Release Date (Japan): 03.16.2006
Release Date (NA): 10.31.2006
Preferred Platform: PS2
Other Platforms: N/A
Percentage Played: 76%
Percentage Completed: 85%
Scores (Out of 5)
Story & Cast: 3.5
Battle System: 4.0
Soundtrack: 3.5
Visual Style: 3.8
Originality: 3.8
Replayability: 2.9
Fun Factor: 3.6

Michael Apps
Helmed at the start by the celebrated Yasumi Matsuno of Ogre Battle fame along with Hiroyuki Ito, fans of Final Fantasy were extremely excited to see the main series explore the world of Ivalice first introduced by Final Fantasy Tactics. Of course as the game took longer to develop and Matsuno eventually left due to health concerns, hopes for the game were dampened. Thankfully, despite some story issues when the game eventually was released, fans were treated to one of the largest and greatest entries the series has ever known. Featuring combat more closely resembling western RPGs such as Knights of the Old Republic, Final Fantasy XII manages to mix styles to create a brilliant battle system that moves in real time while still allowing players to pause and select commands carefully. This means the game no longer features a transition to battle, merging exploration and combat like the series had previously done with the MMO Final Fantasy XI. To aid with this real time system, XII features one of the most robust AI scripting systems RPGs have ever seen to carefully control character actions if players prefer not to micromanage. With a huge world to explore and many challenging dungeons and bosses, Final Fantasy XII was a fitting farewell to the PS2. The fact that the game is still this good despite the Matsuno issues is a testament to the talent that worked on this title.

Mike "JuMeSyn" Moehnke
Earlier this year I played Final Fantasy XII, the most recent in the main series that I expect to experience for quite some time. I enjoyed myself considerably with the game, but the time that I spent with it supplied no strong memories of the time, at least not in the way some earlier games have done. For now, I've had enough Final Fantasy without feeling a compulsion to experience any more.

Nathan Schlothan
Final Fantasy XII is the game that I really want to like, but I can't help but hate. It can seem strange that I dislike it so much, since there are many good things about it. It has creative setting, a unique battle system, many large and beautiful areas to explore, and some genuinely challenging and exciting battles. That said, it has one major flaw that is tantamount to a mortal sin for games: it is boring.

Really, the entire game can be summed up as a scattered cluster of islands filled with fifteen minutes of incredible fun that are each lost in a vast ocean of tedium that takes hours to cross. Hunting the game's "marks" involves some very fun battles, but they also involve an excessive amount of backtracking and more than a little luck. The game has some interesting story moments and a respectable villain, but the villain can be completely absent from the game for stretches of up to sixty hours at a time. Most of the game involves meaningless treks across empty wilderness in which nothing of importance happens at all. On top of all of that, the rewards for completing the game's many difficult sidequests are pitiful and useless as a whole, characters lack any meaningful variety in options, and the story, despite its pretenses and production values, is ultimately very shallow and dull.

Michael A. Cunningham
I feel like I'm one of the biggest fans of Final Fantasy XII. When I first played the demo that was packed in with Dragon Quest VIII, I fell in love. It offered real-time encounters that were still turn-based in nature. It was the perfect evolution of what I'd wanted from a single-player Final Fantasy XII. The game was not without its problems though.

The cast was great, though the main character was pointless and forgettable. The combat system was fast and one of my favorites of all time, but the limited gambits made things painful. Having to purchase different levels of gambits made no sense at all. Also, the licence board was utterly useless as well. There could have been many other methods of implementing uniqueness in characters, but sadly it was not. All those issues aside, I love Final Fantasy XII's combat enough to make it one of my favorites. The battles with Gilgamesh are some of the best fights in the series.

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