Latest Game Reviews

Final Fantasy XII Review - PS2

9
Gameplay: 9 stars 9
Graphics: 9 stars 9
Audio: 8 stars 8
Innovation: 8 stars 8
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Introduction

FFXII is the latest game in Square-Enix’s renowned Final Fantasy series, and it really breaks the mould. Keep reading to find out why.

The story, while fairly run-of-the-mill, is well plotted out with some very memorable characters. The story follows Vaan, a lowly thief in a large city in the world of Ivalice, called Rabanastre. As the story progresses, Vaan gets embroiled in a plot to save the world from all out war, leaving his humble beginnings far behind him.

Gameplay

The battle system is completely different to the previous Final Fantasy games, the turn based battling the series is know for has been scrapped. Once a battle starts, all you have to do is press the X button. Doing this causes a menu to pop up, and attacks, items, magic, and techniques can all be accessed. You can also use the menu to switch the character that you are currently controlling, as you can only control one character at a time, you have to give orders to the others in your party. If you don't want to fight, holding down R2 button allows you to flee. The interesting thing about fleeing in FFXII however is that you actually have to run away from the battle (it’s all in real time), and the enemy may chase after you!

A rather handy element of Final Fantasy XII is its "Gambit System". Using the Gambit system, you can customise the actions of your party members as you wish. You can set up to 12 different situations that each character can react to and order them to complete a task automatically. For example, if you want a character to cast "Heal" on a team mate who’s been damaged, and only has half their HP left, and then immediately attack the nearest enemy as soon as they’ve done that, you can set it. In other words, you can set a series of actions which are triggered by a certain event.

You can even set actions that only target one character, rather than just any random member of your party. It's a useful system, though at times is can be a hindrance (because of conflicts with the actions) and one that can be switched on and off at any time. An example of a conflict is that an enemy might need one more hit to be defeated, but if you have a Gambit turned on that tells the character to heal if they’re hurt (or if another character is hurt), then they will be immobilised and only able to focus on the healing. This can also leave them open to being attacked during heated battles.

With Gambits set, it can sometimes seem like the game is playing itself, with characters moving by themselves. However, Gambits are not quite versatile enough to adapt to different battle situations, and if you rely solely on them you won’t last long. You’ll need to rely on strategy and quick thinking to get you through this game!

Another interesting feature of Final Fantasy XII is the levelling ...

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