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Final Fantasy XII (PS2) is still a gorgeous game

YankeeDonB

Member
Feb 24, 2015
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It's good, and I like it a lot. But the world (which as others have eloquently noted here, is the focus of the game) was really hampered by PS2 tech. Dungeons and cities in particular just feel like big textured boxes. And while the plains environments are quite beautiful, the forests just feel like plains environments with textured pillars everywhere.
 
Sep 15, 2010
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twitter.com
My favorite game of all time.

Obviously, opinions... but what you've described, to me, is a disappointment in that the game didn't hold your hand. The fact that the game didn't play some sentimental music and tell you what to feel.

"Aerith, died! Isn't this music sad? This cut scene was in the trailer! Feel something, yet?"

"Isn't this opera memorable!? Isn't this music memorable? You should remember this!"

"Isn't this formal ball charming? Oh, she is pulling him to dance, how romantic! Aren't you romanticized yet!?"

Final Fantasy 12 doesn't really put a lot of stock in these moments because, frankly, it is too busy being an actual world -a world that doesn't always revolve around the player, or try to hang its hat on telling the player how to feel.

You know what I remember about XII?

I remember standing on the bank of the Nebra River with Penelo for the first time and having one of the strongest feelings of place I had ever had in a single player game. I needed to get a sunstone from the Giza Planes, but decided to take a detour through the Estersand. I had fought my way through a maze-like area, saw the rebuilding efforts at Nalbina Fortress, had almost been killed by a crazy cockatrice, and even visited a group at a small encampment that was worried about their family members across the channel. Here I stood on the edge of this near crystalline river under the mid-day sun totally of my own accord and felt that there was more to the world than what the plot had in store.

I remember crossing the Giza Planes during the rains and being killed by one of the water elementals that patrolled the grounds. It led me to feeling both an incredible sense of awe at the landscapes beauty, the thunderous sky reflected through the gathering water on the ground, while also giving me a great fear of what was around the next corner.

I remember watching airships skitter across the sky in Bhujerba for the first time.

I remember being an hour into traveling across the Ogir-Yensa Sandsea and realizing everything I saw on its edge I would get to touch.

I remember approaching Raithwall and being in awe of its architecture as towering columns flanked me on either side. Then, once inside seeing the ancient fires of the past dance in the distance. Also, running from one death wall only to be greeted by another.

I think what I love about the game so much is that it is a world first and a vehicle to drive a plot second. I look back at previous FFs and my enjoyment of those games largely relies on the plot. I love Final Fantasy X, but when replaying it everything I see (even camera angles) are always the same. I round the same bend looking at the lake the same way I always do. I will feel sad when Wandering Flame kicks in, in the same place it always does, like I always do. You default to giving Top 5 Moments (tm) because moments are fixed because previous Final Fantasies are fixed. There is always something new to discover about XII because it is a world and that world is alive.

So, I disagree with the assertion that Final Fantasy XII isn't memorable.
Fantastic post about the best FF game ever.

Remember the maze of Giruvegan Crystal?

The difficulty of Pharos?

The sheer scale of the Sandseas?

Blew my fucking mind.
 

Parsnip

Member
Feb 5, 2010
9,228
0
0
Finland
I played about seven hours of XII back in the day, but it didn't hold me beyond that. That I'm told that the story doesn't develop meaningfully really soured me on returning to it since. Despite my reticence, I'd be excited for a XII remaster simply because the aesthetic would hugely benefit from a HD treatment and that, like the Kingdom Hearts remasters, we can get the Zodiac Job System released for the first time in English.

It's amazing to see how many people warmed to the game over time. Like X before it, I remember there was a general dislike for XII in the immediate aftermath of its release. I guess XIII makes anything look good.
I actually like the story quite a lot.

I don't remember people disliking it after release, my experience was that people already made up their mind before the game came out, based on the demo. I never played the demo myself, so I have no idea if it was representative of the final game.
 

Suzzopher

Member
Jul 23, 2009
6,101
0
0
My favorite game of all time.



Obviously, opinions... but what you've described, to me, is a disappointment in that the game didn't hold your hand. The fact that the game didn't play some sentimental music and tell you what to feel.

"Aerith, died! Isn't this music sad? This cut scene was in the trailer! Feel something, yet?"

"Isn't this opera memorable!? Isn't this music memorable? You should remember this!"

"Isn't this formal ball charming? Oh, she is pulling him to dance, how romantic! Aren't you romanticized yet!?"

