Review of the game Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
In my youth I very much loved series of Japanese role-playing game Final Fantasy. Then the game seemed to me something incredible, so I'm willing to spend their evenings in them, his head going into the fantastic story, unique combat system and enjoying the ineffable romantic fairy tale adventure. Over time, with the series began to happen something strange: a guide Square Enix is obsessed with the idea of creating a MMORPG based on the popular franchise, which has destroyed the root of magic, for which many loved Final Fantasy. One of the last "regular" series of games has become a FF XII, released for the PlayStation 2 in 2006. Today I would like to tell you about this wonderful game remastered for the PlayStation 4, subtitled The Zodiac Age.
Game: Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
Platform the PlayStation 4
Genre: of JRPG
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: July 11, 2017
For the development of Final Fantasy XII game posted legendary Japanese game designer Yasumi Matsuno. It was he who at one time came up with the fantastic world of Ivalice, where the events took place almost all of his subsequent games, including hits such as Final Fantasy Tactics (1997), Vagrant Story (2000) and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (2003). World of Ivalice in addition to many wonderful people inhabited races, but in its atmosphere, and especially architecture everywhere felt the impact of the European Middle Ages. The magic here is adjacent to a complex mechanism like flying ships, and traditional elements of the Final Fantasy series are found at every turn. Matsuno has done a really great job, creating Ivalice. The quality and depth of study of this world can be compared easily with Middle-earth John Ronald Tolkien or to Vasteras from the works of George RR Martin.
Unfortunately, Yasumi Matsuno was unable to complete its work on Final Fantasy XII due to sudden-onset health problems, so the post director, screenwriter and producer, has replaced a good friend and colleague Hiroshi Minagawa, who previously worked with Matsuno on a variety of games . Critics at the time said that due to such a sudden change of the project manager in the introductory part of the Final Fantasy XII has a large number of exciting mini-games, and game scenes the most saturated, while closer to the final, all this is gradually eroding. Father series Hironobu Sakaguchi was very upset because of the care Yasumi Matsuno from the post of director and did not even take place before the end of the game, though he admitted that "it is a real Final Fantasy". But health - such a thing that is against it not trample.
The mighty empire Arcadia Rozarriya fight for power over the territory of Ivalice, a tiny kingdom Dalmaska is neutral on the map in the center of the unfolding military conflict. Arcadia occupies Dalmasku, so the king Raminas agrees to surrender to avoid further bloodshed. Learning of this, the royal knight Basch von Rosenberg kills the king for treason. The young prince Dalmaski Lord Rasler die heroically, defending the royal palace during the siege, and his wife Ashely B'nargin Dalmaska in despair commits suicide. Pretty grim start to the game series Final Fantasy, agree? Games Yasumi Matsuno always been so: the most serious, adult and permeated by political intrigue.
Further events take us two years ahead. The protagonist becomes an orphan and street thief named Vaan, who lives in the capital Dalmaski - ravanahatha city. The boy wants to grow up and become a noble air pirate, loot the ship and return the empire to his people illegally confiscated his wealth. For a teenager watching his girlfriend Penela childhood, characterized by Vahan carefully and judiciously. But even she could not prevent him from secretly sneak into the treasury of the royal castle in the midst of the solemn reception of the new consul. During the raid on the treasury Vahan acquainted with a couple desperate hijackers - Balterom and France, and stumbles upon Amalia resistance leader (in fact it is the Princess Ashely, to fake his own suicide). Caught custody at the scene, they find themselves in a royal prison, where freed from the chains of the traitor knight Basha.
It is in this team player to complete the game from start to finish and try to stop the long-term war, tearing apart Ivalice. However, the main characters and then will join the guest characters, fighting with them shoulder to shoulder. Surprisingly, in this Final Fantasy is no clearly defined protagonist. As the main character acts the whole team, each character is qualitatively established in the common history and brings the story something of their own. Princess Ashely strives to bring peace to its rightful kingdom knight Basch tries to wash its name from the stigma of traitors and pirate haunts Balter known only to himself goals. But in the same main characters are similar: they are all the forces trying to thwart the militaristic Empire Arcadia. And for this, they first need to deprive its main military advantage.
In Final Fantasy XII world, as in many other games of this series, special emphasis is placed on the use of magic crystals - "magitsita". In some regions of the state Ivalice distributed energy, referred to as "haze", which literally hangs in the air in a dense fog. If the crystal magitsita absorbs the mist, it turns into a "nefitsit", and its owner has access to additional magical abilities and special methods. Arcadia Empire nefitsit used for military purposes, trying to strengthen their air castles and army soldiers. In a secret laboratory Dr. Sid (well what "finalka" can do without Sid?) Conducts experiments on natural nefitsitom trying to create its artificial counterpart. It nefitsit becomes a cornerstone in the struggle for power, and it is for them hunt as antagonists and protagonists team.
