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Forced to grind in Final Fantasy XII

Brad Gallaway's picture

Final Fantasy XII Screenshot

In other game news, I have to say that in spite of all the different blunders Sony has committed since launching the PS3, one thing that they've actually done well is the connectivity between the PS3 and the PlayStation Portable. I expected all kinds of hassle, but it was totally simple and painless. They get points for that, if nothing else. Speaking of which, I downloaded Crimson Room Reverse last night and was messing around with it for a few minutes.

I had never heard of it before but, from what I understand, the entire premise is that the player is trapped inside a room, and must search around for different items in order to solve puzzles and earn their escape. My interest was piqued immediately, though I must admit that after actually starting the game, I had no friggin' clue what was going on. I didn't even make it through the tutorial. Granted, I was half asleep when I tried, so I will definitely down a few cups of coffee before my next attempt.

Getting pretty close to the 30-hour mark and I'm still enjoying the game quite a bit. It's probably the most pleasant Final Fantasy experience I've had since Final Fantasy X, but as the game goes on, more and more of its warts are starting to show.

For example, when story events that move the plot forward are happening with a reasonable amount of frequency, the game really picks up a lot of energy and starts popping nicely. However, there have certainly been a few twists and turns that feel like they are included for no reason other than making the game longer. Foremost in my mind, taking a side trip to the village of the Viera (as visually pleasant as it may have been) and the resulting trip to the mine immediately afterward. Neither added anything to the experience or the story, and my interest started to flag a bit during those sections. The story itself is good enough that I don't really feel the need (or desire, really) for extra doglegs slowing things down.

Another downer, I finally hit the first section of the adventure where I felt like I sincerely needed to grind in order to progress. Bosses that inflict multiple status ailments at once or who have some other sort of "gimmicky" attack really grate on my nerves. Considering that money for gear is generally pretty tight and that players have to "buy" Licenses with earned points in order to equip certain weapons/armor/skills, that makes cheesy boss encounters extra annoying in Final Fantasy XII.

Upon getting to a certain area, the boss on duty had an automatic "Slow" effect on any players wearing metal armor. I had no way of knowing this of course, and naturally, my entire team was kitted out in metal. The answer? Grind out some dollars and buy different armor. The boss immediately afterwards was an Ice-themed 5-on-3 battle that was a struggle until I took the time to earn some more License points and activated a few skills that I hadn't previously unlocked. It wasn't a terrible ordeal, but the game basically ground to a halt while I took care of this busy work.

I get that the adventure wouldn't be nearly as entertaining if every boss was a cakewalk, but it's a little more work than usual to deal with these kind of wrenches in the gears. Tough fights are one thing—fights that make you completely rearrange your team and your tactics with this kind of leveling system are something else. Fingers crossed that these kinds of situations don't pop up too often from here on out… Mass Effect 2 comes out in about three weeks or so, and if I haven't freed Ivalice by then, Final Fantasy XII is going to find itself on the "I'll get back to ya" shelf.

Category Tags
Platform(s): PS3   PS2  
Developer(s): Square Enix  
Series: Final Fantasy  
Genre(s): Role-Playing  

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It's going to be hilarious

It's going to be hilarious if you stop at the same spot that Trent and I did.

hehe... well, i got past the

hehe... well, i got past the miriam (sp?) temple and defeated the boss after that as well, so i'm back on track. i'd like to think i'm over the cheap-o hump since i have most of the augments by now, but we'll see... ; )

Brad, Put one of your

Brad,

Put one of your characters 1st gambit to steal, enemy hp = 100. You will get lots of money this way. I was in the same position you were, but this really helped me out.

...well, get loot, which

...well, get loot, which translates into money...and an occasional rare weapon.

Don't give up! Best Final

Don't give up! Best Final Fantasy ever. As in rewarding JRPG loot fest with some crazy awesome bosses (hunts) to take out later in the game. Story is pretty average though. Nice and all but that game was all about the hunts for me.