Final Fantasy 12 doesn't really put a lot of stock in these moments because, frankly, it is too busy being an actual world -a world that doesn't always revolve around the player, or try to hang its hat on telling the player how to feel.

You know what I remember about XII?

I remember standing on the bank of the Nebra River with Penelo for the first time and having one of the strongest feelings of place I had ever had in a single player game. I needed to get a sunstone from the Giza Planes, but decided to take a detour through the Estersand. I had fought my way through a maze-like area, saw the rebuilding efforts at Nalbina Fortress, had almost been killed by a crazy cockatrice, and even visited a group at a small encampment that was worried about their family members across the channel. Here I stood on the edge of this near crystalline river under the mid-day sun totally of my own accord and felt that there was more to the world than what the plot had in store.

I remember crossing the Giza Planes during the rains and being killed by one of the water elementals that patrolled the grounds. It led me to feeling both an incredible sense of awe at the landscapes beauty, the thunderous sky reflected through the gathering water on the ground, while also giving me a great fear of what was around the next corner.

I remember watching airships skitter across the sky in Bhujerba for the first time.

I remember being an hour into traveling across the Ogir-Yensa Sandsea and realizing everything I saw on its edge I would get to touch.

I remember approaching Raithwall and being in awe of its architecture as towering columns flanked me on either side. Then, once inside seeing the ancient fires of the past dance in the distance. Also, running from one death wall only to be greeted by another.

I think what I love about the game so much is that it is a world first and a vehicle to drive a plot second. I look back at previous FFs and my enjoyment of those games largely relies on the plot. I love Final Fantasy X, but when replaying it everything I see (even camera angles) are always the same. I round the same bend looking at the lake the same way I always do. I will feel sad when Wandering Flame kicks in, in the same place it always does, like I always do. You default to giving Top 5 Moments (tm) because moments are fixed because previous Final Fantasies are fixed. There is always something new to discover about XII because it is a world and that world is alive.

So, I disagree with the assertion that Final Fantasy XII isn't memorable.
Couldn't have said it better myself. FFXII and DQVIII are my favourite games of all time. They felt like the games I always wanted games to be in the future when I was a teenager playing on my SNES.
 

Rad-

Member
Jan 31, 2009
15,330
0
680
I played about seven hours of XII back in the day, but it didn't hold me beyond that. That I'm told that the story doesn't develop meaningfully really soured me on returning to it since. Despite my reticence, I'd be excited for a XII remaster simply because the aesthetic would hugely benefit from a HD treatment and that, like the Kingdom Hearts remasters, we can get the Zodiac Job System released for the first time in English.

It's amazing to see how many people warmed to the game over time. Like X before it, I remember there was a general dislike for XII in the immediate aftermath of its release. I guess XIII makes anything look good.
I think the main reason why it wasn't as liked first was because it was very different from normal FFs and people didn't give it a proper chance. If they had named it for example Vagrant Story 2 (which it is more similar to than older FFs imo) I think the initial response would have been way more positive.

Also like Parsnip said, the demo fooled some people. One of the worst demos ever, I hated it too. But then loved the full game.
 
Mar 2, 2014
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san antonio, texas
I think the main reason why it wasn't as liked first was because it was very different from normal FFs and people didn't give it a proper chance. If they had named it for example Vagrant Story 2 (which it is more similar to than older FFs imo) I think the initial response would have been way more positive.

Also like Parsnip said, the demo fooled some people. One of the worst demos ever, I hated it too. But then loved the full game.
Curiously enough, I'd written FFXII off completely until I played through the awesome dungeon-crawling demo that was included with DQVIII.
 

Walpurgis

Banned
Mar 12, 2015
8,911
0
0
PS3 launch titles look like ass compared to this game. I hope it gets the Type-0 HD treatment with new effects and stuff. This game is beautiful.
Ah FFXII... the one where Balthier was supposed to be the MC but somehow didn't happen.
Ashe was my main character. Balthier was a side boy. :p
 

Pinky

Banned
Mar 11, 2012
4,128
9
0
Probably my favorite game in the series. Still gorgeous to this day. Such variety and beauty. It's quite impressive when you consider how vast the world is.
 

