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Dyne

Final Fantasy XII

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:( that's a bummer, man

Also, you must realize that to whine is I-n-j-i-n's nature. That can be the only explanation for why he must do so in every post.

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It's not whining since it's a genuine opinion I have of the game.

Also, FFT, Vagrant Story, FFTA and now, FFXII's backstories are always the same damn thing. It was like that since the Tactics Ogre days where the back story was the most generic medieval political situation one can dream of.

Just putting in airships and magic won't make what is otherwise a bland backstory into something worth arguing about.

As for FFXII's story, you don't need much of a brain to realize that the entire story is incredibly transparent and nothing is left to the imagination or are ambiguous at all. That's what made a lot of FF games (which is just about all FF games after FF4) into something worth talking about in terms of plot and back story. No such thing with FFXII except for the cute little references in the other similar games in its sub-development team which ultimately means nothing in relevance to the plot.

Care to point out just what exactly is whiny about all that? So saying that a plot is bland is "whining", now? I just think it's a matter of fact really. I couldn't care less about most plots in RPGs to begin with. Except FF games recently had a history of emotionally driven, ambiguous plots that actually were worth discussing to a point. Even the Dragonball Z inspired FF9 plot.

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I'm still trying to unerstand what about the plot seems so "bland" and "transparent" to you. Since you seem to be one of the only ones here who holds that opinion, you may have to give us a bit more explanation.

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This game has eaten an almost embarassing amount of my free time over the past 2 weeks. I could go as far as to say this is the game that's almost singlehandedly renewed my interest in console RPG's, though I don't expect much else to hold my nonexistant attention span like this game is. To be honest the battle system almost reminds me of the days I endured FFXI minus the slow gameplay and guys playing hot cat girl ninjas, even down to wandering around and finding a random monster with a name who outlevels everything in the area (including you) and chases you halfway across the zone. I actually had a MMO moment while taking the first rank IV mark (the ring wyrm).

"Yeah, I can take that. Lemme buff up first then we bust that ass. Alright let's do this...wait, that spell ends in "aga"...OH SHIT, THAT HURT. RUN."

I can't really complain about the story so far though. I can't say it's groundbreaking but it's at the very least interesting and gives me a reason to play through the game other than the sheer joy of beating things to the ground. Personally I think part of the appeal of the game is the whole medieval theme they've adopted. I'm also extremly happy to see a good game that isn't based on some sappy love story between two young, overly-emotional main characters that spend half the game bitching and crying on each other's shoulder. But then again I haven't finished it yet, so there's still room for suprise I guess.

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I think when all is said and done, FFXII is going to ruin other RPGs for me. Also, it is going to be sad when they (most likely) step backwards in terms of gameplay in the next installment.

Also I like Fran's ass, and her voice actress is durn pretty too, imo.

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Goddammit. I spent like two hours killing ridiculous monsters in the super-hard area that I'm not supposed to be in yet, and then this weaksauce horse with 99,999 HP that can teleport and won't stop following you even if you zone comes and kills EVERYONE. Basch lost four levels and I lost a crapton of really rare-sounding lewtz :/

To this I can only say one thing: LEVEL UP BEFORE YOU ENTER THE GARAMSYTHE WATERWAY.

I mean really dude. You can't expect this to be like FFVII in that the monsters don't adjust level, or their AI is the equivallent of Jack Thompson on crack.

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I think when all is said and done' date=' FFXII is going to ruin other RPGs for me. Also, it is going to be sad when they (most likely) step backwards in terms of gameplay in the next installment.

Also I like Fran's ass, and her voice actress is durn pretty too, imo.

I'm amazed at your lack of tact when it comes down to having a critical eye. As for Fran, they could have made her Viera segment a bit more involving and lengthier. You are done with that small area then it's all over with. Same with the Nu Mou area. Actually, story segments since FFX has usually been very curt and short.

No room to improve? But there's a lot of small design issues like I've pointed out earlier. As for the story, I can see how people can like it the way it is. But it certainly wouldn't hurt if they can take a less beaten road there (so this is about 'ambiguous story' versus 'straightforward' story? Do we even have to start being combative about FFXII too? What's the point?). The gameplay alone is great, but I don't think it's a matter of being 'OMG BEST EVUR' and not being able to top it. Actually, most FF games can be seen in their own merit.

I'm also extremly happy to see a good game that isn't based on some sappy love story between two young, overly-emotional main characters that spend half the game bitching and crying on each other's shoulder. But then again I haven't finished it yet, so there's still room for suprise I guess.

