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  3. Final Fantasy 12 Zodiac Age

User Info: Shadow_FF6

Shadow_FF6
1 month ago#1
So, somewhat off-topic, but I'm wondering how many people here have played FF12 Zodiac Age (or the japanese only IZJS version)?

I mention that because it actually feels a lot like Final Fantasy 1 in many ways. First off, when you recruit each of the six characters, you assign them a class. And that's it. They are that class (plus a second class in the Zodiac Age version) for the rest of the game. You can reasonably get multiple playthroughs just from different party compositions alone.

Second, it's a very exploration heavy game. FF1 is requires you to explore a lot to get through the early game (Sarda, Matoya, Canoe), and once you get the airship heavily encourages exploring and even going to places out of order (to collect treasure). FF12 is easily the most exploration heavy FF game that isn't online, with HUGE amounts of things to do, places to go, and treasure to obtain.

Items are also very important for healing. You can have a party without a White Mage (and given that an FF12 White Mage is exactly as versatile as a FF1 White Mage without the Zeus Gauntlets, that's not a terrible idea), and so you might rely on potions and the like. Some classes boost potion healing, so if you're using an Archer (who gets the highest rank in Potion, Remedy and Phoenix Down proficiencies) you can easily heal the whole game using only potions.

Likewise, FF1 has tanking, of a sort, as your front-line characters are more likely to be targetted, while all mages in FF12 learn the Decoy spell, allowing you to force enemies to target your Knight or other tougher classes.

Unfortunately, I'd also rank FF12 alongside FF1 in terms of story. It's not bad, but it's not exactly why you play it. There's a reason nobody talks about Vaan, Ashe, Balthier or Vayne all that much.

However, so much of what makes FF1 fun can be found in FF12 Zodiac Age. For those interested in trying it out, I'd recommend ignoring the option to take a second class. It was added from the IZJS version without ANY balancing, and while it is fun, I also think that the restriction of having a single class is part of what makes FF12 Zodiac such an interesting game. Besides, the IZJS version was designed and balanced around having only one job anyway, so it's not exactly like playing through FF1 without a class change or anything.
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User Info: Zzonkmiles

Zzonkmiles
1 month ago#2
I have the vanilla, Japanese IZJS, and the PS4 Zodiac Age versions.

FF12 is my favorite FF game by far, with FFX a distant second. The level of customization in FF12 is incredible. I love finding ways to chain difficult monsters and getting those rare drops. I also love the music and the sheer size of the world of Ivalice.

I honestly don't like the Zodiac Age version though because it is too easy. If they release a difficulty patch for it, then maybe I'll reconsider. I believe the IZJS version is much more difficult, but it's also in Japanese. I can read Japanese, but since I never play on "wait" mode, I'm not sure I can read fast enough to ensure I don't get killed when fighting something like the Trickster or Gil Snapper.

I actually have yet another playthrough going on now with vanilla FF12. I just finished the events at Draklor and am on my way to Giruvegan. I've gotten Order of Ambrosia several times now, but I never get sick of it.

Truly an amazing game. But I agree--this is not a game you play for the story. This is a game you play for the hunts, rare game, bazaar loot, and exploration.
PSN/YT: Zzonkmiles (Don't listen to Ondore's lies!)
Download Final Fantasy Zz Hard-Type at http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/1278/

User Info: Shadow_FF6

Shadow_FF6
1 month ago#3
I somehow figured you'd like FF12, ZZonk. Signature kind of gave it away :D

When you say Zodiac Age is too easy, what do you mean by that? From what I understand, it's a straight port of IZJS, but with two key differences. Dual-classing and the ability to bring back items from the Arena. Both of these are very easily ignored, and for me, I do not plan to ever dual class in FF12 outside of some sort of challenge run wherein I give myself the ability to do that as a counter-balance for some other restriction (like a two character only run). And I will pretty much never bring back the super-weapons form Arena.

So was the game made easier apart from those two ignorable things?

Also, Zodiac Age is on the PC these days, so there might be difficulty mods for it. Personally, I'd like to see a mod that adds more interesting Esper options. The Black Mages ability to obtain Heavy Armor almost seems like a left-over from an earlier version where Heavy Armor gives bonus HP instead of Strength. Then there's the 8 Magic Lore tiles the Foebreaker can get that're only good for use with Shades of Black (Itself locked behind the Shikari and Redmage loved Cuchulain Esper). There are a number of other little polishes the game could use (like the wait time on some special abilities that make certain powerful attacks worthless thanks to their long cast time reducing their effective DPS).

I should look into the mod scene for it sometime, even if it means buying a PC copy of the game. Presumably, someone else will have already uploaded a "Completed until Belial without jobs" save file for me to borrow. I currently have such a master save file at Wraithwall with all preceeding content before that completed on my PS4.
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User Info: Zzonkmiles

Zzonkmiles
1 month ago#4
You can really nerf the bosses (even Yiazmat) with Wither and Expose. Plus, because the damage cap was removed, you can inflict a lot more damage a lot more quickly, but there is no corresponding increase in enemy HP. So even the toughest bosses are like moderate-level hunts now.
PSN/YT: Zzonkmiles (Don't listen to Ondore's lies!)
Download Final Fantasy Zz Hard-Type at http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/1278/

User Info: Shadow_FF6

Shadow_FF6
1 month ago#5
Ah yes, I forgot about those. I'd say Break-stacking is still a quite ignorable mechanic for preserving difficulty. The damage-cap no so much, but from what I understand, the damage cap is what made magic weak and combo melee classes overstrong, and so I'm inclined to think that, if I had played both, I'd prefer the damage cap gone.

