I have never felt more validated in my entire life...Thanks Projared.

Raspberry

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If you haven't seen this video. I encourage others to watch it. Especially if you never played Final Fantasy 12, and heard it was a bad entry through the grapevine.

I've been saying Final Fantasy 12 was so misunderstood for YEARS. I've been saying that the gameplay is NOT like an MMO. i've said that Vaan isn't as annoying as people make it out. And i've been saying that the story of FF12 does NOT resemble Star Wars in any significant way.
 

Vivi-Gamer

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The problem I have with XII's combat isn't necessarily the MMO comparison, it's just how passive it is - which is mostly due to the structure of the gambit system. While I understand that RPG's require a bit of preparation for battle, I still believe that it is important to have the tools set for battle and are bale to adapt within the moment, as opposed to getting your arse handed to you for not having the right set-up aligned and then having to spend ages tweaking every minute detail to then proceed.

Beyond that there is also one design decision which is different from other FF's and it is the how action is taken. In previous FF's you would wait for the ATB Bar (Or equivalent) to peak then make you attack. Then, straight after or the next turn, your character will perform the command. What XII does differently is that you choose the command first THEN you have to wait for the ATB bar to peak before the command is struck. It's this role-reversal that makes the combat so tedious to me, beyond the passive planning.

I also have big problems with the Zodiac Age mechanics. Now within the game you have to choose a job type & later getting access to a 2nd type to apply to each character. The problem is that how is anyone meant to have the foresight to know what job types will be beneficial to post game content? You can't natural so what does that lead to... homework! Looking up recommendations and stats and once again tedium. At least in FFV you can change up the job systems later after you have mastered a class, but with the Zodiac Age you have to make a commitment with a lack of foresight which just isn't practical.

I did try play the game again with the PS4 Remaster and beyond the ZA difficulties, all the same problems remained for me,.The lack of interesting character development, the very poorly paced story and lack of interesting scenario writing - Arriving at a place with little to no story advancement happening before trekking through more landscapes. The problem is that your characters are mostly travelling throughout the land on an adventure where their input does not mesh with the main points of the story - All the political intrigue etc. All of that happens with random cutscenes that appear taking place while your party is in another location. There is just such a disconnect between the main story and our parties involvement in XII. I agree with Jareds point in having Larsa recruited as a main character, that could have tied the party more closely to the main events but sadly he is only temporary and we're left in t he distance once more.

I don't want to come here and just complain about XII, the music while less iconic is very nice. The rich detail put into all the architecture is very impressive and despite complaining about the landscapes I do like the method of little interconnecting areas between main cities (My main complain about the landscapes isn't actually the maps at all but how much they stand out due to a lack of interesting scenario writing when you arrive at an established city/area). I also do sometimes like to boot up XII and just walk around! I love the inclusion of being able to use the airships and be a tourist hopping from one place to another.

But sadly as a narrative RPG experience this is one of my least favourite FF games. And the word that keeps re-occuring is passive. Passive gameplay, passive character involvement in the story I just feel so distant from the experience as a whole.
 

Raspberry

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The problem I have with XII's combat isn't necessarily the MMO comparison, it's just how passive it is - which is mostly due to the structure of the gambit system. While I understand that RPG's require a bit of preparation for battle, I still believe that it is important to have the tools set for battle and are bale to adapt within the moment, as opposed to getting your arse handed to you for not having the right set-up aligned and then having to spend ages tweaking every minute detail to then proceed.
I'm very confused by this statement. Without gambits, the game plays like a traditional turn based RPG with free camera and free movement.
Gambits are just basic programming rules for the AI of the party, But you can override the gambits at any point in battle by selecting that character and choosing the command. And if you want to change the game setting to pause when selecting commands, that is an option too.

So if you're looking for the tools to be able to adapt within the moment, you already have that. its the fact that gambits don't remove the freedom of player choice.


