Final Fantasy XII — What Love Story?

Raise your hand if you liked the love sto­ry in Final Fan­ta­sy X. Don’t be shy, I won’t make fun of you.

Now, if you did­n’t like it, then you’ll be excit­ed to know that this next install­ment in the series (not count­ing the online game, FF XI) has a much dark­er, polit­i­cal sto­ry. In this game, it’s not about stab­bing the man who stole your woman, it’s about stab­bing a man who took away your home­land’s freedom.

Of course, nobody like spoil­ers, so I’ll be talk­ing about the game­play instead. This game feels very much like a MMORPG (Massive­ly Multi­play­er Online Role Play­ing Game) except with­out the peo­ple pop­u­lat­ing the world map.

The com­bat has dumped the turn based sys­tem. Now you fight in real time, and have free­dom over the whole map. No invis­i­ble bar­ri­er to trap you in com­bat in this game. Don’t like the encounter? Run. No, you don’t have to hold R1 and R2. Just use the pret­ty ana­log stick that moves you like always. When you choose an action, a bar will charge up, and once it does, you exe­cute the action. Whether it’s using a potion, cast­ing a spell, or doing the clas­sic sword slashing.

Of course, this means you can’t eas­i­ly have direct con­trol over your allies any­more. Well, you can, but that would take away from the fast-paced feel of it all. So, the game has intro­duced some­thing called a “gam­bit.” These nifty lit­tle things give rules to your par­ty about how to fight. You can give them a gam­bit that says “Heal when health >50%” and you they will use potions or a cure spell when­ev­er any­body has their health some­where below 50%. If you apply gam­bits to the char­ac­ter you’re con­trol­ling you can effec­tive­ly win many bat­tles with only the ana­log stick, since you still have to con­trol your own move­ment. Beware the boss bat­tle how­ev­er, you can’t try this on those guys.

The lev­el­ing sys­tem is also com­plete­ly revamped. It resem­bles the sphere grid in FF X except with much less restric­tions. There are no “locks” to block you from going any­where. You also don’t move a cer­tain amount of spaces with a cool lit­tle icon either. In FF XII you get the *drum­roll* “license grid!” The license grid resem­bles the sphere grid, except it looks like a chess board and you can earn any point on the grid as long as you have enough License Points (LP) and have the spot next to it already earned. I’ll explain how to get License Points lat­er. Now, this means you can devel­op all your char­ac­ters in any­way at all. You can make your hero­ine a war­rior and your hero a white mage if you wish. Or you could make them a white mage with a giant sword. It’s all up to you. How­ev­er, there’s a bal­anc­ing point for this. You see, to equip ANY items you have to have the item earned on the license board. After that, you have to go buy it. Same thing for spells. Get the license, and go throw away some gold on it.

Mon­ey and items are obtained dif­fer­ent­ly now. One of the things peo­ple noticed first is…wolves no longer drop gil. Yes, those cute lit­tle mon­sters no longer ran­dom­ly swal­low mon­ey and make you rich when you gut them. Instead, you get loot from them that are pathet­i­cal­ly use­less. How­ev­er, they sell nice­ly. What mer­chant would­n’t want a nice fur coat made out of that wolf pelt you have on you? This adds more real­ism to the game, and also gives that MMORPG feel­ing to the game, along with the com­bat system.

Gath­er­ing expe­ri­ence is still the same as pre­vi­ous games in gen­er­al. You get the expe­ri­ence and gain lev­els which add to your strength. How­ev­er, you don’t only get EXP (expe­ri­ence), but also LP (license points) when you kill a mon­ster. Expe­ri­ence func­tions the same as most RPG’s, once you get a cer­tain amount your char­ac­ter gains a “lev­el” and becomes stronger. How­ev­er, LP is spent on the license board, and care­ful spend­ing can you make your char­ac­ters very pow­er­ful. Or you could be evil to your­self and not spend any, caus­ing your ear­ly death.

Set­ting up gam­bits is fun!

See those blue and red rib­bons of light? That’s the ene­my (red) tar­get­ing the good peo­ple and the good peo­ple (blue) tar­get­ing the squishy mon­sters. Also, notice the action bar under the words “Attack.” Once that bar fills with orange, the char­ac­ter will, er, attack.

That’s the pret­ty license board. As you can see here, this per­son loves guns.

Not a scene from the game, but I could­n’t get a screen­shot of some­body using grenades. This was the clos­est I got.


One thought on “Final Fantasy XII — What Love Story?

  1. I loved the love sto­ry of Final Fan­ta­sy X. :(But we still get to stab peo­ple.. cool!

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