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Why You Shouldn't Overlook Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

My uncle purchased me Ultimate Myth XII for my birthday in 2006. At 10 years outdated, a large number of the struggle mechanics and branching plotlines have been complicated. Regardless, I used to be enamored with the sport’s vibrancy: I in particular recall marveling at hair and clothes fluttering in barren region winds in addition to azure sparks flashing from clanging swords and shields. To at the moment, it stays my favourite Ultimate Myth.

The sport at the beginning launched as a PlayStation 2 unique, however within the closing two years, a remaster known as, Ultimate Myth XII: The Zodiac Age has introduced on PlayStation four and PC with efficiency improvements, deeper process customization, and more than a few quality-of-life adjustments. Now, Sq. Enix is in spite of everything liberating the remaster on Xbox One and Transfer on the finish of the month. When you’ve by no means skilled Ultimate Myth XII, that is why you must leap on the probability now.

 

The Solid 

Like maximum installments in Sq. Enix’s liked sequence, Ultimate Myth XII chronicles the lives of heroes emerging in opposition to a better opposed power. The place different entries hired moody, regularly unrelatable caricatures to power their plots ahead (that’s proper, I’m speaking about everybody’s favourite heroes, Cloud and Squall), Ultimate Myth XII is much less about person motivations and extra in regards to the sum of its ensemble portions.

Side road urchins Vaan and Penelo name the impoverished slums of Rabanastre house. Whilst Penelo makes an attempt to seek out silver linings of their plight, Vaan appears to be like to the sky with desires of proudly owning an airship and dwelling freely. After many probability encounters with shady folks, the 2 youths are flung into a global of political intrigue and clandestine coup d’états. Even so, they discover ways to in finding companionship in others: Ashe, a forsaken princess, Basch, an exiled soldier, and Balthier and Fran, sought after bounty hunters. 

Regardless of their oddball combine, every member of Ultimate Myth XII’s major forged stocks identical insecurities – cowardice, loneliness, unresolved grief, and doubts of self worth. Vaan and his ragtag group of outcasts stay one of the crucial biggest characters in Ultimate Myth lore as a result of they’re really easy to root for. Regardless of suffering with private shortcomings, they regularly learn to defy destiny. 

 

The International

Like Ultimate Myth Ways and Vagrant Tale, Ultimate Myth XII’s narrative takes position within the Kingdom of Ivalice. Many of the continent is full of the unexplored ruins of historical dynasties. But if your celebration isn’t traversing each labyrinthine castle checkered right through the expansive backdrop, you’re navigating breathtaking metropolises and townships. As Vaan, you get started inside the cluttered cityscape of Rabanastre, full of numerous districts together with bazaars and palaces. However past the hole hours, avid gamers uncover greater spaces with more and more unique fauna together with waterways with flaming stallions, badlands with roaming tyrannosaurs, and misty jungles with inexperienced chocobos. 

Each and every environment in Ultimate Myth XII is aesthetically distinctive and teeming with secrets and techniques. Some spaces, just like the Skycity of Bhujerba, can handiest be reached by way of airship; that’s so simple as buying a one-way price tag. Different places will have to be came upon on foot, however hubs are small-scale and (in some instances) linear, that means that traversal is inconspicuous. What’s extra, Ivalice homes more than a few ethnic teams. As an example, Fran, together with her rabbit-like ears and seven-foot stature, is a Viera who hails from Eruyt Village. Different races just like the Nu Mou – bipedal dogs – are spiritual nomads. Regardless of being a cultural melting pot, Ivalice’s racial tensions make intermingling more and more tough. To look this negativity mirrored in the way in which strangers react to Fran (and the remainder of your human celebration for even associating together with her), makes the sport international really feel natural and lived-in. 

 

The Combat Machine

Lovers of conventional in addition to fashionable Sq. Enix RPGs will in finding that Ultimate Myth XII shows a wholesome mixture of turn-based and real-time struggle: ATB gauges (or cooldowns) from older video games make a welcome go back, including an urgency to assault enter and celebration positioning. And a dynamic digital camera with real-time motion makes battles really feel intuitive and streamlined. 

Quite than unlocking nodes on a static talent tree, development in Ultimate Myth XII is an immersive minigame. Upgrades are recorded thru process licenses – areas on a sprawling checkered board that liberate ultimates, weapon and armor units, and stat augmentations. Those licenses correlate with assigned jobs (or categories). Each and every process has its personal board, however some might percentage licenses that, when bought, overlap. As an example, my Balthier is a White Mage and Machinist. Each process forums have “swiftness” licenses which reduce cooldown timers. Through purchasing one swiftness node at the White Mage board, I will get admission to adjoining talents at the Machinist board. 

Gamers could make a plethora of process combos to stack overlapping talents and take down the sport’s maximum fearsome bosses. With the additional advantage of “gambits” – a customizable command device that techniques characters to accomplish essential movements like therapeutic low HP allies or attacking specified objectives – battles change into relaxingly computerized, taking away the desire for irritating micromanagement. 


My favourite RPGs all the time center of attention on what issues maximum: character-driven tales with colourful places and a laugh, fascinating gameplay. In 2006, Ultimate Myth XII met the ones requirements and it is still considered one of my fondest gaming reviews. The Zodiac Age expanded upon on the entire options that made the unique nice. And now that it’ll be to be had to each console participant in a couple of weeks, I will’t lend a hand however be excited to dive into its international as soon as once more. When you love intuitive gameplay in addition to the age-old “Ultimate Myth formulation” finished proper – an eccentric forged of relatable characters, an epic-scale odyssey, and grand boss fights – then Ultimate Myth XII is for you!


The Zodiac Age launches for Xbox One and Transfer on April 30. When you’re interested by the remaster too, watch our video detailing 4 issues you want to grasp in regards to the recreation in preparation for its re-release.

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