So, I have begun my quest into Ivalice. While I haven’t played FFXII all the way through before, hell hardly at all as I am now realizing, I am very familiar with Ivalice. I absolutely loved FF Tactics Advance and Advance 2 both of which take place in the Ivalice world. In fact, I think Ivalice may be the most used and fleshed out world in Final Fantasy history.
The first thing I notice about Final Fantasy XII is the complete change to the way the world works. Gone are the days of a solid path forward for most of the game. This world is fairly wide open from the word go. Granted you can only do so much based on the power of your character, but there are three different deserts to explore and Hunts to keep you busy as well. You can definitely feel the fact that this was developed along side the FFXI MMORPG.
Not only has the world change, but combat has as well. Gone is the traditional monsters on the left, heroes on the right and a pop up menu when it’s your turn. Now we have real time battling, Gambits, and menus on command only. This change is nice. I loved the straight turn-based combat for the older titles, but this new real time battling is fun.
I think the most glaring new thing that screams MMO to me, is the fact that you don’t farm Gil from monsters. You farm loot. Loot that you then sell to merchants and can sometimes open the ability to buy a bazaar item that gives you a good deal on some items. It is very different that you look at your bank account to see next to no Gil until you stop at a merchant to clear out the junk. Thank goodness we don’t have to deal with full bags in this game.
I will cover the story more next time, but for now I will say that the story is compelling and the characters rich and developing nicely. I look forward to finishing this game for the first time!