Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age [Remastered]

The place where you can discuss everything from the world of PlayStation

Moderator: I am nobody

User avatar
ZeldaGirl
Posts: 17526
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2001 1:00 am
Location: Why do YOU want to know...?

Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age [Remastered]

#1

Post by ZeldaGirl » Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:13 pm

Article.
Fans have a lot of reasons to be excited for Square Enix’s upcoming HD remaster of Final Fantasy 12, not least of all that the massive game hasn’t been widely available since its 2006 release. The publisher released an updated version of the game, titled Final Fantasy 12 International Zodiac Job System, in Japan in 2007, but it was never ported West.

The HD remaster is subtitled The Zodiac Age, and as that suggests, it will be based on the International Zodiac Job System version of the game. Polygon recently had a chance to speak with Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Ageproducer Hiroaki Kato, who walked us through the four major improvements that this version of the game contains.


1. Game Balance
Final Fantasy 12 was a difficult game. Kato believes part of this was due to presenting a new approach to combat and exploration that fans of the series weren’t used to.

"One of the biggest challenges we faced in Final Fantasy 12 was to ditch the classic random encounter system that we had," he explained. "In other games, you would go into battle suddenly, whereas in Final Fantasy 12 you saw enemies as you moved through the field. It’s a real-time battle system. It was a big departure from the classic system."

Even within this new style, however, many players struggled to progress in Final Fantasy 12. In response to this, Square looked to more senior staff members for support.

"We actually got help from Hiroyuki Ito, who worked on the game design for previous Final Fantasy titles," Kato said. "We overhauled the game balance so that it would be easier for players — closer to the feel of a classic Final Fantasy title."

2. Trial Mode
If you’re a hardcore Final Fantasy fan who’s unhappy about Square Enix making the game easier, don’t worry. They’ve got you covered as well with a new option called Trial Mode.

Trial Mode is a completely separate menu option from the main game, but players will be able to load in their save data to use the party they’ve leveled up. The goal of Trial Mode will be to fight through 100 battle scenarios, each increasing in complexity and difficulty.

"it’s impossible to go through all 100 stages on the same gambit settings"

"It’s specifically designed so that it’s impossible to go through all 100 stages on the same gambit settings," said Kato, referring to the system where you set up routines for your characters to use rather than giving them direct orders. "You’ll have to go in and tweak your gambits. This is something for users looking to get the most out of the gambit system."

3. High Speed Mode
Final Fantasy 12’sworld is massive, but that’s not always a good thing. While the wide-open zones and tons of paths and sidequests were impressive in 2006, they also led to players getting lost or just getting frustrated when they had to backtrack halfway across the world to turn in a quest or get to the next plot beat.

Kato referred to this problem as one of the "limitations that we had to deal with working with the PlaySation 2 hardware." To solve this issue, The Zodiac Age features High Speed Mode, whereby players can move much faster by holding down a button. (Note: Despite Kato’s mention of limitations of the PS2 hardware, high speed mode was also in the International Zodiac Job System version of the game, which was on PlayStation 2.)

Beyond the faster movement speed, Kato promised that The Zodiac Age will also include better guide features to ensure players don’t get lost and a new autosave between maps so it’s a little less painful when you die out in the middle of nowhere and forgot to save recently. Those quality of life improvements should add up in a way that eases a lot of the problems some players had with Final Fantasy 12.

4. The Job System
If you didn’t guess it already from the name International Zodiac Job System, this version of the game incorporates a job system. A recurring feature in Final Fantasy games, the job system allows you to assign one of a dozen or so roles to a character, providing them with unique skills and stat growth opportunities depending on which job you chose.

The original Final Fantasy 12 used a system called the license board for character growth. As you leveled up, you unlocked abilities and stat boosts on a giant board. However, every character used the same board and, by the end of the game, every character ended up the same.

"The job system makes the game more interesting"

"When you progress through the original game enough, you notice that all the characters basically become supermen," said Kato. "The job system makes the game more interesting for the characters. Each job has different abilities, so you can really customize your party and enjoy character growth through those jobs."

The jobs in Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age will include everything from Archer to Knight to series’ mainstay Red Mage.

With these big improvements on the slate as well as a nice high-def visual upgrade, Kato and his team are hoping that both players who didn’t enjoy Final Fantasy 12 and those who just never got a chance to play it will take a shot on The Zodiac Age. It’s a game that he believes was ahead of its time in 2006 and has a much better chance to be well-received now.

"We’ve seen many other titles incorporating [open worlds and real-time battle systems] now," Kato said. "There’s probably less resistance on the user’s side now for the ideas that Final Fantasy 12 presented. Even in terms of systems for character growth and sidequests that you can take, it really holds up today. That’s what pushed us to go forward with this remaster."

Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age is set to come out for PlayStation 4 some time in 2017.
I've always thought FFXII was underrated, and hopefully with these improvements more people will think fondly on it.