I've been to about five forums regarding FFXII and you know what? I keep hearing that line every single time. "overly emotional"? I guess you mean any story that has any emotion at all which automatically relegates them to 'EMO' status.

Imagine if FF6 came out nowadays. Everybody would probably jump on it and call it emo since the characters have existential angst and have personal problems. I don't see what's so bad about either type of storytelling. The thing with FFXII's story is that the core story aspect is just thin. It's there, but the characters just drift along with the story in a FF1 style fashion. It's not bad, but it's not engaging to me. And I play the game only for the gameplay and not the plot, which seriously puts me to sleep.

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I've experienced a bit of the game at a friend's house, and I'm not massively impressed. A major beef I've had with just about every RPG that has come out after FF7 is that their primary emphasis seems to be on the story, with the gameplay consisting exclusively of a string of battles utilizing a system which simply can not hold up for 50+ hours. Even when a game has a "good" story relative to other games, it's never that great on an absolute scale, and I often feel like the ambitions of the writers are grossly out of line with their actual talents.

"That's what RPGs have always been," you might reasonably reply. Fair enough; however, older RPGs weren't as long, and their battle systems held up well enough for 20+ hours. Plus the battles often felt more streamlined and enjoyable, whereas these days they often seem a little over-animated and clunky (which seems cool at first, but starts to drag on one's patience after a while). Plus they didn't beat you over the head quite so much with their story.

Most importantly, I thought I saw a faint glimmer of hope for the future of RPGs in FF7. The motorcycle chase scene led me to believe that there was going to be an upcoming revolution in the genre: RPGs where you do more than just commit monster genocide in a repetitive battle system, RPGs that incorporate a variety of gameplay styles, thus becoming more like their namesake and less like Vaguely Interactive Anime Simulation Games.

Sneak into the enemy base using a stealth system! Bribe your way past the guards using the negotiation system! Escape using the vehicle system! I don't know, it just seems like we should have moved past the point where an RPG is really nothing but a battle system. And no, cooking systems in games like Tales of Symphonia don't count. Western RPGs tend to go in this direction a bit more, but they tend to do it in sort of a bland way. I think if JRPGs tried to take this approach, they could do it with a lot more flare and style.

Regardless, all of the developers seem to have seized on the flashy cutscenes and big story as the aspects that made FF7 "good," and relentlessly copied those elements rather than trying to build on at least what I think were its more important contributions. FF7 felt like the next small step in a natural evolutionary process; everything after it has felt like grotesquely exaggerated bastard clones produced in a laboratory.

I think FFXII definitely deserves credit for trying to do something new with the battle system. But I think the best direction to take in the movement away from the oldschool "menu selection" system is either a full-on turn-based strategic system (something like FFT), or a straight-up realtime action system (Secret of Mana). This sort of hybrid MMORPG thing just doesn't work for me.

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I have to let off a little steam because the game has thrown me a curveball at about 20 hours. Without spoiling anything my party has just made it back to Rabanastre after what happened to the Leviathian Dreadnaught for those keeping score at home.

The story is getting so damn complex, I'm finding it very difficult to follow where is where and who is who. They all talk in old english and the names all blend together. They talk of nations that used to exist and counsels and organizations and governments so seemlessly that it just gets all mixed together. I understood the war aspect, but now with Ashe telling everyone about these stones and her family... I'm having a hard time following. I'm still not really sure what I'm going to do next, I just know the map tells me to go there.

Also, maybe it's just me but damned if I can't get any serious gil without spending hours on hunts and battling. I mean I literally went on a 120 combo run just so I could feel content with my wallet for a few hours, but it turns out I couldn't even afford decent armor for everyone with the chicken feed I made killing all those midget Star Wars guys. There's too much to buy! Just making sure I'm stocked on my items breaks my bank if I don't go earn more. Hunts are getting old quick and I'm already sick of the battle system. Gambits didn't turn out as nice as I had hoped for, it just seems like I don't get rewarded enough for the effort I put in. Oh well.

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I'm amazed at your lack of tact when it comes down to having a critical eye.

I don't know what you're trying to say here. I don't have any problems with the story or how it has been presented so far, and I enjoy the whole textbook history they have come up with for Ivalice. I actually find it very interesting, and that is what I was trying to express.

I like political intigue. I like that the plot focuses more on the poltical "why" than the mystical "how," and it just kind of irks me to see people complaining about that aspect when there are literally thousands of other RPGs available that pander to the demographic who likes those stories.

