Final Fantasy XII

I heard there was going to be some references to the FFT games, but aside from the bungles Montblanc and Nono(or whatever the hell it’s name is) I have no idea as to what.

On that note it would be cool if the Reseacher/Narrator J.D. Alakazam (or whatever his name was) was at least refered to, although, I can think of better references, but this one would seem the most likely.

There is a guy narrating off-screen over the image of a book in the opening, but it is signed as Marquis… something (The letter was too tiny to read correctly). It was definitely not Alazlam or Olan Durai though.

I recently played the FFXII Demo and these are my impressions:

-I’m not impressed by the graphics. Somehow, I don’t find them as good as FFX’s. Not bad, mind you, but not eyepopping either (I suppose those are saved for the in-game movies. Fine with me.)

-I didn’t like the combat system much either. It didn’t feel intuitive. But I suppose that’s because in the demo you’re just dropped into battle; I expect the actual game to ease you into it.

I do like the idea of the system being semi-automatic, tho. I’m more of a tactician than a real-time player- I’d rather just come up with strategies, then set up the characters to follow them, than controlling every little detail of a fight, so at least I liked that. I usually only take direct control during Boss fights, but that’s because most Bosses require some thinking to beat (as it should.)

All in all, not bad, but I’ve seen better. Of course, I’m NOT judging the game based on this- I’ll buy the actual game and then make up my mind. (I’ll probably wait until after the release furor has died out, thought.)

Ok, updates:

Gambit System: I don’t know what the heck Penny arcade were complaining about. It’s an absolutely reasonable AI system with two different implementations: You can program functions into your characters so they’ll execute them under certain conditions, like “Use Cure on allies under 70% health”, and you can either assign commands individually like “ Character A attack Enemy B” or just let them choose their targets. It’s .hack meets Tales of Phantasia, to sum it up.

References: Yeah, I’ve seen quite a bit. Names like Magicite and Mist pop up a bit and there are unimportant mentions to other regions like Valendia (Where Vagrant Story takes place) and Ordalia (The country Ivalice fought in the 50-year-war in FFT, though now it’s mentioned as a continent instead). I’m waiting for the name Zeltennia to pop up somewhere. And to my disgust, the elite commanders of the Archadian Empire (The bad guys, you can tell since they have “Empire” in the name) are fully-armored horn-helmet-wearing tincans named “Judges”. Ugh.

Voice Acting: Sub-par. Sometimes the actors sound as if they were speaking right on the microphone, and the voice come up breathy and vibrating.

In-Game Graphics: It feels like they got to what they could do in FFX, focused completely on the FMV and forgot about the rest. More of the same.

There’s something pretty funny in one of the menus which is the Bestiary. It gives you basic descriptions of the enemies you’ve fought, but once you’ve killed enough of that type, you get a second page that has some cultural information somewhat related to that monster. It’s kinda nice.

They’re new enough. They look like shit next to the traditional bat-cat ones.

I should move to argentina.

I’m not liking this. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t really strike me in any particular way either. The cutscenes are nowhere as good as in Vagrant Story, lacking a lot of the atmosphere and dramatism, and the general plot (Empire invades country, resistance comes up, dumbass hero somehow gets involved) is so terribly overdone without a shred of originality that it completely fails to catch my interest. There’s obviously politics involved considering the writers, but it’s far from matching the web of alliances and betrayals in FFT.

Ok, to be fair, I’m not that far in yet anyway. It still has plenty of time to pick up, but it does a terrible job at presenting the traditional WOHA! start that’s supposed to get you into it (Like in FFX).

Sorry for the double post, but I had to get this out:

I have not played a less interesting game in a very long time. It’s awful. The actual playing is passable, but the story moves terribly, the characters are uninteresting and, in particular, the protagonist is amazingly boring and irrelevant. He gets like one line every hour and has absolutely zero relevance to the plot. His personal subplot was told in the first five hours of the game and he’s just tagging along now.

Montblanc’s sidequests are the most interesting part of the game. I’m playing FFTA: FMV Version. Shit.

Aha. If you go on playing, tell us if anything changes.

Cultural information? What is there a Bomb society? Do the tonberries have a governmental structure?

More like the chemical uses of a Flan’s secretions, the origins and biology of the Mimics, information regarding the areas a monster might be found in, the legends regarding the Sleipnir, things you can make from their remains and some completely unrelated stuff.

