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Ninjaman09
10-31-06, 02:01 PM
edit: Changed my post to talk about the game instead. :)

I'll throw up a quick analysis of my first few hours of playtime, excluding plot elements. Basically the game starts you off with a tutorial of sorts, which is executed flawlessly as a prologue to the game. You'll learn the basics of the gameplay, all of which is fairly new ground for FF and most console RPGs in general. This prologue throws you right into the action, which is a very welcome thing - cutscenes are interspersed with battles and exploration with excellent pacing. Things slow down a tad when the story proper begins but only in a necessary capacity (mostly to familiarize you with its new gameplay concepts such as the License Board, as well as the inventory system and the hunting clan). I spent a great deal of time exploring the wild areas surrounding Rabanastre, completing my Hunts and earning some cash and nice new gear, and in the process familiarized myself with a lot of the basics.

Comparisons of the battle system to MMORPGs are fairly accurate in some respects, though there are several unique elements. The main similarity is that monsters roam around instead of having your group experience random encounters. For me at least, this is a VERY welcome change as I feel that random encounter systems have far outlived their purpose. You are free to move around and maneuver in combat, which you will discover can lead to certain tactical advantages over some foes. Some monsters will "respawn" in areas, though it seems only a set number of times. As in MMORPGs, monsters will not attack you unless you "aggro" them, either moving too close to a hostile creature or attacking an otherwise friendly one. To be honest though, you could just as easily compare the way some combat mechanics work in this game to Neverwinter Nights or KoTOR as you could an MMORPG.

The battle system is in many ways similar to the series' roots. Combat is menu-driven and character actions are taken based on an action bar that fills as combat proceeds, exactly like the ATB systems. In fact, you will find that after a few battles you will feel very familiar with most elements of the system. It really feels like a modern Final Fantasy to me in many ways. I enjoy the system immensely and look forward to the more difficult fights requiring greater use of tactics that are coming.

Graphically, the game is the epitome of what is possible on the PS2. Keeping in mind the low resolution and non-"next-gen" graphics, it still offers some jaw-dropping scenes, mostly thanks to excellent art direction. There really isn't much more to say - Square Enix is not a company known for bland visuals.

The voice acting so far is excellent and I haven't cringed once. Every character has a distinctive voice that seems to fit perfectly. The music is absolutely fantastic! I was a huge fan of Hitoshi Sakimoto's Final Fantasy Tactics soundtrack and he's put forth an even better effort here. Overall the graphics and sound combine to form a fantastic presentation that radiates quality.

If you can't tell from all my gushing, I got an awesome first impression from this game and can't wait to keep going. I barely touched upon the license system, the clan system, gambits (which I haven't even got yet), etc. but frankly that's been talked about a lot already. I just wanted to provide some firsthand feedback on the battle system and encourage everyone to try this game. If you are hesitant because of preconceived notions about the game being an offline MMORPG, do away with those now. This is very much worth the time and money.

Toss3
10-31-06, 02:31 PM
It's just sitting there, looking at me. Desperately pleading, "Play me! Play me! Act like your stomach hurts and go the hell home!" But I can't. I have responsibilities to attend to. Soon my patience will be rewarded.
Me WANTS precious.. FXII.... FXII... March.... hate Europe... :retard:

Ninjaman09
10-31-06, 02:51 PM
I'd take a picture of it but I can't find the USB cables for my camera. Blarg.

Ninjaman09
10-31-06, 10:41 PM
Put about 4 hours into it so far...it's incredible.

slick
10-31-06, 11:21 PM
Reviewers seem to be hitting it pretty hard as one of the worse FF's.

The gambit system looks nice, very reminiscent of Secret of Mana, which I loved, but if what everyone says about grinding is right, then that sucks. I don't play offline games to grind so I can beat a computer. I play it to experience a story.

Toss3
10-31-06, 11:40 PM
Put about 4 hours into it so far...it's incredible.
Don't tease... :(

knghtwhosaysni
11-01-06, 12:08 AM
Reviewers seem to be hitting it pretty hard as one of the worse FF's.Seems to be doing pretty decently to me... http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/ps2/finalfantasyxii

Ninjaman09
11-01-06, 07:42 AM
Reviewers seem to be hitting it pretty hard as one of the worse FF's.

