Why You Should not Overlook Closing Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
My uncle purchased me Closing Fantasy XII for my birthday in 2006. At 10 years previous, loads of the fight mechanics and branching plotlines have been complicated. Regardless, I used to be enamored with the sport’s vibrancy: I particularly recall marveling at hair and clothes fluttering in desert winds in addition to azure sparks flashing from clanging swords and shields. To this present day, it stays my favourite Closing Fantasy.
The sport initially launched as a PlayStation 2 unique, however within the final two years, a remaster referred to as, Closing Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age has launched on PlayStation four and PC with efficiency enhancements, deeper job customization, and varied quality-of-life adjustments. Now, Sq. Enix is lastly releasing the remaster on Xbox One and Change on the finish of the month. In case you’ve by no means skilled Closing Fantasy XII, this is the reason it is best to bounce on the probability now.
Like most installments in Sq. Enix’s beloved collection, Closing Fantasy XII chronicles the lives of heroes rising towards a larger antagonistic power. The place different entries employed moody, usually unrelatable caricatures to drive their plots ahead (that’s proper, I’m speaking about everybody’s favourite heroes, Cloud and Squall), Closing Fantasy XII is much less about particular person motivations and extra in regards to the sum of its ensemble elements.
Road urchins Vaan and Penelo name the impoverished slums of Rabanastre dwelling. Whereas Penelo makes an attempt to search out silver linings of their plight, Vaan seems to be to the sky with goals of proudly owning an airship and dwelling freely. After many probability encounters with shady people, the 2 youths are flung right into a world of political intrigue and clandestine coup d’états. Even so, they study to search out companionship in others: Ashe, a forsaken princess, Basch, an exiled soldier, and Balthier and Fran, needed bounty hunters.
Regardless of their oddball combine, every member of Closing Fantasy XII’s fundamental forged shares related insecurities – cowardice, loneliness, unresolved grief, and doubts of self-worth. Vaan and his ragtag workforce of outcasts stay a few of the best characters in Closing Fantasy lore as a result of they’re really easy to root for. Regardless of combating private shortcomings, they repeatedly uncover methods to defy destiny.
Like Closing Fantasy Ways and Vagrant Story, Closing Fantasy XII’s narrative takes place within the Kingdom of Ivalice. Many of the continent is full of the unexplored ruins of historical dynasties. However when your get together will not be traversing each labyrinthine fortress checkered all through the expansive backdrop, you’re navigating breathtaking metropolises and townships. As Vaan, you begin inside the cluttered cityscape of Rabanastre, full of numerous districts together with bazaars and palaces. However past the opening hours, gamers uncover bigger areas with more and more unique fauna together with waterways with flaming stallions, badlands with roaming tyrannosaurs, and misty jungles with inexperienced chocobos.
Every setting in Closing Fantasy XII is aesthetically distinctive and teeming with secrets and techniques. Some areas, just like the Skycity of Bhujerba, can solely be reached by way of airship; that’s so simple as buying a one-way ticket. Different places have to be found on foot, however hubs are small-scale and (in some instances) linear, that means that traversal is easy. What’s extra, Ivalice homes varied ethnic teams. As an example, Fran, along with her rabbit-like ears and seven-foot stature, is a Viera who hails from Eruyt Village. Different races just like the Nu Mou – bipedal canines – are non secular nomads. Regardless of being a cultural melting pot, Ivalice’s racial tensions make intermingling more and more troublesome. To see this negativity mirrored in the best way strangers react to Fran (and the remainder of your human get together for even associating along with her), makes the sport world really feel natural and lived-in.
The Battle System
Followers of conventional in addition to fashionable Sq. Enix RPGs will discover that Closing Fantasy XII shows a wholesome mixture of turn-based and real-time fight: ATB gauges (or cooldowns) from older video games make a welcome return, including an urgency to assault enter and get together positioning. And a dynamic digicam with real-time motion makes battles really feel intuitive and streamlined.
Moderately than unlocking nodes on a static ability tree, development in Closing Fantasy XII is an immersive minigame. Upgrades are recorded by means of job licenses – areas on a sprawling checkered board that unlock ultimates, weapon and armor units, and stat augmentations. These licenses correlate with assigned jobs (or courses). Every job has its personal board, however some might share licenses that, when bought, overlap. For instance, my Balthier is a White Mage and Machinist. Each job boards have “swiftness” licenses which reduce cooldown timers. By shopping for one swiftness node on the White Mage board, I can entry adjoining skills on the Machinist board.
Gamers could make a plethora of job combos to stack overlapping expertise and take down the sport’s most fearsome bosses. With the additional advantage of “gambits” – a customizable command system that packages characters to carry out necessary actions like therapeutic low HP allies or attacking specified targets – battles turn out to be relaxingly automated, eradicating the necessity for irritating micromanagement.
My favourite RPGs at all times concentrate on what issues most: character-driven tales with vibrant places and enjoyable, fascinating gameplay. In 2006, Closing Fantasy XII met these requirements and it continues to be one in every of my fondest gaming experiences. The Zodiac Age expanded upon on all of the options that made the unique nice. And now that it’ll be obtainable to each console participant in a couple of weeks, I can’t assist however be excited to dive into its world as soon as once more. In case you love intuitive gameplay in addition to the age-old “Closing Fantasy system” finished proper – an eccentric forged of relatable characters, an epic-scale odyssey, and grand boss fights – then Closing Fantasy XII is for you!
The Zodiac Age launches for Xbox One and Change on April 30. In case you’re excited in regards to the remaster too, watch our video detailing 4 issues you want to know in regards to the recreation in preparation for its re-release.