Beyond that there is also one design decision which is different from other FF's and it is the how action is taken. In previous FF's you would wait for the ATB Bar (Or equivalent) to peak then make you attack. Then, straight after or the next turn, your character will perform the command. What XII does differently is that you choose the command first THEN you have to wait for the ATB bar to peak before the command is struck. It's this role-reversal that makes the combat so tedious to me, beyond the passive planning.
I find it very odd you choose to count this against FF12, considering you're a fan of FF13. I don't need to tell you that FF13 does the exact same thing.
And at least for me, FF13 is worse in that regard because the game allows you to quickly choose a specific number of commands, and then wait for the ATB bar to fill up for that combination of attacks before you can select another set. I also have no other character to select once i made my choice, so i have no other option but to wait for my next choice.


I also have big problems with the Zodiac Age mechanics. Now within the game you have to choose a job type & later getting access to a 2nd type to apply to each character. The problem is that how is anyone meant to have the foresight to know what job types will be beneficial to post game content? You can't natural so what does that lead to... homework! Looking up recommendations and stats and once again tedium. At least in FFV you can change up the job systems later after you have mastered a class, but with the Zodiac Age you have to make a commitment with a lack of foresight which just isn't practical.

There's a new update that now offers Job Reset that allows you to experiment with different job combinations without having to replay the game. But considering you have a total of 6 permanent characters in the game. And 12 Jobs, and each character gets 2 jobs. I think its odd to even think you need foresight to know what jobs are beneficial to post game content. in addition, each job gives you a short description, so you're never fully lost.

Also, every Final Fantasy game requires research if you want to play it the most optimal way. Square Enix intentionally designs EVERY final fantasy game that way so they can promote their Ultimanias. I remember, i had to buy the FF8 guidebook just so i can get all the cards. look at FF10, you had a leveling system that allows you to bleed into other character's leveling board. So you had to be careful not to overpower one character and limit others. For the most part, Final Fantasy games are still 100% beatable without a guide or homework and FF12 rarely has points of no return unlike some previous games.

This is a very odd choice to discriminate against FF12, because Zodiac Age is actually doing the most standard thing FF games have been doing.


I did try play the game again with the PS4 Remaster and beyond the ZA difficulties, all the same problems remained for me,.The lack of interesting character development, the very poorly paced story and lack of interesting scenario writing - Arriving at a place with little to no story advancement happening before trekking through more landscapes. The problem is that your characters are mostly travelling throughout the land on an adventure where their input does not mesh with the main points of the story - All the political intrigue etc. All of that happens with random cutscenes that appear taking place while your party is in another location. There is just such a disconnect between the main story and our parties involvement in XII. I agree with Jareds point in having Larsa recruited as a main character, that could have tied the party more closely to the main events but sadly he is only temporary and we're left in t he distance once more.
I feel the same way but with FF13. A lot of walking and traveling and not all of it was meaningful to the plot. And i even feel that way with FF10, but not as much. I think for the most part, i feel the cast of FF12 had a stronger sense of direction, even if it was all over the place.

Also it was easier to understand knowing its not rebellion vs Empire but a small country stuck between two empires. FF12's story had to be revised and sort of removed the original Director. If you played his previous works related to Ivalice, like Final Fantasy Tactics or even Vagrant Story, you'll see he has a completely different story telling than others. He really subverts expectation (in a good way) on what a story can focus on. I personally find the design completely intentional when it comes to the characters not being the highlight of the story. The important moments in the game are somber and quiet, and not in your face. Like ProJared said, its about reading between the lines a lot. I also suspect that the game was designed with a sequel in mind.

i do see the hang-ups of the way they designed the story, and I'm not going to fault you for not being your taste. And this thread isn't really to praise FF12 overall, but to remove the awful descriptions the game has. I've seen so many people dismiss FF12 just by calling it "a rip off of star wars". Which i think the game is far more inspired by The Princess of Mars.