Coincidence

Quite a coincidence here. I started Final Fantasy XII after playing it on and off and starting multiple new games ever since it was released, but now I truly plan to finish it. I'm actually right at the part you are now and I'm absolutely loving the game. But it's a type of love that's different from past Final Fantasy games for me.

My past favourites have been VII and VIII, and I love them for similar reasons (mainly nostalgia and the music), but with XII it's different. I absolutely hate the music (sorry Sakimoto), the lack of controllable non-Hume characters (why create such a beautiful world but have all Hume characters?) and the story is getting on my nerves (I literally cannot follow it for some reason - no thanks to the sometimes contrived Shakespearien English, I have no idea why the characters have done what they have except for Balthier/Fran) but I am really digging world of Ivalice and the gameplay so much that it's kept me so interested.

Huh?

"It's probably the most pleasant Final Fantasy experience I've had since Final Fantasy X"

That's not saying much, since to many, FF X was the last "legitimate" game in the FF canon.

to me FFXII seems more like

to me FFXII seems more like a western rpg than a jrpg. There is more focus on exploring mines, temples, and ruins,along with a lot of back tracking, where as most good jrpgs focus more on story with linear gameplay. It takes another page from western rpg's in the way any character can be equiped with any piece of equipment or learn any spell, and also by making the player buy absolutely everything. What ever happened to the days when characters actually learned spells and skills. I mean it's bad enough that I have to buy weapons, armor, gambits, items, etc....

I personally wish they would have kept it where each character is of a predetermined class. I think it adds something to the character when the developers make their class match their personality. Hell, in FFXII there really isn't any classes. All one needs to do is unlock all the attack augments and give everyone the white magic spells and the gambit system will basically beat the game for you.

The story in FFXII is decent, but the pacing is so bad that I forgot half of what happened before the next cut-scene could take place. Even so, then game has kept my attention for around 48 hours(although it's always longer than the game save says)so it's not all disappointing(way better than x-2 that's for sure). I'm still enjoying my time with it, but I wish it was more Final Fantasy and less oblivion.

>Anony Mouse>>>>"It's

>Anony Mouse
>>>>"It's probably the most pleasant Final Fantasy experience I've had since Final Fantasy X"

>>That's not saying much, since to many, FF X was the last "legitimate" game in the FF canon.

Heh, sorry. I should have been more clear, sorry about the confusion. What I MEANT to say by that was probably something more along the lines of:

“FFXII is probably my second favorite FF game, behind only FFX.”
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.
.
.
.
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>Coyls
>>to me FFXII seems more like a western rpg than a jrpg.

I think that's what I like about it. JRPGs are really, really stale to me these days with few exeptions. the change of pace was very welcome.

>>I personally wish they would have kept it where each character is of a predetermined class. I think it adds something to the character when the developers make their class match their personality.

i do agree with you there.

>>The story in FFXII is decent, but the pacing is so bad that I forgot half of what happened before the next cut-scene could take place.

totally agree. the entire game could be 30 hours TOTAL (not counting sidequests, etc) and the story would be far better for it. there's too much filler and poor pacing for my taste.

still enjoying it, but as different as it is, there are still things to improve.

Stick with the game and

Stick with the game and before you know it the clock will read 80 to 100 hours!! I found the trick to staying strong in this game is to mini-grind. Spend an hour or 2 in each area (Giza Plains for example) killing monsters and completing your monster inventory for the area, also doing the monster hunts at the same time as playing the main story part of the game will benefit enormously and if you find rare game steal from them before killing them as they will usually give you very power weapons or armour if not then loot that will give you loads of money. Also steal from every single monster you fight all the time everytime, ocassionally you can steal some rare loot and/or gear this will also help solve your money problems though money will be tight for much of the game.

And those status effects with bosses don't go away if anything they get more annoying because some of them can't be avoided just by changing gear. The side espers Cuchulain, Exodus and Ultima are especially tough to beat just because of their additional status effects.

