For a long time, I was always envious at someone for being able to play the Final Fantasy games.. First the japanese and the ones being able to play imported games, then the playstation owners. Nearly two years ago I could happily test one out though; Final Fantasy XII.
I recently tried to play it for the third time, today I gave up again. Not finished, and won't bother.
At it's core; it's the very definition of a computer rpg. Beefing up a character to be a hero in a grand tale of heroism. So, why am I so negative to it, considering I am a big fan of the genre?
First of all, the story. It's a very typical "some evil empire conquers all and you have to stop it", very standard, but this one is even more shallow and uninspiring than most others.
The characters.. Roleplaying games kinda live by it's characters. Here most characters are just...there to live up to what the nations at war is trying to portray. So they are very uninspiring, the main character is just annoying and dialogue is for the most part something I'd just like to skip. When it comes to playing said characters, the way you level and skills you use and such aren't much better - everyone can seemingly be the same way, no traits with anyone, and at the same time it's the regular healspam and meleescrap idea, while the other choices seem a bit more lackluster. And one needs to do a lot of grinding in the wilderness to make bosses and such easier to deal with or have a really hard time during the first playthrough. Not a killer combo..
When it comes to exploring everything, the visuals and the sound, it boils down to being irritating. It's like someone wanted to make a game based on a flawed script and ideas.. The music feels more like an opera than a mostly action packed and dungeoncrawling game; the dungeons and the inhabitants often doesnt "fit" - for example going into an old necropolis like site, and end up fighting oozes and such, while the music doesn't fit at all. So it was never "ohhh that place looks fun, I need to go in and have a look", not a good way to make you want to go deeper into the game either..
It's a bit of a shame though; I can clearly see all the good things are there, the music taken away from the game is well done and so, it looks nice, but it doesnt make for an interesting gaming experience, and so on. Insane prodcution values, but not puzzled together well.
From the little I have seen of the other games on youtube, all of them seem to be better put together, so I might have to take a look at them to compare at some point.. Until then I'll just replay Baldur's Gate or something for my offline rpg fix.