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fat_moogle
07-12-2017, 06:37 PM
So today is the day that many of you have been anticipating - the launch of Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age. For those of you that have played the game before how does it compare to the original? Does it feel like a 10 year old game, or have the new features given it another lease of life? Or maybe you missed out on the PS2 version and are playing for the first time? Either way, discuss

Formalhaut
07-12-2017, 07:54 PM
Ooh I really want to play this. Can't afford it yet though. Maybe next month or the end of summer.

Wolf Kanno
07-12-2017, 08:24 PM
If I wasn't so damn broke I would have picked this up. :( #adulting #firstworldproblems

Karifean
07-12-2017, 09:43 PM
I'm enjoying the hell out of this game. I've already talked a bit about my thoughts on it in the Discord chat, but basically... man I love this game. I've played IZJS so not much new stuff for me (so far), but still a definitive step above the original in my eyes.

I just beat Belias so everyone finally gets their second job. My combos are:

Vaan: Time Battlemage --> Monk
Balthier: Machinist --> Uhlan
Fran: Red Battlemage --> Black Mage
Basch: Knight --> Bushi
Ashe: Foebreaker --> Archer
Penelo: Shikari --> White Mage

- I forgot that Red Mage doesn't get the Tier 1 spells. Good thing I gave the role to Fran who knows most of them innately. Probably should've gone Black Mage first instead.
- Be it Red Mage or Black Mage though, they need a *lot* of gambit slots to cover every weakness.
- Early Time Mage is outclassed by Red Mage, like, completely. It gets nothing Red Mage doesn't get. Might as well have it be your second job. Though I did enjoy destroying the Flowering Cactoid with the 100% accurate (and pretty powerful!) crossbow with just Vaan and Penelo.
- No regrets in leaving White Mage out for later. All the girls know Cure and Blindna innately anyways, and Red Mage gets Cura and Raise just as well. And Shikari is pretty powerful early on.
- I should've gone Uhlan before Machinist since guns fall off very quickly, a faster-charging weapon is just more useful. Buuut I just invested the time into getting the early Arcturus which killed Belias in 5 hits. So that's a thing.
- Serenity and Focus are absolute monster licenses. +50% on all damage and healing when your HP is full, it's easy to overlook just how good that is.
- Aero decimates both Yensa sandseas. One-shots pretty much everything, with or without Serenity. And that was without the Cherry Staff that increases Wind damage by 50%.
- Guest characters are bonkers. Lamont joins the party with the Shades of Black technick, and if you don't already realize what that means I urge you to set it as his main attacking gambit. Needless to say that little passage through the Lhusu mines was pretty laid back. Later on, Vossler comes with Wither and Expose, the former being the most broken move in the game. Managed to beat both the Ring Drake and Marilith with it. And that was before Belias.
- Finding spells and technicks and unique accessories in chests is so satisfying. You can find all sorts of handy stuff just by looking around enough. The lack of that feelings was one of original XII's biggest flaws IMO.

Slothy
07-13-2017, 12:07 AM
My impressions are if they ever decide to release this on the PC I'll be a lot more impressed.

Crop
07-13-2017, 09:17 AM
I played it all Tuesday and Wednesday and will do so again today. I'm just gutted I have to go back to work tomorrow.

Needless to say I'm enjoying it immensely.

Yar
07-13-2017, 10:08 PM
Honestly, this is to me the greatest FF release in about fifteen years. So much better than XII or XV were.

When XII first came out I was rather disappointed with it. This release has fixed so many of the things that bothered me with that original release.

Visually, it is gorgeous, but the fact that it is a remastered PS2 game is noticeable. I am hesitant to fault it for that though, and it is a better HD remaster than X/X-2 and Type 0 were.

The music is truly amazing. The new orchestrated tracks have only impressed me so far.

I'm having lots of fun with the jobs and I like that they have really opened up the gambits and equipment.

DMKA
07-13-2017, 11:34 PM
My impressions are if they ever decide to release this on the PC I'll be a lot more impressed.

Why though? FFXII:IZJS HD has been on PC for years. :p

Slothy
07-14-2017, 12:06 AM
If I emulated sure but I know from experience how hit or miss PS2 emulation can still be.

Besides, I've still got the original PS2 version of FFXII and if I'm going to bother with the extra stuff I'd just as soon pay Square for making smart decisions and continuing to release good Final Fantasies on the PC.

Karifean
07-20-2017, 11:58 PM
I platinum'd this game on Monday. Decided to make use of the PS4's handy dandy record feature to record my fight against the ultimate superbosses of the game - the five Judge Magisters in the Trial Mode.

ndB-QOPjwy8

Wolf Kanno
11-11-2017, 07:50 PM
Finally got this for my birthday. I haven't done a complete playthrough since my first playthrough back in 06, but I feel all the new features and the fact I haven't played it in awhile will make this a bit different. About the only difference I've noticed besides the "talking panels" being changed is that the game looks so much more vibrant than I remember it being.

Just left Rabanastre to fight a Rogue Tomato.

Wolf Kanno
11-16-2017, 08:46 PM
W~Post

Going to do what I did with FFXV here:

Pros:

I'm loving the Zodiac Job system, it gives more focus to just about everything in the game. From characters now feeling distinct from each other, to the challenge of the game kind of being dictated by which classes you start, to shops finally giving you access to great weapons you normally wouldn't have at this point in the game. It's actually just been pretty thrilling to have that extra layer of tension from your choices finally mattering.
The remixed OST has been pretty interesting and I'm honestly surprised how well I remembered the original soundtrack because it's very noticeable which tracks have changed. So far the new tracks are pretty snazzy but Sakimoto is a pretty damn good composer.
The gameplay balance has been fixed in some interesting ways. You get early access to late game accessories like Firefly and Diamond Armlet, but all the items in the early sections have been switched around and with the exception of enemy drops staying the same, it feels like the devs removed a few early game breakers from the starting areas. I started Vaan as a Shikari which is a blend of Thief and Ninja but Ninja blades are still a long ways off and unlike the original, daggers are surprisingly rare. So it's been interesting to watch Vaan have to rely on support abilities like Battle Lores or his natural levels to compensate for his lack of decent weapons. Speaking of which...
Thank god the stats for the party have been modified to make everyone a bit more balanced. Vaan is no longer the "Master of All" in stats gain and Fran now sports the highest vitality making her much more useful. I initially based my ideas on what classes each character would get based on the old stat knowledge but now I need to rethink some things.
The fast forward feature is insane and makes this the fastest battle system in the series.
I'm still amazed at how early and how much there is to do before the plot really kicks off. I have three Mark Hunts completed, got access to the Sunstone making quest, already tripped over two other quest lines involving Ktjn the Viera and Jovy the Seeq. I also completed half of the Patient in the Desert Quest and I just got back to Rabanastre after wandering through the Barheim Passage. In a lot of ways, I feel like XII's quests are better integrated and more varied than the game that came afterwards.


Cons:

For an HD Remaster, I'm not noticing much. Granted, visual clarity is something I usually never notice, nor does it bother me. I think the colors look more vibrant but overall the HD treatment doesn't seem to be improving a game that I felt was pretty good looking to begin with.
At the moment, the ability to "control" Guest character's Gambits is pretty irrelevant. I know it will change once the real guest characters pop up but at the moment "Amelia" and "Broken Basch" have not exactly shown to me why this was a feature that needed to be implemented.
Despite how much stuff unlocks so early in the game, I'm surprised how long it takes to open up Gambits. Was a bit annoyed making Penelo a White Mage only to quickly discover I needed to switch to her as the party leader in order to make any use of it.
I'm still hesitant about the idea of making all of the gambits available from the beginning. Some of them are pretty game breaking like the ones that let you use magic to exploit enemy weaknesses if they have them. We'll have to see how this turns out.
Zodiac Ages doesn't fix one of my gripes with XII which is the cluttered battle menu screen. I know this is largely just a programming shortcut to make everyone use the same menu, but it's annoying having Vaan and Balthier using pure melee classes with access to Techniks and I still have to bypass four blacked out magic options they can't use to get to them. Would have preferred a cleaner menu screen.

Wolf Kanno
11-18-2017, 08:37 PM
Finally have a full party. I'm suppose to go to the Yensa Sandsea, but I'm stopping to check to see if some other sidequests have opened up yet, and I might grind some loot cause wouldn't you know, all the shops updated.

Pros:

So far I've been impressed with the balance of the Job classes, about the only one that kind of feels like a gamebreaker is the Red Battlemage because holy shit does this class get a great assortment of spells, including all of the Arcana spells, but the amount of great support lores it gets makes it pretty mean. The two that have surprised me the most have been Machinist and Time Battlemage. The Machinist mainly because the class is eerily similar to my own idea of a build I was doing for Balthier in my last playthrough of the vanilla version. Basically the class doesn't learn magic but gets access to most of the Techniks. TB on the other hand is just kind of a surprise because it's not how I imagined the class would work but makes sense in context. Basically the class focuses on Crossbows and Heavy Armor which makes sense to me because Time Magic has few offensive abilities so Magic Gear isn't terribly useful, instead the class is built for survival.
Now that I've had some proper guest party members, the Gambit control is more interesting, especially since they have more skills to offer than first thought and they've all been rebalanced so Larsa is no longer MVP of the Guest party members.
Even though I absolutely destroyed him with a Quickening Chain, I still have to hand it to Judge Ghis and the Judges in general for having so much scene stealing presence. I was actually quivering with excitement when I finally got to face Ghis despite it turning into a pretty one-sided affair.
I think what I love about XII's quests is that so many of them are minor and only available if you bother to talk to NPCs all the time. I did a quest for Pilika (No, not that one (http://suikoden.wikia.com/wiki/Pilika)) after her Rocktoise Hunt and did a little errand for her that got me a cool accessory and there was no real hooplah for it because it was just a simple chore. If this game had been made today, it would have had some grandiose "YOU'VE ACCEPTED AN IMPORTANT QUEST!" type line and been added to my cluttered quest queue, instead it just a hidden gem you could easily bypass and forget with no ceremony attached to it and it was so simple it would have been insulting to treat it as important. I feel like this is a better way to handle these types of things.
I've been hunting some of the Rare Game in this file and it's been a nice challenge for some of them, I even grabbed the Gladius from that Rare Wolf in the Westersand so Vaan has something to look forward to. Despite the game's liberal use of palette swap enemies; their stats, skills, and A.I. make them all feel really different from each other and there are still some cool quirks in this game that really show how completely ahead of it's time the game really was which just makes modern FFs feel poorer in comparison.


