can always count on Square Enix to introduce a new style of enjoying a Final
Fantasy title. Among all of those games, Final Fantasy XII felt like the
most ambitious, and frankly, not-so-well executed.
Fantasy XII was Square's attempt to bring out an MMORPG experience in the PlayStation 2 when it was first launched in 2006. You run around in massive maps, maps that
will take you at least half an hour to get from one point to the next without
doing battle. And of course, Square's infamous tradition of ultimate time
wasters - collecting materials to craft the finest weapons in the game which can
literally take days, or weeks, to complete, just like an MMORPG!
I know what this sounds like. That I'm not thrilled with the announcement of The Zodiac Age, FFXII's remastered version. I am actually excited and eager to take another crack at it. What I'm not looking forward to are the sponge-like enemies, collecting weapon materials, the stupid errands, and Vaan-yes, Vaan, the most boring FF character ever introduced. I understand that his role as an observer, to witness history unfold before him, which can explain why his role has been so downplayed-but that doesn't mean, we should get a boring character. Not to mention, voice acting in the game was terrible too-though we need to love the different accents, as it weaves together a much larger world.
But enough of all of that. This isn't the Chill Box where we discuss the flaws or perfections of the games from yesteryear. This is about The Zodiac Age damn it. And what is there to expect?
Polished HD graphics, of course. Besides Vaan's metal plated abs, we'll get a sharper look at Ashe's curves.
Re-recorded soundtrack. FFXII had an amazing orchestra pumping us up with adrenaline. However, they're ultimately forgettable no matter how enjoyable. The re-record means we get more clarity and a 7.1 sound, which will be a treat to audiophiles and enthusiasts.
Features from the International Version will be included in The Zodiac Age. This is primarily the licensing system. In the original version of the game, players are free to upgrade their characters and build them to whatever customized class. The only downside here, is if players felt their upgrade path wasn't their cup of tea, they would need to collect spent resources to explore other options in developing their characters. The International Version, however, allowed players to choose different licensing boards that each have different upgrade paths, thus, locking the character down to a specific class.
Nothing wrong with either system. The International Version is considered for the hardcore fans, or a form of "hard mode." I just hope when The Zodiac Age comes out, players are free to choose between each style at the beginning of the game.
Thus far that's all the information we got. We're getting an improved Gambit System, that's for certain. But other than that, we're getting the same game most of us played, loved or hated.