The lights are on
Like any good gamer, I have a pile of games that I’ve always meant to complete and haven’t, but there’s one mark of shame that makes me wince every time I look at it: Final Fantasy XII.
I love JRPGs. Even today when we have so few worthwhile releases in that genre, I consider it one of my favorites. As a proponent of this dying subcategory of games, I’ve devoted hours upon hours of my life to the Final Fantasy series. I’ve seen nearly every mainline FF title through to its end. Except XII.
It’s not that I don’t like it -- quite the opposite, in fact. In terms of its battle mechanics, its huge and wonderfully designed world, its interesting characters, and its well-written, complex plot, Final Fantasy XII may be one of my favorite games in a series full of high-quality releases. So why do I keep getting stuck on actually finishing it?
I think there are several problems. For one, I kind of missed the boat as far as playing the game while it was hyped up and while everyone else was playing it. It’s always easier to drop a game when my friends and coworkers aren’t discussing it every day for a week or two straight. There’s also the sheer size of it. Between the massive, open zones and the huge number of bonus hunts to take on in between progressing the plot, I found myself frequently getting overwhelmed just thinking about FF XII.
Long-time GI.com readers will remember that back at the end of 2009, I made a New Year’s Resolution to play and finish more old games that I missed, beginning with Final Fantasy XII. I made strong progress in my weekend game-a-thon at the beginning of 2010, but pretty much immediately following that, my playthrough stopped.
When Dan pitched me on the idea of doing a Guinness marathon record attempt and suggested I tackle the Final Fantasy series, I knew what had to be done. I may have dropped the ball a year-and-a-half ago, but rather than starting over on FF XII for the fourth or fifth time, I’m going to pick up where I left off, around 15 hours in to the game. It’s going to be difficult and probably sloppy for the first couple hours, but I’m hoping to spend the 24-plus hours of the marathon making serious progress into this massive title.
Alright, maybe I won’t only play Final Fantasy XII. While I technically only need to last 24 hours to get my record, I’m planning to stick around as long as I can to support Jeff’s lengthy Grand Theft Auto attempt and to cement in my place. I’ve got a whole stack of Final Fantasy games from across the series’ history to jump between if I feel the need. I’m also considering beginning the marathon with a playthrough of Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest, the rather bad SNES spin-off of the series created specifically for players new to the RPG genre. Do you think that sounds like a good idea?
Whether I stick with FF XII or play bits and pieces across the series, there should be plenty of epic RPG goodness to keep me awake for 30 or 40 hours straight. Or so I hope. The world record attempt begins Saturday at 9 a.m. Central, and I hope you’ll join me for part of it!
Be sure to read write-ups from my co-workers explaining their choices: Jeff Cork on Grand Theft Auto IV, Ben Reeves on Metal Gear Solid, Tim Turi on Resident Evil, and Dan Ryckert on Mario.
Good luck with this. I still haven't finished this game either.
Not what I would've picked.
excellent.... very excellent... once your record is in place i will shatter it... MUAHAHAHAHAHA
i will be there to help you.
I knew it. ONE of you guys had to do Final Fantasy.
I actually loved Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest. I played it a lot when I was really young. My older brothers were busy trouncing through III, and I was glad that there was this other 'variant' that I was competent enough to play through on my own.
While it didn't quite have that open world feeling that I wanted from a Final Fantasy game, FFXII is probably one of my favorites in the series. The game opens with an astounding cinematic that gives a good sense of how dramatic this game is. The plot didn't blow me away but the characters did and they were all ones I cared about. I really liked the combat and the use of license board and gambits made it really fun to level up your characters. It was also just challenging enough that you could get a sense of accomplishment from beating it. If I were going to pick a FF game to run a marathon with it would be either this one or VII.
FF12 was great. It is one of my favorite RPG's including FFX. I can still play both these games hours on end without getting burned out.
I totally agree with you on 12. I played through X, and then I got 12 for Christmas, and I still haven't got much done with it..... I think its because I like some strightforwardness to my JRPGs. I don't want to have to go to a place I haven't been at the end of the game.... I want to go back and find places I overlooked on the journey. FFX did that well, since I could go back to the water cave where Tidus first entered Spira, and there what the beast that almost gobbled my whole. Revenge time! Oh, and Anima was a nice touch.... lol
12 was different... I felt like It would be a chore to have to wittle out the nuances of the map and itemfinding... and I couldn't bring myself to get into the groove. The story was ok, but not amazing.... which didn't help either.
Definitely do Mystic Quest first.
i too never finished 12 i loved it when it 1st came out but i stoped playing cause something came out and its been forever since i touch it i loved the hunts and while the battle system was differnt from say 10 it was still awesome the plot i can't remember at all tho really so i don't think i'll pick it up again but i think i was at the end of it either way you go phil goood luck to you ^^