Cons:

So far White Mage has been the most disappointing Job Class. It's just kind of boring overall and with the amount of healing magic Red Battlemage gets and the fact Ashe starts with healing magic regardless of her class, poor Penelo is just not seeing a whole lot of action in my game file. Even looking at the optional sections to unlock with Espers later on, the class has fewer options I would actually consider. Course part of the issue here may be due to the fact...
... the Zodiac Age nerfed the difficulty. I'm conflicted about the secondary jobs because I love the idea of new min/max but concerned how game breaking it's going to be since my party is having no problem wiping the floor with most things thrown at them.
I miss the Sky Pirates Den. I wish they had kept it cause it was a cool little trophy room that feels more impressive than just going to your actual trophy screen and seeing a list.
For a game with so many airships, sky pirates, and actually getting a hold of an airship ridiculously early, it's kind of sad how useless it all is with teleporters and just going on foot being more useful. No wonder people miss the Seven Sisters quest, you have to actually use airships to unlock it and most players wouldn't need to bother.

Wolf Kanno
11-20-2017, 09:46 AM
About to fight Garuda and enter Raithwall's Tomb.

Pros:

I think my favorite thing about the class system is that I really get to test out the various magic and skills in the game I probably wouldn't bother with. I actually have each character set up with various gambit options that take advantage of any ability they may have. This leaves Basch and Vaan currently stuck as status effect healers since most of their skills are buried behind a wall of Accessory and Equipment Licenses I'm likely not going to grind through for awhile, but it's been interesting seeing which time magic works on enemies and how useful certain skills like Horology can be.
There are some seriously good accessories lying around the Yensa Sandsea.I don't remember getting the Double License Points/XP accessories this early.
While the treasure chest system is not my preferred method, I appreciate the fact the chests seem to drop the good item the first time around.
I still like the Urhtan Eater Quest, was interesting to get a Mark Hunt mid-dungeon and the lore with the Urhtan is pretty interesting.
Now that I have Cura, Penelo is much more useful.
Oh hey, the game lets you save before the Garuda fight now, how quaint.


Cons:

As I feared, early access to the Elemental Weak/Vulnerable Gambits makes offensive mages game breakers. Seriously, if it wasn't for the Salamander Elemental wandering around the map, Fran would be destroying almost everything before my party got a chance to reach it.
I don't even feel like I've been seriously trying to grind here but I feel way overpowered for this part of the game. I remember the Sandsea kind of being a "Grind Stage" where it was purposely made long to force you to gain a few levels before the game knocks the difficulty up a bit but I am destroying things left and right here. I'm starting to look forward to the Lv. 1 Only Game you can unlock cause it may finally give this game back it's teeth.
Oi, I started unlocking the second tier Quickenings and it just dawns on me that I'll eventually get access to a second board. Why this is an issue is because these skills sometimes block access to useful skills, so I should be waiting for the second board to appear to get a better assessment of which board I should unlock the skill on in case it's blocking access to something useful.

Karifean
11-20-2017, 02:12 PM
There are some seriously good accessories lying around the Yensa Sandsea.I don't remember getting the Double License Points/XP accessories this early.
While the treasure chest system is not my preferred method, I appreciate the fact the chests seem to drop the good item the first time around.



This is probably one of my favorite changes about the Zodiac versions. Seeking out treasures especially in optional dungeons feels so rewarding now because you actually find useful stuff a lot of the time, including all sorts of accessories, magicks and technicks.




As I feared, early access to the Elemental Weak/Vulnerable Gambits makes offensive mages game breakers. Seriously, if it wasn't for the Salamander Elemental wandering around the map, Fran would be destroying almost everything before my party got a chance to reach it.
I don't even feel like I've been seriously trying to grind here but I feel way overpowered for this part of the game. I remember the Sandsea kind of being a "Grind Stage" where it was purposely made long to force you to gain a few levels before the game knocks the difficulty up a bit but I am destroying things left and right here. I'm starting to look forward to the Lv. 1 Only Game you can unlock cause it may finally give this game back it's teeth.



Not sure how much of that is really up to the gambits or more that this is kinda the "tutorial stage" on AoE Black Magic casting. If you have the Cherry Staff you're using the first AoE Black Magic spell in the game (Aero) with the Wind-boosting staff, in Wind-boosting weather, against tons of Wind-weak enemies. Pretty sure it's not a coincidence that all those things play together at the same time here.

Though I do agree that the difficulty is pretty extremely chill, mostly. The biggest challenges in the game really come from trying to tackle some of those optional areas as soon as you can (and most likely end up getting your ass kicked). It's an unfortunate side effect that doing so will give you gear, spells and levels that all make the main game pretty much trivial. Still, doing stuff like Barheim Passage, Zertinan Caverns, Garamsythe Waterways and the Necrohol of Nabudis as soon as is remotely reasonable makes for some interesting fights and party management challenges.

Wolf Kanno
11-20-2017, 08:07 PM
As I feared, early access to the Elemental Weak/Vulnerable Gambits makes offensive mages game breakers. Seriously, if it wasn't for the Salamander Elemental wandering around the map, Fran would be destroying almost everything before my party got a chance to reach it.
I don't even feel like I've been seriously trying to grind here but I feel way overpowered for this part of the game. I remember the Sandsea kind of being a "Grind Stage" where it was purposely made long to force you to gain a few levels before the game knocks the difficulty up a bit but I am destroying things left and right here. I'm starting to look forward to the Lv. 1 Only Game you can unlock cause it may finally give this game back it's teeth.



Not sure how much of that is really up to the gambits or more that this is kinda the "tutorial stage" on AoE Black Magic casting. If you have the Cherry Staff you're using the first AoE Black Magic spell in the game (Aero) with the Wind-boosting staff, in Wind-boosting weather, against tons of Wind-weak enemies. Pretty sure it's not a coincidence that all those things play together at the same time here.


I actually can't even use the Cherry Staff because I don't have a Black Mage yet, this is just Fran as a Red Battlemage. Even with Aero destroying the Uhrtan, she's crushing anything with a magical weakness that she has a spell/Gambit setup for. I jumped into the Zertinan Caverns and she was making short work of the few creatures I can fight in there. I hate to imagine what's going to happen when I do unlock a Black Mage.

Skyblade
11-21-2017, 09:58 AM
Can you still just set up a set of Gambits and walk through 90% of the game without touching anything but an analog stick? 'Cause that (and the empty yet expansive dungeon/overworld) was what killed the original.

Wolf Kanno
11-21-2017, 10:20 AM
Finished Raithwall's Tomb and obtained the Dawn Shard, heading to the Garif Village but stopping to do some Mark Hunts and quests first.

Pros:

Okay the second Zodiac Job element is a bit more balanced than I thought it would be, which I am grateful for. So basically any Licenses your two boards share are already grabbed when you jump to the second board, this means that unless the first job was seriously light on Lore skills or didn't have the ability at all, you're not going to be doubling up and transforming your party into a one-man army with lores. This alleviates my fear of the second board breaking the game.
I received my first Esper, but I don't know who to give it to, I may have to do some research first.
Unlocked my first Elite Mark Hunt that has a Clan member come to help me. Giza Rains will be fun.
Of my starting classes, the MVP award goes to Red Battlemage, Time Battlemage, and Knight.
I almost forgot how useful and broken the Blood Sword is. Not surprised it's relegated to it's own License like a few other legendary weapons.
Belias put up a bit more of fight than I thought he would which was nice.
Rereading some of the lore, it's been amusing seeing all the shout outs to previous FF and Ivalice titles.


Cons:

Yeah, the difficulty was definitely toned way down for this game. I killed the Garuda Egi before I even had a chance to use the Esker Berries on it. I mean the fight was so fast I was stunned, but not as bad as...
...the true testament of how easy this game has gotten, I beat the First Demon Wall, the one you're suppose to run away from, on my first try. Easily took him down to half health and beat him with a Quickening Chain afterwards. Thankfully the Demonsbane is no longer the prize for beating him, and it's something a bit less useful, but it's kind of sad watching one the nastier challenges go down so easily. My party level average is 22-23 and it's not like I was seriously grinding or anything either.
With that said, I'm probably going to resist using Quickening from here on out. The fact it has its own meter and no longer has the difficult choice of gambling all your MP away makes them easily into a gamebreaker. I kind of wish this element had not been changed for them and the meter was exclusive to the Espers instead.
Not terribly content with my choices for each character's second class but we'll have to wait and see. Penelo is a bit screwed in the equipment/lore area of things, but the other party members are a bit more balanced, though I don't know how well some of the classes are going to compliment each other.

Wolf Kanno
11-21-2017, 07:58 PM
It looks like one of my Cons will be rectified with a patch pretty soon. They're going to restore the Sky Pirates Den in an upcoming patch (http://www.siliconera.com/2017/11/21/final-fantasy-xii-zodiac-gets-sky-pirates-den-free-viera-themed-ps4-theme-november-22/). Now if they could restore some of the difficulty, we will be golden.

Karifean
11-21-2017, 08:44 PM
It looks like one of my Cons will be rectified with a patch pretty soon. They're going to restore the Sky Pirates Den in an upcoming patch (http://www.siliconera.com/2017/11/21/final-fantasy-xii-zodiac-gets-sky-pirates-den-free-viera-themed-ps4-theme-november-22/). Now if they could restore some of the difficulty, we will be golden.

