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Final Fantasy 12 - second attempt and loving it

D.Final

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

If you are looking for an action jrpg, with different types and times of battle, then you should start from the more recent ones (like XV, XIV, XIII, XII XI).
If you are searching for a classic turn based jrpg (with also ATB) you can try the old ones (like FF V, VI, VII, VIII, IX and X).


If I can give you a good advice, you can just start from Final Fantasy XV.
Because it is what I personally consider my favorite Final Fantasy game ever
made.
(since I've played all the Final Fantasy games)
And definitely the best Final Fantasy game since FFIX, always for me.



I loved everything about the Final Fantasy XV universe. From the beautiful world to the fun gameplay.
The majestic Lore and the awesome OST.
Just a true awesome experience



And FFXV it is also present in the PSPlus Collection. So you can play the Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition (the GOTY edition of the game) for free.





Ive always wanted to play this and I own it on Steam I believe. So I shouldnt be playing the zodiac version?
Yes

The Steam version is the best

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.

If you like FFXII you should play the official sequel of FFXII.

Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings




It's a real time strategy game, and so a completely different perspective from the first game.
But if you like the characters, the story or the Lore, you should play the Final Fantasy XII sequel, Revenant Wings.

P. S.: And if you love the Ivalice World, you should absolutely play the first Ivalice game of the Final Fantasy franchise.

FINAL FANTASY TACTICS
(today's known also as Final Fantasy Tactics - The War of the Lions)



(and even the Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 1, and A2, are really cool)

Regarding Final Fantasy XVI, if you like the Action jrpg genre, you should probably like FFXVI too.
(since the gameplay is seems inspired by FFXV and Dark Souls; and created by the Devil May Cry 5 guy, and the game world and Lore is made by the Havensword team [the second, amazing, expansion of FFXIV]. But there's much more that we still need to know about FFXVI)

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.

If I remember correctly, Exdeath is a sort of fallen God, that was sealed into an ancient tree.
(sealed also with the power of the crystals)

He seek for revenge, and for rule the world with the power of the Void.

And to free himself he absorbed a multitude of monsters and demonic creatures.
[that reminds me of Naraku, the main villain of an old anime called Inuyasha, even if in that case it was an human originally]

The true form of ExDeath is, basically, Neo EdDeath.
(although, at that point, he doesn't even remember who he is anymore)
 
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GymWolf

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Didn't liked at all back in the days, got bored after 5-6 hours but i always wanted to give it another chance.

Is it true that the story abruptly ends without a real finale or an underwhelming one.
 
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Trimesh

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Interesting - I remember playing this back in the day, and I really didn't like it - to the point where I quit early on and never came back to it, but there are some people on here saying they felt the same way and came to like it later.

I have a question for the people that changed their mind about it, though - how do you feel about MMOs? I personally absolutely despise them and I suspect that's why I could never get into FF XII - OK, it isn't actually an MMO, but it sure as fuck feels like one.
 

D.Final

Banned
Oct 18, 2018
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Interesting - I remember playing this back in the day, and I really didn't like it - to the point where I quit early on and never came back to it, but there are some people on here saying they felt the same way and came to like it later.

I have a question for the people that changed their mind about it, though - how do you feel about MMOs? I personally absolutely despise them and I suspect that's why I could never get into FF XII - OK, it isn't actually an MMO, but it sure as fuck feels like one.

The biggest change is probably the movement speed (x2 and x4) and the jobs grid.
(I personally prefer the original FFXII from PS2 for the ability grid, IMHO)

So, if you don't like the management of the Gambit system (that you literally allow you to never touch the controller for each battle, and the only thing that you can move the stick for move outside) than the base game isn't much different from the original release.

And so, if you didn't enjoy the first time I don't know if you can enjoying it now.
 

