Monday, September 7, 2009

Don't believe Ondore's lies - First impressions of Final Fantasy XII a few months too late.

More like a few years too late. I had this saved as a draft from the very early days of the blog and in order to make the other post of today make sense I've decided to publish this one. It's kinda pointless, because it's been so long I can't even remember much about this game, but oh well. I want my 100 posts dammit. I'm not even going to rewrite or finish it, that's how little care. Mind you I should get around to finishing that game some day.

I always planned to write a little bit about what ever game I'm currently playing. Not so much from a review point of view, I'll leave that to the professionals, I mean sitting down and trying to analyze what it does right and wrong, and how I can rip it off in some future design. I have tried putting on the 'Games Reviewer' hat previously; It was ill fitting and felt dorky, but the problem is the games I play are always fit into an odd reviewing niche. They aren't new enough to be considered cutting edge, yet they aren't old enough to be considered retro. They are the kind of games people just finished playing, as I've managed to find them cheap secondhand somewhere, and so me telling them if it's good or not becomes kind of redundant.

So without further ado, here I am playing FF12 and it's not that bad. It's both Final Fantasy and Not Final Fantasy at the same time. And also part World of Warcraft. And also part Star Wars.

The obvious difference is the abandonment of the ATB (Active Time Battle) system and random encounters. In its place: Active Dimension Battle (ADB) and no world map travel. In scope, It's a lot more epic than previous games, if not taking place over a much smaller area.

The new ADB system is pretty interesting, it allows you to give AI commands to team mates. Not only does it change up the way battles are fought, but it also adds another element of collectability to the game, and thats always good for the obsessive-compulsive crowd. The downside of the new system is that it makes the game feel a lot more like an mmorpg, just where instead of friends you have a couple of robots to help you out. Unfortuntately, this only goes to highlight how shallow some of the side quests can be. Fetch quests are abundent. Item farming also feels somewhat unnecessary. Futhermore there are several points were I've felt too detached from the main plot, sometimes due to level requirements. Grinding becomes necessary just to progress with the story, and thats never fun.

Similarities to Star wars are striking...

Etc.

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