COUNTDOWN: FINAL FANTASY XIII, DAY TWELVE
The last mainstream Final Fantasy to be released in 2006, Final Fantasy XII (Twelve) is one of the most controversial games in the entire series. For whatever reason, whether it be the graphics, the music, or the storyline, people didn't like Final Fantasy XII. The main reason is probably because it was the first Final Fantasy to be made without Hironobu Sakaguchi, the founder of the Final Fantasy series. (He went to work with Microsoft.) Without Sakaguchi's ray of light, most people think that the Final Fantasy series has gone down and is currently at the very bottom of hell... Why? What would make someone think something like that?
Maybe it's with the characters... no... let us narrow down the possibilities even more. Maybe people don't like the main character, Vaan. Why? Well, take a look to the left and see for yourself. Not only does he dress weirder than anything else that you have seen, but he has a girl's face. (It's true!)
When Final Fantasy XII first came out, people everywhere were freaking out because of how the protagonist looked. Personally for me, it's not too much of a problem. I just don't really like Vaan all that much because he's not a very original character. Where's his shirt? Why does he do his hair like that? What's wrong with his pants? And is he supposed to be eating an apple in the picture? Then why is it shaped like a star? Those may be ridiculous things to complain about, but that's literally what fans were saying when the game first came out. It's like they were looking for the smallest things to whine about.
Becoming a little more serious, the main problem that the fans had with Final Fantasy XII wasn't Vaan, or the apple shaped star; it was the storyline. Final Fantasy is famous for it's elaborately long and original stories. Millions of people across the globe wait years just to find out what the plot to the next Final Fantasy will be. So when they found out that Final Fantasy XII is pretty m about politics and war, they were all upset. Why? I don't know... maybe because we're nerds.
In the plot to Final Fantasy XII, war is on the horizon. Seeking to strengthen its base of power, the great Archadian Empire has been invading and subjugating its neighboring kingdoms, one by one. The small kingdom of Dalmasca was one of its victims. When the occupying Archadian forces established a new consul in Dalmasca's royal city of Rabanastre, the attention of Vaan, an urchin living on the streets, was caught.
This picture really has nothing to do with what I'm talking about. I just think its a cool part of the game.To Vaan, the Empire is an enemy whom he hates for the murder of his brother--his last surviving family member. Soon Vaan hatches a plan to sneak into the castle which is housing the new consul. But before he has the chance to do so, Vaan gets far more that he bargained for; a resistance movement of some former Dalmascan soldiers rising up against the Archadian Empire launching an assault on the castle! Amid the ensuing confusion that engulfed the castle, Vaan saw something he could scarcely believe.
There, among the members of the new resistance, was the figure of the sole remaining heir to the Dalmascan throne, Princess Ashe, who had been notified to the people to be dead after the assassination of her husband. Our story follows Vaan, Ashe and his friends, Penelo, the sky pirate Balthier, his partner Fran and many more through the magical world of Ivalice. (I stole this synapsis from IGN.)
Doesn't that plot sound interesting? Fans didn't think so. The fact that half of the game is about politics and such made fans uninterested. Also, one of the bad guys looks like Darth Vader... I thought it was a fascinating story, but it's not like my opinion matters... Anyways! another problem that a lot of the fans had with Final Fantasy XII was the gameplay. (How you play the game.)
In previous Final Fantasy's games, when you fought in battles, time would freeze and you could select your attacks. You and the enemy would take turns. Much like in a game of chess. But in Final Fantasy XII, they threw that idea out of the window and made it so that everything happens in real time. Meaning that the enemy would always be attacking you, and you had to attack faster. Whoever was faster, and stronger would win the fight. I don't know why, but this made fans scream their heads off. It's just a game. Who cares? They do. Why? Because we're nerds.
So, the fans hated the story, AND how you play the game. What else is there to complain about? You would think that there would be nothing left to complain about. Well, to those nerds out there, there was. What was it? The music. For every single Final Fantasy Nobuo Uematsu composed the soundtrack. But in 2002 he left Square-Enix, the company that makes Final Fantasy, and joined Microsoft to write music with Sakaguchi. To replace him they hired Hitoshi Sakimoto for musical composure. Fans all around the world dropped nuclear bombs. (The "F" word.) Even though Sakimoto writes an amazing score, I'll admit, Uematsu does a way better job. But it's really better than nothing, and the classic Final Fantasy theme is still in the game, so who cares? They do. Why? Because we're nerds.
I personally enjoyed Final Fantasy XII. I thought it was wonderfully original. (Even if it looks like Star Wars.) The plot may have been a little weird, but it didn't matter. The gameplay although new, was still solid, and I liked the music so much that I have the soundtrack. (I know... I am a nerd.) The voice acting was also WAY better in Final Fantasy XII. Hopefully XIII won't suck it up. Final Fantasy XII still maintained the classic Final Fantasy feel, and for me it ranks as one of the best of the series.
Our Thirteen day long countdown is just beginning as we continue to go through all of the Final Fantasy's. Only twelve days until XIII is finally here, and I'm freaking out. Tomorrow, we'll talk about the only Final Fantasy on the Xbox and PS2, AND PC. (Sorry Mac users.)
Until then, Good Night! Enjoy this trailer of Final Fantasy XII. Sorry it isn't the best quality. This is the only one I could find.