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Laddy
11-13-2012, 07:26 PM
I am appalled at how hostile people are with this game, so I ask you: why is it so bad? How are are the story and characters bland? Please, go on. :colbert:

Futan
11-13-2012, 07:48 PM
It's a good game, but I think it wouldn't have left with a sour taste in my mouth if it wasn't a Final Fantasy game. FF games always have those "save the world" storylines. And my first play through I kept waiting and waiting for that to come in, which of course never happened. Basically it felt like it ended half way through the game for me. So I guess it was anticlimactic based on my own expectations, not from anything the story foreshadowed.

I know a lot of people criticize Vaan and Penelo's role in the game. How they didn't really add anything to it and were just there. But I personally don't mind it that much. It's almost as if it was us there. I know I wouldn't add much if I was on some epic political journey. XD

Bahamut2000X
11-13-2012, 08:03 PM
There was too much to do. They pulled a Dragon Age 2 before DA2 did. The focus was so much on the side quests and leveling up with those, that the actual story was few and far in between. The story itself was fantastic and many parts were amazingly done......for what little you got to see, because again, they focused on side content instead of main story content.

The characters were decent for the most part, but many don't do a whole lot or even show up very often (look at both Cid's, they have major story impacts yet appear so late and hardly get seen doing much while they are are around). It also doesn't help that you could drop out Vaan, Fran, and Penelo (also known as half the main party) and they game would be pretty well unchanged. It doesn't help they changed the main character of the game during production (it shows) then decided during the game to shift who the main character was at any given point during the story.

While the game started out really well, the later story ideas and many scenes were pretty cool (but very underwhelming in build up), it just fell flat, you can only visit a few areas (granted big and beautiful areas) as opposed to how in every (good) FF that lets you explore the whole world. Not to mention there was no real impending doom, every FF involves you saving the world in some fashion from some immediate threat, this just involved some politics and preventing some geopolitical upheavals.

It wasn't a bad game (there's far worse, and I'd argue those in the FF series that deserve to be ridiculed far more), but it wasn't a great game either. It had a lot of potential, but it failed to deliver.

ShinGundam
11-13-2012, 09:01 PM
I don't hate the game but i really dislike the whole Matsuno fiasco, it is stupid to quit the biggest project of your company if you are on the verge of massive success at the last minute and he just opened a can of worms, Is this game set in FFT's ivalice? Is Basch the real main character? and whatever people been talking about for years without answers unless you expect the people who handled the project at last minute to give you satisfying answers.

Other than that i think it cool game but not for me, i don't like sidequests or focus on an empty region of nothing interesting but walking and fighting. I want one major quest, more story driven content, full mega cities rather than few zones of cities here and there to really like this game.

Polnareff
11-13-2012, 10:52 PM
The battle system alone ruins it for me. It's so slow and tedious and plods along like nobody's business. It would have been more tolerable if the locales weren't so big, but they're so big and drawn out on top of the battle system being mind-numbing.

The license boards were really limiting and ensured that for like the first 30 hours of the game, you wouldn't have any fun experimenting with weapons. You had to walk around fighting the same crappy monsters over and over again for hours to get any worthwhile loot. The Gambit system and the fact that running from battle doesn't work basically just threw more wrenches into the works.

The International Job version was like 5 times better, especially with the new streamlined, specialized license boards and fast-forward button. But Squenix, in its infinite stupidity, didn't release that version here.

To tell the truth I couldn't even care about the story and characters. I play RPGs for the battle systems most of the time.

Goldenboko
11-14-2012, 03:23 PM
The battle system alone ruins it for me. It's so slow and tedious and plods along like nobody's business. It would have been more tolerable if the locales weren't so big, but they're so big and drawn out on top of the battle system being mind-numbing.

Put the game on speed 6, active, and do marks ASAP and you'd take that back. :p


The license boards were really limiting and ensured that for like the first 30 hours of the game, you wouldn't have any fun experimenting with weapons. You had to walk around fighting the same crappy monsters over and over again for hours to get any worthwhile loot. The Gambit system and the fact that running from battle doesn't work basically just threw more wrenches into the works.

I really didn't find it that limiting - yes you had to choose who had what early on, but aren't RPGs always like that?

ScottNUMBERS
11-14-2012, 04:08 PM
and the fact that running from battle doesn't work
Unlike other FF games you have to use the d-pad to run as well as pressing the flee button, they don't explain this well (or even at all?) and it has been a very common cause for confusion among veterans of the series.

After FFVI, FFVII, FFVIII, FFIX, SE had set an extremely high standard - one that even they themselves would not be able to keep up for long. It's natural fans of the series would be dissapointed after they set the bar so high. I was one of these dissapointed fans at one point and I too, hated this game. Some time after I decided to stop being a little bitch and realise that the post PS1 era is over and quality like that would be impossible to achieve again. After this realisation the game was pretty awesome.

Polnareff
11-14-2012, 10:04 PM
Put the game on speed 6, active, and do marks ASAP and you'd take that back. :p

I did that. It's still pretty slow for me.