When I first encountered the Final Fantasy XII in 2006, I was very strained sharp transition from the fabulous, largely FF IX and FF X romantic stories to so serious, impregnated by political strife plot. In addition, FF XII largely began to resemble a MMORPG with open world, the giant locations and battle system, strongly reminiscent of the battle of online role playing games. At the time, it is because of these innovations, I gave up the passing game after about the first third and then so to her and did not return. Therefore, the release of remastered The Zodiac Age has become a great opportunity to catch up and learn, finally, what ended the story of six friends and kingdom Dalmaska.
The combat system FF XII did not look like something that used to fans of the series. The player chooses three of the six characters, as well as the trio of leaders who can control himself. the two remaining characters act on their own and are subject to the so-called "gambits system." Gambits - a kind of programming language when the player with the help of special teams and conditions adjusts the AI fighters. For example, attack the nearest enemy caught in their field of vision, unleash the fiery magic monsters vulnerable to fire, use treating the subject to wounded comrades, and so on. Several gambits available to the player initially, but most will have to buy in special shops scattered throughout Ivalice. The leader of a team player can operate in manual mode, but can simply automate it using gambits.
When faced with enemies (which, by the way, do not occur more than random), the main characters will no longer be transferred to a separate arena for the battle. The battle takes place directly at the location where the collision occurred. This combat system has received the name of the Active Dimension Battle (ADB), and she was replaced by the familiar to many Active Time Battle (ATB). However, you can set the time to stop in the game options in those moments when a player shastaet menu. In addition to traditional physical attacks, magic, all sorts of colors and the use of objects, characters are also available special fighting techniques. For example, the application of a powerful blow to the enemy, ownership costs of the character's health or their savings, the attack inflicts damage that is proportional to the number of steps taken character, stealing items from monsters and so on.
In place of the powerful "limits" and "overdrive," came the so-called Quickening. These attacks consume magic power of darkness, and are divided into three categories of power. Each character can be no more than three such attacks, but they can be linked into chains during the battle, inflicting great damage. Also in the game there are traditional for the Final Fantasy series summoned demons. In FF XII, they are called "Espers". Part Espers becomes available to the player as you progress through the story campaign, and the remaining will be able to get only in the course of the special quests. Esper each player must choose his master of the six characters. Called on the battlefield Esper fights on its own as long as its owner did not die, or until Esper will not end health.
In Final Fantasy XII very advanced system of leveling characters. It is based on three components: the traditional experience gained in the battles, licenses boards resembling "grid areas" from Final Fantasy X, as well as the system of professions, who came to remaster of published exclusively in the Japanese version of FF XII subtitled International Zodiac Job System. Each character can learn only two professions of the 12 available - just two on each of the six characters. Here you and the knight and the samurai, and the driver, who owns a firearm, and the archer, and the monk, and all sorts of magicians. It comes with the profession of the character receives its corresponding licensing board. For killing monsters the main characters get "license points" that allow you to unlock the cells on the board and access to the use of new combat techniques, magic, perks, weapons, armor and accessories.
It is characteristic that in FF XII you can not just pick up and put on any armor or pick up any weapons. To do this on your board corresponding cell must be activated by license. Of course, armor, hats and weapons are divided into classes. Samurai specializes in skating, monk prefers staffs, and an archer - bows and crossbows. In addition, by releasing on the board, for example, a healing spell, you will not be able to use it immediately. Pre have to buy this spell in a magic store (fortunately do it only once necessary). The same applies to all martial techniques. Is such a pleasure not cheap, so be prepared for serious spending. And with the money in the game, too, things are very interesting. The more you do not get money for killing monsters. only the loot drops from them. But this is the loot can be sold to merchants and earn decent money. Also, the money can be found in numerous pots and chests, which will often come across during the passage.
As for gaming locations, in FF XII represented a huge open world, locations which are connected by passages. Habitual interactive map of the world in the game. Only a screen used for navigation, in which points are marked settlements. Player to not suffered in those places where he was to appear until the early developers settled their powerful monsters, which beat without adequate pumping almost unreal. Completely self-regulating system. The player happen to visit in the vast deserts and icy wastelands, dense jungle, in the lost cities of the ancient civilizations and other equally colorful places. Explore the world of Ivalice is possible for tens and hundreds of hours. The only thing I did not like it - it is the monotony and lean design game dungeons. Yes, some of them offer the player to solve a variety of puzzles, sometimes very exciting. But in general, most of the dungeons can be described as an incredibly long dark corridors with branches and repetitive textures of the walls.
