mark cerqueira well-rounded nerd

Closing Thoughts on Final Fantasy XII

NieR Automata is ordered and on its way, so now seems like a perfect time for some closing thoughts on Final Fantasy XII. FF12 was a good game with a fresh twist on battle mechanics with the Gambit system, but ultimately the story just didn’t resonate with me. It was too cold as the presentation of every single character failed to move me in any big way. There were glimmers of hope with Balthier who is more than just a sky pirate playboy and Larsa who is more than the meek son of the power-hungry emperor. But even the best of the lackluster cast of characters ultimately fell flat.

FF10 pulled off Tidus as a deuteragonist ridiculously well. We saw the story through his eyes, but the journey he went on was not focused on him. FF12 seemed to be a competition between Ashe and Balthier for the top protagonist spot with Vann annoyingly butting in every now and then to tell us about he had grown as a person. And in this competition there were only losers. There was no struggle; we knew Ashe was ultimately going to choose to not use the nethicite to destroy her enemies. Venat and the Occuria showed some potential for invigorating the very politics-heavy story with some fantasy and otherwordly elements, but ultimately failed to deliver anything satisfying.

All in all, FF12 is a good game. As the remasters started rolling for FF10 and FF12 there is a reason I recalled the story of FF10 before starting the game but struggled to recall the plot of FF12. FF12 just wan’t memorable and it didn’t make me care back then and it didn’t make me care on my most recent playthrough.