I really didn't find it that limiting - yes you had to choose who had what early on, but aren't RPGs always like that?

Not to the point this game is. In other RPGs it takes maybe up to a few hours to start getting good/interesting equipment. In this game it takes hours upon hours. I remember I wanted to give Vaan a katana but couldn't until like 15 hours in or so. He was stuck with this crappy knife for all that time. All the other party members were the same way.

The license boards in the job version fixed this in a major way (by splitting them all into different "classes" so to speak), so the game became more interesting almost right away. I'm not saying I want broken equipment right away, what I'm saying is I want some interesting equipment here and there from the beginning to keep me enthralled in the battles. Kinda like how Final Fantasy V did it.

Formalhaut
11-15-2012, 12:37 AM
There was too much to do. They pulled a Dragon Age 2 before DA2 did. The focus was so much on the side quests and leveling up with those, that the actual story was few and far in between. The story itself was fantastic and many parts were amazingly done......for what little you got to see, because again, they focused on side content instead of main story content.

The characters were decent for the most part, but many don't do a whole lot or even show up very often (look at both Cid's, they have major story impacts yet appear so late and hardly get seen doing much while they are are around). It also doesn't help that you could drop out Vaan, Fran, and Penelo (also known as half the main party) and they game would be pretty well unchanged. It doesn't help they changed the main character of the game during production (it shows) then decided during the game to shift who the main character was at any given point during the story.

While the game started out really well, the later story ideas and many scenes were pretty cool (but very underwhelming in build up), it just fell flat, you can only visit a few areas (granted big and beautiful areas) as opposed to how in every (good) FF that lets you explore the whole world. Not to mention there was no real impending doom, every FF involves you saving the world in some fashion from some immediate threat, this just involved some politics and preventing some geopolitical upheavals.

It wasn't a bad game (there's far worse, and I'd argue those in the FF series that deserve to be ridiculed far more), but it wasn't a great game either. It had a lot of potential, but it failed to deliver.

Practically everything I didn't like about the game is summed up there.

Mirage
11-15-2012, 01:08 AM
Wait for the HD International Zodiac Job System version for PS360.

Polnareff
11-15-2012, 04:43 PM
If they really did that, I'd pee my pants.

Bolivar
11-15-2012, 07:58 PM
I'd piss my pants and cry and scream like a small child until I passed out :crying:

I'm not going to argue with you guys because that's not what this thread is about. Laddy asked you to convince us the game sucks and


Some time after I decided to stop being a little bitch and realise that the post PS1 era is over and quality like that would be impossible to achieve again. After this realisation the game was pretty awesome.

... wow, that almost came really close to convincing me.

I am gonna ask if any of you ever gave it a second chance. I totally hate when people say "you need to play it more to like it" and this is 1000x worse, but FFXII totally clicked for me the second time I played it when I realized just how good the story was, they're only giving you optional content if you feel like it.

Polnareff
11-15-2012, 09:33 PM
In the original XII's case I tried to play through it about 4 times. The first time I actually managed to get about 35 hours in, mostly because it was one of the only games, besides roms, I had at the time that weren't in storage. I got so bored with it, though. Each subsequent time I tried to play it, I ended up just getting too bored to play for more than 10 hours.

The job system edition, however, I was able to actually get into. It figures though that my copy of the game had to break. :|

Bolivar
11-16-2012, 02:50 PM
Oh man, well there goes my theory!

Red Mage Coffman
11-16-2012, 03:16 PM
I loved this game... Given Vaan, Fran, and Penelo could have easily been dropped and have little impact, I thought this game was going in a fine direction from previous titles. I like to see renovation in RPG's and I thought 12 had a lot of good things.

I thought the story was good, not just saving the world from some random threat, but a political focus. The battle system was fine, and coudl easily be compared to other Final Fantasy games battle systems in terms of how tedious they are. I mean, aren't ALL the battle systems tedious in some way? The idea of getting loot and not just getting Gil was a nice change for me. For once I felt motivated to kill monsters cause the loot and the LP would add up later. As said before this is tedious, but it always is. I adore the characters, namely Balthier. Well, I hate Vaan, but thats a different story. I think this game was pretty good. I'm actually replaying it now :D

ScottNUMBERS
11-16-2012, 04:09 PM
It strikes me as more than a little odd that one would retry a game another 3 times after the first 35 hour play-through sucked.


Some time after I decided to stop being a little bitch and realise that the post PS1 era is over and quality like that would be impossible to achieve again. After this realisation the game was pretty awesome.
... wow, that almost came really close to convincing me.
I'm not following you here, convincing you of what?

Bolivar
11-16-2012, 04:20 PM
I'm not following you here, convincing you of what?

That FFXII just isn't that great. I had a similar experience, that when I got rid of all my expectations and just enjoyed the game for what it was, that's when it clicked. I just think it would be really sad if we said goodbye to the past and accepted that all games from here on out aren't going to be as good. Mostly because so far it's been pretty true :(

ShinGundam
11-16-2012, 10:14 PM
I'd piss my pants and cry and scream like a small child until I passed out :crying:

I'm not going to argue with you guys because that's not what this thread is about. Laddy asked you to convince us the game sucks and


Some time after I decided to stop being a little bitch and realise that the post PS1 era is over and quality like that would be impossible to achieve again. After this realisation the game was pretty awesome.