The gambit system looks nice, very reminiscent of Secret of Mana, which I loved, but if what everyone says about grinding is right, then that sucks. I don't play offline games to grind so I can beat a computer. I play it to experience a story.
Say what?

http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/459841.asp

If anything they're all saying it's the BEST Final Fantasy since VII...either way nothing about it feels tedious and so far the story is overwhelming. And for the record, grinding to beat a computer is EXACTLY why you play offline games, ever since Super Mario Bros.

lognoronon
11-01-06, 08:40 AM
So far it's my favorite FF since 7. Everything I have seen from reviews thus far has been mostly positive. I have no idea where you got the idea it's being hit hard from reviewers except for ones that might not like the FF series anyway /shrug.

|MaguS|
11-01-06, 09:14 AM
Reviewers seem to be hitting it pretty hard as one of the worse FF's.

The gambit system looks nice, very reminiscent of Secret of Mana, which I loved, but if what everyone says about grinding is right, then that sucks. I don't play offline games to grind so I can beat a computer. I play it to experience a story.

Seriously... What drunk ass reviewers are you reading... Every review I have read is holding it as the best RPG on the Playstation 2 aswell as the best Final Fantasy. It was the first Final Fantasy to get a perfect score from Famitus.

I can't wait to play it on Friday, Wont be home till then. :(

Mr. Hunt
11-01-06, 09:25 AM
I hate this battle system.

Ninjaman09
11-01-06, 09:47 AM
Funny, the battle system is one of my favorite things about it so far...I don't think I could have taken another FF game with the same old one.

edit: Changed my initial post to talk about my first few hours with the game. :)

DansFace
11-01-06, 04:27 PM
still two hours of work left before i can play again :(

Masq
11-01-06, 04:37 PM
The new combat system is very likable. My only qualm is that is horribe at first until you get more gambit abilities. I've found myself dying a few times because of the lack of gambits at the beginning. Oh, make sure you guys also take the time to level once in awhile before continuing the main story or you may find yourself in a bit of a pickle. hehe

Mr. Hunt
11-01-06, 10:24 PM
Well the battle system gets tolerable once you start getting some decent party members... but I still don't like it.

I WANT MY RANDOM BATTLES BACK! I miss my victory music too :(.

Daydre@m
11-02-06, 11:22 AM
MAN, i have to get a new PS2. Don't ask what happened to the old one.
I am a HUGE FAN of FF series, and this one so far , according to online reviews and users is awesome.

LOL it's average rating was 92%

http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/459841.asp

Its also voted the 14th most awesome game on the PS2.

LOL time to blow off the money i saved to upgrade my PC :p

Ninjaman09
11-02-06, 11:43 AM
Well the battle system gets tolerable once you start getting some decent party members... but I still don't like it.

I WANT MY RANDOM BATTLES BACK! I miss my victory music too :(.
Why would you want random battles back...

|MaguS|
11-02-06, 04:26 PM
Well the battle system gets tolerable once you start getting some decent party members... but I still don't like it.

I WANT MY RANDOM BATTLES BACK! I miss my victory music too :(.

I think the lack of random battles to be the best change to the series since it went 3D.

crainger
11-02-06, 04:38 PM
MAN, i have to get a new PS2. Don't ask what happened to the old one.

What happened to the old one?

Toss3
11-03-06, 06:54 AM
Well the battle system gets tolerable once you start getting some decent party members... but I still don't like it.

I WANT MY RANDOM BATTLES BACK! I miss my victory music too :(.
No victory music? Aww that sucks.. :( How's the world - big, small? And on a scale of 1 to 10 what score would you give it? :D

Toss3
11-03-06, 06:55 AM
What happened to the old one?
Do I smell a semen on a ps2 thread in the making? :D

Ninjaman09
11-03-06, 07:37 AM
There actually is victory music when you take down a boss. :)

Mr. Hunt
11-03-06, 08:33 AM
Yeah I know... but still.... I want to hear it after every battle! And I miss the swirling screen affect when you hit a random mob :(.

Ninjaman09
11-03-06, 08:41 AM
LOL just play Final Fantasy VII again and get it out of your system. :)

Marvel_us
11-03-06, 09:24 AM
I really dislike random battles.

Take 5 steps, swirly effect, battle.....

Take 2 steps, swirly effect, battle......

Think about taking a step, swirly effect, oh noes!

Okay, maybe I exaggerated a bit.:o