KarasuEXE

Member
Aug 20, 2014
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It really is great to see so much love for this game. I was lamenting the lack of FFXII threads when I started playing IZJS a few weeks ago, resorting to reading old threads just to get my fix. So thanks OP! Feels good to be able to join the discussion this time :)

Going by the older threads, there's often been a nice turnout in praise for this game which is great to see (especially since I remember it getting a lot of hate when it initially released).
Your post made me go search old FFXII threads. There's this one:

Final Fantasy XII boosts Square-Enix profit by 14%

People were SO optimistic... A shame that FFXII doesn't get all the love it deserves, nowadays.
 
Jun 5, 2013
12,779
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Fantastic game. Like the world, love the style, lose the characters (except Vaan). Love the battle system, especially how you can just let the AI blitz low level mobs.
 

AgeEighty

Member
Aug 2, 2014
3,696
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www.andytatnall.com
The game looks great, but it desperately needs modern camera controls. I find it nearly unplayable with the inverted shoulder button camera that there's no setting to un-invert.
 

Spukc

Member
Jan 24, 2015
14,914
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830
The game looks great, but it desperately needs modern camera controls. I find it nearly unplayable with the inverted shoulder button camera that there's no setting to un-invert.
git gud

yeah i know.

but still GIT GUD
 

Ikon

Member
Jul 23, 2011
1,498
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0
I love this game so much. Would buy insanely expensive collectors edition of remake without knowing contents.
 

dorkkaos

Member
Mar 18, 2014
1,055
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0
California
The game looks great, but it desperately needs modern camera controls. I find it nearly unplayable with the inverted shoulder button camera that there's no setting to un-invert.
Wait..I don't remember using the shoulder buttons to move the camera... I thought it was stick. But i do agree that the inverted camera controls suck. I hated it. I hope they give us the option to change that in the HD Remaster :D
 

crpav

Member
Jul 22, 2009
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And here is me still yet to even find the desire to go back and finish this game. Not a fan of the gambit system and just find areas overly difficult which in turn made me lose interest. I liked past games where grinding was "easier" and I could do so to help over power harder fights.
 

Shifty1897

Member
Sep 22, 2014
2,106
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And here is me still yet to even find the desire to go back and finish this game. Not a fan of the gambit system and just find areas overly difficult which in turn made me lose interest. I liked past games where grinding was "easier" and I could do so to help over power harder fights.
I spent hours with the Gambit system. I ended up with a set of macros that literally fought all the battles for me, targeted weak points, healed themselves, restored MP with skills, and removed status effects automatically. I only had to intervene on some of the tougher hunts. It was awesome.
 

Pejo

Member
Jul 1, 2009
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Every time I see this thread I hope there's some leak of a HD remaster hidden in from some junior, but there never is. :(
 

Pinky

Banned
Mar 11, 2012
4,128
9
0
It's possible I'm misremembering, but it was really more the inversion I found crippling.
It was controlled by the stick, but you are correct about the inversion. I was able to adjust to it pretty quickly, so I guess I lucked out.

And here is me still yet to even find the desire to go back and finish this game. Not a fan of the gambit system and just find areas overly difficult which in turn made me lose interest. I liked past games where grinding was "easier" and I could do so to help over power harder fights.
Love the gambit system, but there are some areas that invoke dread when I think back to the game. Pharos at Ridorana and the Great Crystal were huge undertakings.
 

Lanrutcon

Member
Feb 19, 2014
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Irrelevant
It was controlled by the stick, but you are correct about the inversion. I was able to adjust to it pretty quickly, so I guess I lucked out.



Love the gambit system, but there are some areas that invoke dread when I think back to the game. Pharos at Ridorana and the Great Crystal were huge undertakings.
Some of the rare items and crafting components took my hours on hours of straight up grinding. Love the game, but...I don't have the spirit to ever do that again.
 

crpav

Member
Jul 22, 2009
1,316
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0
Some of the rare items and crafting components took my hours on hours of straight up grinding. Love the game, but...I don't have the spirit to ever do that again.
I think the lack of time also made me lose interest. It came out(US) when I was dating my now wife as well as playing Gears of War on the 360 among other games. I let my brother borrow it before I even read the manual or played. When he finished it and returned it I started it. Started out ok but the interest was just not as strong as previous Final Fantasy games.

Anyway, the time to play issue has only gotten worse(married and now have a son) and I have so many games to play. Back with 7 through X-2 I had so much time to spend on the games. Real world problems after college I tell ya.
 

Pinky

Banned
Mar 11, 2012
4,128
9
0
Oh yeah. I sunk about 210 hours into the game. Rare hunts, rare items, crafting weapons/armor, super bosses(Yiazmat took about 5 hours alone), etc... If you want to do everything there is to offer, you better be ready to sink some serious time into it.
 

