Many years ago, a friend thought he could get me into video games with SimFarm. Three sheep later, a tornado destroyed everything. What kind of fun is that? Since that day, my involvement in video or PC gaming has been strictly as an onlooker. But with this post, I embark on my new path as a video game reviewer. Yes, dear readers, this is the first video game review in the almost five year history of Flooded Lizard Kingdom.
Please note that I have not actually played Final Fantasy XII. This makes me more qualified to review it. I can be more objective because I haven’t spent countless hours getting my ass kicked by a giant turtle.
The Characters in Your Party
Lady Ashe is depressed because most of her skirt was destroyed in a tragic accident, and there’s only a tiny scrap left. Her late husband “Wrassler” would surely have bought her another one, but unfortunately he’s just a ghost now. Ashe’s battle cry is “I must endure.” Scholars believe this is a reference to her wedding day, when she was forced to wear two dead blue birds on her head.
Vaan has an extra vowel in his name in case of emergencies. He was the original blonde half of the 80’s pop duo Wham until that bastard George Michael stabbed him in the back. Here is Vaan in a scene from his next music video, “It Hurts To Be This Pretty.”
The Raver Girl wears her hair in pigtails. Her secret weapon is giving Ecstasy to all of your enemies so they’re too blissed out to fight. When she gets killed, she says “I can’t…” and falls down in a heap. A cute heap, though. With pigtails.
These two guys tried to make a living working at Renaissance Festivals, but couldn’t quite make the rent. They turned to product testing for hair gel companies to survive. The results aren’t pretty.
Next we have the the Bunny Rabbit Drag Queens. They come from a far-away land where everyone is a Bunny Rabbit Drag Queen.
The Bunny Rabbit Drag Queen in your party for Final Fantasy XII is named Fran. Fran looks like this:
Fran is cranky all the time because none of the other Bunny Rabbit Drag Queens like her any more. Or maybe it’s because her butt is cold from hanging out of that outfit.
Then there’s Reddas and his pants. Oh my!
The Final Fantasy XII takes place in a land with many wonderful destinations, like Rahamanahamana and Mt. Ong Bak and the Island of Go Vegan! and a few more whose names I can’t remember. The people who live in these places have developed a good system for social interactions. If they are willing to talk to you, a quote bubble appears over their head. This saves a lot of the rejection that can arise when you’re trying to chat up strangers.
The game uses music to set various moods. Early in the game, you hear “Heroically riding horses through the desert, about to crest dramatically at the top of a hill at dawn” and also the hit song “Heroically venturing into a dark cave, surely we’ll be attacked by something nasty.” Later, we hear “Waking up heroically to face a new day” and “Exploring a dark passage heroically.”
If you are not familiar with the game, I’ll tell you that it’s kind of a high fantasy world with big airships. However, the game does not always stick to its milieu. For example, Vaan’s battle cry is “How ’bout summa this?” This is hardly in keeping with this atmosphere of the game. I suspect Vaan is using these moments to brand himself with today’s youth in hopes of rekindling his music career.
Your party is supposedly trying to liberate the kingdom of Dalmasca from a neighboring kingdom that stomped it like a bug. However, about 12 minutes of effort is spent on this endeavor in the first bazillion hours of game play. Instead, your party runs around tackling different quests so they can steal tons of stuff from various creatures. I can only assume that all the loot is hidden in well-camouflaged supply vehicles because with the amount of shit they steal, they would otherwise need frame packs.
As you go, your entire team is transformed into zombies. They die, you revive them. They die, you revive them. After a while, you can’t even remember how many times they’ve died. Thank goodness these zombies don’t have the usual brain-eating hangup. That would get difficult.
In between all the bouts of fighting and looting, they spend their time in places that look like luxury resorts while selling off the spoils of war. The revolutionary life is a hard one. With all the money they make, one wonders if they couldn’t just buy back the damn kingdom already.
I assume that after the pack of looting zombies has worked their way through all the available quests, eventually you win back the kingdom… but SOMEONE hasn’t gotten that far yet, so I can’t say for sure.
Strengths of Final Fantasy XII
First, the Final Fantasy XII characters are way better than Kratos, the main character in God of War:
Who wants to be covered in the ashes of their dead wife and children? Ew.
Also, none of the characters in Final Fantasy XII seem to have the same inner-ear disorder that afflicts the God of War guy. You see those ropes up there? Those are for safety. For a bad-ass warrior, that guy has no balance at all. The Final Fantasy characters don’t seem to spend all their time falling off things. Even the Bunny Rabbit Drag Queen manages to stay on her 6 inch platforms, which is a gift given only to drag queens.
Final Fantasy also offers many opportunities for players to use real-world knowledge to overcome obstacles in the game. For example, just like in real life, the best way to win a big fight is as follows: get your friend really drunk, beat the crap out of them until they’re really angry, then point them at your enemy. In no time flat, you’ll all be singing kumbaya over the enemy’s charred corpse.
The best part about this game is that other people have already done all the work for you. If you get stuck, you can just ask your wife to google for instructions on winning any given fight.
Weaknesses of Final Fantasy XII
There are only two weaknesses that I can detect.
First, since you don’t ride horses, you run everywhere. It looks fucking exhausting. Except sometimes you ride a giant chicken, but how good could that be?
Second, the music is really annoying, becase it just. won’t. go. away. Although I have mixed feelings about God of War, I was surprised to find out that it actually had background music. This is the preferred behavior to provide protection for innocent bystanders who are trapped in a 625 square foot apartment with the game for days at a time.
Resemblance to Star Wars
There is absolutely none! I don’t know what you’re talking about. STOP SAYING THAT!
I give Final Fantasy XII about 8 stars out of 10.
I hope you have enjoyed this review and that it provides you with some assistance in planning for your future entertainment needs. I promise that when I am rich and famous due to my video game reviews, I won’t forget the little people.