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6 Reasons To Care About Final Fantasy XII: Zodiac Age


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In the last week, Square Enix released the HD remaster of one of their most acclaimed Final Fantasy games – no, not Final Fantasy VII (for that we’re still waiting), but Final Fantasy XII. 

Released for the PS2 in 2006, this is a game that was reviewed positively by critics and had a new generation fall in love with the Final Fantasy franchise once more, including myself.

Maybe you played it on the two generations old console. Maybe you’ve never played it at all. It doesn't matter - these are the reasons why you should get your hands on this game as soon as possible. 


  1. The Story 

Anyone who has ever played a Final Fantasy game knows how important the story actually is. They are the epitome of what interactive storytelling should be. Final Fantasy XII is no exception. 

You follow Vaan, an Aladdin-esque street rat with dreams of being a sky pirate. He’s grown up on the backdrop of invading empires, war and magic. But this isn’t just Vaan’s story – it’s Ashe’s, the lost princess who has lost everything in the war between two warring nations, Arcadia and Rozzaria. In the struggle to regain her throne and to remove the Arcadian threat, she finds allies in unlikely places and brings about peace – if you’re doing it right. 

This plot is taken and expanded to encompass a massive lore and immersive history. It has characters that represent all figures of life and the opportunity to travel across a huge map to build up your strength and uncover the secrets that are needed to stop Arcadia from advancing any further. 


  1. The Characters 

If you're putting yourself in the shoes of a character, that character has to be sympathetic and interesting enough to keep your attention. There's nothing worse than playing as an unlikable character, whose presence you can never escape.  

But that's not a problem in Final Fantasy XII. You might prefer one character over another in the same way you might prefer ranged attacks over close range, but just like both types of attack, each plays an important role in the overall story. 

Joining Vaan and Ashe are war orphanPenelo; the Empire's darling, Larsa; Sky pirates, Balthier and Fran; and betrayed general, Basch. They each represent a different part of Ivalice (what their Earth is called) and stand as the voice for every type of person in the game. They each have their own character arcs and, despite the number of cast members, no one is sidelined or ignored. 

And for those who have played the game before who were worried about another Silent Hill 2 HD voicing issue, you don't have to worry. Other than some cleaning up of the audio, everything sounds exactly the same as before.   


  1. Everyone Gets To Experience The Same Game 

It's a popular thing now-a-days to have the ability to make choices in game. Your choices impact on the game you get, you play the game your way. Not a bad thing – sometimes, it's part of the draw knowing that you and your friend will have a completely different experience. It's a complicated feat of game development to have that many branches and avenues to take, which makes it impressive even though it doesn't always work. 

Final Fantasy XII is a return to a linear storyline. Don't let that get you down though – that doesn't mean that you can't make choices or play the way that you see fit. The range of characters and the requirements of the game mean that you can play as any character, using any kind of attack as you see fit – as long as that character has the capability, you can use it. 

That's not to mention the hunts and side quests, varying in difficulty and covering the huge expansive map. You can do one hunt and not another. You can ignore the side quests entirely. You can level up at a rate that suits you. 

But in the end, there is no part of this battle to stop a war that you are going to miss out on and neither will your friend. No secret corners that hold the key to understanding what is happening in this game. 


  1. The Soundtrack 

This might seem like a strange one – after all, we're talking about games here  not music – but the soundtrack for Final Fantasy XII has one of the best scores in the franchise.  

You remember Aerith's theme from Final Fantasy VII? How it reminds you of her death? Well, I dare you to listen to Discord and not have war flashbacks to battling the Judge Magister. It just can't be helped. 

The music is memorable and every time you hear the music, you'll be hit with the urge to play the game all over again. 


  1. Japanese RPG Goals 

Japanese RPGs have draws that no Western RPG has and Final Fantasy XII is no different. From the battle system to the map where you will meet all different types of beasties and nasties to the vastness of the storyline, this Final Fantasy game has all the fixtures of a 100 hour Japanese RPG. 

Want to find something to do over your summer holidays? It might be the only time you have to complete this monster of a game. 


  1. It's A Genuine Remaster 

Final Fantasy XII: Zodiac Age is the exact same game as the original, with the exception of the cleaned up audio, updated graphics and a faster turn-taking battle system. They didn't remove anything you loved from the original version and they didn't add anything that will take away from the experience.

This is a chance to play a game that didn’t get enough love when it first came out exactly how it was originally intended to be. 


Final Fantasy XII: Zodiac Age was released on PS4 in July 2017.

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