I don't want to come here and just complain about XII, the music while less iconic is very nice. The rich detail put into all the architecture is very impressive and despite complaining about the landscapes I do like the method of little interconnecting areas between main cities (My main complain about the landscapes isn't actually the maps at all but how much they stand out due to a lack of interesting scenario writing when you arrive at an established city/area). I also do sometimes like to boot up XII and just walk around! I love the inclusion of being able to use the airships and be a tourist hopping from one place to another.

But sadly as a narrative RPG experience this is one of my least favourite FF games. And the word that keeps re-occuring is passive. Passive gameplay, passive character involvement in the story I just feel so distant from the experience as a whole.

My main goal of this thread is to dismiss the awful inaccurate descriptions of the game.

1.) the gameplay is like an MMO.
2.) The game plays itself.
3.) the story rips off Star Wars.
4.) Vaan is annoying.

if you don't like the game. I understand 100%. it wasn't designed for everyone. But i just think its important being accurate about its flaws. And not spread misinformation.
 
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Six

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I personally never got the impression that XII played like an MMO either, that's actually news to me.

The game playing itself I can somewhat understand with the right context of Gambits, but you're not forced to use them, so even though some if it can be tad auto-pilot, I don't think it fully plays itself.

I don't know anything about Star Wars, so I can't comment on that, but lol? So many things influence each other, I don't understand why people would have an issue with that, even if it DID.

Vaan hate I never understood. I really liked Vaan. Not your typical Cloud Strife (which I love as well), but I liked Vaan as the "protagonist".
 

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I personally never got the impression that XII played like an MMO either, that's actually news to me.

The game playing itself I can somewhat understand with the right context of Gambits, but you're not forced to use them, so even though some if it can be tad auto-pilot, I don't think it fully plays itself.

I don't know anything about Star Wars, so I can't comment on that, but lol? So many things influence each other, I don't understand why people would have an issue with that, even if it DID.

Vaan hate I never understood. I really liked Vaan. Not your typical Cloud Strife (which I love as well), but I liked Vaan as the "protagonist".
Its also important to note that the game starts off with ZERO gambits. The implementation of gambits are earned slowly. Some key battles will give them to you, but overall, the ones you want the most are usually bought. So its part of budget management. do you spend money to buy better equipment, or do you buy gambits.
 
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Seiryuu

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Now that I have a computer that can handle XII, I'm playing Zodiac Age after beating the original about more than a decade ago and I'm on the way to Mt Bur-Omisace. Only thing I hate is that the game auto-pauses when I alt-tab out to do something else.

When I first played it many years ago, I was disoriented with the overhaul of the combat system, but I eventually got used to it. Gambits made sense, though I had hoped it would've been possible to combine gambit conditions to make certain ability usage more specific. I do approve of the different licence boards because it allows characters to specialise in different aspects.

I still find Vaan annoying.
 

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Gambits made sense, though I had hoped it would've been possible to combine gambit conditions to make certain ability usage more specific. I do approve of the different licence boards because it allows characters to specialise in different aspects.

I still find Vaan annoying.
Can you clarify what you mean by "combine gambit conditions to make certain ability usage more specific". What more specific did you have in mind?

i have a feeling that Vaan will always be considered annoying no matter what, and ultimately i think there's a few reasons why people hate on Vaan.

Reason #1) His voice actor sounds very young. It wouldn't hurt Vaan to have a slightly older voice. It's not the worst in the world.

Reason #2) His relevance quickly drops. After the beginning character arc ends for him, he decides to stick around. Although he still has relevancy to more subtle things, such as being proof that Archades and Rabanastre can be friends with Larsa. And help Ashe realize her obsession has gone too far that she has been blinded.

Reason #3) i think this is the biggest reason why people hate Vaan is Penelo is always annoyed by him at almost every moment. The entire case is mostly okay with Vaan, and don't have a problem with him. It's only Penelo who openly expresses annoyance. This constant feed of annoyance from Penelo bleeds into Player perception. This problem creates three types of players:

  • The kind that get influenced by negativity and go along with Penelo and hate Vaan.
  • The kind that find the negativity more annoying and hate Penelo instead for being negative.
  • The kind that are indifferent and end up annoyed at both Penelo and Vaan for the situations they're in.