Honestly, I don't think the game was made any easier on the technical side of things. It's a combination of being better at exploring, being better at allocating license points, LP being more efficiently usable (due to the abundance of useful lores right next to each other most of the time) and not having trout gear most of the time.

Not saying I've looked this up tho.

Edit: FTR I had a party average of ~23 when I was at the Stilshrine myself, so you seem a little overleveled to me. Though I still wrecked everything, not like levels matter that much compared to gear.

Wolf Kanno
11-21-2017, 09:06 PM
It looks like one of my Cons will be rectified with a patch pretty soon. They're going to restore the Sky Pirates Den in an upcoming patch (http://www.siliconera.com/2017/11/21/final-fantasy-xii-zodiac-gets-sky-pirates-den-free-viera-themed-ps4-theme-november-22/). Now if they could restore some of the difficulty, we will be golden.

Honestly, I don't think the game was made any easier on the technical side of things. It's a combination of being better at exploring, being better at allocating license points, LP being more efficiently usable (due to the abundance of useful lores right next to each other most of the time) and not having trout gear most of the time.

Not saying I've looked this up tho.

Edit: FTR I had a party average of ~23 when I was at the Stilshrine myself, so you seem a little overleveled to me. Though I still wrecked everything, not like levels matter that much compared to gear.

No, it was actually made easier sadly.

https://www.polygon.com/2016/7/7/12112604/final-fantasy-12-the-zodiac-age-international-job-system-hd-whats-new

I mean granted, it's not helped that I know what I'm actually doing and I've been prioritizing Lores and abilities over equipment and accessories since I know it may be awhile before I get access to them. So experience is also partly to blame but even in my last run through of XII, I remember several sections being a bit more challenging than they have been for this game. I might feel differently once I try Trial Mode though.

Wolf Kanno
11-22-2017, 08:38 PM
I'm suppose to be heading to the Garif village of Jahara but stopping to finish some side quests and do a few Mark Hunts still.

Pros:

Hey, the new update gave me my Sky Pirates Den back and I get a Viera theme for the PS4, neato!
Coming back to what Karifean said about tackling greater challenges earlier. My fist real battle where I was killed and not due to my genuine stupidity, like accidentally wandering into a high level area, kicked in when I took on the Earth Tyrant so I can get access to the rest of the Westersand and finish up the Patient in the Desert Quest. I even resorted to a Quickening Chain despite saying I wouldn't and it barely scratched him. He destroyed me but I was able to use the auto-save to better prep and then fought a long hard battle before he finally fell to my blade. Having access to the Gladius helped for this fight.
Thank god for the auto-save feature. I wasn't exactly sure how I felt about it, but considering how annoying finding the Weathervane item was, I was happy that my overconfidence that kept me from saving that evening didn't completely bite me in the ass.
I actually did the July Streetear quest and finally met Gibbs and Deweg.
I forgot how cute the Cauctoid Family Quest was, and again, solid proof that XII did Mark Hunts right as opposed to XIII and XV's half-hearted attempts. The quest in question is a follow up to a previous Mark Hunt that makes for a real fun moment. Also, those villagers must be badass to wander into the Salikawoods and Necrohol of Nabudis and return to tell the tales of it.

Cons:

Sky Pirates Den doesn't look like it was formatted for the HD remake.

Karifean
11-24-2017, 07:06 PM
Ah man I don't think I ever had a challenging fight with the Earth Tyrant. I just always forget it exists ^^;

Wolf Kanno
11-26-2017, 02:22 AM
Still just doing sidequests at the moment, but I'm getting ready to dive back into the main plot because the only Mark Hunts left are ones I probably can't handle yet as they involve going into Zertinian Caverns and the Garasmythe Waterways. I barely eked out a victory against the Gil Snapper who was a Rank III Mark Hunt, doubt I would fair well against Rank V ones.

Pros:

For the most part, I'm pretty content with my class choices for the party. There is probably one I have some misgivings on but I'll elaborate below on that one. Having access to a samurai this early has been pretty nice and Ashe was certainly the best choice for this due to her optimal stats and and the Swiftness bonuses I picked up in Time Battlemage, the Magick Lore upgrades have also benefited her previous class as well. Archer allows Fran to stay out of unnecessary conflicts and stay a long range fighter, Ulhan gives Balthier far greater versatility and better attack options while waiting for gun/ammo upgrades. Black Mage allows me to take advantage of all of the Gambit slots Penelo has and makes her finally useful in battle. Monk gives Basch even more Battle Lores and way more HP lores which will transform him into a pretty tanky knight. The fact both have access to different White magics can further add versatility to him. Vaan... well we'll get to that.
The Gil Snapper was a real doozy of a battle and I only remembered after my first party wipe that I waited until I got the -ra level elemental spells to deal with him, but a little reworking of my party and gambits, combined with learning that it's susceptible to Silence allowed me to pull a victory on my second attempt. In a lot of ways, this and the Earth Tyrant fights remind me of why I love FFXII and the Gambit system as it's all about tinkering and getting that perfect well-oiled machine going that makes it so satisfying.
There are a lot of minor background elements I either forgot or missed out on in previous playthroughs. I never noticed that Nono, the moogle mechanic for Baltheir and Fran hans out at the Aerodromes and kind of explains why you have to walk everywhere. Going back to places like Bhujerba and talking around town has added some clairty to certain plot points, and I'm noticing even more references to Matsuno's works and FF in general.

Cons:

I am not feeling the Foebreaker class. I feel like it would have been better to make a class based around either a Green Mage or Arcanist with the axe/hammer weapons instead of another pure melee class. As it stands, it's just an odd mix of Knight and Monk with a funky weapon selection. I may have liked the class better had I mixed it with a mage class like Red Battlemage or White Mage, but unlike some of the other melee classes, it doesn't have a whole lot of synergy with other melee classes as I would like. I may change my mind later, but as it stands, it's my least favorite of the classes.

Freya
11-26-2017, 11:00 PM
Just got this over the weekend on the black friday deals. This game deserved the PS4 treatment. Upscaling it as they have made me realize how great it looked when it came out but the PS2 just couldn't do it justice. It still looks great. Just started though. Not sure about this class wheel selection thing though.

Wolf Kanno
11-27-2017, 08:27 PM
Got a lot done. Decided to take down those two Rank V marks anyway and was pleasantly surprised to find a fair but manageable challenge. Reached Jahara, the Golmore Jungle, Henne Mines, and finally Mt. Bur-Omascie (sp?) before deciding to take a break and check out the new line of Mark Hunts that opened up.

Pros:

Guests characters are far more interesting in this version. Since you can actually control their Gambit set ups, they now all have several more skills than they did in the original. Larsa is nice for having access to Cura and Bubble so early and his Shades of Black is surprisingly useful, Vossler had a wealth of debuff skills like Expose and Shear, along with strong attacks like Souleater to give him much better variety in battle. Having the infinite potion thing removed also removes their gamebreaker status. The Hunts I've been doing with Larsa ended up being a bit harder since he couldn't just spam Hi-Potions to keep himself and the party alive.
While I still have to play around with it some more, the Espers also seem to have been improved with the ability to actually directly control them and the fact they seem to have way beefier stats. Being able to access their Ultimate Attack from the get go will certainly improve the usefulness for people who just want to treat them like classic summons, not to mention bypassing the BS requirements in the original that made it an act of fate to see Hashmal and Ultima's specials.
I feel like Fran is such an underrated character. Her story with the Viera and her sisters is actually pretty heartfelt and bittersweet. I'm still a bit surprised people whine about her not having much character development.
It's kind of interesting how much this game really foreshadows things. I mean there are major plot points like Balthier's connection with Cid and Nethicite, or Vayne plotting with his dad to stop the Senate for Larsa's sake, but even Mark Hunts and Espers get some heavy foreshadowing if you bother to walk around and actually talk to everyone around town after story events.
Also, while I never hated Vaan like other players, I still find it amusing how much the party treats him like shit. He gets more "what a fucking idiot" looks and lines from the party than any other FF character I can think of. While it's mean spirited, I still find it pretty funny considering how much the Western fandom hates him yet seems to never notice this about his character in the story.
I still appreciate the fact that Mark Hunts sometimes require certain conditions to be met in order to face them. Having to find Orthros with an all-female team is still just a neat concept and doubles as a great shout out to the character he's referencing. As I said, it boggles my mind how much this game has shown up SE's later entries in clever design and playing this game again is just solidifying my feeling that it really is the last good FF game the studio has put out.


Cons:

Man, why does it take so freaking long to unlock Greatswords and Ninja Blades in this game?
While XII does a decent job of enemy variety, Wolves are the lone exception and their seems to be some variation of the creature in almost every area that isn't a tomb or cave, in which case it's skeleton warriors instead.
After dealing with the Viera and certain Clan Hunts, I feel it showed me once again that one of the game's biggest missed opportunities was not having other races in your party. I would have loved to have a Bangaa, Seeq, or Moogle party member and see how they saw the world.

Wolf Kanno
12-01-2017, 06:52 PM
Tactics Ogre is consuming my free time. I did finally get some more Mark Hunts in. I'm suppose to meet the Gran Kilitas (My Vagrant Story memories are coming back to me) but opted to do a few hunts while I still had Larsa on the team.


Oh thank god, Ninja Blades. Did the Antlion Elite Mark Hunt in the Lhusu Mines and found a bunch of Ninja blades and a few other weapon types I've been missing. Now if I could just get a non-story plot trinket Great Sword...
While the main plot has been pretty easy, the Mark Hunts have been another story and again, I'm reminded of why I liked them and how they were a great idea in this game.
I have successfully unlocked all of the Monographs in the game, though it will be sometime before I can even afford the Canopic Jar unless I seriously grind for it, but I'm planning on waiting and just let the funds come naturally.
The Trickster fight ended up being both easier and harder this time around. On the one hand, the beast went more on the offensive, so it wasn't just twenty minutes of me watching my party run back and forth across the map taking pot shots the rare time they pass each other. On the other hand, his last phase where he becomes immune to every element but one and physical damage for a short time while spamming Choco-Meteor was not fun and if I had remembered he did that, I would have used a Quickening to finish it off at the 1/3rd health mark.
I finally have access to Haste, Bubble, and Berserk.
With the increased speed mode, and the new overlay map, Zodiac Age is incredibly user-friendly and makes trudging some of the game's larger maps less of a chore. I breezed through the Yensa Sandsea, but was reminded again how awesome these features are when I was cruising through the Site 2 Lhusu Mines with them on.