Hudo

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Ive always wanted to play this and I own it on Steam I believe. So I shouldnt be playing the zodiac version?
You absolutely should play the Zodiac version. It has made the original obsolete in every way. Being able to speed up the game is a feature that has catapulted FF12 as the second best FF game ever for me (it was in my top 10 before).
And being able to assign a second job and reassign jobs is awesome as well, though some argue that being able to assign two jobs makes the game too easy.
 
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Trimesh

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The biggest change is probably the movement speed (x2 and x4) and the jobs grid.
(I personally prefer the original FFXII from PS2 for the ability grid, IMHO)

So, if you don't like the management of the Gambit system (that you literally allow you to never touch the controller for each battle, and the only thing that you can move the stick for move outside) than the base game isn't much different from the original release.

And so, if you didn't enjoy the first time I don't know if you can enjoying it now.

Thank you. Yeah, that sounds like nothing has changed that would affect my general view of the game.
 
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Exentryk

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Ive always wanted to play this and I own it on Steam I believe. So I shouldnt be playing the zodiac version?
The steam zodiac version got all the latest updates (last year), so go for it. I have the same version on Steam. They've removed Denuvo as well, so Steam is the Definitive version.
 
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Soodanim

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Ive always wanted to play this and I own it on Steam I believe. So I shouldnt be playing the zodiac version?
People disliking the Zodiac edition is something I’ve never seen before this thread. I don’t know why there’s any claims of the game being easier. The namesake difference is that instead of everyone being able to learn everything, there’s 12 (Zodiac) job boards that can be assigned to any of the 6 characters. The Japanese only release titled FXII: International Zodiac Job System only allowed 1 on each character, and Zodiac (what you have) gives the option of 2 on each meaning no class gets left unused. Naturally that makes it easier than IZJS if you choose to use them (why wouldn’t you first time round?), but it’s still much more limiting than the original release where anyone could equip anything and cast anything. The only difference between the characters was in base stats and weapon animation speeds.

The other changes are mostly QOL. The original had a few missable items (like a guaranteed end game spear if you didn’t open 4 scattered and visually identical chests across the world) and locked away Gambit options for a lot longer. It also introduces world speed up options (2x or 4x, on the fly instant change) and the summons are no longer tied to the magic bar. Then there’s the additional content like extra weapons and game modes. I can’t think of any change that’s regrettable.

I own the original, imported and fan patched IZJS, and own Zodiac. Zodiac is best, hands down.

I never understood the hate for the gambit system. You can simply not use it. It love it, because it takes away the chore of thoughtless actions. If ally’s health <70%, heal. You can always override it or disable gambits individually, and Zodiac gives you multiple sets to switch between which is much quicker than reconfiguring your main set for one battle.
 
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RebellYell

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FFXII? No way man, Balthier is the worst Final Fantasy character ever and Fran is downright fetishist from her clothes to her bunny ears.

The only good character in the game is Vaan but they barely use him at all in the story which makes the game an absolute slog.
 

TMLT

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I replayed 7 through 12 over the course of a few months a few years back and 12 honestly ended up being my favourite. Might not have the best story or characters (I love Fran and Balthier though) but the gameplay has aged extremely well imo. The openness, the monster hunting side quests, the seamless transitions into and out of battles, switching characters etc, especially after the corridor linearity and random battles of X.
 
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Thabass

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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

You mean they actually made the game fun.
 

ZlleH

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I love this game from the start. Bought it on original release day.
Would leave my PS2 running until I finished the game because I didn't want to waste any booting up time or saving, LOL
My parents must have seen a spike in the energy bill and said WTF!? Ah, the memories.

This game was the the first time I started noticing voice acting and searching online who the voice actors were.

I just wish there was a true Final Fantasy off-shoot with more adventures with Balthier and Fran. I think they missed a great opportunity here. The world of Ivalice should have been exploited more(and not just the little NDS games).
 

Antwix

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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.
Coming to Game Pass February 11 !

 
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Kamina

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I initially played it back when it was released first on PS2. But i couldnt get into it really.
When it was on sale on Switch during Holidays 2019, i snatched it. Played it through completely, including bonus bosses and had a blast.
I guess sometimes it is oneself that needs to ripe.

