Not many franchises are as beloved as Final Fantasy. One of them is maybe Suikoden, but Final Fantasy is sure more popular. Since its debut in 1987, Square Enix has presented some of the finest Japanese role-playing games ever made. One of them was Final Fantasy VII. It remains fans favorite and we will be able to play the remake not much longer. With the famous characters like Cloud, Tifa, and Vincent, the new game will bring back our memories. But, there is something wrong with Final Fantasy XII.
Final Fantasy XII (FF12) is one of the games which didn’t receive enough recognition for its quality. Some love it, but many don’t. For over a decade, fans have been longing for a title that offers full player freedom from the get-go. Little do they know, Final Fantasy XII is that very game.
Here are my 10 reasons why Final Fantasy XII is the best yet most underrated game in the Final Fantasy series.
10. The Growth System In FF12 Is Magnificent
Not like other RPG games which the characters’ level upgrade is done by defeating enemies. FF12 contains a system called The License Board. The board is an array of panels that contain “licenses” which allow characters to perform certain actions. To unlock the licenses, you have to spend license points, which are earned alongside experience points during fights.
9. FF12 Characters’ Stories Are Deep
All of the main characters of Final Fantasy XII have their own deep stories. Vaan has a rather simple story of losing his brother in a ferocious war. But his simple story corresponds with other characters like Basch and Ashe, who are directly related to the war and the empire. Balthier and Fran also join the party, with their dark past will be revealed alongside the game. Penelo who is not too important in the game at first will slowly add emotions through her relationship with other characters.
8. The Active Dimension Battle System
Random encounters and the traditional turn-based system is an iconic part of JRPGs. But, Final Fantasy XII uses Active Dimension Battle. The combat system makes battles occur in real-time. Also, enemies are visible on screen. You can decide whether you want to fight them or flee. Battle commands are launched through a series of menus that include Attack, Items, Magicks, Technicks, and Gambits.
7. The Gambit System To Program Your Characters’ Actions In Fights
The Gambit system is a feature in FF12 that allows you to program each character to perform certain commands in battle. You can choose the characters’ actions to enemies or allies when meeting certain triggers. Filling your guest ally’s health when it reaches 30% with hi-potion, using Fire Magicks to enemies with Oil status, the possibilities are endless. The number of actions you can control for each character is limited to his Gambit slots. To add more Gambit slots, you can upgrade the characters’ Gambit licenses using license points. Sounds kind of hard, but it’s really fun and challenging.
6. Chaining Same Monsters Will Give Lots Of Rewards
The fastest way to level up in FF12 is by chaining enemies with the same species. You can just set your gambits to automatically kill waves of monsters in certain dungeons, then leave the game runs by itself. You can just level up your characters to the max by doing it for hours while sleeping at night.
5. The Boss Battles Are Splendid
With The ADB and Gambit system, you can fight bosses efficiently. But it needs your smart strategies to suit characters’ gambits according to them, and it can be so challenging when something goes wrong. You have to think fast because of the ADB, with some bosses are usually have Haste status and other positive buffs and magicks with high AOE damage bursts. Use your head to keep up with the fun.
4. FF12 Story Focuses On Complex Politics
Final Fantasy XII is a political drama which portrays liberties, genocide, primary energy source, patriotism, and coping with loved ones’ passing. Beginning with a boy’s dream of becoming a sky pirate, he turns out to deal with imperial leaders, tribes chiefs, gigantic monsters, and other unique entities. It’s a great tale with interesting characters, sympathetic villains, and excellent writing.
3. The Sceneries Are Stunning
Final Fantasy XII takes place in Ivalice. It’s full of gargantuan, stunning cities, dungeons and vast meadows and jungles to explore. The first city, Rabanastre, is a lively civilization with plenty of secret areas. The Golmore Jungle is a dark place with several dimly-lit lamps. Archades is a capital city you discover well into the game. It has brown, stone floors and massive skyscrapers that house a complicated subway system. There’s also the Great Crystal. a colorful dungeon which is literally has a giant crystal shape.
2. You Are Free To Explore
You can avoid the main story from the early game if you want to. Instead, you can complete lots of missions, discover dangerous new locations, and simply travel around the vast world of Final Fantasy XII. You can come across over-powered enemies who can crush your team in split second. You might also discover rare and powerful weapons and armor in hidden areas of the game.
1. FF12 Is Simply A JRPG With Countless Contents
FF12 comes packed with numerous contents. The main story only will take over 60 hours to complete, and it is just a little part of the whole game. You’d still have hundreds of rare monsters to take down, secret weapons to acquire, lots of missions to accomplish, secret areas to discover, and other fun things to do. Final Fantasy XII is arguably the last Square Enix game which offers experiences you can live with your whole life.
Those are 10 reasons why Final Fantasy XII is the best yet most underrated game of the Final Fantasy franchise. It depends on our opinions though, some would agree but others can argue. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Check out my other thoughts on various games here in Wowkia.