By the way, as you are more experience with the game than myself, I'm curious as to various class comparisons. In particular I find it hard to distinguish between certain classes damage outputs. I quite like the Archer and Time Mage, but it's not clear to me how thier average DPS compares to that of the tank classes (Monk and Foebreaker or Shikari and Knight using shields) or to the DPS classes (Uhlan and Bushi, or Shikari and Knight using their shieldless weapons). And likewise how much damage an Uhlan loses from combo shortage at high HP compared to how much damage a Bushi loses from being at high HP. Survivability and utility from other skills is a lot easier to quantify. It's that DPS and how much I'm 'paying' for a given utility that is tricky to me.

Also, is Uhlan magic ever useful? I love Bushi Shades of Black, but Uhlans just don't seem to have enough magic support behind them. Is it just "When facing a large group of enemies with elemental weakness in the mid-game"? Or is it not even that strong?
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User Info: madspunky

madspunky
1 month ago#6
I've been trying to play FF12 for more than a decade.
Ten years ago the game looked horrible on my television (PS2 on a crappy flatscreen), it simply wasn't playable.
Now that it's for PC, I keep waiting for a decent price, but it's still at 50 euros, and since I'm not sure I'll actually enjoy the game, I'd rather be careful with how much I pay.
Final Fantasy Ultra Champion Edition, my ultra hack of the original Final Fantasy:
http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/3067/

User Info: Shadow_FF6

Shadow_FF6
1 month ago#7
Check out some Let's Plays then.

One thing I like about the game that I didn't mention previously is the Gambit system. It's a very simple programming you can give to your units, allowing you to let them act automatically in combat. While the commands are always very simple "If Condition then Action", there are a lot of conditions you can choose from and careful design can make your guys act fairly intelligently.

For example, a useful option is to choose "HP = 100% -> Steal". In your average random battle, your characters will all gang-pile on one enemy, once he's been hit, your stealer will move onto the next one. While it's not perfect (because you don't have a 100% steal rate), it works reasonably well in getting your Thief to steal without you having to constantly command him.

Likewise, I can set a "HP < 80% -> Cure" command and place it below their basic attack command. This means that, once out of battle, my healers will top off everyone with the basic MP efficient Cure spell. No going into the menu to dole out 10 Potions. It just happens.

Now, this won't be everyones cup of tea, you'll want to issue orders yourself. This is perfectly reasonable, as you can set everyone on manual control and give orders individually. However, not having to issue dozens of basic attack commands per boss fight helps in ways you don't really appreciate until you lose it. You can enjoy the flow of the fight a lot more while some of the grunt work is done for you. It makes those moments you do intervene feel a lot more impactful. And sometimes just knowing that you setup your Gambit right before a boss battle such that your characters fight it successfully on their own is very satisfying.

Throw in the ability to speed up gameplay by x2 or x4, and the Gambit system also allows you to 'skip' past boring fights, by simply letting your guys slaughter weak enemies at speeds faster than you can reasonably comprehend. Good for grinding and exploration.

Overall, the Gambit system is very enjoyable, and I think it makes random battles against weak enemies a lot more palatable than they are in other games. This is also partly due to the pseudo-MMO nature of random battles, in that enemies are just in the overworld, and you'll start fighting them without having to go through a random battle fade. It also gives boss fights a more cinematic feel, as you can focus on watching fights play out on their own, while you occasionally step in to issue key commands.

Oh, and lastly, the very overworld nature of random battles is another way in which this game is like FF1. Running from many or most battles is not a bad idea.
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User Info: Linguar82

Linguar82
1 month ago#8
I love this game. The oringinal It took a bit to grow on me, but I'm all over TZA as my favorite to play right now. I'd say I still like X a hair more but i am more likely to fire up a playthrough of TZA today than any other single player FF
Linguar Splits!
Now Playing: Final Fantasy XIV, Final Fantasy Zz, Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation

User Info: Shadow_FF6

Shadow_FF6
1 month ago#9
Linguar82 posted...
I love this game. The oringinal It took a bit to grow on me, but I'm all over TZA as my favorite to play right now. I'd say I still like X a hair more but i am more likely to fire up a playthrough of TZA today than any other single player FF

I think that's where FF12's strong points shine in it's favor. Play through FFX multiple times, and you'll get the same game and the same story. Play through FF12 several times, and you'll skip the same story (because who cares) and get fresh new parties, and different choices of where to go and when. While I'm not a huge fan of how 'abilities in treasure chests' was handled, it does still mean that some parties will want to go to certain places early, while others can ignore them entirely if not going for 100% completion.

It's like if Seiken Densetsu 3 wasn't a janky bug ridden mess. All the fun of multiple playthroughs for multiple parties, plus the joy of actual end-game content and being a mostly polished and finished work. Somewhere on my list of things I want to do but never will is 'make a patch for SD3'. But honestly, FF12 scratches that same itch, and I'm sure I'll eventually be able to find a few mods that add that last coat or two of polish to make it perfect. And a few more to change things up.
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User Info: SchlossRitter

SchlossRitter
1 month ago#10
https://steamcommunity.com/app/595520/discussions/0/1696048245844880489/
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