Also, you constantly compare the story to something out of FF or FFII which simply isn't the case. The "bring down the Empire" premise may be old hat but it is presented here in a way that to my knowledge has never been done before.

No room to improve? But there's a lot of small design issues like I've pointed out earlier.

I never said that there was no room for improvement, what I said was that most likely they are going to do away with a lot of the innovations that FFXII brought to the table in an effort to play it safe and pacify the thousands of whiners complaining how it "isn't a real Final Fantasy" because there is no battle music/random battles/turn-based battles/job system.

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Regardless, all of the developers seem to have seized on the flashy cutscenes and big story as the aspects that made FF7 "good," and relentlessly copied those elements rather than trying to build on at least what I think were its more important contributions. FF7 felt like the next small step in a natural evolutionary process; everything after it has felt like grotesquely exaggerated bastard clones produced in a laboratory.

I agree. FF7 was good in its own right, but the hype surrounding it led to all that. What people keep forgetting was how FF7 probably had some of the most involving character-centric moments of its time that made it stand out. Not only because of the flashiness and the theatrical aspects of it.

I think FFXII definitely deserves credit for trying to do something new with the battle system. But I think the best direction to take in the movement away from the oldschool "menu selection" system is either a full-on turn-based strategic system (something like FFT), or a straight-up realtime action system (Secret of Mana). This sort of hybrid MMORPG thing just doesn't work for me.

I believe they tried to implement a strategic placement for FFXII, but that idea apparently failed since they couldn't figure out how to implement it. I'm guessing it may be because each battle could take 30 minutes like it was in FFT.

I like political intigue. I like that the plot focuses more on the poltical "why" than the mystical "how' date='" and it just kind of irks me to see people complaining about that aspect when there are literally thousands of other RPGs available that pander to the demographic who likes those stories. [/quote']

I'm not sure I'm really complaining because of that aspect. The world is very nicely set up and the history and everything is fine. The plot is linear but serviceable I suppose. What gets me is how the characters get just about zero attention and most of the dialog is just completely straightforward and they are bunched up in the beginning and the end. I just didn't think they really cared to flesh out the characters at all or make them stand out in the midst of the story. I'm just thinking it wouldn't have killed them to do more. A lot of reviews have pointed out that Vaan just seemed to go for the ride instead of being a true character and I'm merely agreeing with that assessment. In the history of great FF characters, the ones in FFXII are just forgettable for me. People keep talking about how sexy Fran or cool Balthier is, but that's usually because of their character design and the small quips of dialog that ultimately means little. Even Cloud in FF7 had a ton of meaningful dialog. Locke in FF6 had entire hours worth of story to himself. I'd even say that Laguna of FF8 had way more attention given to him than anyone in FF12. I'm just wondering why that isn't the case with the new game (maybe even including FFX, which was pretty skimpy with the story and dialog just the same. But at least it had way more character-centric moments than FFXII did).

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I'm pissed. This game has been nothing but disappointment. I'll give Square one thing, the battle system isn't nearly as shitty as I thought it would be. In fact, I think it's kind of fun... Well I did for a while. I've been playing for 30+ hours and I'm losing my tolerance for bullshit... Specifically the story.

Vaan is- Wait is it Vann or Vaan? Fuck it. Minivan. At this point, Minivan is a twat with no purpose other than to stand around like an ass. Does he have any motivation at all in this story? I'm still hoping that he'll generate some valuable input before the story is over, but I'm starting to doubt it.

Penelo is useless and annoying. Why aren't they fleshing out her relationship with Minivan during cutscenes? Hell, I don't even remember the last time she had dialog in a cutscene. Again, I hope she generates more valuable input before the game ends.

Balthier is great. Pirates with guns are always good. And I like he feels like a nod towards Jack Sparrow, and Johnny Depp is a god damn fox. Hell I'd fuck him. And that means a lot because I'm a homophobic bigot, but I digress. Balthier's probably my favorite character so far because he's more interesting than the others. He's mysterious yet charismatic... He's a pirate. Whatever, I like him.

Fran is... Feh. I don't despise her character but I wish she had a bit more of a purpose besides magic person.

"Look guys! Strange unexplainable shit is occurring! Fran what's up with that!"

Fran: "Magic."

"Oh. Okay."

Still, her background is becoming more interesting. I get the impression that I'm going to find out more about her past as well as her relationship with Balthier soon. I cross my fingers.