... wow, that almost came really close to convincing me.

I am gonna ask if any of you ever gave it a second chance. I totally hate when people say "you need to play it more to like it" and this is 1000x worse, but FFXII totally clicked for me the second time I played it when I realized just how good the story was, they're only giving you optional content if you feel like it.
I'll confess, I played it for like 40 hours but never finished it then tried a new playthrough but got distracted, i enjoyed what i played from FF12 for the most part but at that time i actually stopped completely from playing JRPGs, I don't know why but my search for my kind of JRPG for the ps2 was fruitless.

Forsaken Lover
11-17-2012, 06:55 AM
Ya know what Anakin Skywalker and I have in common?

Apart from the willingness to commit mass murder for the ones we love?

We both hate sand.

Sand sums up the first ten godforsaken hours of this game. If it isn't sand it's a small relief of boring corridors and a sewer level.

I can tell you right now I wasn't a fan of FFXII until over ten hours into it. Slogging through the two Sandeas was a nightmare and none of the previous areas did the game any favors.

And that's not even getting into the storytelling. One thing you can say about FFX over FFXII is that pacing was never a real problem. Pacing was THE problem in FXII.

People often debate who the main character is. There is no frickin' main character because the pacing is so unforgiving in its badness. Each character drops in and out of relevancy with huge *THUNK*s and you might as well forget they even exist for hours upon hours. Poor Basch gets the worst of it because after the godawful Sandsea section he is utterly worthless to the story. He becomes worth a damn again at the very end of the game as in the final frickin' dungeon.

Plenty of people would argue Penelo was completely superfluous and never had a real place in the plot at all.

Fran too.

Balthier sits there talking smugly for half of the game but only on the way to Archadia does he actually do anything of worth.

Overall you get the impression the heroes are even a bigger bunch of bumbling, ineffectual buffoons than usual. The "Real Plot" is happening elsewhere and the villains are the only ones doing anything of interest.

Heroes: Let's get the Nethicite!
We got the Nethicite!
We can't use the Nethicite!
Let's learn to use the Nethicite!
We still can't use the Nethicite!

The whole part with the Henna Mines or whatever they were should have been dropped from the game. It was padding for Fran's arc but Fran didn't deserve an arc to begin with.

Gabranth being the Kingslayer had dramatic weight and importance...in the first two hours of the game. By the time he actually reveals himself and his part in that conspiracy to Ashe and the others? Yeah, the audience has just trudged through 50+ hours of other game crap and we've long since stopped giving the slightest fuck.

And the list of flaws in the game goes on.

Elpizo
11-17-2012, 09:54 AM
Yeah, the audience has just trudged through 50+ hours of other game crap and we've long since stopped giving the slightest smurf.
A game in which there's more gameplay than story?! Le gasp! What are they going to think of next?! :eek:

Formalhaut
11-18-2012, 04:04 PM
We both hate sand.

Sand sums up the first ten godforsaken hours of this game.


Agreed. Both Sandseas and the Ester/Westersand were rather unimaginative. The Phon coast was quite nice though, mainly because of the music and sunshine.


People often debate who the main character is. There is no frickin' main character because the pacing is so unforgiving in its badness. Each character drops in and out of relevancy with huge *THUNK*s and you might as well forget they even exist for hours upon hours. Poor Basch gets the worst of it because after the godawful Sandsea section he is utterly worthless to the story. He becomes worth a damn again at the very end of the game as in the final frickin' dungeon.

This in itself isn't bad. Even VII to a smaller extent had certain periods of the story where it's centered towards a smaller character. Cosmo Canyon for example had the spotlight on Red XIII and Tifa/Cid were both party leaders at times.

In that way, XII could be broken down in the following ways:

Beginnings: Vaan & Penelo
Palace And Sewers: Vaan & Sky Pirates
Bhujerba: Vaan & Penelo (Basch at the very beginning)
Leviathan: Vossler & Ashe
Sandseas/Raithwall: Ashe
Shiva: Ashe, slight focus on Fran's mist rage
Jahara: Ashe & Vaan
Eryut Village: Fran
Paramina Rift: Judges
Mt Bur Omisace: Al-Cid & Larsa & Ashe
Archades: Balthier & Dr Cid
Balfonheim Port: Reddas & Vaan & Ashe
Pharos: Ashe & Reddas
Endgame: Basch & Ashe

Of course, this is by no means gospel. But it does show how the game splits the "main" character role up. I do still agree with you though; overall the other characters got relatively little screen time. Even at Eryut Village, Fran doesn't really get much coverage; hell it's Vaan who challenges the Viera. Also, parts that I have labelled Penelo really don't show her off much as well, she's just the foil to Vaan's ambitions. I think the game could have handled this story mechanic alot better.