Cons:

Despite having the individual boards, and even access to two at a times, I'm not terribly far from maxing out my parties Job Boards. Thankfully the better focus keeps them from being clones of each other but it's a bit sad for me to see that beyond some high tier weapon/armor Licenses and a crap ton of Accessory Licenses I've kind of been ignoring, there isn't much left to the boards besides the skills locked behind the Espers.

Karifean
12-02-2017, 12:42 AM
I don't think you really get Greatswords until much later tbh, around or after Draklor. They're more or less a late branch off regular swords (more attack power at the cost of being two handed) rather than their own distinct weapon type. Also Berserk really is so stupidly powerful in this game, isn't it.

Re:job maxing, the fact that you can get up to 4 Golden Amulets relatively easily (1 from the sandsea, 1 from the Barheim key quest, 1 from the bazaar and 1 from a hunt) and you don't really have a reason not to keep them on your reserve party at the very least probably plays a big part in that. At least you get a way to still make something of your superfluous LP soon, IIRC.

Wolf Kanno
12-02-2017, 06:47 AM
I don't think you really get Greatswords until much later tbh, around or after Draklor. They're more or less a late branch off regular swords (more attack power at the cost of being two handed) rather than their own distinct weapon type. Also Berserk really is so stupidly powerful in this game, isn't it.

Re:job maxing, the fact that you can get up to 4 Golden Amulets relatively easily (1 from the sandsea, 1 from the Barheim key quest, 1 from the bazaar and 1 from a hunt) and you don't really have a reason not to keep them on your reserve party at the very least probably plays a big part in that. At least you get a way to still make something of your superfluous LP soon, IIRC.

I have surprisingly not used the Golden Amulets yet. In fact most of my party only has up to level 8 and 9 Accessory Licenses since they didn't seem as important in the early game. I'll probably start using them for the high point items like Ribbon and the Ultimate Weapons, but I'm frankly doing pretty well with filling up the board without them.

Wolf Kanno
12-03-2017, 08:19 PM
Finished the Stillshrine of Miriam and Gran Kiltias sequence. I'm now on what most people call the momentum killing "trek to Archades" part of the game, but to compound to the hours it will be before the plot moves again, I had like seven Mark Hunts open up and I have access to four Espers. I took down Adrammalech already and explored the Zertinan Caverns, and I'm debating about taking on Zalera the Death Seraph.

Pros:

Going back through the game, I have to give XII props for having some underrated dungeon design. I blame it more on people remembering the boring places like the Yensa Sandsea and the Westersand that seem to go on forever, but theTomb of Raithwall, Baraheim Passsage, Henne Mines, and Stillshrine of Miriam actually have some clever puzzles and sequences that I liked.
I forgot how interesting the Stillshrine of Miriam is, largely because it's one of the few non-Occurian structures in XII's Ivalice that actually predates the Dyanst-King. Totally forgot it was a former Temple to an ancient god Miriam the God of Swords. Even more interesting when you see the Sumerian/Egyptian style aesthetic they gave the place and the fact Miriam is possible a Goddess since it has features of both a man, woman, and reptile. Pretty neat.
While I have been a broken record about the challenge in this game (I was able to enter the Feywoods and held my own pretty well, wtf?!) Adrammalech raised my hopes that the Espers will retain their BS level of difficulty. He's the easiest of the optional enemies, but his combination of being a flying enemy and the freaking amount of undead that come to his aid was enough to overwhelm my initial group and I had to finish him off with the backup team. It's made me reconsider whether I want to chance dealing with Zalera. I'm already dreading Cuchalain cause he's easily the first nightmare Esper people hate fighting, and I don't really think I can touch Zeromus yet since he's still a good fifteen levels higher than my party and anything five levels higher than me can be a handful. Not to mention he begins the whole "restrict one of your commands" handicaps. So it's been kind of exciting.
I honestly find the way Summons and Quickenings are utilized for the License Boards to be a very clever idea. What I mean is that for Quickenings, there are multiple spots they pop up in on the board, and often they are blocking access to some skills or lores, the issue is you can only open it once so you have to choose what skills you want. Espers do the same thing except they run through all the boards meaning that depending on which jobs you gave out, you can have two different characters fighting over an esper to gain access to their additional blocked off licenses. Right now, I have to figure out who to give Adrammalech to, Vaan will gain access to a few more Battle Lores while Ashe will gain access to the useful Cura and Raise spells. I'm waiting to open up a few more Espers to see what rewards I can get before making my choice. As it stands, I feel like Fran may end up being Esperless.
I got a really good Katana from an enemy drop while wandering around Zertinan Caverns.
I am either very lucky or the requirements for their appearances have been altered a bit, but I've been running into far more Rare Game than usual. Almost makes getting the Ba'Gamman Sky Pirate Trophy feel like it's in reach. Not the mention all the cool rare items you can steal off of them.
I have obtained all of the Monographs. Got a crap ton of money from the loot I got in the Caverns.
The Carrot Mark Hunt has opened, and the Ivalice tradition continues. I had a Good Feeling!

Cons:

I'm starting to really look forward to the Judge Battle in Trial Mode, simply because the guys are a little lackluster as bosses in the main story. I crushed Ghis, and Bergan didn't put up much of a fight either. This is an absolute shame because the characters have such great presence in the story proper.
I must have incredibly bad luck or the game is glitching on me, cause I can't get the chest with the Thief's Cuffs to spawn in the Zertinan Caverns. This is frustrating because A) it's spawn rate is pretty high and the item is 100% guarantee, B) I took down the boss that carried the item before I could steal from him, C) The Zodiac version has changed how you get the item, so I can't buy them anymore, and D) this is all just reminding me how much I hate the spawning treasure chest mechanic in this game.
Speaking of mechanics I don't care for, I still wish XII had kind of dropped the Bazaar mechanic, or at least made the improvement from TA2 to it, so I can start saving and looking for the items needed for certain items. Overall, I'm not wild about making ultimate weapons as much as I am about earning them through a quest. Probably why the Masemune is one of my fave weapons in this game.

Karifean
12-03-2017, 09:18 PM
Probably having bad luck with the Thief's Cuffs. Fortunately there's an *actual* guaranteed chest for them in the Mosphorn Highwaste camp, so while having two is nice (and absolutely recommended for some rarer steals) you can at least get the one pretty easily.

I do recommend trying Zalera now. The path to him will be a good test on whether or not you're ready for him because you can get swarmed real easily. Also I think you can do the Bloodwing hunt on the way by now, so that's convenient. You can also do Antlion by now I think? That's another fun and extensive hunt sidequest.

Also unfortunate to hear about your dislike of the Bazaar system, since the power of the Bazaar ultimate weapons has been upped to separate them from the weapons you get in high level dungeons.

Wolf Kanno
12-04-2017, 12:01 AM
Probably having bad luck with the Thief's Cuffs. Fortunately there's an *actual* guaranteed chest for them in the Mosphorn Highwaste camp, so while having two is nice (and absolutely recommended for some rarer steals) you can at least get the one pretty easily.

Good to know, I was just a bit annoyed because I remembered they were suppose to be in there and even looked up the area but that chest never spawned. I'm running into so many Rare Game now that they can be really useful.


I do recommend trying Zalera now. The path to him will be a good test on whether or not you're ready for him because you can get swarmed real easily. Also I think you can do the Bloodwing hunt on the way by now, so that's convenient. You can also do Antlion by now I think? That's another fun and extensive hunt sidequest.

I'll grab that Hunt as well then when I finish up the next few. I was thinking of taking him on anyway since the hard part of the fight is the time limit and the fact he's invulnerable with the undead around.


Also unfortunate to hear about your dislike of the Bazaar system, since the power of the Bazaar ultimate weapons has been upped to separate them from the weapons you get in high level dungeons.

I've never liked building weapons. Give me a cool dungeon with lots of enemies and the reward of good gear any day. I just don't like grinding for materials, even with the Chain mechanic, some of the drops are abysmal and I hate having to look up guides for all the materials and making sure I drop them in at once so I don't accidentally use up some rare item on an inferior piece of gear. It's just tedious to me, and it's not even something exclusive to XII. I never liked it in Star Ocean or FFTA2 either. I prefer being rewarded for completing a monumental task, not for sticking with a chore like grinding for item drops. It's a large part of why MMOs don't appeal to me.

Freya
12-04-2017, 03:06 PM
Zoom zoom! I'm a few hours in and just realized you can zoom the play up. whoops

Wolf Kanno
12-04-2017, 06:51 PM
Didin't do a whole lot, but got some hunts in. I got the Thief's Cuffs, turns out I was in the wrong section, though considering how often I was in the other section to get the Rare monster in the area to spawn, it still didn't spawn very often.