Basche is alright. I mean, he's cool and stuff. His input into the storyline is important, and I'm sure I'm going to find out more before the game is done. No real complaints about him.

Ashe is also a feh character. I like her and I hate her. I don't have any valid reason to dislike her. She is helping to progress the story along. I dunno, maybe because she's stubborn at times. Or maybe because she's almost hogging the spotlight as far as relevance to the story. This could just my imagination or because of how far I am in the game.

The story also feels like it's trying too hard to be epic. Or maybe it is epic, and I'm just oblivious to it. If anything, it's tedious.

"Alright guys, we need to find this thing. It's very far away in a dungeon that is rather long."

Stuff happens.

"Alright guys, now we need to find another thing. It is also very far away."

Stuff happens.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

I'm a goddamn errand boy and I'm getting sick of it. Again, it could just be that I'm not that far in the story, but it's still annoying. I liked FF7 and FF6 because I felt like I was doing something worthwhile.

"Shinra sucks, we gotta stop them. Who's Sephiroth? Oh, an asshole. Let's fuck him up. Shit, Sephiroth is trying to destroy the world. We gotta stop him. Wow, Sephiroth is always one step ahead of us. What's up with that? Damn, Sephiroth played us like a bitch. Damn, Aeris died. This shit's going downhill. Damn, Cloud, you fucked in the head. Damn, Sephiroth is gonna destroy the world. Damn, we got personal shit to sort out and we still gotta deal with Shinra. Alright, let's go fuck up Sephiroth. Sweet. He's been fucked up. Sweet, an ambiguous ending and a deus ex machina at the same time. Let's watch Advent Children. Wow that was pretty but also pointless."

I'm gonna go play more FFXII until then, I won't give a final verdict on the game. But as of right now, it's not looking good.

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I'm pissed. This game has been nothing but disappointment. I'll give Square one thing, the battle system isn't nearly as shitty as I thought it would be. In fact, I think it's kind of fun... Well I did for a while. I've been playing for 30+ hours and I'm losing my tolerance for bullshit... Specifically the story.

Vaan is- Wait is it Vann or Vaan? Fuck it. Minivan. At this point, Minivan is a twat with no purpose other than to stand around like an ass. Does he have any motivation at all in this story? I'm still hoping that he'll generate some valuable input before the story is over, but I'm starting to doubt it.

Penelo is useless and annoying. Why aren't they fleshing out her relationship with Minivan during cutscenes? Hell, I don't even remember the last time she had dialog in a cutscene. Again, I hope she generates more valuable input before the game ends.

Balthier is great. Pirates with guns are always good. He feels like a nod towards Jack Sparrow, and Johnny Depp is a god damn fox. Hell I'd fuck him. And that means a lot because I'm a homophobic bigot, but I digress. Balthier's probably my favorite character so far because he's more interesting than the others. He's mysterious yet charismatic... He's a pirate. Whatever, I like him.

Fran is... Feh. I don't despise her character but I wish she had a bit more of a purpose besides magic person.

"Look guys! Strange unexplainable shit is occurring! Fran what's up with that!"

Fran: "Magic."

"Oh. Okay."

Still, her background is becoming more interesting. I get the impression that I'm going to find out more about her past as well as her relationship with Balthier soon. I cross my fingers.

Basche is alright. I mean, he's cool and stuff. His input into the storyline is important, and I'm sure I'm going to find out more before the game is done. No real complaints about him.

Ashe is also a feh character. I like her and I hate her. I don't have any valid reason to dislike her. She is helping to progress the story along. I dunno, maybe because she's stubborn at times. Or maybe because she's almost hogging the spotlight as far as relevance to the story. This could just my imagination or because of how far I am in the game.

The story also feels like it's trying too hard to be epic. Or maybe it is epic, and I'm just oblivious to it. If anything, it's tedious.

"Alright guys, we need to find this thing. It's very far away in a dungeon that is rather long."

Stuff happens.

"Alright guys, now we need to find another thing. It is also very far away."

Stuff happens.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

I'm a goddamn errand boy and I'm getting sick of it. Again, it could just be that I'm not that far in the story, but it's still annoying. I liked FF7 and FF6 because I felt like I was doing something worthwhile.