Iph

Banned
Apr 2, 2012
1,880
0
0
Loved this- my PS2 died while I was making my way through it. Game world, lore, trivia, architecture, culture, bestiary and history was particularly great, and why it is still probably my favourite FF, despite the fact that I never got the chance to complete it. If/when it gets HD remastered, I'll be there.. maybe with bells on? Dat Ivalice.
 

Kyzer

Banned
Jan 7, 2009
11,985
1
0
FFXII was the last Final Fantasy to really blow my mind and make me think damn this is crazy and different and special.
 

Pinky

Banned
Mar 11, 2012
4,128
9
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I'm really feeling the love for XII right now. Aside from having aged quite nicely, I think the OST is easily the best in the series as well. I could fall asleep to the Eruyt Village theme.
 

AgeEighty

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Aug 2, 2014
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I should also mention that the camera controls were only a problem when I tried going back to finish the game later on, after I had gotten used to a non-inverted camera with the 360 and PS3.

I actually never even got past the Demon Wall early in the game. I died to it a few times and realized I'd need to grind a bit to defeat it. But the desert area right before it was kind of dull. And then... other games happened. That was a killer gaming year. I had both Okami and Disgaea 2 going on at that time—two of my all-time favorites—and then came Wii and PS3.
 

ChanMan

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Sep 4, 2014
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I happy to see so many people that really love this game as this is easily one of my favorite games ever and the most memorable Final Fantasy game I ever played. I only brought FF X HD in hopes that somehow might little purchase would influence this game being remastered. So much sense of wonder and character in this setting of Ivalice I would love to revisit it on my PS4.
 

MrPhiliasfrog

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May 6, 2015
562
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Gorgeous game. I remember the first time playing this game and being blown away by the design of all the regions. Ogir-Yensa Sandsea, Arcadia, Paramina Rift, Necrohol of Nabudis, everything is detailed and well-connected to create the illusion of a cohesive world.

The soundtrack is amazing too. Sometimes I stayed far longer than expected in the Necrohol of Nabudis only for the music and the atmosphere.

Last summer, I did a 100% run. Every marks and espers, getting Tournesol and the Zodiac Spear, beating Omega Mark-II and Yazmat. It was quite difficult to achieve, but in the end it was worth it.

The best localization and voice direction in a JRPG IMO. Nothing ever top it.
And this.
 

Pinky

Banned
Mar 11, 2012
4,128
9
0
Gorgeous game. I remember the first time playing this game and being blown away by the design of all the regions. Ogir-Yensa Sandsea, Arcadia, Paramina Rift, Necrohol of Nabudis, everything is detailed and well-connected to create the illusion of a cohesive world.

The soundtrack is amazing too. Sometimes I stayed far longer than expected in the Necrohol of Nabudis only for the music and the atmosphere.

Last summer, I did a 100% run. Every marks and espers, getting Tournesol and the Zodiac Spear, beating Omega Mark-II and Yazmat. It was quite difficult to achieve, but in the end it was worth it.



And this.
Heh, I did the same thing in some areas. Music was so good, you had to stick around to enjoy it. I did this a lot in Eruyt Village, Great Crystal and Dalmasca Estersand.
 

Sumio Mondo

Member
May 27, 2015
5,188
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The best localization and voice direction in a JRPG IMO. Nothing ever top it.
Very much agreed. But I think the localization of Matsuno's other titles such as Tactics Ogre (PSP remake), Vagrant Story (this one was with just O. Smith) and Crimson Shroud also have great localizations by the same duo too. But on the scale of XII? Yeah, nothing else comes close.
 

Alex_Mexico

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Mar 13, 2014
9,972
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0
I know FFXII was one of those very few PS2 games that supported widescreen but did it also support 480p progressive scan? And if it did how much does it help so it doesn't look like complete ass in my 50" LED HDTV?
 

Sumio Mondo

Member
May 27, 2015
5,188
4
0
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The fact that they got British theatre actors to voice act in XII was also impressive, what's also impressive that they got the likes of Nolan North to pull off a performance whereby his voice is barely recognisable at all (Vossler).
 

BocoDragon

or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Realize This Assgrab is Delicious
Dec 5, 2005
51,668
2
0
I know FFXII was one of those very few PS2 games that supported widescreen but did it also support 480p progressive scan? And if it did how much does it help so it doesn't look like complete ass in my 50" LED HDTV?
I don't believe it does.