Pros:

You know, the Trickster and Vorpal Bunny fights are wonderful examples of how XII just does Mark Hunts better than later FFs and a few other JRPGs I can think. Largely because the enemy has unique qualities or the fight brings in some interesting element to throw everything on it's head. In the case of the Vorpal Bunny, you don't really fight it. The damn thing runs away from you and you have to chase it down, but the enemy's strategy is to run past the hordes of other creatures in the forest so before long, you're dealing with every enemy in the area. It's such a simple if clever idea and makes the fight really stand out. The farther I get in, the more I fall in love with the idea of Mark Hunts cause XII does them so elegantly and smart, which just makes the imitators that come after feel so hollow. It's like they missed the whole point of what made them so cool in the first place.
I love how much foreshadowing there is in this game. I often feel that part of the reason people have issues with XII's plot and world is because everyone stops talking to NPCs after awhile and they change up their dialogue a bit more than people think. In addition to bringing to light some interesting elements of the plot like Vayne's success in Rabanastre and Marquis Ondore faking illness so he can go and lead the Resistance, you also get lots of foreshadowing of later Mark Hunts like learning that Diabolos is a story parents tell kids to scare them straight in Bhujerba, the Garif's blood war with the MindFlayers and their destiny to fight the Catoblepas. These are the elements missing from both XIII and XV that makes their worlds fall a bit flat for me.
I have just realized that duel-wielding appears to be a martial art style unique to Archades. Barring the lowly soldiers, every prominent Archades born character uses this fighting style. The Judges duel-wield weapons, Larsa and Reddas do so as well. Funny enough, if you really watch the way Balthier fights, his style is flamboyant and odd looking as he uses things even like spear one-handed, which likely suggests it's because he's use to fighting with two weapons. It's an interesting visual touch that I imagine most people, including myself, missed on the first go around. If you want another fun visual cue, Ashe was trained to always use a shield, so even when using two-handed weapons, she holds it in such a way to suggest she would have a Buckler or small shield with it as well. Bashe's fighting style is the most direct and practical. It's also based on real classical ways to use most of the weapons, showing that he's had formal training.

Wolf Kanno
12-08-2017, 07:56 PM
Still on my way to Archades, just finished Salikawoods. Fought King Bomb and decided to check out the Necrohol of Nabudis and the Nabradia Deadlands.

Pros:

The Mosphorus Highwaste doesn't get enough props from it's visual design. Not because it has great art design, but because of the layered nature of the whole place. It's interesting how much of the region is inaccessible without a Chocobo and it was a neat design choice.
I completely forgot about looking for the Moogle Team in the Salikawoods. Nice little touch for a place that feels like the happy version of the Golmore Jungle.
I love the aesthetic design of the Necrohol and Deadlands. The Mist effect is just a really cool effect and gives these areas a way creepier vibe.
I really do feel the requirements for running into Rare Game has been modified to make it easier cause I am running into lots of rare creatures pretty easily. The one in the Necrohol gave me scare when I saw it had close to 100,000Hp. Yet I pulled out a win despite all the status magic.
While the whole Zodiac Spear thing is gone now (you get as a reward for the Hunt Club now) I was pleasantly surprised to get my grubby little hands on some great buff/debuff spells like Silencega, Faith, Bravery, and Vanishiga. Now if I can only find the damn Dispel spell...


Cons:

Fuck the Necrohol of Nabudis. Oh man I forgot how much of a nightmare that place was and the health the enemies have is pretty staggering. What really makes everything in here a pain to fight besides just their sheer numbers is the fact most show up with Haste on. I started having a much easier time once I put Ashe into the main party and had a Gambit set up to cast slow on them.
I had to give up on a Mark Hunt finally. Roblon is just a fucking nightmare to deal with. What's funny is that I can't actually tell you if the Mark itself is a mean enemy, and I'm still confident I can take him, the problem is that the area he's in is swarming with Undead. It's hard fighting the guy when there are ten Dead Bones with Haste, Protect, Shell, and Reflect all cast on them flanking you as you make a mad dash for them, and the worse part is that the elevation in the area makes it really easy for the party to target Roblon and then go rushing towards it, summoning every undead on the map to come after us. I may be able to deal with this Hunt now, but it's going to involve some playing around with the Gambits. That or I can simply wait until I get access to Dispel and the -aga class elemental spells for better crowd control.
I feel like the easier difficulty has kind of borked the equipment system in some ways. I beat a recent Mark Hunt that only opened up due to the Mosphorus Highwaste finally being legitimately accessible and my reward for the Hunt was Shielded Armor which grants a permanent Protect on the wearer. The problem I have here is that it's like a Rank 5 Armor and my characters already have access to rank 7 and 8 armor, so the reward is kind of useless to me. This has been kind of happening a lot lately in the mid section. Hell, I just won what I believe is a Rank 11 or 12 Mystic Armor helmet from the enemies in the Deadlands as a rare drop. Penelo is almost outfitted with end game gear at this point and can tank better than my Heavy Armor units.

Wolf Kanno
12-09-2017, 09:04 PM
Beat Roblon and discovered I should have had the Dispel spell by now and simply missed it awhile back. I'm going after Carrot next, but first decided I wanted to finally deal with the last two Espers I have access to.

Pros:

Finally got Dispel, which is great because I ran out of Dispel Motes ages ago. Can't believe I missed it in the Tomb of Raithwall.
When my party accidentally pissed off a Leamonde Entite (Darkness based) being in the Nabradia Deadlands, Vaan managed to somehow snatch one of their rarest items before we ran for our lives.
Finally beat Roblon, part of my former defeat is due to my own negligence and the other simply involved taking some Dark Souls strategy. So I've been pretty lax with Buff spells, largely cause it takes too long to fully buff a team with single spells, but since I finally got Protectga and Bubble, I through those on to help deal with the Dead Bones. After that, it was just simply a matter of using team with long range weapons to snipe and aggro one skeleton at a time. I still managed to get a Chain going for nearly fifty enemies, which is insane for such a small area. Roblon for the most part was pretty helpless without the undead horde backing him up and his strategy is to cast Fear on you to wipe out your MP so you can't deal with the undead. Pretty clever.
I almost beat Cuchuclane (sp?) on my first try. The hard part is dealing with Disable, but if I outfit everyone with the right accessory this should be pretty easy, especially since it will reduce the amount of time my party wastes trying to cure all the status ailments.

Cons:

Some of these treasure chests are really hard to see since they blend into the background, how I missed Dispel.

Karifean
12-11-2017, 06:43 PM
I managed to clear the Necrohol on my playthrough mainly cause I farmed for the Arcturus and Vrscika early on. Getting the Black Robes and maybe a lucky Maximillian drop or two on there is pretty much GG, no more danger until the end of the game. I think using a Shikari with Main Gauche + a good shield as your leader (so he gets all the aggro) and having a dedicated healer should get you through even without strong weapons though.

And man, missing a spell like that sucks ^^ that's kinda the downside of treasures now having more valuable and reliable drops, you can easily miss something you kinda need to have in the long run =P

Wolf Kanno
12-12-2017, 07:38 PM
So I have reached Archades and I'm working on Chops.

Pros:

I still enjoy the Carrot mission, and it's one of my favorite Ivalice running gags. While she whooped my ass the first time around, I beat her the second attempt by having my melee leader swing past her and make her direct all her Breath attacks away from the long range fighters.
Back to foreshadowing, I'm already hearing the rumors of the Clan Hunter and Centurio is worried it's Monid.
Took down Queklain (I'm just using his badly translated name from FFT cause it's easier to spell). I just needed to get the right accessories and stick to long range weapons and spells to maintain offense. That leaves only two Espers I've unlocked to fight (Zeromus and Exodus) and I can kind of start the quest to go fight Chaos, but we'll see about that.
Forgot how gorgeous Phon Coast was, one of the really nice areas despite being kind of mundane.
I really love the cutscene between Balthier and Ashe when he reveals part of his backstory. In my first playthrough, when he said he was a former judge, I really thought he was the missing Judge Zechs. In truth, looking back on the cutscenes of this games while also playing Tactics Ogre on the side, almost all of the story scenes are played out just like Tactics and his older entries. They still maintain his directing and writing style perfectly and in hindsight, his previous games are also light on "party interaction" outside of choice moments. There is actually a cute moment when you reach Archades where Vaan and Penelo reflect on their journey and Penelo mentions Vaan has grown up a bit, only for Basch to pat him on the back and make a joke about "knowing the trouble with working for nobility" of which Penelo quips if Basch is finally revealing how he really feels about serving Ashe. Overall, I am convinced more of my initial observation that XII's writing is a bit more subtle and highly underrated compared to other FFs.
I forgot how funny the Mandragora Fight was in the Sochen Cave Palace was. Especially the WTF outro cutscene where their spirits ascend to heaven.
I love the design of Archades, and my favorite part of the Chop quest is how much it kind of reminds me of Xenogears and when your party finally reaches that place. The whole game, you're dealing with the army and the assholes of the place, occasionally seeing the backstabbing politics as well. Then you finally reach the place of dread and unlike other Imperial capitals you infiltrate, the place feels pretty normal with self-absorbed but basically normal citizens dealing with normal day to day things and completely oblivious to what their government is doing to the rest of the world. It's an interesting parallel to real life I would imagine.


Cons:

I've come to the conclusion that XII's easiest excuse for making a battle 10x more difficult is simply to have have you deal with high spawning undead while trying to deal with the real focus of your mission. I had barely finished the Roblon fight which was basically a support unit who defends itself by being in the undead lands only to fight Zeromus who works almost the exact same way. Not helped by him being the first of the "sealed command" boss battles. Got trounced really badly by him simply because I would have ten undead on the map with him and no effective way to crowd control since magic is sealed in this fight. The undead's habit of inflicting Stop with their normal attacks isn't helping. I'll have to come up with a more effective defense to deal with him. It is an interesting parallel to Tactics Ogre (and FFT and Vagrant Story in hindsight) as Matsuno seems to really love making undead the one type of enemy you don't want to deal with ever. Some of the most dreadful missions in TO have been maps filled with nothing but undead.
I feel part of the problem with the Tchita Uplands is that they are too big and way too easy to get turned around in, thankfully the Zodiac Version dropped the obnoxious treasure chest mechanic in this region, but it does feel like a region where nothing terribly interesting happens and is way too big for it's own good. Not going to be helped when the Cerobi Steep opens up since that area feels like more of the same.
I'm conflicted with the Chop quest. I mentioned the positives above, but I also can't help but feel this is a bit of an arbitrary quest with really contrived justifications within the plot. Like I overall enjoy it, but I feel like it could have been better implemented.

Wolf Kanno
12-16-2017, 05:50 PM
On my way to Giruvegan, but going to stop and do some Hunts and the boatload of quests that just opened up.