"Shinra sucks, we gotta stop them. Who's Sephiroth? Oh, an asshole. Let's fuck him up. Shit, Sephiroth is trying to destroy the world. We gotta stop him. Wow, Sephiroth is always one step ahead of us. What's up with that? Damn, Sephiroth played us like a bitch. Damn, Aeris died. This shit's going downhill. Damn, Cloud, you fucked in the head. Damn, Sephiroth is gonna destroy the world. Damn, we got personal shit to sort out and we still gotta deal with Shinra. Alright, let's go fuck up Sephiroth. Sweet. He's been fucked up. Sweet, an ambiguous ending and a deus ex machina at the same time. Let's watch Advent Children. Wow, that was pretty but also very pointless."

I'm gonna go play more FFXII until then, I won't give a final verdict on the game. But as of right now, it's not looking good.

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^^ I'm only about 7 hour into the game, but so far I have to agree with you. Although the world surrounding these character is very well done, the individual character development is poor. I have yet to figure out exactly what the motivations are for "minivan" are as he just seems to tag along with Balthier, and I'm not even sure why Balthier even lets him do that.

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Huh...

Okay, I here goes an actual serious review from me:

Gameplay: 8/10 - This would be a ten, if I didn't find myself wishing there were such a thing as "sprint shoes" later in the game. Sometimes walking the same area ten times at the same constant speed can irk you. And you revisit some areas 4-5 times throughout the game. And I hardly ever used a chocobo. The battle system is really f%#king great. I actually enjoyed some battles where I knew that if I had the right gambits on, I could just walk away for a minute, get something to drink, and come back. Other times I had to be so involved in a battle that if I took less than a split second to do shit, my party would be pretty much wiped (I hunted marks a little too high level) Also, this game on "active" as opposed to "wait" actually means something.

Sound: 8/10 - Yeah there were some good sounds, but nothing really great.

Music: 7.5/10 - Okay, sometimes I want to say the music is great, but really, the guy has a tendency to focus on the most annoying parts of his songs in order to bring out the better parts, (a good example of this would be the lowtown theme) which he just lets go and moves on to the next whatever the hell it is he is trying to accomplish with his music. He's no doubt talented, and after hearing a theme about 20 times or so, I do acknowledge that they get stuck in my head and sometimes are catchy after a while - or won't go away (whichever), and sometimes I really enjoy the music. I also do respect that he went for an entirely authentic orchestrated soundtrack, I didn't hear any instruments outside of the symphonic spectrum that I know of... I don't think the guy had to do that, but I guess I respect it. As for comparing the music to Nobuo Uematsu's...There just isn't a comparison...As different and somewhat refreshing the music of FFXII is, I'd still take the soundtracks to IV, VI, and VII any day of the week. It's really love/hate with me - I sometimes really want a more melodic feel, and the score itself could use a little more thematic progression from song to song...It was done a couple times, but I probably would have liked it better if could I sometimes associate a character or story progression with a certain "main" theme at least to bind it all together.

Story: 7.5/10 - It's very subdued...But in a way, I appreciated some of it, the characters aren't always telling us exactly what they think about everything...But I think we know anyway, or get the feeling that they are just as "swept up" as we are. It does slow down in the middle, and I wondered what the hell Vaan was even doing there.

Addictiveness: 10/10 - I couldn't stop playing for a week or so, and not just because I was hoping things would be better in the story, but because the gameplay is actually fun.

Character Designs: 9/10 - Aside from Vaan's S&M vest, I really liked what they did...I even sort of liked Fran's ...bunny ears...(you thought I was going to say her ass hanging out)

Voice Acting: 10/10 - Really awesome, I especially liked Larsa and Fran.

Dialogue: 10/10 - Some of the dialogue in this game is actually way above par. I didn't expect the maturity of it. It wasn't cliche and it wasn't overdramatic, but it still meant something, when something had to be said.

So overall I'd say around an 8/10 give or take.

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I'm trying to identify what elements of the FFXII plot are different from the FF norm. Something about the story seems much bigger than just the characters. The world of Ivalice is writhing in political chaos and the team is bunch of individuals swept into the fray. They band together and struggle to prevent their world from tearing itself apart.

Beacause the central conflict of the story isn't wrapped around a single character's thoughts, emotions or history, the plot feels much more grandiose in scale. However, we do miss out on some of the emotional, character-driven themes that formed the foundation of previous Final Fantasies. That's not to say the characters aren't interesting. Fran and Balthier alone are two of the most interesting characters to come out of FF in years. But because the story doesn't seem to focus too closely on any one character in the cast, certain elements of that classic FF storytelling style do seem to be missing. I'm not sure that it's a good or bad thing. But I'm glad to see Square-Enix mix up the storytelling formula for once.

