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New FFXII info.


El Spatula
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This does not play like any previous Final Fantasy games. In fact, you could easily mistake it for an action adventure game rather than a standard console RPG, but don't take that remark the wrong way. All it means is that Final Fantasy XII does away with the awkward, yet ancient, role-playing conventions of random battles and jarring transitions between exploration and combat. Instead, in Final Fantasy XII, you'll never get taken out of the core gameplay experience, except when the game shows you a cinematic cutscene or when you access your status menus.

That means combat occurs seamlessly within the game's fully 3D environments--no screen-shattering, no your-guys-on-one-side-bad-guys-on-the-other-side battle screen, no signature Final Fantasy victory music as you collect you gil and cure potions after you win, none of that. And you know what? We got the distinct impression that this is the best thing to happen to the series in a while. By extension, it may well be representative of a refreshing, new direction for the console role-playing genre to head towards.

So that's NO MORE RANDOM BATTLES! :rolleyes:

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The battle system sounds a lot like the way KOTOR works things. That's very cool. Especially as I doubt there will be the same squiffy camera.

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http://members.dslextreme.com/users...E3/MVI_2829.AVI

and

http://home.earthlink.net/~adambabloyan/P5120017.MOV

The guy with the camera seems more interested in the control pad than the game for some reason, but they give the general idea. Looking good,

Thanks for that...

any idea what 'Time Magic' could be? (Surely more than just Slow/Haste to deserve its' own place in the magic menu? :rolleyes: )

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Thanks for that...

any idea what 'Time Magic' could be? (Surely more than just Slow/Haste to deserve its' own place in the magic menu? :ph34r: )

Looks great from those vids (well the link that works), I was worried it was going to be similar to X2's combat which I dont really like.

Only concern is all the running back and forwards he's doing, but this might be cuz they havent played it before.

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I'd say it's just because he's getting the hang of it... I'm sure I'll do the same when I first play it. Whats that light coming from the players and the monster... magic attacks?

And yes, the avi won't work for me either - I thought it was the work firewall getting tough though. (We can't download .wmv for some reason but everything else works)

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Whats that light coming from the players and the monster... magic attacks?

I guess it's some kind of targeting indicator, you can probably swap it from one monster to another to change who you attack, that would save having to manually run towards each thing you wanted to beat up.

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No victory music or gil/exp countdown screen thingy?

AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

:ph34r:

It's still turn based though isn't it...can somebody paste it? I've been getting scary "Not allowed here on pain of sacking" warning messages when clicking on some of these E3 links.

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Final Fantasy XII Hands-On

 

Certainly one of the most highly anticipated games on the E3 show floor is Final Fantasy XII, the forthcoming chapter in Square Enix's beloved role-playing franchise. We recently posted new details on the game's plot, but now, we've finally played it ourselves and are here with a full report.

Like most every new Final Fantasy installment, this one introduces an entirely new cast of characters and takes place in a unique setting--though, incidentally, this game does share its setting with the recently released Final Fantasy Tactics Advance as well as the original Final Fantasy Tactics. Longtime fans of Square (before it became Square Enix) will recognize the distinctive art style in the game as resembling that of Square's unusual action adventure game, Vagrant Story--which is entirely a good thing, because that game's visuals were exceptionally good for its time. And, indeed, if only from looks alone, Final Fantasy XII is also very impressive. However, what surprised us wasn't the look, but the gameplay.

This does not play like any previous Final Fantasy games. In fact, you could easily mistake it for an action adventure game rather than a standard console RPG, but don't take that remark the wrong way. All it means is that Final Fantasy XII does away with the awkward, yet ancient, role-playing conventions of random battles and jarring transitions between exploration and combat. Instead, in Final Fantasy XII, you'll never get taken out of the core gameplay experience, except when the game shows you a cinematic cutscene or when you access your status menus.

That means combat occurs seamlessly within the game's fully 3D environments--no screen-shattering, no your-guys-on-one-side-bad-guys-on-the-other-side battle screen, no signature Final Fantasy victory music as you collect you gil and cure potions after you win, none of that. And you know what? We got the distinct impression that this is the best thing to happen to the series in a while. By extension, it may well be representative of a refreshing, new direction for the console role-playing genre to head towards.

Admittedly, that last statement may be a bit over-the-top. The truth is, Square's Vagrant Story actually played similarly, only it featured a weird location-based, rhythm-based combat system, whereas Final Fantasy XII is more by-the-book and lets you command up to three characters at a time instead of just one (and you see all three characters running around in the environment). Basically, the action occurs in real time, but you can always pause to issue new orders. The simplest order is to make all your characters attack a given foe, in which case they'll stand there and dish out the pain as often as they're able to attack, which is fundamentally similar to combat in previous Final Fantasies.

However, you can get pretty tactical with this system, and use the physical location to your advantage. You can have your ranged attackers hang back and fire away while your melee fighters suffer the pain on the front lines, for example. The signature spells of Final Fantasy all seem to be here, though we didn't get to try out any summoning spells or anything too spectacular. Still, we felt good about the combat, which comes across as more dynamic and somehow more plausible than in previous games.

It wouldn't be a Final Fantasy without some strange gameplay "system", and this next chapter will be no exception. This time you can assign "gambits" to your characters, which work like tactical orders. The basic gambit determines whether or not members of your party will follow the main character's lead, but other gambits may allow characters to deploy different strategies in battle by default. Such systems tend to be pretty deep, and frankly, we didn't get to explore this aspect of the game in too much detail during our relatively brief time spent with the game.