Necronopticous
11-18-2012, 04:40 PM
I don't hate the game but i really dislike the whole Matsuno fiasco, it is stupid to quit the biggest project of your company if you are on the verge of massive success at the last minute
The public details surrounding Matsuno's departure are extremely scarce and vague, so you should take that into consideration before you denounce him as stupid.

Bahamut2000X
11-18-2012, 05:04 PM
Forsaken Lover I think puts it into words in a few areas, better then I am capable of.

Over all I don't hate the game. I really did enjoy it, the world was lovely, and there were some really nice characters. And much of the story was really amazing, but the telling was ultimately flawed, and too much was happening and switching perspectives for it to really sink in. The heroes don't even meet the main villain till the very end, and by then the player has seen more of the villain than the heroes ever did.

It's a game with a lot of potential, but they dropped the ball so hard it isn't even funny.

Pete for President
11-19-2012, 08:55 AM
A lot of the levels felt bland and empty, a lot of it felt like filler. Apart from Rabanastre, Bhujerba and that pirate town none of the area's were memorable. The battle system was easily exploited by Berserk + Haste. Some dungeons (like the Pharos lighthouse) had some really confusing puzzle design. As Forsaken Lover explained perfectly the pacing was way off. The palings were lazy excuses for adding challenge to boss-fights, as they only added tediousness. And finally a lot of the characters spoken of or shown in cutscenes weren't fleshed out at all and therefore had no meaning. The judges, the espers, some historical characters from the 'book' that is read to us; none of it seemed to add any depth.

Bolivar
11-19-2012, 08:46 PM
Man, I really hate all you guys.

maybee
11-19-2012, 10:59 PM
bleh

Characters suck

Music sucks

Storyline sucks

I'm too lazy to express more because I've already said that I loathe this game here many times before. Final Fantasy 12 is just like every other Final Fantasy. Some like it, some don't.

/ lazy

Huckleberry Quin
11-20-2012, 10:54 PM
There's not liking something, then there's three counts of excessive incorrectness. ;)

Madonna
11-21-2012, 06:32 AM
I love the hell out of this game.

Crystals? Check.
Underdogs versus Empire? Check.
A big, big world? Check.
Awesome music? Check.
Pretty things? Check.

Sounds like a Final Fantasy to me. XII has a lot going for it.

Areas are pretty unique and visually distinct, non-player characters are not simply background characters, music is monsters vary visually and tactically, the story is long and engaging enough, combat is almost intuitive for anyone with any experience with IV-IX and XI, and there are lots of sidequests.

Active Dimension Battle, the system behind combat, plays like a three dimension version of Active Time Battle, so it is easy to understand, and there is no transition between an area and battle screen. Beyond basic leveling up, the License Board is straight-forward and easy to understand, and allows a lot of flexibility compared to the restrictive Grid Sphere. I like how dynamic stores can be with offerings; the more and better the junk you bring in to make money, the more and better is the equipment they can sell to you.

I do not know why people hate the main cast of heroes and villains. Is Venat really that much of a storykiller? How does him shadowing a main antagonist any different than Zemus or Necron? How is Vayne any different than Golbez or Kuja? I like mad scientists, and we have had them before, as well as evil brothers. All of these things are staples of the series. What about the good guys? Vaan is an excellent way to start the story from the eyes of a person not initially in the know of all the intricacies at play, and Penelo is a great asset as a second character, unless you want to suggest that Vaan never had a friend in his life and should be unrealistically alone all of his life. How awkward would the story be if you had to take it directly from Ashe, Balthier, or Basch? All of these people, by the way, fill up time-proven classic roles in personality and initial gameplay. If they all become redundant or bland, it is because you made your characters so, and you can only blame yourself or God for that.

Locations in this game are amazing. I was excited every time I got to explore a new place, from the Zertinan Caverns to Cerobi Steppe, and pretty much everything in between. All this griping about desert? I am so appalled by this brush-aside than anything else; each desert location is unique and has a huge range of differing geographical features. Even the same desert, with different maps, offer a variety of landscapes to traverse. Are you winding through ravines, walking along a cliff, zig-zagging down a mountain path, or is everything to you genuinely like walking across a level beach devoid of detail?

Related to locations are the people populating the--you know what, this is pretty long-winded and I think I underline my point that this game is great, I love it, and people who hate this game are terrible people.

Things I hated about XII include Archades, the shallowest big city, Palings, the excuses to make battles needlessly harder and not reward a player for learning how to handle a boss, and a lack of a million more sidequests and hunts, which the game had tons of, but never enough.

Forsaken Lover
11-21-2012, 09:18 AM
In case you guys don't know, FFXII is one of my favorite games in the series. As of right now it's actually neck-and-neck for my #1 favorite.

It just has a lot of flaws that are very easy to pick at. I just think all the positives far outweigh these flaws.

Laddy
11-21-2012, 08:02 PM
All of these people, by the way, fill up time-proven classic roles in personality and initial gameplay. If they all become redundant or bland, it is because you made your characters so, and you can only blame yourself or God for that.
This. People always, always bash on the characters and call them bland. I really, really fail to see that. I feel that sometimes in the series characters' quirks are always on display and their characterization is never handled with subtlety. However, in FFXII the characters have distinct and pleasant personalities yet feel much more organic since their personalities aren't mugging for attention all the time. They come out more naturally.