Pros:

I always seem to forget how deliciously hammy Dr. Cid is in this game. I love the fact he's just as fast with his quips as Balthier is. You can really see he takes after him.
Zeromus was finally taken down thanks to getting access to the new weapons in Balfoheim. Now I just need to deal with Exodus and Chaos.
Balfoheim is easily my second favorite city in the game in terms of design and feel. It's amusing talking to the residents and listen to them argue over whether Reddas coming in and cleaning up the place was the best thing to happen to the place or an affront to everything pirating stands for.
Did the Runaway Cockatrice quest, which was still hilarious. Helped by all of the the Cockatrice having Cockney accents. The loot given was nice as well.
Greatswords!
The fun part of this playthrough is running into things I didn't notice in the last playthrough, like how after the Medallion quests in Rabanastre, the Orphans all move into the abandoned apartment and form the Buccaneer Brigade, with Kytes and Filo arguing over who is leader.
Two of my favorite Mark Hunts just opened up in Clan Centurio: Oblito, the "what the hell happened to Ba'Gamman" fight; and the Man of Mystery Hunt, or Gilgamesh Part 1.
Started the Hunt Club quest as well, now let's have fun being jumped by the thirty or so secret Rare Game I missed in previous areas. I do appreciate the fact that rewards have apparently been reworked and this is the quest that nets you the Zodiac Spear and Zodiac Shield.
Debating on whether I should tackle the Great Wyrm yet. I have the key item needed to start the quest.


Cons:

Despite doing everything right, I can't seem to get the last part of the Nabradia Medal quest to activate so I can finally go fight Chaos. I have a suspicion it's locked behind a story event, like I need to complete Giruvegan first but it's still annoying that I have to wait.
While the fishing minigame is a nice surprise, it's nowhere near as funs as FFXVs. Not helped by the command prompts being in the tiniest font and the color for Circles and Squares look similar from a distance. Adding shoulder button prompts in the second area is asking a lot of my feeble coordination. The Wyrmhero Blade may have to wait. :cry:

Karifean
12-17-2017, 01:53 PM
The fun part of this playthrough is running into things I didn't notice in the last playthrough, like how after the Medallion quests in Rabanastre, the Orphans all move into the abandoned apartment and form the Buccaneer Brigade, with Kytes and Filo arguing over who is leader.



Oh man I never knew that! That's super neat =P




Debating on whether I should tackle the Great Wyrm yet. I have the key item needed to start the quest.



You mean Hellwyrm? That one's kinda still way above your current level I fear. And even if you can survive against him, it'd be one long-ass fight. I usually wouldn't recommend tackling it before the Pharos, specially since it's also one of the few fights you can stack massive Holy damage against and revel in the results.




Despite doing everything right, I can't seem to get the last part of the Nabradia Medal quest to activate so I can finally go fight Chaos. I have a suspicion it's locked behind a story event, like I need to complete Giruvegan first but it's still annoying that I have to wait.



Pretty sure there's nothing of the sort. Did you get both pieces, then talk to the guys at the entrance to Nabreus, and then go to the place where you fought Roblon?





While the fishing minigame is a nice surprise, it's nowhere near as funs as FFXVs. Not helped by the command prompts being in the tiniest font and the color for Circles and Squares look similar from a distance. Adding shoulder button prompts in the second area is asking a lot of my feeble coordination. The Wyrmhero Blade may have to wait. :cry:



IMO it's best to leave fishing until after Gilgamesh anyways, otherwise it's very easy to get burnt out on it before you're done with it.

Wolf Kanno
12-17-2017, 05:25 PM
See the issue is that the second guy never showed up. I got the Silver Medallion in Archades, and I completed the four medal quest in Rabanastre and handed them over to the Nu Muo who left, that guy still hasn't shown up at the entrance, and so when I talk to the Nu Muo that is there, he simply replies I met the Silver Medallion guy and doesn't unseal the shrine where the Roblon fight is so I can obtain the final medal. I'm not sure if there was something more to the Rabanastre quest, like if the guy pops up somewhere in town and I need to talk to him or not. I vaguely remember having a similar issue the first time around as well.

In truth, I'm not sure if I really want to deal with Chaos yet, I'll see how the Exodus fight goes first, but I will likely save Chaos for after Giruvegan since he's a Rank III Summon. I'm still having issues distributing the ones I have cause it feels to me like Bushi and Knight get the most bang for their buck while classes like Archer and most of the Mage classes are left in the dust.

As for fishing, while I know I can't undertake the Matamune quest until after I finish the second Gilgamesh fight, I would still like to get the brunt of the leg work down, especially since I have to score perfect scores a set amount of times to unlock new fishing spots until the third area.

Edge7
12-18-2017, 06:49 AM
They still maintain his directing and writing style perfectly and in hindsight, his previous games are also light on "party interaction" outside of choice moments.





Fun fact, Jun Akiyama, the Scenario (AKA cutscene) director of FFXII, Vagrant Story, the original Kingdom Hearts and the Scenario Planner of Final Fantasy Tactics, was one of 4 people Matsuno explicitly mentioned when assuring the FFXII project was in good hands following his departure. I think it speaks to the talents of his associates that FFXII still manages to feel so Matsuno-esque.

Karifean
12-18-2017, 06:55 PM
See the issue is that the second guy never showed up. I got the Silver Medallion in Archades, and I completed the four medal quest in Rabanastre and handed them over to the Nu Muo who left, that guy still hasn't shown up at the entrance, and so when I talk to the Nu Muo that is there, he simply replies I met the Silver Medallion guy and doesn't unseal the shrine where the Roblon fight is so I can obtain the final medal. I'm not sure if there was something more to the Rabanastre quest, like if the guy pops up somewhere in town and I need to talk to him or not. I vaguely remember having a similar issue the first time around as well.

If the Nu Mou leaves Dalan's place, you're done with the Rabanastre side. Are you sure you returned the medallion of love to the Archades one after getting it?

Wolf Kanno
12-18-2017, 07:07 PM
See the issue is that the second guy never showed up. I got the Silver Medallion in Archades, and I completed the four medal quest in Rabanastre and handed them over to the Nu Muo who left, that guy still hasn't shown up at the entrance, and so when I talk to the Nu Muo that is there, he simply replies I met the Silver Medallion guy and doesn't unseal the shrine where the Roblon fight is so I can obtain the final medal. I'm not sure if there was something more to the Rabanastre quest, like if the guy pops up somewhere in town and I need to talk to him or not. I vaguely remember having a similar issue the first time around as well.

If the Nu Mou leaves Dalan's place, you're done with the Rabanastre side. Are you sure you returned the medallion of love to the Archades one after getting it?

Pretty sure I did. I'll double check. Updates have been slow due to RL stuff so I haven't played much.

Wolf Kanno
12-20-2017, 06:27 PM
Okay, mostly dealt with Exodus and some Mark Hunts, so not much in terms of advancing the plot.

Pros:

Karifean, was correct, I simply forgot to speak to the Nu Muo after collecting the Silver Medallion, so Chaos is in my future.
Gilgamesh is still my all time favorite Mark Hunt in this game, while I love the FF Shout Outs like Orthrus and Deathgaze, Gilgamesh is such a fun character and his fight is so unique that it really stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Thanks to hindsight and having pure luck of keeping my party levels consistent, I happened to be a level that was not divisible to any of Gilgamesh's Blue Magic, making the second round much easier to deal with.
I finally obtained the full Genji Gear and Masemune, and holy crap are they still good. Even the armor has advantages since they give the counterattack ability. Lady Ashe is now on par with Basch in terms of frontline melee.
The journey through Site 11 of the Lhusu Mines also netted me a tone of great weapons and armor for everyone. I almost feel bad for the creatures in the Great Crystal not named Ultima and Omega Mk. XII. Seriously, Orochi, Zwill Crossblade, Dragon Whisker, Whale Whisker, and the Genji set. Did I mention Scathe was in here as well?
I was also able to obtain one of the new swords added into the game, the Karaya I believe, will be interesting to see how it measures up.
It will be interesting to see if Excalipur has any use in this entry. It always makes me sad that despite always being a joke weapon in the series, people forget it actually had a great lethal joke use in it's debut game of FFV.
I am also grateful I made the right call for some of my Esper Purchases, Ashe is more useful now that she has a group heal and Raise, while Fran is going to benefit from the extra options of wearing heavy armor when I don't need her for a mage.

Karifean
12-22-2017, 03:05 AM
Yeah the depths of the Lhusu Mines are like the "second-hardest optional dungeon" of the game (hard to say how it really compares with the Subterra and Great Crystal tho) so it contains some truly incredible gear. Going there as soon as you can makes you pretty insanely powerful for the rest of the game =P

Though if there's one place I consider about on par on being worth going through as soon as you can it's the deeper Great Crystal, since it nets you the best Greatsword in the game and thus kinda makes all the other optional areas muuuch easier afterwards =P

Wolf Kanno
12-22-2017, 08:36 PM
So I've reached Giruvegan and made Chaos my bitch on the way.

Pros:


I still really love the whole quest to fight Chaos, out of all of the Espers, this was one of the most satisfying to get to and face.
Completely forgot how hilarious the death animations for Humbaba Mistant and Fury were.
Chaos put up a pretty good fight, largely because I have nothing but Gambits to protect me from Confusion, and partly because I love the Sealed Attack command restriction because it makes you have to think outside of the box for your melee party members.
Thankfully, the Rafflisia fight wasn't chore this time around.
Did a little Rare Game hunting while I was on my way to Giruvegan, the Wood Toad was particularly tricky and involved me looking it up a bit, but I still have to hand it to the devs that they went above and beyond designing this game with so many neat elements like that.