^ Two out of three times, people are going to hate Vaan. I fall in the camp that Vaan isn't as annoying as they make him out to be. Mainly Penelo's perception. There were only two instances where i thought Vaan was cringey. It was the idea that he should call himself Basch to people to lure out the Rebellion, and when he asked about Fran's age. Which looking back, i don't think that wasn't invalid question to begin with considering the little knowledge they have. did he worded it wrong? sure. But if Fran was older than the average human, it shouldn't matter.

If i have to pick top 10 annoying Final Fantasy characters, in my opinion, Vaan doesn't even come close to being on it. but just to give some perspective. here's my top 5 list of most annoying FF characters. (in no particular order).

#1) Vanille
#2) Snow
#3) Penelo
#4) Squall
#5) Seifer

after that, if i tried to make a top 10, i can make it, but i'd feel like i'm cherry picking at this point.
 
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Seiryuu

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Can you clarify what you mean by "combine gambit conditions to make certain ability usage more specific". What more specific did you have in mind?
Basically a way to have an optional secondary condition to reduce redundancy; I know that to limit say, an attack only on foes with HP between 20–50%, I'd have to create two gambits—Foe: HP>20% and Foe: HP<50%—and put them side-by-side with Attack. That extra gambit could have been used for something else...

Vaan comes off as an annoying little brother personality. There's a few cutscenes where he bugs other characters to respond to him after they've chosen to ignore him.
 

Raspberry

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Basically a way to have an optional secondary condition to reduce redundancy; I know that to limit say, an attack only on foes with HP between 20–50%, I'd have to create two gambits—Foe: HP>20% and Foe: HP<50%—and put them side-by-side with Attack. That extra gambit could have been used for something else...

Vaan comes off as an annoying little brother personality. There's a few cutscenes where he bugs other characters to respond to him after they've chosen to ignore him.
So for me, i never use Gambits where the party performs Limit Breaks. there are some things that i want to do myself And i consider Limit breaks more fun if I do it myself. As for specific ranges, I can see the appeal of 20-50% range for magic. But I also just leave it at 50% range, and they use the attack quickly. I understand that you prefer a range regardless anyways.

I guess i don't relate to Vaan as an annoying little brother because i don't have younger siblings where i found them annoying. i also try not to hate a character for acting their age. And a lot of people want to assume that they were far more mature at 17, but i have not seen that in my experience. For me, Vaan is just being any character at that age, going on an adventure to save a country from an empire would do.

EDIT: once again, it seems like its less what Vaan does, and how other players treat him that controls your perception of him.
 
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Until ffx the final fantasy series were developed and published by square alone, while ff12 is a product of square and enix symbiose. With the fusion of the 2 they definately left the so called golden age of final fantasy, which was between 6th and 10th part. And it really made it worse. 6th 7th 8 th 9 th 10th were the best ff games, while ff12 still could give some fun...
 

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Until ffx the final fantasy series were developed and published by square alone, while ff12 is a product of square and enix symbiose. With the fusion of the 2 they definately left the so called golden age of final fantasy, which was between 6th and 10th part. And it really made it worse. 6th 7th 8 th 9 th 10th were the best ff games, while ff12 still could give some fun...

FF12 is still made by Square veterans. So it's not as simple as Business restructuring. Yes, there were some internal struggles outside of the restructure though. The game was developed for 5 years straight, apparently the longest at the time. And there was some drama going on.

My problem is that people hate FF12 for things that don't apply to the game. Things such as "MMO-like gameplay" and "It's just another Star Wars". Or even worst "Vaan ruins the experience for me" when Vaan slowly fades from a relevancy and doesn't interfere with the core story.
 
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