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I beat FFXII. Open spoilers if there are any.


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Nearly did everything, but skipped the few final side quests that were given to me just before the point of no return. Basically I skipped the "weapon" bosses of this game. I'll prolly go and 100%. Only got 10 achievements left on steam. 9 if you don't count the achievement for getting all achievements. 


That said, I don't think I really liked FF12. I was told that if I liked FFXIV I should play FFXII. Well, everything about FF12 is just lacking. The music is bland. The only piece that sticks out to me is the Lowtown theme. The final boss has a cool theme but I can't actually remember it. It was a an epic remix of one of the other tracks in the game. Like, this game just lacks that FF music IMO. I can't even recall the main battle theme because it was so not catchy. I still remember the FF13 theme and I never even beat that game. 


The story is a let down, especially compared to FF14. It feels like there are so many things just shoved into the story. Like, you meet the "gods" out of fucking nowhere. The game never even once brought them up, and then acts like it is some grand reveal when it shows them. I don't even know who you fuckers are. The overall story is as straight as can be. No twists, no turns, no bumps in the road, nothin. I guess there is the thing about Cid and Balthier, but it was so... meh. You know who is going to be the final boss from the start of the game. And, I mean, I guess that is fine. You don't need twists or anything, but there is just nothing epic to the plot. There isn't even any political intrigue, and I went into this game being told it was the GoT of FF, in a good way of course. Everything feels like it just happens because it needs to happen. Like, the devs/writers just go, "you need to go to A to B to C to D to etc. because we told you," instead of properly feeling like the game is leading you from A to B to etc. Kinda hard to explain.


What really makes all of that story worse is the cast. I like Balthier and Fran, but I have no feelings towards the rest of the cast. The real issue with this game's story is that there are no party building moments. There is never a good reason for these characters to be traveling together. There is no reason why Balthier should baby sit Vaan and Penelo. There is no reason for Balthier to care about them or let them join him. The games says there is a mentor pupil relationship between Bal and Vaan, but it is never shown. Bal states that he taught Vaan how to fly but it isn't shown. Any kind of party bonding happens off screen and is never shown to the player. Just compared to FF14, it is such a letdown. You really feel that growing relation ship between the main cast in 14. I mean, all the FF games I have played far surpass FF12 in this regard. It is like FF12 forgot how to make a group of strangers into a band of comrades. The lack of explored back story really sucks as well. People gatherin' round the campfire telling their comrades about their past makes for good bonding moments. Same it never really happens. The back story for each character is as fleshed out as a blurb in a manual introducing the character.


Vaan: Orphan. His entire family lost to war. Does small jobs as steals for a living. Wants to be a sky pirate.

Penelo: Just Vaan but a girl but doesn't steal or care about being a pirate. Loves Vaan. 

Balthier: Ex-Judge with daddy issues. Is a Sky Pirate. Prolly bangs Fran.

Fran: Bunny from the woods. Partner of Balthier. Old AF. Sensitive to Mist. Prolly bangs Balthier. 

Basch: A fallen knight. Has an evil twin who caused is downfall. Seeks redemption.

Ashe: Princess. Wants to be Queen. Fairly nice about it. Exists so the rest of the cast has a reason to be in the game. Also wants to be free, but you aren't free as a queen, dumbass. 


Man I really want to fuckin know how and why Bal and Fran teamed up. I was so interested in finding out their history and fuckin nothin. Even looking it up there is nothing about their history together. 


And I don't know if I like the combat or not. At first I didn't like it, but then it grew on me. I was able to just touch the analogue stick and never never navigate a menu after setting up my gambits. Then there became a point where I just didn't have enough gambit slots because I didn't have the higher level "ga" spells and that resulted in a lot of wasted MP from my healer. I had to start actually managing the actions of my characters, and even "pausing" the game to go into the menu and edit or turn of specific gambits mid fight. I was getting annoyed that I actually had to start playing the game. It might sound stupid, but the game flows so much better when you can just sit back and watch your gambits go to work. By the last third of the game these issue were mostly solved due to me getting the majority of my final forms of magic, but even at the end of the game, there is still this slight micromanagement shit that never really goes away. Part of that is swapping out characters, because then you need to spend time changing gambits. This is all made worse by the game purposefully not giving you options to properly target weaknesses. Just as an example, there is a spell called oil that make you do more fire damage to a target. Well, if the enemy is immune to oil, the oil caster will just keep casting oil. There are no gambits that actually let you target a bosses vulnerabilities. I don't mean elemental weakness, but some bosses can be blinded or silenced but there is no proper gambit to target that. The AI will keep using Blind, even if the boss can't be blinded, because the boss can't be blinded. And even for elemental spells, there really should just be a gambit for target boss weakness. As the game is, you need to set up gambits like Foe: Weakness-Fire [Firaga] and so on for every type of weakness. And I just feel that is so stupid. The gambit should really go Foe: Any [Target Weakness w/ most damaging spell] or some shit. I get that "oh that is too easy" but the game is already so easy having to fucking with gambits like that is just the devs forcing you to spent more time doing busy work. Shit is great when my default gambit setups just work, but any time I need to modify them for a fight I feel annoyed. 


7/10 game 

It passes, and it isn't insulting enough to give it a D and it doesn't really fail. It is just Meh. 



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One of the reasons why I think this game has a fan base is because it leaves all the standard FF bullshit at the door. There ain't no cryptic edge lord mind fucking villain. None of the characters are suffering from some BS mental shit that turns them into an uwu teenaged heartthrob. The villain just wants to be the next big great, and the party just wasn't to save their country/kingdom. They want the baddies to fuck off basically. It is nice that I don't have to worry about some life stream shit. It is great that I don't have to play 18 spinoff games to know what happened between numbered titles. It is great that there is no potential that the MC died awhile ago, and that the last half of the game actually happened, and this applies to two FF games kind of, and kind of for various reasons. 


Like, you aren't even saving the world in FF12. Even if you failed, it would just mean people would be ruled over by a ruler they didn't like. If it wasn't for the third from, you'd really just be fighting a dude as a group of dudes. It is simple in a good way, but it could still be more fantastical and still be good, like FFXIV. FXII is almost too... realistic? Not exactly realistic, but something like that. I mean, FFXII might  be a better game if you mostly got rid of magic. This game could totally be worked into something where combat is just weapons. 



Oh, yeah, speaking of weapons. I hate Jobs in this game. Feels so out of place. These characters really should have their own defined style. I mean, they actually do. Vaan is Thief. Basch is knight. Balthier is gunman. Fran is mystic archer. Ashe is... Penelo is... well except for those two, the characters have their own style, but because of how this game works the only two that really get to stay in their style is Fran and Basch. Balthier being a gunman is stupid. Guns are stupid weak in this game. They really need to stick with the standard "this character uses this weapon". That would also really help with how OP you get in the game. But it it all made worse with the ending scenes. The characters do that stupid shit where they have no weapons in cutscenes and ready their fists to enter battle. 

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Definitely not my favorite but I liked it more the second time. The first time I didn't even realize I was finishing the game, though I did suspect I might be fighting the final boss due to the lack of health bar. The Zodiac system helps if you want more defined Jobs. For optional stuff you sometimes need specialized gambit setups.

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