Raistlin
11-25-2012, 11:03 PM
The battle system alone ruins it for me. It's so slow...

Just stop right there. That statement alone renders your entire opinion invalid. If FFXII's battle system, which for once requires no loading a separate screen to do battle, and does not even require you to take the time to select options, is "slow" for you, then you are doing it wrong. It is by far the fastest, sleekest battle system in the series.

As to the OP, people just don't like change. The battle system bugs lazy people who don't want to take the time to figure out what they like. And even though the game does some things very well, it has some problems. The pacing of the story was absolutely awful, leaving the development entirely to 5-10 minute cutscenes separated by hours and hours of dungeon crawling. The summons were also useless.

But it's still a good game. Despite not having a real world map, it's arguably the best FF for exploration. It's story and characters were also a welcome change of pace from the typical fantasy tropes.

Bolivar
11-26-2012, 06:54 AM
Vaan is an excellent way to start the story from the eyes of a person not initially in the know of all the intricacies at play, and Penelo is a great asset as a second character, unless you want to suggest that Vaan never had a friend in his life and should be unrealistically alone all of his life. How awkward would the story be if you had to take it directly from Ashe, Balthier, or Basch? All of these people, by the way, fill up time-proven classic roles in personality and initial gameplay.

Amidst a thorough and insightful post, this is a point that needs to be emphasized. Vaan and Penelo fulfill a classic fantasy archetype: the everyday person who gets to view and react to the scenario on behalf of the reader, the viewer, or in our case, the player. They were well cast and well acted.

It's not like some of the 2D Nintendo Final Fantasy's where the characters are both irrelevant and completely unrelatable.

Huckleberry Quin
11-26-2012, 07:20 AM
Hey, not all the summons were useless! There were exactly three good ones!

ryanraze
11-27-2012, 05:43 PM
The battle system alone ruins it for me. It's so slow...

Just stop right there. That statement alone renders your entire opinion invalid. If FFXII's battle system, which for once requires no loading a separate screen to do battle, and does not even require you to take the time to select options, is "slow" for you, then you are doing it wrong. It is by far the fastest, sleekest battle system in the series.

As to the OP, people just don't like change. The battle system bugs lazy people who don't want to take the time to figure out what they like. And even though the game does some things very well, it has some problems. The pacing of the story was absolutely awful, leaving the development entirely to 5-10 minute cutscenes separated by hours and hours of dungeon crawling. The summons were also useless.

But it's still a good game. Despite not having a real world map, it's arguably the best FF for exploration. It's story and characters were also a welcome change of pace from the typical fantasy tropes.


I agree with Raist completely. However this is not a thread to say that it's awesome. I think people who feel the battle system is "slow" really seem to be confused. The system is incredibly fast, maybe not as fast as 13, but very fast paced. Their are points where the system was moving so fast I had to slow it down. Oh, and someone please feel free to insert a statement about how slow I am with games. Which, once someone gets that flame out of the way, know I've been gaming for years and am quite proficient (yes pat on the back).

As with Raist, the pacing of the story is brutal. Their are long cut scenes followed by hours of crawling/grinding (couldn't have said it better myself). Some people feel that certain areas are weak (Sandsea being the big one, but to it's defense, I think it's perfectly created and realized. Why would a massive desert not be endless and desolate and exhausting. HEllo, it's a fucking desert!)

I found the summons to be very weak as well, and certainly didn't pack the punch they do in other games. They were pretty and were fun when you wanted to use them once or twice; but they were meaningless in the endgame.

I also think a lack of character development for Penelo and Vaan (post beginning) is rough for some people.

I, on the other hand, absolutely love FF12 and long to play it again.

Polnareff
11-28-2012, 12:32 AM
The battle system alone ruins it for me. It's so slow...

Just stop right there. That statement alone renders your entire opinion invalid. If FFXII's battle system, which for once requires no loading a separate screen to do battle, and does not even require you to take the time to select options, is "slow" for you, then you are doing it wrong. It is by far the fastest, sleekest battle system in the series.

Yeah, it's slow as fuck. I mean, I'd gladly take, say, FFIX's battles over XII's any day, even though it's slow as fuck too. XII beats you over the head with how slow it is. Sure you fight the monsters right there on the field, but the gauge takes so long to fill up for you to attack that every fight that isn't against a monster that can die in one hit is just one long dragged-out snore-fest.

It wasn't a problem in the other games because the gauges filled up faster, the attack animations completed faster, and on top of that the games were more linear. But if you take a more open-world game and slow the battles down to the point where you feel like you're losing brain cells, then yeah, it's no good.

Rostum
11-28-2012, 05:54 AM
The battle system alone ruins it for me. It's so slow...

Just stop right there. That statement alone renders your entire opinion invalid. If FFXII's battle system, which for once requires no loading a separate screen to do battle, and does not even require you to take the time to select options, is "slow" for you, then you are doing it wrong. It is by far the fastest, sleekest battle system in the series.

