The beauty of the Princess's wedding is all that remain of the peacful times of Dalmasca. Soon the war between the Archadian and Rozarrian empires will consume the small provence, and wipe out the royal family. A last attempt by the lone soldier Reks to save the king is met with his death. Two years later, his younger brother Vaan sees the arrival of the new ruler Vayne Solidor of Archadia. He is not convinced of the rulers well worded speech, and seeks a bit of revenge for his brothers death as well as the ruin of his country. His bold attempt to steal treasure from the Dalmascan palace sets him into the destiny none could foresee. With the aid of pirates, royalty, and fallen heroes, he will begin a journey to save the world before those in power tear it apart.
Final Fantasy XII was released in 2006, to almost unanimously great reviews. If there was a Final Fantasy with epic scope and gameplay this was definitely the one. So many things of the previous titles were almost completely thrown out the window in XII. Things such as the A.T.B was completely torn apart, and redone for this title. You no longer went in and out of battle scenes. Now your foes are wandering the world with you, and capable of almost anything you can do. If you wished to fight them, you simply approach them, and fight. These enemies were also given a degree of AI intelligence as well. Not only could they flee the fight, but they could then return with other enemies to face. This was one of the many details of XII that made it more real, than just another Final fantasy title. The CG in Final Fantasy was perhaps the best of the series to date. The entire opening sequence that sets the story is rich with detail, action, and color. The CG found throughout the game was also well placed, and not too long. It was more of a teaser to what was come, rather than just a filler type of animation. Square truly got it down right with XII in this aspect. Not since IX have I personally been so impressed with the CG. There were many other introductions as well. Things such as the Gambit system, allowed you to customize what your characters do, and when they should do it. You could literally set a character with full gambit abilities, and not even input their commands again. This gave it a sense of customization for the player. It seems daunting at first, but most after playing this way, would agree it is a better way than older titles. The license board gave you the ability to create your character how you saw fit. You could go anywhere with any character you wanted. This eliminated the set characters of older titles as well. If you wanted a group of powerhouse fighters, or a group of mages, you could do it. Though summons have been around for the last nine titles, they are drastically changed in XII. No longer do you see the familiar summons such as Bahamut, Shiva, and Ifrit. They are now replaced with Espers, that are some of the most awesome to behold in the series. Each summon comes with their own gambits, and attacks. Though some said they missed the familiar summons of old, they loved the new ones just as much. Of all the greatness of the title, the major thing that was lacking was the musical scoring of XII. With the beauty and epic scope of XII, people expected nothing less in the music. Though it is really pretty, it is not the quality expected for the game by the fans. The story, though drawn a bit thinly through the game, is certainly one to keep you wondering what is going to happen next. There is also a first in the fact that there are actually several different stories playing out at the same time. This made more of a Lord of the Rings feel. You follow your parties quest, but you get story lines of what is going on outside of that story as well. It was a well thought telling, that involved you in every aspect of the plot. As far as games go, this is almost without precident the best game seen by Square in years, and it showed with the reviews as well as sales. Famitsu Magazine gave it a perfect 40/40. This was the sixth game to ever get the perfect score form the magazine, as well as the first in the series to do so. In America, it went on to being the best selling game of the year. It also became the tenth best selling PS2 games of all time, within weeks of release. Even the bad reviews, which were mostly due to the gambit/license system, and the music, were still better than most. Final Fantasy XII let the PS2 definitely go out with a bang. It has also raised the expectations of Final Fantasy XIII to almost unprecedented heights.
This is the opening of Final Fantasy XII. It shows the epic scope, majesty, and realism of the game, before you are able to control your first character.