User avatar
Valigarmander
Supermod
Posts: 49389
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:22 pm
Location: World -1
Has thanked: 24 times
Been thanked: 25 times
Contact:

#2

Post by Valigarmander » Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:31 pm

I really liked FFXII. Never finished it though... I think my brother sold our copy.

User avatar
I REALLY HATE POKEMON!
Posts: 28106
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2000 1:00 am
Location: California, U.S.A
Been thanked: 2 times

#3

Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:09 pm

Meh, XI was the first bad Final Fantasy game, I don't think the series should have had an MMO in it. Aside from MMOs, I'd say this was the first disappointing Final Fantasy XII. I didn't dislike it but it was a real step down from X.

User avatar
New! Tazy Ten
Posts: 29030
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2000 1:00 am
Location: Just recently escaped Limbo
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 8 times
Contact:

#4

Post by New! Tazy Ten » Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:25 pm

One of my roommates is playing FF12 right now. Doesn't seem so bad, though yeah I do notice that you can very easily make everyone the same without meaning to.

Didn't know they were changing the game at all. That's interesting.

User avatar
I am nobody
Moderator
Posts: 12686
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:26 pm
Location: -89.97814998,-42.2333493
Been thanked: 19 times

#5

Post by I am nobody » Sun Jul 10, 2016 5:22 am

I enjoyed what I played of it years ago. The biggest improvement they could make would be acknowledging Vaan and Penello serve no purpose and just cutting both of them completely, though.

User avatar
I REALLY HATE POKEMON!
Posts: 28106
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2000 1:00 am
Location: California, U.S.A
Been thanked: 2 times

#6

Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:13 am

^ I didn't get that far, but isn't Vaan the main character? I know I read something about him being added in late or his role made more dominant at the last minute or something, but it seems like it would be hard to cut him now.

User avatar
I am nobody
Moderator
Posts: 12686
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:26 pm
Location: -89.97814998,-42.2333493
Been thanked: 19 times

#7

Post by I am nobody » Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:35 am

He's the player character for sure, but I recall being unconvinced he actually had any significant relevance to what I saw of the story. Unless I'm horribly misremembering the game, his role could be easily filled by the other characters doing a little more here and there.

User avatar
Sim Kid
Posts: 13270
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2001 1:00 am
Location: The state of Denial
Been thanked: 2 times

#8

Post by Sim Kid » Sun Jul 10, 2016 1:54 pm

The player character was going to be Ashe or Baasch. But people in Square-Enix thought that because Vagrant Story sold so well people couldn't relate to them.

Admittedly I did kinda like the idea of the plot being told from the perspective of the tagalong kid(s) in XII. Normally the tagalong kids kinda sit in the background and are "See we're the cute kid-appeal characters".

User avatar
Calamity Panfan
Moderator
Posts: 32456
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 1:00 am
Location: if a lot of people love each other the world would be a better place to live
Has thanked: 17 times
Been thanked: 22 times

#9

Post by Calamity Panfan » Sun Jul 10, 2016 2:15 pm

this is good news for one reason

this hunk of man meat in HD

Image

mmmmmmm
and that's the waaaaaaaaaay the news goes

User avatar
I REALLY HATE POKEMON!
Posts: 28106
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2000 1:00 am
Location: California, U.S.A
Been thanked: 2 times

#10

Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Sun Jul 10, 2016 5:09 pm

I'm not used to seeing Balthier not looking like this:

Image

User avatar
ScottyMcGee
Posts: 5167
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:28 pm
Location: New Jersey
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 5 times
Contact:

#11

Post by ScottyMcGee » Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:04 pm

I still have to finish XII. I liked it more as I got older. The story is crap though. The fictional universe doesn't seem to make much sense. They have these huge Star Wars-like airships and yet armies clash with swords and the firearms are more like flintlock pistols.
SUPER FIGHTING ROBOT

User avatar
ZeldaGirl
Posts: 17526
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2001 1:00 am
Location: Why do YOU want to know...?

#12

Post by ZeldaGirl » Sun Jul 17, 2016 4:16 pm

^I'll politely disagree with you about the story, which I personally find fascinating. The game suffers from poor pacing, but I found that especially when I read the supplemental information hidden throughout the NPCs and bestiary, it's very well done, especially if you're familiar with the story of Ivalice and FF:Tactics (which is another favorite of mine).

I'll even disagree with the people who don't like Vaan and Penelo; I think it's a shame a lot of their material ended up being cut (things like Penelo's backstory), but they echo Ramza and Alma from Tactics - two heroes that ultimately go unrewarded and unrecognized for their roles in reshaping the political and national climate of their times. While Ashe, Balthier, and Basch really deserve the "main" spotlight (much like Delita in Tactics, for his role in the larger part of the story), Penelo and Vaan's smallest acts of kindness toward the political leaders of warring nations (Vaan helping Ashe process moving on from loss, Penelo opening Larsa's eyes to the treatment of Dalmascans on behalf of the Empire) have a profound impact on the story. I enjoy that FF12 fits into the Ivalice compilation thematically.