FFXII is an offline FF MMO.
JRPG
Speak it with me: JAY-ARE-PEE-GEE
 
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Paltheos

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“Offline MMO” genuinely interested in the explanation behind this. 🥴

My guess at the time was (is) presentation. Typical gameplay loop involves 1) walking around large environments that transition easily between; 2) fighting battles in said environments that are effectively traditional turn-based where positioning doesn't matter even though your characters are moving around; 3) and returning to lively towns where you can talk to only a few critical NPCs and may listen to chatter of some others(IIRC?). 4)) Optional but important to the FF12 experience are taking on hunts of strong monsters that sometimes require special party prep beforehand in order to tackle, some of which are deep in dungeons.

I can see the resemblance. On the surface level it's not even that different from the .hack games which came out during that period. These were single player games that were designed to resemble MMORPGs (actual offline MMOs).
 
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Neolombax

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Played the PS2 OG version, I remember liking to world but did not like the story that much. But I quite liked the gameplay, it is different for sure. This post has made me wonder if I should try the remastered version.
 

Khalid M.

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If you are looking for an action jrpg, with different types and times of battle, then you should start from the more recent ones (like XV, XIV, XIII, XII XI).
If you are searching for a classic turn based jrpg (with also ATB) you can try the old ones (like FF V, VI, VII, VIII, IX and X).


If I can give you a good advice, you can just start from Final Fantasy XV.
Because it is what I personally consider my favorite Final Fantasy game ever
made.
(since I've played all the Final Fantasy games)
And definitely the best Final Fantasy game since FFIX, always for me.



I loved everything about the Final Fantasy XV universe. From the beautiful world to the fun gameplay.
The majestic Lore and the awesome OST.
Just a true awesome experience



And FFXV it is also present in the PSPlus Collection. So you can play the Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition (the GOTY edition of the game) for free.






Yes

The Steam version is the best



If you like FFXII you should play the official sequel of FFXII.

Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings




It's a real time strategy game, and so a completely different perspective from the first game.
But if you like the characters, the story or the Lore, you should play the Final Fantasy XII sequel, Revenant Wings.

P. S.: And if you love the Ivalice World, you should absolutely play the first Ivalice game of the Final Fantasy franchise.

FINAL FANTASY TACTICS
(today's known also as Final Fantasy Tactics - The War of the Lions)



(and even the Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 1, and A2, are really cool)

Regarding Final Fantasy XVI, if you like the Action jrpg genre, you should probably like FFXVI too.
(since the gameplay is seems inspired by FFXV and Dark Souls; and created by the Devil May Cry 5 guy, and the game world and Lore is made by the Havensword team [the second, amazing, expansion of FFXIV]. But there's much more that we still need to know about FFXVI)



If I remember correctly, Exdeath is a sort of fallen God, that was sealed into an ancient tree.
(sealed also with the power of the crystals)

He seek for revenge, and for rule the world with the power of the Void.

And to free himself he absorbed a multitude of monsters and demonic creatures.
[that reminds me of Naraku, the main villain of an old anime called Inuyasha, even if in that case it was an human originally]

The true form of ExDeath is, basically, Neo EdDeath.
(although, at that point, he doesn't even remember who he is anymore)
I'm loving FFXV so far despite the missing story content, just reached the Titan battle and it was amazing although messy. How do you do that dropkick?

Can't wait to revisit XII. But I want to the jacket with the glorious Yoshida illustration.
 

TheContact

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FFXII? No way man, Balthier is the worst Final Fantasy character ever and Fran is downright fetishist from her clothes to her bunny ears.

The only good character in the game is Vaan but they barely use him at all in the story which makes the game an absolute slog.

my thoughts are the complete opposite. balthier is awesome and so is fran. vaan was an outsider in the grand scheme of the plot and didn't really belong in the game at all. they put him in our perspective since the audience is also an outsider, but it just didn't work imo.
 
