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Scanty story, final ennui

Somewhere deep inside in Final Fantasy XII is a germ for a fantastic story. There are intriguing story threads about brothers, fathers and sons, the need for independence and walking your own path in life. None of this is fully explored, however, as Square Enix was far too engrossed creating overblown cinematic sequences to bother with its characters and plot once it had defined them with the broadest of broad strokes.

Instead of memorable characters worth caring about, the player must be content with special attack cutscenes, Esper summoning cutscenes, Esper special attack cutscenes, et cetera. Instead of a gripping narrative, the player will have to make do with … Look! Esper special attack!

It’s telling the most intriguing character in the game is one of the least developed. This is the character who sets in motion the events of the game and drives the plot yet this is also a character whose motivations are never explained. Why do what it did? What did it hope to gain? Why did it do what it did at the end? There are no answers to be found, and the characterisation and story development so scanty one can’t even begin to speculate.

All this would be forgivable if FF12 was a tyro effort from a new development house but Square Enix has history, pedigree and big budgets to play with so this comes as a huge disappo- … Look! Esper special attack!

Posted in Games, PS2.