I’m 30 hours in right now and I have pretty much the exact opposite opinion from Serph. God, this is an amazing game. I played this then as an experiment popped FFX in, and the difference is incredible. I never realised how goddamn annoying the shattered-screen-oh-shit-battle-area mechanic of every other FF ever was until this showed me something better.

So yeah, ask me for a second opinion about anything so that me and Seraph can play each other’s Devil’s Advocate. :slight_smile:

As I said, the gameplay is fine, better than the traditional random encounter by far, but while the story is “ok”, it’s really mediocre when compared to other FFs, FFT, Vagrant Story, or any of the sort. To each his own, of course, but I don’t get it.

Where are you anyway? I take my time with this stuff, so I’m only past the Viera forest.

I’m way past there, at Archades City.

I love the plot pretty much because it’s the antithesis of all other FF games. It feels like there’s an actual world beyond the party members, monsters and whoever happens to be antagonising them.

That’s exactly the thing, it does not feel like FF. That wasn’t unexpected considering the development team, both FFT and VS had a much more serious and realistic story, where the supernatural was relegated to “a power which might be employed for an end” (“The Dark” in VS), instead of an all-important force around which the world spun (The Lifestream, for example). Instead, the conflict was much more human, way beyond the bad guy/good guy formula.

The problem is that, it does not feel like FFT and VS either. And I’m blaming this on Vaan: Think of Ramza and Ashley. While neither of them were the central focus of their stories, and in fact, Ramza was generally disregarded as a minor nuisance until it was too late, both had very strong personal reasons to get involved into the wars. By getting you to care about them, the story could introduce a plethora of characters who might or might not be directly related to them, but nevertheless you would have already being drawn into the atmosphere enough to care about everything else. Yet, Vaan is not in any such position. Besides for the scarce mentions of Reks, he’s just there for God knows what reason until you reach the Garif village and he suddenly spurts out the result of some soul-searching that apparently happened while I wasn’t looking.

Second: If there is something I always hated was the tagalong hero, the one who just happens to get involved in all the shit and fights for someone else’s good instead of a personal reason. Still, most manage to somehow move things along on their own, affecting the events and finding that they DID in fact have a link to all the mess (Zidane with Kuja and Garland, Tidus with Jecht) instead of merely following the White Mage/Summoner/Princess Chick ™. Once again, Vaan fails at this. Or at least fails at keeping me entertained enough until he becomes relevant, which may or may not happen.

And the political game fails as well. So Vayne and Larsa are competing for the throne. See, the difference between these two and Lars and Goltana is that I have not been made to care about that in the least. The Lion War plunged FFT’s Ivalice into a backstabbing mayhem involving characters very close to the protagonist, the Vayne/Larsa conflict might be only relevant to the main cast if Ashe can get Larsa to pull back their troops and free Dalmasca, but it completely lacks the urgency of the former. And there’s also the little detail of, bloodthirsty insights into my psychology aside since this is fiction, fighting a war is always way, WAY more interesting and exciting than stopping a war from happening.

But then again, this is only my current opinion. I’ve played games long enough to know that the worst-case scenarios happen 90% of the time, so I’m hoping for an all-out Archadia-VS-Rozarria breakout to spice things up, or something, but my point is that the game has STILL not caught my interest up until now.

How much does it play like Final Fantasy Tactics?

It doesn’t, at all. The battles are much like a simplified multi-character version of Vagrant Story’s system.

I thought Vaan wasnt the main character? I thought it was all about Ashe?

Well, yes, it certainly has been all about Ashe up until now, but Vaan is still the guy you start with, see the most of, and control for the largest chunk of time. He’s irrelevant, but he still fits the traditional role of main character.

It worries me that I’m hearing it’s a lot like FFT. And here’s why.

FFT is perhaps the worst game I’ve ever played, in every respect. Just thinking about it’s gameplay makes me want to rip my fucking hair out, and that’s not the worst of it. It has an infuriatingly bad story that was told with even less precision and less consistency than it’s worth. The worst part about it is that it pretends to be deep and complex when really it’s just inarticulate, and I have have to hear about how awesome it is from everyone whose eyes are covered by it’s wool. The setting was okay, but Square already made a game with FFT’s setting done right: FFIX. The graphics were shit in FFT, but that shouldn’t be an issue in XII.

From the descriptions in this thread, it just seems like a game I really don’t need or want. I’m going to wait until a few more people have played it and see what they think.

Sin: I’m looking in your direction.

Edit: On the plus side, the fact that it doesn’t play at all like FFT is encouraging.

1)I disagree with everything you’ve just said, but we went through this already.