Yeah, it's slow as smurf. I mean, I'd gladly take, say, FFIX's battles over XII's any day, even though it's slow as smurf too. XII beats you over the head with how slow it is. Sure you fight the monsters right there on the field, but the gauge takes so long to fill up for you to attack that every fight that isn't against a monster that can die in one hit is just one long dragged-out snore-fest.

It wasn't a problem in the other games because the gauges filled up faster, the attack animations completed faster, and on top of that the games were more linear. But if you take a more open-world game and slow the battles down to the point where you feel like you're losing brain cells, then yeah, it's no good.

Pretty sure trolling.

maybee
11-28-2012, 06:14 AM
The battle system alone ruins it for me. It's so slow...

Just stop right there. That statement alone renders your entire opinion invalid. If FFXII's battle system, which for once requires no loading a separate screen to do battle, and does not even require you to take the time to select options, is "slow" for you, then you are doing it wrong. It is by far the fastest, sleekest battle system in the series.

Yeah, it's slow as smurf. I mean, I'd gladly take, say, FFIX's battles over XII's any day, even though it's slow as smurf too. XII beats you over the head with how slow it is. Sure you fight the monsters right there on the field, but the gauge takes so long to fill up for you to attack that every fight that isn't against a monster that can die in one hit is just one long dragged-out snore-fest.

It wasn't a problem in the other games because the gauges filled up faster, the attack animations completed faster, and on top of that the games were more linear. But if you take a more open-world game and slow the battles down to the point where you feel like you're losing brain cells, then yeah, it's no good.

Pretty sure trolling.

Pretty sure telling the truth more like. :doublecolbert:

Ouch!
11-29-2012, 06:06 AM
Vaan and Penelo fulfill a classic fantasy archetype: the everyday person who gets to view and react to the scenario on behalf of the reader, the viewer, or in our case, the player. They were well cast and well acted.
In fantasy or any narrative that features a distinctly "other" world, this archetype becomes useful as a means through which the reader, viewer, or player can observe a foreign world. The problem with Vaan and Penelo is not that they fulfill this archetype, it's that beyond the first ten hours of gameplay (and that's being generous), they serve no function in the plot beyond being the characters who walk up to the edge of the Sandsea all googly-eyed in wonder.

Hobbits in Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings serve this same function. In their respective stories, they've never before left the Shire, and so whenever something needs to be explained about the world, it can be done so by the comparatively naive hobbits discussing it with more worldly characters. It's an effective way to explain the world through dialogue instead of huge blocks of expository paragraphs (although Tolkien did that anyway).

The difference is that the hobbits become an important part of the story beyond merely serving as the eyes through which a reader views Middle Earth. But neither Vaan nor Penelo accomplish anything relevant to the story after the party reaches the Sandsea. Had the plot of the game been focused more acutely on characters rather than circumstance, it might have worked better. There might have been opportunity for interesting tension between Vaan and Basch over the death of Reks, a humorous mentor-apprentice relationship between Vaan and Balthier, or a greater focus on the divide between Vaan as a commoner and Ashe as royalty. While all these are teased early in the game, they're largely swept aside before the game even reaches its half way point. Vaan becomes sort of an awkward comic relief as the party's punching bag, but when you've already got Balthier spewing witty on-liners who really needs that? That said, the buck doesn't stop at Vaan and Penelo. Fran is equally inconsequential to the plot beyond her interaction with the other Viera--a role that could have easily been fulfilled by making her a guest party member. Which, now that I've spent so many words ranting about this, reminds me that half of the playable party has nearly no consequence to the story.

What's worse is that they could have accomplished the same goal by playing up different aspects of other characters. For example, they could have used Ashe as the eyes through which the player saw the world. As royalty, it would make sense that while she has heard of a great many places, it would not make sense that she'd traveled the world extensively. Beyond that, she's been in hiding for four years, and likely that involves being holed up and apart from the world at large. Speaking of being holed up, Basch has been in a prison for how many years? Suddenly he's free and has to come to terms with how the world has changed and moved on in his absence. Meanwhile, Balthier--the sky pirate who has traveled the world--easily fulfills the role of the worldly character who can explain things.

The bigger problem is that this archetype has become so used and abused that it is old hat to anyone who engages in fantasy or science fiction genres with any frequency. Quite frankly it's lazy and, to a degree, insulting. Plenty of books, movies, and games with large scope and original worlds avoid using this trope rather successfully. Given that Final Fantasy XII, in particular, is so ambitious in so many other ways, the inclusion of this type of character comes as something of a disappointment.

Bolivar
11-30-2012, 04:28 AM
Ouch, not only is your point on the money, but it was delivered in such a well-written post that you've reduced me to "that guy" who keeps opening his mouth to retort, only to close it again and stop realizing that it's checkmate.

The only thing I can really say is that I thought the characters were well-acted (I'm Captain Basch aside) and so relatable that I never had any qualms about their lack of personal story; I never had this particular qualm because it went unnoticed in my 3+ playthroughs.