We did get to see a lot of the game's cutscenes, which are as beautifully produced and choreographed as ever. The characters emote subtly and their respective personalities come across very well--or, in other words, we kind of wanted to just stand there and play Final Fantasy XII all day to figure out what the game was all about.

For that, we went straight to the source. In an interview with FFXII director Yasumi Matsuno, we attempted to plumb the erstwhile director of Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story for new story and gameplay details. He was understandably mum about the plot, though he did confirm that there are no direct connections to any previous game set in Ivalice--it's the same world, but don't expect any familiar faces. Matsuno also expounded on the gambit system, telling us that there will be 10 gambit categories, and that new gambits will be treated like items (that is, you'll typically buy them from vendors or find them dropped by slain monsters).

Given FFXII's impressive character animation system, which includes emotive facial expressions, Matsuno said the team is attempting to keep as much of the game's cinematic content in-engine as possible. However, CG will still be used for grandiose scenes of battle or the flight of airships, for instance. On the game's music, Matsuno said he's asked composer Hitoshi Sakimoto to create a slightly more up-tempo and optimistic score than the characteristically moody fare he's provided for previous games such as Vagrant Story. Series composer Nobuo Uematsu will be creating the game's theme song, which has a theme of love. Matsuno noted that Uematsu's love song has even influenced a slight change in the game's storyline.

Matsuno told us his design philosophy for Final Fantasy XII is one that marries the best aspects of off- and online RPGs. That's not to say the game will have stilted online components--quite the contrary, it's as focused on story and role-playing as any game in the Final Fantasy series. Matsuno told us that, while there are gameplay elements of online RPGs that he finds appealing, he's annoyed by the compulsion to be social in such games. FFXII will therefore bring aspects of MMORPG design, such as the aforementioned open-ended combat system, to the defined narrative structure that Final Fantasy is known for.

There are a lot of different playable sequences from Final Fantasy XII on the E3 show floor. Each demo station allows players to choose from nearly 10 different scenes, indicating that the game is well along in development (between the variety of settings and the already-apparent level of polish to the game), despite the recent announcement of the game's delayed release. At any rate, we figure Square Enix is going to use all that Final Fantasy X-2 money to make sure this next one's as good as can be. We'll bring you more details on the game just as soon as we can.

By Greg Kasavin, Brad Shoemaker

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I don't think it's quite like KotOR, not from that video anyway.

It's just a normal FF battle but without the random monsters and an ability to move around during the fight. Should be interesting if positioning has a tactical influence on battles... for example position your mages far away from the battle to stear clear of aoe attacks/spells and take less damage, melee close but take more damage... some spells could have varying effectiveness depending upon position.

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Nooooooooooooooooo!!! :ph34r:;)

.::: Well after seeing Jade Empire in action yesterday, it does sound a bit shit (I'm assuming KOTOR and JE share similarities, for I havn't played KOTOR. And JE looks and seems to play like Sudeki only with crap americans voicing chinese).

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I don't think it's quite like KotOR, not from that video anyway.

It's just normal FF battle but without the random monsters and an ability to move around during battle.

I guess I really need to download a video before I start having a big stress.

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Nooooooooooooooooo!!! :ph34r:;)

I really like the sound of what they've done. No Random Battles, a total shake up of the fighting system. This isn't going to be the last Final Fantasy in the series(an obvious statement I know, sorry) and if they don't try and mix it up the series will become stagnant.

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It's just a normal FF battle but without the random monsters and an ability to move around during the fight.

That's what I'm afraid of - being able to move around in battle. Will this mean moving is in realtime but the actions are turnbased?

Ick.

I'd have liked a grid-based system like FF:Tactics if anything (ie. if they absolutely insisted on getting rid of the seperate battle screens). I don't really like the idea of using the environment itself as a stage for battles, as it could be very constricting. Well, it was in KotOR.. and, erm.. I should probably watch the video first, eh? :ph34r:

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Why is this the game that I'm *most* looking forward to at the moment? I hated FFVII, thought IX and X were okay, loved FF: TA, and think Vagrant Story's a bit of a curate's egg. But I've got a feeling in my bones that FFXII is going to be the best thing ever.

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I really like the sound of what they've done. No Random Battles, a total shake up of the fighting system. This isn't going to be the last Final Fantasy in the series(an obvious statement I know, sorry) and if they don't try and mix it up the series will become stagnant.

I don't mind them changing things, I just don't want them to incorporate realtime elements into an essentially turn-based system. Especially if you're controlling multiple characters. That's if that's what they're doing.

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Everything I've seen so far with regards to XII has interested me... really looking forward to this. I'm also glad that they mentioned bringing a MMORPG influence to the game 'cause square got an awful lot right with XI, especially the way in which parties work and their dynamic and need for balance.

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Why is this the game that I'm *most* looking forward to at the moment? I hated FFVII, thought IX and X were okay, loved FF: TA, and think Vagrant Story's a bit of a curate's egg. But I've got a feeling in my bones that FFXII is going to be the best thing ever.

*shrug*

You're not dead inside anymore?

:ph34r:

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Thanks for that...

any idea what 'Time Magic' could be? (Surely more than just Slow/Haste to deserve its' own place in the magic menu? :ph34r: )

Time magic used to have it's own category in the older titles. I think it usually covers a whole bunch of 'status' based magics, like safe, shell, etc. It also had some of the cooler 'ultimate' spells, like X-zone, comet, meteor..

GEE-EEK!

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