If you want to escape from the passage of the plot, you can always run into any tavern on the bulletin board to take the order for the murder of a dangerous monster. Just like in "The Witcher 3", only FF XII came out long before the game universe based on the works of Andrzej Sapkowski. For victory over the monsters customers will reward you generously. The game also features a whole bunch of exciting hidden side-quests that can captivate you for hours. Very pleased with the presence fanservisa. You are sure to rejoice, having met the tiny creatures Moogles or again climbed on his back racing the birds Chocobo. The latter, incidentally, are rented only for a while. Instead, they have access to the secret paths along which it is impossible to walk. Near passes you will see on the ground the traces of bird legs. This means that a number of hidden something interesting.
It's time to talk about innovations, which invites us to remaster 2017. Apart from the already mentioned professions system The Zodiac Job System, which was reconstructed and improved in many ways, the game contains a lot of surprises. First, noticeably prettier picture. Now we see the legendary game in HD-quality, and model the main characters, as I understand it, were partially repainted and brought to mind in terms of detail. Character design of this game, I have always admired. Artists tried their best and created an incredibly memorable characters, which look nice. CG-rollers have also been remastered and looks like they did a couple of years ago, and not in 2006. FF XII inherited from the Japanese version of the game "test mode", previously unavailable to Western players. It contains 100 levels, rich incessant battles with powerful enemies. The catch is that the player can be saved only every 10 levels. But for the victory you get a particularly valuable treasures and money.
A nice new feature was the increase of the speed of the gameplay mode. By pressing just one button on your controller, you can speed up the game twice or even four times. This greatly simplifies the grind and knocking valuable points licenses. But to use such "cheats" you, of course, nobody forces. The game has got the support of the trophies that will surely please fans of "beat platinum." In the options you can select Japanese or English version of the dubbing of the characters. Surprisingly, I liked the name of the English audio track. Voices of the characters are great. Especially remembered enjoy voice Franc, which relates to Weir race. Music in the game has also undergone a remastered and updated in the soundtrack included several new songs. At any time in the options the player can switch between the original and contemporary sound track. All this magnificence can be heard for the first time in the 7.1 format. Significantly speed up the boot (in the days of the PlayStation 2 sometimes had to wait an eternity), and will appear automatically save when you move from one location to another.
However, in the game, and quite serious problems, migrated into it from the original. One of them - is absolutely intolerable's camera. She conducts herself completely unpredictable, because of what sometimes can fall into a wall or rest against a character's head, depriving the player the ability to see the field of battle in the midst of battle. Hardest chamber have a narrow and close vaults from which the game is 60%. The second problem - the inability to adjust the picture brightness. Yes, I understand that you can adjust the image directly on the TV, but I would very much like each time to adjust the equipment individually for this game. The third problem - a serious facial expressions of characters out of sync with their speech. It concerns only the English audio track and does not happen often, but it remains an unpleasant osadochek. The fourth issue - the extremely small range of drawing. It seems that the game engine no desire to rewrite not burned, leaving everything as it was in 2006. Therefore, some subjects appear out of nowhere just a few meters from the characters.
- The HD game and narrative videos began to look just great.
- Great character design is sincere respect.
- An incredibly complex combat system using gambits.
- Professions system makes the game an additional variety.
- Test Mode will delight the most seasoned players in the battles.
- Due to the acceleration mode has ceased to be a tedious grind.
- The classic and updated music included.
- Just great work of English voice actors.
- A huge number of various small improvements.
- plot lacks inherent in the previous games of romance.
- After 10 years in the game and did not deliver a Russian translation.
- Games camera often behaves just disgusting.
- From the original moved some remnants of the past.
- It is very dark and monotonous dungeons.
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age is a monumental work of art authored by playing the legendary Yasumi Matsuno. One of the most complex combat systems in the history of Japanese role-playing games, memorable characters, a huge game world filled with adventure, danger and secrets - all this is able to pull you out of reality for a couple of weeks. The game is long enough, and if you do not resort to expedite the passage of time, then the passage you take at least 60 hours. If you suddenly want to complete the game 100%, be prepared to spend more than 150 hours of his life. And it will be usefully spent time after FF XII: The Zodiac Age is like a fascinating book, from which is extremely difficult to break. Put the game 8 out of 10.