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ROMhack

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I only got into RPG games a few years back and it's my favourite FF by some distance. The world/gameplay is so fun!

The only blip is that the story takes a massive dip in the middle. There's about 10 hours where you're just going from A to B.
 
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One of the best games in the series, and possibly the best English localization and voicework of any game ever.

It's a shame they bowdlerized Matsuno's story, though. Basch as main character and a better conclusion would have fixed its major flaws
 
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Amish Prince

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my thoughts are the complete opposite. balthier is awesome and so is fran. vaan was an outsider in the grand scheme of the plot and didn't really belong in the game at all. they put him in our perspective since the audience is also an outsider, but it just didn't work imo.
Yeah vaan was added half way through development, because square thought basch was too old to appeal to teen gamers. He legit was supposed to be the lead and vaan/penelo weren't even in the original story; the reason they feel tacked on.
 

Lysandros

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Yeah vaan was added half way through development, because square thought basch was too old to appeal to teen gamers. He legit was supposed to be the lead and vaan/penelo weren't even in the original story; the reason they feel tacked on.
It is very clear that Matsuno's original vision (Vagrant Story is my favorite game together with MGS1) isn't left alive in the game, not very surprising that he left the project before its finalisation. It was a big disappointment for me back in the day.
 
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Amish Prince

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It is very clear that Matsuno's original vision (Vagrant Story is my favorite game together with MGS1) isn't left alive in the game, not very surprising that he left the project before its finalisation. It was a big disappointment for me back in the day.
I still love the game we got; one of my absolute favorite games of all time. But man, what could have been...
 
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Go_Ly_Dow

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Matsuno seems to be involved quite a lot with 14 these days, perhaps bridges have been rebuilt between the new CEO at S-E.

Would love to see him contribute to 16.
 

Papacheeks

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I highly recommend zodiac age. Bought it for my room mate for his birthday because it was one of the games he played when he first moved up here. He really has fallen in love with it again. It was remasterd pretty well, and he thinks the improvements to being able to have specific roles for characters is great.

It's $19.99 for switch, PS4. We are playing it on PS5 and it works fantastic. Loads quick, and looks really clean at 1440p.
 

Khalid M.

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Yeah vaan was added half way through development, because square thought basch was too old to appeal to teen gamers. He legit was supposed to be the lead and vaan/penelo weren't even in the original story; the reason they feel tacked on.
Are you sure about that?
 

Lady Bird

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People disliking the Zodiac edition is something I’ve never seen before this thread. I don’t know why there’s any claims of the game being easier.
Zodiac is the vastly superior version, but the original game was a bit harder and more balanced, which was probably the only strong point it has over the enhanced version. That's because in Zodiac Age character stats are inflated and you get to puchase/ find stronger equipment earlier. This makes optional hard locations a bit easier to explore.
 
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brokenduck

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Probably one of the worst character designs of all FFs, however I still love it in the end due to perhaps the best map design of the whole mainline series. Also super cool esper and their ultimate cutscenes.
 

Torrent of Pork

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Which one would you recommend to someone looking to get into the series ?
I'll actually defend 15, but only if you can get the Royal Edition for cheap, and pirate the animated features. 15 has a great story in its entirety, but it commits the ultimate storytelling sin of burying major plot points in separate mediums such as standalone films, animes, DLC, and even other games.
 

Ceadeus

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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

Have not Square fixed missable items with the Zodiak version?

Also, yeah, such a good game. I think the Switch version is my favorite.
 
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Neil Young

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Playing 12 due to game pass. It DOES feel like an old school MMO. I like it so far as I'm actually playing it instead of watching. I do not like the main character's voice work and I HATE his body language. Why do these fuckers all stand with their hands behind their head when someone is speaking with them, shoving their nasty armpits right into the face of the person in front of them? There also has to be a horrible lice problem because everyone is itching their heads.
 