ALSO FRODO AT LEAST WAS KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT THE WORLD BECAUSE HE HAD BILBO'S STORIES AND TRANSLATIONS TO WORK OFF OF AND KNEW SOMETHINGS EVEN STRIDER DIDN'T!!!!!

ryanraze
11-30-2012, 07:04 PM
Vaan and Penelo fulfill a classic fantasy archetype: the everyday person who gets to view and react to the scenario on behalf of the reader, the viewer, or in our case, the player. They were well cast and well acted.
In fantasy or any narrative that features a distinctly "other" world, this archetype becomes useful as a means through which the reader, viewer, or player can observe a foreign world. The problem with Vaan and Penelo is not that they fulfill this archetype, it's that beyond the first ten hours of gameplay (and that's being generous), they serve no function in the plot beyond being the characters who walk up to the edge of the Sandsea all googly-eyed in wonder.

Hobbits in Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings serve this same function. In their respective stories, they've never before left the Shire, and so whenever something needs to be explained about the world, it can be done so by the comparatively naive hobbits discussing it with more worldly characters. It's an effective way to explain the world through dialogue instead of huge blocks of expository paragraphs (although Tolkien did that anyway).

The difference is that the hobbits become an important part of the story beyond merely serving as the eyes through which a reader views Middle Earth. But neither Vaan nor Penelo accomplish anything relevant to the story after the party reaches the Sandsea. Had the plot of the game been focused more acutely on characters rather than circumstance, it might have worked better. There might have been opportunity for interesting tension between Vaan and Basch over the death of Reks, a humorous mentor-apprentice relationship between Vaan and Balthier, or a greater focus on the divide between Vaan as a commoner and Ashe as royalty. While all these are teased early in the game, they're largely swept aside before the game even reaches its half way point. Vaan becomes sort of an awkward comic relief as the party's punching bag, but when you've already got Balthier spewing witty on-liners who really needs that? That said, the buck doesn't stop at Vaan and Penelo. Fran is equally inconsequential to the plot beyond her interaction with the other Viera--a role that could have easily been fulfilled by making her a guest party member. Which, now that I've spent so many words ranting about this, reminds me that half of the playable party has nearly no consequence to the story.

What's worse is that they could have accomplished the same goal by playing up different aspects of other characters. For example, they could have used Ashe as the eyes through which the player saw the world. As royalty, it would make sense that while she has heard of a great many places, it would not make sense that she'd traveled the world extensively. Beyond that, she's been in hiding for four years, and likely that involves being holed up and apart from the world at large. Speaking of being holed up, Basch has been in a prison for how many years? Suddenly he's free and has to come to terms with how the world has changed and moved on in his absence. Meanwhile, Balthier--the sky pirate who has traveled the world--easily fulfills the role of the worldly character who can explain things.

The bigger problem is that this archetype has become so used and abused that it is old hat to anyone who engages in fantasy or science fiction genres with any frequency. Quite frankly it's lazy and, to a degree, insulting. Plenty of books, movies, and games with large scope and original worlds avoid using this trope rather successfully. Given that Final Fantasy XII, in particular, is so ambitious in so many other ways, the inclusion of this type of character comes as something of a disappointment.

Fantastic retort man. This is the type of read I can get behind, even though I'm a big FF12 fan. I think you hit the nail on the head and brought up some points I had never thought about before, just because I really enjoyed the gameplay.

With everything you said, did you not enjoy the game or were you merely disappointed?

Ouch!
11-30-2012, 09:21 PM
It's actually my second favorite game in the series behind Final Fantasy IX. I think it is one of the most well-imagined worlds that we've seen in the Final Fantasy series, and I absolutely loved the gameplay. Normally that the story is something of a weak point for the game would be a nail in the coffin for me, but FFXII still somehow manages to just excel so much at every other aspect that I'm willing to overlook the problems. And it's not that the story is in any way bad; rather, it's poorly paced which is doubly problematic because so much of the plot is focused on subtlety and intrigue. Because there's hours of dungeon crawling (through some pretty gorgeous landscapes!) between plot advancement, a lot of the story gets lost in between.

Final Fantasy XII has more moral complexity than any other game in the series by far. Even our villains aren't bent on world destruction or domination--their goal is the liberation of humanity from the manipulation of the Occuria. In the end the group of heroes even ends up opposing the Occuria in their own way. It eschews the over-dramatic speeches about friendship and love (see: end of disc three of Final Fantasy VIII and the ending of Final Fantasy XIII) that permeate recent entries in the series in favor of complex motivations and actions from a number of different characters with varying objectives. Honestly, I feel that Final Fantasy XII is the best balance of traditional JRPG elements meeting with more progressive movements in the genre toward more mature and complex themes. Naturally, you will not be surprised to hear that I regard Final Fantasy XIII as a disappointing regression, especially because it spends such a great deal of time building toward the interesting moral dilemma of heroes savings themselves versus saving the world.

That said, it's pretty clear that the game was originally imagined largely as revolving around Ashe, Balthier, and Basch. I would argue that most of the guest characters (notably Vossler and Larsa and arguably Reddas) are far more important to the overall narrative than Vaan, Penelo, or Fran. As much as I like Final Fantasy XII, I recognize that it had the potential to be so much better had a different direction not been forced upon them half way through development.

