Sunday, November 12, 2006

FF XII - The Saga Continues - and more Movies and Anime

I got this week my pre-ordered copy of Final Fantasy XII for the Playstation 2. I was eager to have a look at it, but I was kept busy all day that I could not check it out before this weekend. It has been 3 years since the last "real" FF Title, which I consider to be Final Fantasy X-2 (no FF XI was bunk).

The game has Gorgeous CG cinematics and cut-scenes in Dolby Pro Logic II combined with real-time graphics which is rivaling those of next-generation titles. I have a hard time to imagine how future FF titles on the PS3 are going to look like.

The Semi Real Time Battle System introduced with FFX-2 was taken a step further by the new Active Dimension Battle (ADB) system which allows players to move seamlessly between exploration and combat mode.

It still uses the classic Gambit system to control your characters AI during battles.

The Plot Line:
Two years after the fall of Dalmasca, the citizens are without guidance and direction. In the capital city of Rabanastre, the denizens gather and await the introduction of Archadia's new consul. To Vaan, a young man living on the streets of Rabanastre, the Empire is a hated enemy who took the life of his brother, the only family he had left. In an effort to exact revenge, Vaan hatches a plot to break into the palace and steal from the occupying imperials. There, he gets more than he bargained for as he runs into Princess Ashe, the sole surviving heir to the Dalmascan throne. Together, the two will embark on an incredible journey through Ivalice, tracing the mysteries behind the Archadian Empire's invasion. The choices they make will determine the very fate of the world. License board gives the player the ability to customize each character's skills and abilities.

The semi-realtime battle system was introduced back in 2003 with Final Fantasy X-2 on the Playstation 2, the only true sequel to a FF title Square-Enix ever made. All other Final Fantasy titles are independent stories which confuses some people who rightfully ask "Why the Games are numbered I .. XII and imply to be a series with inter-connected story-line?".

I have no answer to that question. It can't be the style of the game either, because the great Squre-Enix Classic "Chrono Trigger" is just like a FF game, but is not part of the series. Chrono Trigger got me into playing the FF titles btw. which I find interesting.

I am not a big fan of it and still struggle with adapting to this way of fighting which is a lot different than the classic turn based battle mode that was a hallmark of the FF titles up to Final Fantasy X.

Final Fantasy X from 2001 was actually the first Final Fantasy title for the Playstation 2 with breath taking graphics and animation and the main reason why I decided to buy a Playstation 2 versus the more powerfull XBox.

It seems that the title was re-relased this fall since it is available new again (and not used or refurbished) at retailers like You should get a copy of it. It's darn cheap. The Game is great, but the voice-over of the english version is a bit cheesy IMO.

Square-Enix also entered the realm of Movie making, which did not really surprise me. Their awe-inspireing cut-scenes from the Video Games made it a logic step to enter the movie market IMO.

They released last year the movie: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
(See Trailer at

It was a great movie and I was surprised that it never made it to the big screen like in Asia, but was release directly on DVD only. They did the same in Europe.

I wrote a detailed Review of it on

Following the story of Cloud, the Hero of the PS1 Classic Final Fantasy VII (also available for PC) which is considered the FF series best game and also one of the best RPG Games of all times across all gaming platforms. Its hard to get a copy of it and I am lucky to own one myself.

Their first movie project was the title: Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within, which was released in 2001 (see the Trailer at

This one was released in the theatres, but poor advertised and "flopped". I missed it too and found out about it, when it was already on DVD.

It was a great movie and today a DVD Classic. I believe they made profit with the movie after all.

Thanks god, because I don't believe that they would have made Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children if they would have lost tens of millions of $$$ on the first one.

I also wrote a detailed review for Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within on if you are interested in learning more about it.

If you haven't seen any of the two Final Fantasy movies, go check them out. If you are a fan of the game series and haven't seen the movies yet, shame on you.

The Movies follow a great tradition of great japanese Anime movies which have cult-status in Japan and also gain more and more Fans outside Japan and countries like the United States.

A good example of a japanese Anime Movie that gained cult-status in the US and Europe as well was the Hayao Miyazaki's classic "Princess Mononoke" from 1997.
(see the trailer at

The Tagline of the Movie sounds epic:
The Fate Of The World Rests On The Courage Of One Warrior

Hehe.. great stuff. You should check that one out as well. Good family entertainment without any sex or gore and un-necessary violence. Just great story-telling.

I hope you liked my brief review and short trip back in time. The titles were all worth my time to play or look at and I believe that they would be worth your time as well. Enjoy!

Carsten aka Roy/SAC

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