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Are you sure about that?
Is this guy's argument that FFXII is substantially unchanged from Matsuno's original vision? Why does he think Matsuno was forced out, then? The game is a masterpiece, but the story as a whole is clearly not up to Matsuno's standards, and Vaan as a character bears no resemblance whatsoever to the teenage leads of Final Fantasy Tactics or Tactics Ogre.
 
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Dynasty8

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FFXII just got on Xbox Game Pass. I've been playing for the past couple days and really enjoying it. I'm on the same.bkat as OP....played it back in 2006 and didn't enjoy it due to it not feeling like the typical FF game with a more western approach. But fast forward 15 years later and now that I'm in my thirties, the game is much more enjoyable. Story is less cringey and not filled with as much melodramatic stuff seen in other JRPGs. I'm really enjoying it, especially the story.
 

Azelover

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Good for you that you're enjoying it!

I tried to like it really hard, but it just ain't my cup of tea.
 

PooBone

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I want to try it again too now that it's on Game Pass. I worked at a movie and video game rental store and took it home to try it and never got far, don't remember much except that I found the dialogue annoying.
 

Spokker

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I think I played pretty far into FF12 back on PS2 but dropped it. Loved the gameplay. I had my gambits so fine tuned battles basically played themselves with little input. However, I lost interest in the story because it didn't hook me on an emotional level.

While I can appreciate the world building and in-universe politics and stuff, I prefer the games that focus more on the characters' personal stories. FF6 had many of them. FF8 and FF10 had the romances between Squall/Rinoa and Tidus/Yuna. For example, in Final Fantasy VIII, I could not for the life of me telling what the villain's problem was or what she even wanted. But I do remember every scene with Rinoa and Squall, from the big story beats to the tiny details. Hell, the little camcorder footage during the credits in FF8 is more interesting and captivating to me than all of Ivalice and its rich history.

I did try the remaster on PS4 to give it another shot, but the same thing happened. Again, fun gameplay, but the story and characters just can't sustain my attention.
 
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Khalid M.

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Is this guy's argument that FFXII is substantially unchanged from Matsuno's original vision? Why does he think Matsuno was forced out, then? The game is a masterpiece, but the story as a whole is clearly not up to Matsuno's standards, and Vaan as a character bears no resemblance whatsoever to the teenage leads of Final Fantasy Tactics or Tactics Ogre.
We don't know enough to make judgements. I thought that blogger's perspective was interesting to consider. But at the end of the day we don't know how much of Matsuno's vision was changed, and how much of it was the two other writers trying their best to stay true to his vision. We also don't know if he was forced out or chose to left of his own volition due to feeling too overwhelmed. What I think personally is that the story becomes very thin in the second half of the game and rushes to the conclusion, though it's no disaster -- every scene is still excellent. The game went through development trouble and content had to be cut out, a problem Square struggles with to this day.
Why would Vaan being different from other teenage characters be a bad thing? Sadly we will never have his full story so there isn't much of a point to compare.
 

DonkeyPunchJr

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I too disliked it at first, but over time it’s become one of my very favorite FF games.

It’s so refreshing to play a JRPG where the characters speak and act like grown ass adults with functioning brains, rather than walking talking shounen anime tropes. It’s something I appreciate more and more as I get older and my tolerance for corny JRPG writing gets lower and lower.

And the gambit system is such a great evolution of the traditional FF battle system. Under the hood it’s pretty much the same as ATB, except now you can automate all the really boring routine stuff and intervene only when necessary. Sure beats picking “attack” from a menu over and over.
 
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MarlboroRed

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If I can give you a good advice, you can just start from Final Fantasy XV.
Because it is what I personally consider my favorite Final Fantasy game ever
made.
I followed your advice and got myself the game. Been playing for roughly 10 hours, but I don't think it's clicking for me. I'm only at Chapter 3 I believe and I have to force myself to keep going. I don't think this game is for me. Particularly combat is frustrating to me, it feels like I'm often getting one-shotted out of nowhere. Does it get better or should I just move on?