Date Completed : June 14th, 2019
When I married my wife I was 80 hours into the original US release of Final Fantasy XII. I remember her asking me all sorts of silly questions like “What’s up with all the lingerie bunny ladies?” or “Why are they wearing their underpants on the outside?” The first major discussion of our marriage was me sitting her down to explain why we aren’t allowed to question anything relating to Final Fantasy, no matter asymmetric their pant-legs are.
I never went for 100% completion in the original game. There were several parts of the game that seemed not quite worth it. For example, the super-boss Yiazmat can take several hours to beat, if you manage to beat him at all. I had a friend who beat him back in the day over the course of two days by leaving his PlayStation 2 on while taking long breaks (We didn’t have state saves back then). Furthermore, some of the most powerful weapons in the game can only be obtained by beating Super-Bosses ( which negates the need of a powerful weapon ) or by going through a several hours long quest. Didn’t seem worth it at the time so I skipped the hassle.
This time was different. We have trophies now and I wanted all of them. I completed the bestiary, visited every map, beat Yiazmat (which is much quicker today thanks to a x4 speed feature) and beat the new trial mode. I now have a brand-new shiny platinum trophy on my account. So, good for me.
The story is more of a ‘big picture’ story about politics and empires than a personal story similar to FFX. None of the playable characters are any more important than any other so you may grow emotionally attached to anyone in particular. The story makes more sense than your average FF title but may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
The game play has been mixed up quite a bit from previous titles. You can still control your characters but thanks to the new battle system (which seems based on MMO mechanics) that’s a lot of work so they implemented gambits. Gambits are basically a set of instructions that are used to program your characters’ actions in battle. I set up a very basic set of gambits for 99% of the game and then each super-boss needed a specific set of gambits. In practice this means that the game mostly plays itself which can grow old quickly.
Now I will complain about the treasure system for one paragraph. Treasure chests in this game are insane. Chests randomly appear and have random contents. Some chests have different contents if you’re wearing a diamond armlet. One treasure chest in particular has a 1% chance to appear, is invisible, has a 20% chance of containing an item and if a diamond armlet is equipped a 5% chance of being the best weapon in the game (I was able to get two using an insane technique I found on YouTube). The only conclusion that can be drawn is that this game was made to sell strategy guides.
So why play the game? There is a lot to enjoy. There is a big open world to explore, lots of quests and hunts to go on and an epic story to experience. And when all else fails you can visit the city of the lingerie bunny ladies.
Is it fun: Yes
Length: 104 hours
System: Playstation 4