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Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (PS4) Review

July 20, 2017 | Posted by Adam Larck
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Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (PS4) Review  

Final Fantasy XII is an oddity, even by the standards of the Square Enix series.

Where most of the series are one-off titles, XII actually had ties to an earlier entry, Final Fantasy Tactics, due to the shared location. Plus, while main entries were mainly turned based fares, XII felt more like a MMO with its real-time combat system. Honestly, it feels more akin to Xenoblade Chronicles now, and is the same direction that FFXV recently took as well.

However, a few new additions for North American gamers over the PlayStation 2 version, including a fresh HD upgrade, make this the best version to check out.

First off, The Zodiac Age brings over one of the biggest improvements from the 2007 Japan-only release: Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System. That’s the titular job system. Originally, FFXII let players earn License Points to put in a License Board, granting them new active and passive abilities, similar to FFX’s Sphere Grid. What became an issue, though, is that everyone could learn everything, meaning you could just maximize a group with the exact same abilities and steamroll through the game after grinding.

Now, there are 12 different job classes you have to assign to your team. Each character can pick up to two jobs early on in the quest, meaning you can have a White Mage who can also pickpocket, or a Samurai launching fireballs across the battlefield. This makes each teammate have a lot more meaning during the heat of battle.

Gambits also return to help speed up battles. Gambits, for those that don’t remember, are commands for the team to follow during combat, such as “Cast Cure if below 50% Health,” “Silence Enemies at the Beginning of Fight” and more. These are great for weaker fights and for grinding, but can easily be turned off during boss fights to take control.

The Gambit system goes hand in hand with the new fast-forward fuction, mapped to L1. By hitting the button, you can speed the game up either 2X or 4X to have your team zoom across the desert or forest on their way to the next quest or town. Plus, it really helps to speed up trivial fights to get more loot to sell.

Believe me, you’ll need plenty of items to sell. You’ll quickly notice that few enemies drop gil after battles. Instead, they give items you have to sell to make gil to buy weapons, items, armor, spells and Gambit parameters. You’ll need a lot of items to get good gil, so get ready for that grind.

It is worth noting that you can earn money through bounty hunts as well, but you’ll need plenty of both to get the most purchasing power. Thankfully, while there are inns in the game, hitting save crystals will also replenish your health, meaning you don’t have to waste precious gil just for a quick heal.

Graphically, the game still looks great, especially with the HD fresh coat of paint. Sure, you may see some areas a lot, but they look beautiful each time you do.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Overall, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age is an impressive remake for the entry. Instead of taking the easy way out with an HD upscale, Square Enix gave the title the extra polish and features it needed to be a great title. If you missed this the first time, don’t miss out again.

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Final Fantasy XII, Adam Larck