Back, I guess

Hello little Internet friends. Sorry to leave the site in such disarray, but the combination of severe server troubles, a blitzkrieg of spam and an insane amount of Final Fantasy XII coverage has done terrible things to my ability to keep up with my regular routine, i.e. completely annihilated it.

I have a written a little bit about FFXII over the course of the past week. As in: onetwothreefour. Hello. This has mainly served as a reminder of why I never stuck with the GIA for very long; trying to whip up extensive coverage based on hands-on time with a game in a cryptic language from the Orient while trying to carry on with something like a normal life is really not a good idea.
It was, admittedly, much easier to stomach thanks to the fact that FFXII is fairly brilliant. I mean, I was pretty sure I was going to like it before, but now that I’ve spend quality time with the real thing I have to nod my hat to its sheer quality. And its sheer devotion to Final Fantasy-ness. Yes, OK, the battle system’s very different, but the story and presentation are very much in keeping with the standards of the series, and it manages to incorporate little bits of every game in the series. Even the little orphans like FFXI and FFT. In fact there is an awful lot of FFT to the weapons and skills, which I guess goes back in many ways to FFV, but I think the Tactics lovers will weep tears as they smile once they start to unravel the mysteries of the license board.
So, basically, FFXII is like a concentrated dose of Final Fantasy minus the really annoying barriers to enjoyment. Of course FFXIII is supposedly going to be a Kitase/Nomura production so there’s a good chance FFXII will be a happy little beacon of quality amidst the darkness, but I’ll take whatever points of light they’ll give me.

22 thoughts on “Back, I guess

  1. You would have to become Tron or something and punch the spammers servers in the nanos.

  2. So is it appropriate to make yet another joke about this being the 12th in a series which was supposed to end with the first game?

  3. GATSU:
    (1) It is never appropriate to make that joke. Sorry.
    (2) Because Japanese fans (and some of us American ones) dig the prettiness.

  4. Considering the conceit was “This will be my final game unless it saves the company,” I’d say Final Fantasy was NEVER meant to be the final game.

  5. am I allowed to freak out about this game now, considering EVERYONE is admitting it’s undeniably awesome?

  6. You know, the more of your FFXII writeups I read, the more worried I am that characters are now (from a gameplay standpoint) COMPLETELY interchangable. As I understand it, not even limit breaks are limited to a specific potential party member anymore. Have you come across ANYTHING character specific, other than licence grid starting point?

  7. Each character’s Mist Nacks are unique. Vaan’s first Mist Nack is always “Red Spiral,” no matter which Mist Nack slot you select on the license board. And I’d say the characters are far less interchangeable than in VII and VIII, where everyone but Squall was a blank slate for Materia/Junctions. You can customize however you want, but each character seems to work best in the role the game preassigns — Fran takes too much damage when I have her equipped with a melee weapon, so I’m keeping her equipped with a bow, at least for now, while Basch makes an ideal knight. It’s probably best to think of character customization in terms of FF Tactics, where anyone can perform any job but works best in their natural role.

  8. After you get done nano-punching the spammers, can you nano-punch all those people swearing up and down that FFXII was gonna suck next?

  9. OOHH! I appreciate the clarification, Parish. I definately misinterpreted your write up. Thanks for stopping that fire before it started.

  10. I am speaking as someone who is sick to death of JRPGs and die a little inside whenever I’m assigned one to review. FFXII proves that there’s room for actual innovation in the genre and that it’s possible for a JRPG to be great beyond DQ8’s “it sure is a lovely take on an archaic design.” (P.S. — also can’t wait to play Rogue Galaxy in English as it’s sort of like a more modest version of what FFXII accomplishes with an even stronger Skies of Arcadia feel.)

  11. Awesome, thanks for the info. Your DQ8 comment helps as well, I was going to mention that, and you answered my question preemptively. Well played.

  12. I didn’t even bother playing the FFXII demo when I finished DQ8. I like my rpg interfaces to be simple, and if I didn’t, I’d just play D+D instead.

  13. You’ve certainly abolished most of my doubts about the game. Though I worry I’ll find it boring for the exact polar reasoning that every gaming editorial seems to HATE Final Fantasy 9 while it’s yet to be usurped as my favorite.

  14. Reading that FFXII stuff was like finding out that I’ve got a terminal illness, except instead of going away from being dead, I’ll just be getting my Matsuno on hella.

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