User avatar
Daos
Posts: 8878
Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Earth

#13

Post by Daos » Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:28 pm

I might look into this. I remember finishing FF12 years ago but I really disliked the license board and that was my biggest issue with the game. The new system looks like it might sit much better with me.

User avatar
Apollo the Just
Moderator
Posts: 14917
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 3:37 pm
Location: Piccolo is Gohan's Real Dad
Has thanked: 8 times
Been thanked: 18 times
Contact:

#14

Post by Apollo the Just » Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:47 pm

This might not be the right topic to ask, but as someone who gets super into JRPGs, I feel like it's a crime that I haven't played any of the FF series. I've always wanted to try getting into it. But I don't currently have any of the playstation home systems - only a PSP and Vita. I think there's a remake of FFX for Vita. Would that be a good place to start?
I believe in second chances, and that's why I believe in you.

User avatar
Daos
Posts: 8878
Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Earth

#15

Post by Daos » Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:17 pm

You can really start anywhere in the series.

User avatar
X-3
Moderator
Posts: 23266
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 2:00 am
Location: noiɈɒɔo⅃
Been thanked: 10 times

#16

Post by X-3 » Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:41 pm

US release order isn't a bad idea.

User avatar
I am nobody
Moderator
Posts: 12686
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:26 pm
Location: -89.97814998,-42.2333493
Been thanked: 19 times

#17

Post by I am nobody » Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:39 pm

I personally think FFI and FFII have aged so badly that there's no longer any reason to bother playing them, although there are still (seemingly a minority of) people that disagree. FFIII is a grind fest with minimal story and an acceptable, but not terribly remarkable, combat system. I wouldn't recommend bothering with it either.

FFIV and FFVI are both decent starting points in that they're considered classics by most people and have very little in the way of assumed mechanics knowledge. FFV personally does nothing for me, but some people (Val) consider it another 2D classic.

FFVII has probably been spoiled in its entirety for you. It's decent in spite of that, but I'd personally go with VIII if you're picking between the two. Less likely to have been spoiled and has a better combat system, although the story is pretty lazy.

IX seems great, but I got lost in the first dungeon and never bothered to go back. X is, IMO, the high point of the series in everything except music. (VI)

None of the XIII games are very good, but X-2's story is at least entertainingly crap.

XI and XIV are both subscription MMOs.

Spinoff-wise, FF Tactics (good start) and Dissdia (bad) are available on PSN, and Type-0 (meh) is on PC.

PSP/Vita: I, II, III, IV, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, X-2 (I, II sold as FF Origins) are all on PSN
PC: III, IV (DS versions), V, VI (mobile versions), VII, VIII (90s PC versions), IX, X, X-2, XIII, XIII-2, XIII-3 (new ports), XI, XIV (original platform) are available through Steam or Square itself.[DOUBLEPOST=1469043547,1469043086][/DOUBLEPOST]That should be DS versions, not 3DS. Whoops.

User avatar
I REALLY HATE POKEMON!
Posts: 28106
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2000 1:00 am
Location: California, U.S.A
Been thanked: 2 times

#18

Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:52 pm

[QUOTE="CuccoLady, post: 1602566, member: 30977"]This might not be the right topic to ask, but as someone who gets super into JRPGs, I feel like it's a crime that I haven't played any of the FF series. I've always wanted to try getting into it. But I don't currently have any of the playstation home systems - only a PSP and Vita. I think there's a remake of FFX for Vita. Would that be a good place to start?[/QUOTE]

Absolutely. I think you'll like the sequel to it as well.

User avatar
X-3
Moderator
Posts: 23266
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 2:00 am
Location: noiɈɒɔo⅃
Been thanked: 10 times

#19

Post by X-3 » Wed Jul 20, 2016 4:04 pm

I don't think FF1 has aged that badly. That said, upon further reflection it loses most of its luster if you have more than an entry-level experience with JRPGs, which CL certainly has. V and VI are probably the best in terms of fluid team-building, because the former has the Job System and the latter has a lot of playable characters. Not sure how team building is in IX and X.
VIII...has a better combat system
This is a mean prank to pull.

User avatar
Apollo the Just
Moderator
Posts: 14917
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 3:37 pm
Location: Piccolo is Gohan's Real Dad
Has thanked: 8 times
Been thanked: 18 times
Contact:

#20

Post by Apollo the Just » Wed Jul 20, 2016 4:12 pm

[QUOTE="I am nobody, post: 1602582, member: 34539"]FFVII has probably been spoiled in its entirety for you.[/QUOTE]

true. i still cant believe that sephiroth was cloud's dad all along

--

anyway sorry for kinda changing the topic, but thank you all for your input. i think i'll start with X since it seems to overall be very liked (but unlike VII i dont know that much about it), and then go forward or backward from there if i like it. y'all's thoughts are appreciated!! :cool:
I believe in second chances, and that's why I believe in you.

Post Reply

Return to “Sony Playstation: This is Living!”