Cons:


I know I've said this before, and I don't mean to harp on it, but it really is the only glaring flaw in an otherwise pristine masterpiece of a remaster. The weak difficulty of the title hurts this game. One of the things I always loved about the original was how vital buff and debuff spells were in this game after years of it being an afterthought. Yet, I'm getting close to the end of the game and I've only found myself in a few scenarios where buffs or inflicting status magic was absolutely needed to survive. The Rafflisia fight was an eye opener as I watched Ashe pull off a combo that took down half of the boss's health within the first 30 seconds of the fight, before it even had a chance to spam it's first annoying status spell. The biggest challenge when dealing with the various Rare Game is keeping the damn thing alive long enough for my thief characters to steal. I've honestly taken out half of the rare monsters in my list without even realizing they were rare games, and I barely fear the elementals either. It's been the only real let down of the game for me. :cry:

Wolf Kanno
12-30-2017, 07:39 PM
Finished Giruvegan and recruited Reddas to help deal with the Pharos.
Pros:


I still love the look and music of Giruvegan, it's still one of the most haunting locations in the game.
I don't think I noticed this the first time, but it looks to me like the Occurians are actually mental projections of some gargoyle looking race that is under medical stasis. Each Occurian manifests near a strange gargoyle statue with tubes and wiring connecting them to it, so I wonder if their "immortality" is simply a matter of their medical knowledge reaching a point to allow them to transcend their physical forms.
Ultima is still my favorite Esper battle hands down. I love the fact she cycles through the restrictions of the other Espers, it really sends the message home that she's their leader, and hints to her role in Tactics.
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Despite it's much more muted nature since the world doesn't come to an end halfway through the game or you watch a giant meteor in the distance, or towns get swallowed up in Time Compression/the Void, the tension of the major conflict created by the villains is still pretty tense. It's like noticing a train wreck is about to happen and all you can do is sit back and watch it happen and it's glorious.
Despite being one of the hardest Rare Game to spawn for some reason, I fought the Larva Eater three times trying to find Ultima.
I forgot how cool the Diabolos Mark Hunt as a narrative. This is the second Mark Hunt given to you by a dead person and it's still eerie.
While I'm still working on it, I love how they handled the Deathgaze Hunt as well.
Speaking of Airship travel, I completed the Seven Sisters quest and got a Ring of Renewal for my troubles. Kind of nice that the game gave you a quest you could wait and do while waiting for the RNG to let you fight Deathgaze.
After several attempts, I finally took down Disma in the Lhusu Mines. Holy hell is that Rare Game a piece of work. Nearly a million HP, casts all -aga elemental spells, super fast, hits hard, has a max twelve hit combo, and it can ignore evasion and shields; and this all before it's gets it's insane boosts when near death. Talk about a well earned victory. Even with Reddas, it's a challenge.

Cons:

Oh man, I forgot how much of a chore the Great Crystal is. It's not even trying to find Ultima or Omega that's the problem, it's trying to hunt down all the Treasure chests because there are very few good maps on the internet that show you where they are, and instead I have to go by the cumbersome naming scheme the area has. I'm still missing two really good items in the Great Crustal, namely the Artemis Bow and the Staff of the Magi.
I think Shemazzai or however you pronounce her name is easily my least favorite Esper. I don't care for her design, the battle with her is underwhelming, she's one of the few new Lucavi/Espers that has never appeared before either in the Tactics or TA, nor is she representative of a former FF Villain, and she's just kind of blah overall. Should have upgraded Iblis to this form since they let Zodiark Summon take his role as the 13th Zodiac Lucavi.

Wolf Kanno
01-01-2018, 09:57 AM
Cons:
FUCK ZODIARK AND FUCK DARKJA. I'm honestly trying to figure out how I even had the patience to beat hims the first time, but it's sad to jump fromone of my favorite Esper battles (Ultima) who is actually a pretty well thought out and thrilling battle to "Mr. How much does the RNG hate you?". My god is Darkja such a cheap move and the fact the best you can do to offset it is use Shell to reduce it's Insta-Death effectiveness to only 50% is kind of a slap to the face. I came close to killing the bugger a dozen times in the last two days and his assortment of high power and cheap moves combined with the ridiculous speed and immunity to physical towards the end is seriously messed up. He's almost tied with Yiazmat as my least favorite boss battle in this game just due to his fake difficulty. I mean if Darkja cast Disease or Doom, he could be manageable, but instant death in a game with no protection from it was kind of a low blow.

I'm going to go make the Hell Wyrm my bitch so I can feel better about myself. :mad:

Galuf
01-01-2018, 02:52 PM
i am 100% with Wolf on that one.... only i didnt have a hell wyrm to make myself feel better , only 2 more harder bosses which i havent killed yet. sad cos zodiark is a cool sounding name

Wolf Kanno
01-03-2018, 05:05 PM
Haven't tackled Hell Wyrm just yet, decided to clear out all of the Mark Hunts I had opened up instead, including taking down Hell Wyrm and Yiazmat's baby brothers Fafnir and Behemoth King.

Pros:


After a little backtracking, I went back to the Great Crystal after finishing up the Piscodeamon Hunt and finally acquired the Artemis Bow and Staff of the Magi.
I still love the way the Fafnir Hunt ties into everything. It was name dropped back when you first went to see the Gran Kiltias and after all the events there, you watch the place turn into a hell hole only to spark hope in everyone after taking down the ancient wyrm the Gran Kiltias had sealed away. Nice touch. I was also happy I remembered the easy way to keep the blizzard going so I didn't have too much trouble getting the guy to spawn.
It's interesting how all of the Mark Hunts from the Viera Village are actually connected by the characters. I don't think I noticed this the first time around, but there is a bit of a mini-drama going on in the village that's told by the three or four Mark Hunts you undertake for the village.
Excalibur is a wee bit broken in this game I feel. I now regret not giving Basch the White Mage job so I could have access to White Robes and get the Holy Boost.


Cons:


I am now at the point where my only options for the game are either completing the plot, or dealing with the more tedious elements of the game. I'm not really sure I want to deal with Treasure Chest farming all of the missing high end gear I want in the Tchta Uplands. Especially when the drop rate is 5%. Nor do I really want to farm the materials for all of it either. I have four Mark Hunts left, and barring the epic Shadowseer fight in the bowels of the Pharos, the other three are some of the most tedious for me including Pyrlaster and his BS Growing Threat move, the annoying teleport spamming horse thing at the Pharos, and of course the tedious grind fight that is Yiazmat; whom I'm likely going to look up a strategy to get this rather dull fight done within a reasonable amount of time. My other chores are completing the Sky Pirate Den which includes beating Yiazmat, Omega XII, Zodiark, and completing the bestiary, which will likely be the most interesting thing to do, as well as trying my best to get all of the Quickening Concurrences, despite my terrible luck in using those. So yeah, I'm basically at the dull completionist checklist. On the brightside, I'll get to check out Trial Mode soon as I basically decided I wasn't going to bother with it until I finished a first run through.

Karifean
01-03-2018, 05:22 PM
Never ended up bothering with any of the hefty RNG gambles this game besides some 10% stuff like the Wither and Addle technicks and Ribbons. Fortunately you get a set of each ultimate gear for free in the Henne Mines, so you don't really need to bother with Cerobi shenanigans.

Excalibur is IMO the best weapon in the game and why Knight + Bushi outdamages almost everything else with minimal setup. Ironic though that it cannot be used against Yiazmat and Omega, heh.

If you don't like the grind that is Yiazmat, I got a pretty word for you: Wither. It's the most broken move in the game, and Yiazmat is the one time you really have no reason to feel bad for it especially because the Trial Mode has another Yiazmat fight where he has less than 1/10 of his main game HP and it's actually a pretty okay fight. So no reason to play fair against main game Yiazmat =P

The other remaining marks you listed I don't really remember, they're not as hard as the Behemoth King in any case. Don't think there's much they can do against a simple DPS/Tank/Healer team at this point.

Galuf
01-03-2018, 05:41 PM
trial mode with the entite battles are really hard, they weaken your team up and then you have no magicks for zeromus, once past that though i have not seen but the judges are scary sounding. goodluck on your attempts though, i gave up sincei dont know much good grinidng areas to beat yiazmat and omega ( or tactics either) or where good items are to help. anyway goodluck

Wolf Kanno
01-04-2018, 06:25 PM
Short update, cause I didn't do a whole lot. I beat Hell Wyrm, whom I should have attempted before going to Giruvegan it seems. Just crushed the poor guy and didn't even have to worry about bringing in the second team. I was glad it went by so fast considering how much health he was. Other than that, I got two more Hunt Club trophies to spend, and I'm attempting Zodiark once again before moving onto the Pharos. I'm probably not going to bother with the Diamond Armlet roulette game in the Cerobi Steppe cause that's just a waste of my time. Perhaps if I get unnecessarily close to a perfect game, but that's unlikely. I do need to double check to see if there are anymore Spells or Techniques I'm missing that are not located in the Pharos though.

Galuf
01-04-2018, 06:39 PM
goodluck on zodiark, make good use of that auto save point

Scotty_ffgamer
01-04-2018, 07:16 PM
Iíve never really messed with trying to do all of the hints and side quests in this game, which Iím attempting now. Itís been a fun time.

Wolf Kanno
01-05-2018, 07:08 PM
Zodiark has finally been dealt with and I'm plunging head first into the Pharos.

Pros:


Finally beat that smurfer Zodiark. Partly by gaining a few more levels, partly by abusing Excalibur+Haste+Berserk. I actually killed him with a combo attack before he could get his Physical Paling up which was kind of funny. Even more so because I did this during my second attempt because during the first one, he shifted his weakness absorb Holy and I watched in horror as Basch's blows kept healing him. It's all good though.
Finally got Holy
The Pharos has been an interesting dungeon, of anything, replaying this game has shown me that the criticism of the "boring dungeon design" is really unfounded as several places have some interesting mechanics or feature to them that sets a lot of them apart from each other. Not to mention the general atmosphere of the whole game.