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I think that Final Fantasie's popularity is both a blessing and a curse. The obvios curse part would be that its set to such high standards and is scrutinized by fans who have by now played well over 200 or 300 hours of this series. Its impossible to please everyone, However, I think its a blessing also because Squenix knows for a fact that it will sell. People will buy it, so Squenix can take risks like trying out a new battle system and even if people dont like it, they'll still make a profit, which gives them the ability to make a sequal to try to improve upon the past instalments faults.

I dont know how well that was explained, but I for one am glad that they are trying new things with this game, just like they've been doing for the entire series.

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I'm, like, completely lost on how to use Quickenings. I have one called Tides of Fire or something that I haven't been able to use effectively, and I recently got another for Ashe which I can't remember the name of. I don't know how to "execute" either of them aside from picking them in the menu and crossing my fingers. Does anyone know of an explaination on how to use these? The instruction manual left me with more questions than answers.

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I'm, like, completely lost on how to use Quickenings. I have one called Tides of Fire or something that I haven't been able to use effectively, and I recently got another for Ashe which I can't remember the name of. I don't know how to "execute" either of them aside from picking them in the menu and crossing my fingers. Does anyone know of an explaination on how to use these? The instruction manual left me with more questions than answers.

M'kay, to paraphrase my brother on this:

When you select a quickening, a little menu with three options and a white line appear on the bottom. The line is essentially your timer, which is 4 seconds.

Sometimes, there won't be any options when you start; rapidly refresh the menu with L2/R2 until something comes up. Then, press the appropriate button and bam, an attack.

The screen will then switch to whoever has any available Mist, continuing from the original 4-second timer. Sometimes, a Mist Charge will appear--hit that immediately, as that refreshed both the timer and mist charges. It is possible to keep connecting with a Quickening through a bit of luck and timing, but the timer itself keeps getting faster with little to no pauses in it.

Thats the short of it, anyway.

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However, we do miss out on some of the emotional, character-driven themes that formed the foundation of previous Final Fantasies. That's not to say the characters aren't interesting. Fran and Balthier alone are two of the most interesting characters to come out of FF in years. But because the story doesn't seem to focus too closely on any one character in the cast, certain elements of that classic FF storytelling style do seem to be missing. I'm not sure that it's a good or bad thing. But I'm glad to see Square-Enix mix up the storytelling formula for once.

Bad thing. Because FF games have built up that reputation for more than a decade since FF6. Then again, FFXIII (13) will be in the hands of Nomura again, and I have the feeling that he'll probably focus on the character development again. Hopefully it won't be as crazy and weird as the ones in Kingdom Hearts though.

And I say this again. When people say that such and such FFXII character is interesting, I only hear about their small witty quips or how they're dressed. That's not true characterization. I know JRPGs aren't supposed to be novels, but if you want an example of a straightforward RPG with great characters, you can try Dragon Quest 8.

think that Final Fantasie's popularity is both a blessing and a curse. The obvios curse part would be that its set to such high standards and is scrutinized by fans who have by now played well over 200 or 300 hours of this series. Its impossible to please everyone, However, I think its a blessing also because Squenix knows for a fact that it will sell. People will buy it, so Squenix can take risks like trying out a new battle system and even if people dont like it, they'll still make a profit, which gives them the ability to make a sequal to try to improve upon the past instalments faults.

I am pretty sure that the plot is easily the biggest complaint that a lot of FF fans apparently have with FFXII. Can't complain about the gameplay too much even though the battle system feels so exploitable at times, especially with status effects that work like magic (pun) against even the toughest bosses. But that's typical of Yasumi Matsuno games. Pretty solid game play but with the exploitation factor.

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I'm, like, completely lost on how to use Quickenings. I have one called Tides of Fire or something that I haven't been able to use effectively, and I recently got another for Ashe which I can't remember the name of. I don't know how to "execute" either of them aside from picking them in the menu and crossing my fingers. Does anyone know of an explaination on how to use these? The instruction manual left me with more questions than answers.

Check the thread in Unmod, Syl has posted a really thorough explanation of the system.

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And I say this again. When people say that such and such FFXII character is interesting, I only hear about their small witty quips or how they're dressed. That's not true characterization. I know JRPGs aren't supposed to be novels, but if you want an example of a straightforward RPG with great characters, you can try Dragon Quest 8.

Just because the characters don't have "true characterization" doesn't mean a character can't be interesting or cool or likeable. Most of the cast of FFVIII were more developed than the characters in FFXII, but they certainly bored me to tears.

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