I've just completed FF12. I wanted to give a list of my thoughts and feelings on the game. I also want to address a few things I've heard argued about even since the game was released (though i just now understand what they are about).
1. The combat system is great. It took me off-guard at first, being so different from all teh other FFs I've played, but I think it's really more immersive than any of the others I've played.
2. Hardest storyline boss all game for me was The Elder Wyrm. Damn you status effects! Though if the optional Demon Wall counts, I also beat it after a while. I mainly fought it to get the Demonbane and to practice learning how to use Quickenings.
Now, onto the real meat of the topic.
It's good. The best FF story yet? Hell no. In maybe the Top 3? Yes. While there's not nearly enough character development, the actual plot of the game is very intriguing. Not many twists and turns but I don't think it tried to have them. It certainly didn't seem like they were trying to keep the fact Gabranth is Basch's brother a secret.
Also I like the trend of public speaking with the villains now. Edea(Ultimecia) iN VIII was happy to give a delightuflly Evil Speech but then Seymour came along and was introduced by giving a friendship speech. Vayne did the same thing and even if I hadn't known then, I would have known from that that he was the Big Bad.
Really, the Empire itself was a far more interesting antagonist than Vayne. All the scenes with The Judges and Emperor kept me hooked.
I had more trouble getting to the bosses than the bosses themselves. The ending was decent I suppose. Nothing too unexpected but I wish it had gone on longer. Would have been more morable had Balthier and Fran actually died.
My Favorite Scenes:
1. The entire bit at the end of the Pharos with Gabranth as well as Cid's and Reddas' deaths.
2. Judge Bergan's crazy speech
3. Vaan and Ashe in Jahara
4. I'll just be general and say every other scene with The Judges.
5. Balthier's and Fran's Introduction
6. Zalera's Introduction
My Favorite Characters:
1. Gabranth - The plot did a much better job setting him up as the antagonist than Vayne. Vayne has actually a very minimal role in the plot when screentime is considered. Gabranth is just more interesting as well. I just kept waiting for his and Basch's moment to finally confront each other.
2. Balthier - What can I say? He's Balthier. It's like if you put James Bond and Jack Sparrow in a blender and created Pure Awesome. It helsp he undergoes some good development what with hsi father and all.
3. Ashe - Surprised me how much i actually liked her. She was quite the stick-up-her-ass bitch at first but she gets a lot more lax with time and I started to like her.
Now to address the aforementioned controversial topic:
Oh Vaan. Even before XII came out I remember people getting on the boards to rant about you. Then the game came out and most of them still ranted about you. Only now they threw in "he's not even the main character!" Well perhaps not. But he's definitely the second most important member of the party. It would go Ashe then Vaan then Balthier then Basch than Fran then Penelo.
I don't care what people say about Basch "should have been" the hero. The fact is, he's not. In fact, from the moment Vossler is killed up until the ending of the Pharos, Basch is completely worthless storyline wise. He had no reason to exist for all those dungeons and hours.
Also, as for Vaan vs. Tidus, there is no comparison. None. Tidus is an abomination; a mindless blackhole who serves to suck all enjoyment and intelligence out of everything near him. Tidus is what happens when you give a character -too much- personality. Vaan, in contrast, had just enough personality to be interesting. He had his dream of being a sky pirate which evolved into him showing he was just trying to distract himself from the truth of Reks' death. Vaan is just a normal kid. He's...average. not great, not terrible.
1. Judge Zargabaath - I just call him Judge Kain.
5. Dr. Cid
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2. [Hidden link. Register to see links.] This one may be unusual for some but I think every dungeon should have a satisfying conclusion theme. It's all well and good to have a big epic boss battle but I want something nice and peaceful to show me all that Hell I just went through as worth it. When i first heard this theme in the Tomb of Raithwall, I felt that peace and satisfaction.
3. [Hidden link. Register to see links.] It's amazing that a lot of the lesser significant dungeons in this game have the best music... This music would make you think you were off to some distant battle instead of fighting rats in a sewer. This music is the music to my most hated level in thIS game. i got lost in the Waterway so many times and I probably would have gone crazy and broken the game had it not been for this great tune keeping me calm.
4. [Hidden link. Register to see links.] Hey after all the big important and mystical music, how abou a cute little theme for a cute little girl? Penelo was in my main party from the second I could have her... Sexiest chick in FF12.
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In my personal rankings of FF games, where to put 12.... Well, none will ever beat FFIX that much I am certain of. But I did have more fun with this story and world than either FFVII or X. I suppose overall VII and X had a better, more well-developed cast but well-developed doesn't mean memorable or likable. Apart froM Fran, I liked the party very much. While with FFX, I just liked Auron and Rikku.
So yeah, I think I'll place this as my second favorite FF game ever. Well dne FF12.
So those are a quick draft of my thoughts on the game after just beating it. i'll probably think of more.
So anyone here share my thoughts or disagree with them?