Cons:


There is a chasm I wish to cross in the first part of the First Ascent of the Pharos that I can't figure out how to get ot. It has a treasure chest and everything, the second area had something similar and you had to hunt the Red Face demons to open it up, but it doesn't seem to affect that one. That treasure is taunting me...
Just found out I'm missing some Techniks that I will have to backtrack to get. In addition, I seem to have missed Esunaga and Scourge as well, so I may need to leave and grab those as well.
Though I haven't dealt with Yiazmat yet, a thought occurred to me that there was some lost potential here. I feel like they could have implemented a thing where for every Mark Hunt you complete with a member of Clan Centurio, that member could have appeared to help you out and take the beast down. Granted, I understand there was a technical limitation that prevented this since the originl idea of Hunt involved hiring and teaming up with teams of other hunters to help you but was dropped due to the limitations of the PS2, but it could have been interesting to see TZA get a bit of an upgrade, oh well.
I've acquired enough of the game's "ultimate" weapons to be less excited when I do find new gear. I just acquired the Gungnir, which was a favorite of mine in the original, but it's kind of useless to me at the moment due to having the infinitely better Dragon Whisker. Same deal with Greatswords, Katanas, and Ninja Blades since my party has Excalibur, Masemune, and Mensa. Maybe I will try to acquire the Tournesol and Wyrmhero Blade this time around.

Wolf Kanno
01-07-2018, 05:45 AM
Pharos is completed, at least from a story standpoint, I need to go back in to do a few things. Right now, I plan to find the missing magic and techniks I missed, finish the last three Mark Hunts that are not Yiazmat, and then I'll tackle Sky Fortress Bahamut and give myself a break from the game for a little while. I plan on getting a few more of the ultimate weapons before tackling Trial Mode, but at the moment, I'm not really in the mood to tackle the farming that this will all require, nor the snore fest that is Yiazmat. I figure I'll come back to it eventually to finish up the last of the trophies and whatnot.

Pros:

Despite some headaches here and there with me being a little slow on the pickup for puzzles, the Pharos was a pretty snazzy dungeon, and worthy of being considered FFXII's definitive final dungeon. Great puzzles, cool bosses, and some of the best story moments in the game. It's actually interesting how every party member gets a moment in this dungeon.
I have finally collected the last two Espers, and despite both being pretty anti-climatic in the face of my overleveled Ultima/Zodiark killing party, I've always had a soft pot for these two particular Espers because one was the main villain of Tactics, while the other was my favorite Race Guardian from Tactics Advance.
I forgot how much I loved the Ardor spell.
I unlocked the footrace mini-game!
I'm looking forward to the Dark Seer Mark Hunt, I especially love that he summons the Four Gods of Eastern mythology.
I've had a surprisingly better time this playthrough of unlocking more of the weapons and running into the various Rare Games, which has kept the game pretty exciting.
I get to look forward to hearing my third favorite Final Boss theme in the series.


Cons:

I'm too over-leveled, and despite lobotomizing Reddas' Gambits to let Basch have a somewhat fair duel against his brother, he still managed to wipe out all of his health with only three hits.
I somehow missed Flare, and like the Great Crystal, I'm going to have to really hoof it back inside the fortress to get it since there are not many shortcuts.
I love FFXII, but much like FFII and XV, this game does suffer a bit of burnout for me. I'm close to 120 hours of game time, and I'm starting to feel it.

Wolf Kanno
01-08-2018, 07:03 PM
Alright, we're heading towards the final stretch. I acquired all the missing spells and Techniks I missed (I'm still trying to figure out how I missed Flare) and the only Hunt Mark left is Yiazmat, whom I'm going to save for another day when I decide to come back to this and finish getting all of the trophies and deal with Trial Mode.

The only things left for me to do, besides finishing the game which I plan to do tonight, include:


Beat Yiazmat and Omega XII
Create all of the Ultimate Weapons including the Wyrmhero Blade
Complete the Beastiery (Mostly Rare Game and completing entries for certain creatures, mainly Bangaa and Garif)
See every Concurrence (I think I'm only missing Blackhole by this point)
Complete Trial Mode to earn the two new Trophies


It's been a pretty wild ride, and I've been mostly happy with this entry. Since I imagine I will crush Vayne and Venat like a bug since that seems to be the recurring theme for all of the story mode fights I'll say right now that with the exception of the nerfed challenge, all of the new gameplay features have been stellar and given this game a much more tight design which it really needed. I can say this is the definitive version of the game, and if you love FFXII, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Scotty_ffgamer
01-09-2018, 02:27 AM
Iíve really loved playing this version. I do agree with the difficulty though as Iíve been zipping through the story pretty quickly.

Iíve really been enjoying the hunts and taking the time to talk to everyone too. Donít know why I skipped out on both of those things before.

Karifean
01-09-2018, 01:37 PM
Glad you enjoyed the game~ not sure how many of the ultimate weapons are really worth making; I like to take the Zodiac Spear + Escutcheon reward from the hunt club and make the Tournesol and Mithuna, but other than that I usually find myself not doing a whole lot with the rest. Highly recommend picking up both Ribbons though, they're so handy.

Ah right, did you fight the Archaeoaevis in the Zertinan Caverns yet? Also remember that you don't *need* to unlock the extra pages on all entries if you don't want to. More than anything, hope you enjoy the final bits of challenge the game throws at you~ and do keep us updated on your progress, I love reading these posts =P

Crop
01-09-2018, 08:23 PM
Yeah when I played through I definitely noticed how easier it was compared to the original on the PS2. With the original there were still a few hunts I wasn't able to do, but I managed to clear pretty much everything on TZA.

The only thing I didn't do was the trial mode. I was going to save it until last but by the time I had done everything else and finished the game, I just felt burnt out on it, so I'll probably go back to it another time.

Still a phenomenal remaster, and one of the best games I played last year.

Scotty_ffgamer
01-12-2018, 03:14 AM
So I definitely decided to try out the airship side quest thing and was exploring the ship from rabinastre to Nalbina because Iíd never road those before. Apparently there was an invisible chest with some crazy game breaking invisible bow inside. I definitely did not know that existed.

Karifean
01-22-2018, 02:03 PM
So Wolf, when'll you be finishing this up? ^^

Wolf Kanno
01-22-2018, 06:46 PM
I actually beat the game awhile ago. Though the list of things to do is being left for another day. I'm currently plaything through Dark Souls 2 at the moment.

As I mentioned in my previous post, barring the weaker difficulty, TZA is an excellent game overall, and I love most of the changes made from the vanilla version since I feel it adds more focus. I still stand by my assessment that XII was truly ahead of it's time in terms of world building and layout as playing this game not long after FFXV shows the differences in both games approach to the idea of a large and consistent world build, and I frankly feel FFXII was more original (though it's still aping DQVIII's design) and the sidequests were largely better handled than most open world titles. XII still does Mark Hunts right, making them feel more like an integrated part of the world and adding a heavier story component to them than either it's successors, not to mention the game actually gives you better monsters to fight that have more gimmicks and new abilities to factor in instead of the lazy design of making you fight end-game trash mobs early like in XIII and XV.

I'm taking a break from the game though. All I have left that's kind of exciting is Trial Mode, but I'm frankly burnt out on XII, especially since I pumped in over 110 hours into the game, making it the second longest time I spent on a game for my PS4, only behind Persona 5. I mean all I have left is Trial Mode and going for the Platinum Trophy, but I was frankly ready to take a break from it, so I'll come back to it another time, probably when I get the burr in me to fight Yiazmat and try one of those uber strategies to kill him in like twenty minutes or so.

Slothy
02-04-2018, 07:27 PM
Haven't played it yet but the pc release dropped on Thursday. Hoping to get to it soon. Thought I'd mention the release though in case anyone else was hoping for a pc port.

Sefie1999AD
02-05-2018, 11:12 PM
I've now played the Zodiac Age Steam version until the Lhusu Mines. So far, it's been awesome. The 2x and 4x speed boosts really help with backtracking, grinding and farming, especially when the game has so much of them. I've also enjoyed the new job system so far.

As for the port, I haven't had any issues with it yet. On the contrary, the game performs at a constant 60 FPS at a 1080p resolution with maxed graphics, and I can reach a constant 60 FPS at 4k too if I lower Ambient Occlusion and Anti-Aliasing a bit (I have a GTX 1070). The game has plenty of graphics options available, it looks fantastic, the remastered soundtrack has brought life to some tracks that I thought were rather bland before, and the mouse+keyboard support is also a welcome feature, even though I play with a controller. :jess:

Slothy
02-06-2018, 03:07 AM
I'm not quite that far yet but I'm also enjoying the new creatures and the pc graphics options and such. Christ this game looks gorgeous and it's buttery smooth. I know I shouldn't be impressed with how smooth a pc port of a 12 year old game is, but you never know with some of these hd re-releases.

Then again it's not like it's made by konami or something. I probably didn't need to worry.

Fynn
02-06-2018, 10:26 AM
I was gifted this and tested it out and it works really well! Canít wait to sink my teeth into it once my gaming schedule loosens up a bit

Slothy
02-07-2018, 03:39 AM
You know, I haven't played the game in years but the lhusu mines are still burned into my memory apparently.

ReloadPsi
02-12-2018, 01:50 PM
I'm enjoying it. I was never one FF12's biggest detractors in the first place, but this version is a huge improvement on a game that I initially thought felt a bit flat.

Fynn
02-12-2018, 02:58 PM
Itís pretty perfect tbh

theundeadhero
02-16-2018, 05:28 PM
This game has been what I needed to fill some free time this week. I picked it up Monday and just finished Mt. Bur-omgsauce last night. The story is something I've always enjoyed, and being able to fast forward the combat to get to it is nice. Only having two jobs is kinda rough, though. I'm not too far from maxing people's license boards, which means there's gonna be a lot of wasting LP. I guess maybe I'll get some use out of cat ear hoods this time around, though.

Mr. Carnelian
02-17-2018, 12:20 AM
It’s pretty perfect tbh

TZA made a very good game almost perfect. I can't really think of a single improvement I'd have made, which is quite rare.

Slothy
02-17-2018, 12:24 AM
Gonna have to agree. Loving this game even more than the first time.