That said this is up there with my favourites though the licence board should have been better executed. I love the way this game has a complete mythology to it and how the world is so fully realised and detailed. Its a place I love to spend time in, I don't really care if I finish it or not.

The best of the worst FFs yet.

The worst being FF8 and FFX, FF7 still had that feel of whimsy to it and FF9 was the best FF to date as far as equipment,classes and skills and sine the last few have sucked so even prehaps characters.

FF12 dose not have horrible characters or story and it has damn good level design but that's about all the good I can say about it other wise its medicore story crappy equipment broken skill system that makes it feel like a one way bland MMO. As if FF8 and even FFX to some degree was not bad enough with these issues FF13 is going back to X for most design elements......uhg...the only thing good about FFX is blitz ball and the sphere grid everything else pretty much sucks...... give me a FF4 or a FF6(or FF9) with all teh fancy shinyness of today's graphics, even FF1 and FF5 were fun but 8,X and 12 are shallow and boring.....

No, you're never forced to grind in FF12.

"However, there have certainly been a few twists and turns that feel like they are included for no reason other than making the game longer. Foremost in my mind, taking a side trip to the village of the Viera (as visually pleasant as it may have been) and the resulting trip to the mine immediately afterward. Neither added anything to the experience or the story, and my interest started to flag a bit during those sections. The story itself is good enough that I don't really feel the need (or desire, really) for extra doglegs slowing things down."

Actually both DO add something to the experience AND the story. Experience is self-explanatory. You get additional scenery with additional enemies (and the Henne Mines becomes the crown jewel of level-grinding later on), more treasures, etc. But story-wise, Eruyt Village is where you finally get a bit of back story on Fran. It solidifies her as a character with her own past and inner demons, not just eye candy ;) And with the mines you finally see first-hand how active the Empire is in seeking out more nethicite power.

And besides that, really, don't criticize a game for having more stuff to do in it. Just don't.

"Another downer, I finally hit the first section of the adventure where I felt like I sincerely needed to grind in order to progress."

You NEVER have to level grind to get through the story. I've played it a couple times myself without having to do this. If you just couldn't beat a storyline boss (optional bosses are totally different story) without going out of your way to level up a few times, chances are your techniques need work. Just like all FFs, you can either get ahead by being strong, smart, or both.

"Bosses that inflict multiple status ailments at once or who have some other sort of 'gimmicky' attack really grate on my nerves."

Welcome to the world of video games.

"Considering that money for gear is generally pretty tight and that players have to 'buy' Licenses with earned points in order to equip certain weapons/armor/skills, that makes cheesy boss encounters extra annoying in Final Fantasy XII."

I never had any trouble buying what I NEEDED in this game. You kill enemies for loot and then sell the loot at any shop. Simple. Now if you insist on buying the new sword because it's 1 measly point stronger than the one you just bought an hour ago, or you just try and buy everything ASAP whether you need it or not, that's your decision and naturally it will mean you run out of gil quickly. But most of it's not even necessary.

I will also defend the license point system. Think of license points as bits of mental/physical preparedness. If you found a katana laying on the ground and picked it up, would you automatically know how to wield it? Of course not. You'd need to acquire the skill (aka "license") before there's any point in trying to take a dragon down with it. Even armor can be explained along these lines. Figuring this is all magical equipment (unless you actually believe a feathered hat is going to protect anything at all WITHOUT magic?), the mind must be ready. You can't just be told what words to utter to cast a magic spell; you have to free your mind and prepare it. LPs represent this, in my view.

"Upon getting to a certain area, the boss on duty had an automatic 'Slow' effect on any players wearing metal armor. I had no way of knowing this of course, and naturally, my entire team was kitted out in metal. The answer? Grind out some dollars and buy different armor."

That's ridiculous. I never had to go out and buy different armor to beat that boss. You just change your gambits up and go with it. 99% of enemies in this game (and 100% of the STORYLINE enemies) can be dealt with by using your head; you don't have to use your wallet!

I don't see nothin' wrong...

...with a little bump n grind.

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