Wolf Kanno
12-05-2012, 09:28 AM
It's actually my second favorite game in the series behind Final Fantasy IX. I think it is one of the most well-imagined worlds that we've seen in the Final Fantasy series, and I absolutely loved the gameplay. Normally that the story is something of a weak point for the game would be a nail in the coffin for me, but FFXII still somehow manages to just excel so much at every other aspect that I'm willing to overlook the problems. And it's not that the story is in any way bad; rather, it's poorly paced which is doubly problematic because so much of the plot is focused on subtlety and intrigue. Because there's hours of dungeon crawling (through some pretty gorgeous landscapes!) between plot advancement, a lot of the story gets lost in between.

Final Fantasy XII has more moral complexity than any other game in the series by far. Even our villains aren't bent on world destruction or domination--their goal is the liberation of humanity from the manipulation of the Occuria. In the end the group of heroes even ends up opposing the Occuria in their own way. It eschews the over-dramatic speeches about friendship and love (see: end of disc three of Final Fantasy VIII and the ending of Final Fantasy XIII) that permeate recent entries in the series in favor of complex motivations and actions from a number of different characters with varying objectives. Honestly, I feel that Final Fantasy XII is the best balance of traditional JRPG elements meeting with more progressive movements in the genre toward more mature and complex themes. Naturally, you will not be surprised to hear that I regard Final Fantasy XIII as a disappointing regression, especially because it spends such a great deal of time building toward the interesting moral dilemma of heroes savings themselves versus saving the world.

That said, it's pretty clear that the game was originally imagined largely as revolving around Ashe, Balthier, and Basch. I would argue that most of the guest characters (notably Vossler and Larsa and arguably Reddas) are far more important to the overall narrative than Vaan, Penelo, or Fran. As much as I like Final Fantasy XII, I recognize that it had the potential to be so much better had a different direction not been forced upon them half way through development.

From what I've read, apparently, Vaan was purposely written as a non-entity because he was meant to be a player avatar. The original theme of the game was a "Dignified drama about the nobility of Ivalice through the eyes of a commoner". It's unknown how Matsuno would have accomplished this because he simply wrote a rough draft of the plot before he left the project and it was JunAkiyama and Daisuke Watanabe who came up with the idea of writing Vaan as simply an observer to the game's true protagonists of Lady Ashe, Balthier, and Basch. The goal was for the game not to follow previous FFs where the player became emotionally attached to the story of the characters but rather feel like they took part in the adventure with a group of real people (and I damn near quoted this statement).

As for Fran and Penelo, where I agree they are not important to the issue o Vayne and the Occurians, Fran allows us to see into the world of one of the other races because their is subtle theme about the displacement of the Viera in the background of the story and this issue of the old traditions versus the new world and the idea of those who embrace this new world being considered exiles and cast-offs by their tribes. Penelo likewise serves as a tool for Ashe to grow as it's Penelo's relationship with Larsa that gives Ashe second thoughts about using the Nethicite against the Empire because Penelo represents a theme of resolving conflict and hatred through the hope of a new generation. Archades and Dalmasca's relationship is on the rocks now but future generations may find a means of seeing eye to eye, so her story, though small, does represent something significant to the overall plot.

Other than that, I don't disagree with your observations but I wanted to point out something I read about the game's development to shed light on it.

Ouch!
12-07-2012, 03:49 PM
I was under the impression that Matsuno was with the project longer than that, but maybe I'm wrong. Either way, the original purpose and intentions for the character are only important until the point of execution--which was botched pretty horribly.

That said, while I understand that both Fran and Penelo had roles to play in the narrative, their time in the limelight was exceptionally brief. My complaint is that if a game is going to introduce guest characters as a mechanic, why do Penelo and Fran get prominent party roles when other, more important characters are relegated to brief appearances. It is because both Fran and Penelo have such prominent and visible roles as playable party members that expectations are raised for them. I'm not saying that they could stand to be eliminated from the game, but because their impact on story segments is few and far between, would it not make more sense that they, too, be guests? Their character need not change, but I would argue that if their presence was not constantly forced upon us, expectations for their to be constantly relevant would be greatly alleviated.

Wolf Kanno
12-08-2012, 05:25 AM
I don't disagree, but with that logic, we can make a case against a lot of characters in casts for RPGs because it's very difficult to keep all of them prominent throughout a 40+ hour game. The other issue is that the actual guest characters leave your party for story reasons whereas there is no actual reason to drop off Fran or Penelo from the party, maybe a case could be made for Penelo, but definetly not Fran.

Dignified Pauper
12-08-2012, 01:23 PM
Three words: I'm Captain Basch!

LuvFF
12-10-2012, 01:19 AM
Other than the "I'm Captain Basch" goofiness, I've loved the game. Different, yes, but I loved the visuals, and I've replayed this one more times than any other.

I used to hate it when FF changed, but now, at my advanced age, I've come to accept that change is inevitable...and as long as I eventually get a new FF console game to play every few years, life is complete!:kakapo: