecessors, it's a very atypical combat system (which is actually really fun to play around with), and the story just feels different, less of some fated quest against a single evil enemy and more a exploration of a particular world.

That's how it feels to me anyways. Very good game. More understated than a lot of FF games, especially in terms of it's characterization, which is perhaps what turns off a lot of the fans of the disc-era FFs.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Amish Prince

Komatsu

Gold Member
Oct 17, 2016
1,699
3,922
845
Between Chicago and NYC
Yeah, it's pretty damn good. You needed to get away from the idea that it should be at all like the 5 previous entries. Seems like you did that and now can see it for what it is. It's an ensemble cast game much moreso than it's predecessors, it's a very atypical combat system (which is actually really fun to play around with), and the story just feels different, less of some fated quest against a single evil enemy and more a exploration of a particular world.

That's how it feels to me anyways. Very good game. More understated than a lot of FF games, especially in terms of it's characterization, which is perhaps what turns off a lot of the fans of the disc-era FFs.

Writing is definitely quite good, though it becomes pretty clear Matsuno left halfway through the game.

I love that all of Matsuno's quirks are there: the villain is not the villain because he's an asshole, like Exdeath (why does he want to destroy the world? lol yolo), but there is a logic, as much as you can disagree with its premises, behind his actions that could even be understood as noble.
 

cireza

Member
Jun 1, 2014
8,203
6,911
700
Cireza, as a fellow SEGA nerd I can assure you FFXII is fantastic. Art direction is superb, graphics hold up very well and the gambit system is fun. It'll even remind you of the late Phantasy Stars, to some extent, as this version of Ivalice is very desertic, full of browns and grays.
Thanks, I will keep this in mind and try to prioritize this game a bit higher, I have a few ones I want to complete first.
 
Last edited:

TheDreadLord

Member
Jun 8, 2013
445
545
595
It is a good game but far from the best FF games. Btw, the game is unplayable if you don't increase the game speed by 2 or 4 times.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zheph

longdi

Ni hao ma, fellow kids?
Jun 7, 2004
8,451
5,845
1,865
Writing is definitely quite good, though it becomes pretty clear Matsuno left halfway through the game.

I love that all of Matsuno's quirks are there: the villain is not the villain because he's an asshole, like Exdeath (why does he want to destroy the world? lol yolo), but there is a logic, as much as you can disagree with its premises, behind his actions that could even be understood as noble.
its a pity matsuno has to leave halfway during ff12 development, and the latter parts badly missed his involvement
 

MarlboroRed

Member
Jan 26, 2020
150
174
290
Haven't played it yet, but I will eventually. I love the games visual identity from what I've seen.
 

DGrayson

Mod Team and Bat Team
Staff Member
Dec 5, 2017
2,254
6,418
645
Ive always wanted to play this and I own it on Steam I believe. So I shouldnt be playing the zodiac version?