The Quarterly JRPG Club - Q1 2018 - Final Fantasy XII!

Damnable Bear wrote:

I found my copy on sale for $25 which seemed just around the ballpark I was willing to pay for it. My limit was 20, so 25 wasn't too far off.

If anyone knows of a sale like that, please let folks know. I'd bite for $25.

fuzzyslug wrote:
Damnable Bear wrote:

I found my copy on sale for $25 which seemed just around the ballpark I was willing to pay for it. My limit was 20, so 25 wasn't too far off.

If anyone knows of a sale like that, please let folks know. I'd bite for $25.

I realize this is very YMMV, but I got mine at that price at Target on the clearance rank.

fuzzyslug wrote:
Damnable Bear wrote:

I found my copy on sale for $25 which seemed just around the ballpark I was willing to pay for it. My limit was 20, so 25 wasn't too far off.

If anyone knows of a sale like that, please let folks know. I'd bite for $25.

I think it is now $30 on Amazon as their standard "price."

Just checked Amazon myself, normal price is $40 but it is currently only $31.81 with prime (not sure if discount is prime only).

I decided to pick this up and play through. Perhaps having a group playing will encourage me to stick with it.

Well, memory has served me right a good deal, as I played most of last night (about 7 hours with a short break for dinner and have made it all the way to ...

Spoiler:

the dreadnought and out.

If I recall correctly, that only puts me a couple or three major events/milestones away from Raithwall. They really should make the Fast Forward a staple feature of all RPG's, J or otherwise.

sometimesdee wrote:

In like Flynn. I have no one, but two copies, unopened (I accidentally pre-ordered twice). I need to reclaim my PS4 and start this puppy up!

On a related note: Anyone need a brand new copy of the game?

This arrived today, and I didn't realize that it was one of the limited steelbook editions. It's gorgeous! Thanks, dee!

ClockworkHouse wrote:
sometimesdee wrote:

In like Flynn. I have no one, but two copies, unopened (I accidentally pre-ordered twice). I need to reclaim my PS4 and start this puppy up!

On a related note: Anyone need a brand new copy of the game?

This arrived today, and I didn't realize that it was one of the limited steelbook editions. It's gorgeous! Thanks, dee! :D

Nice! I really like the design and artwork.

Soooo last night I made it to Raithwall...

Spoiler:

Beat Garuda, not particularly difficult, but I know the wall bosses in the next dungeon are tricky. I recall not having much trouble with them back in the day since I was a little over-leveled thanks to exploration, but I haven't done nearly as much side-questing this time around. It makes me slightly apprehensive.

I started up my run tonight. This is my first time playing through. The combat is weird. I imagine it gets more involved later in the game, but I still just have Vaan and only the attack command. I mostly just run in circles while my action meter builds up.

Also, rogue tomato.

Wembley wrote:

I imagine it gets more involved later in the game, but I still just have Vaan and only the attack command. I mostly just run in circles while my action meter builds up.

And yet it's XIII that has the reputation for this.

Wembley wrote:

Also, rogue tomato.

Yeah, what the hell is that thing? Besides a tomato, I mean.

Well, a rogue I guess.

Regardless, it’s weird. I did another hunt and it wasn’t nearly as bizarre.

I played a bit more but still only a couple hours total so still feels pretty basic. I made Vaan an Uhlan which seems to be what this game calls a dragoon.

steinkrug wrote:
Wembley wrote:

Also, rogue tomato.

Yeah, what the hell is that thing? Besides a tomato, I mean.

You want to nip those in the bud. Don't want it evolving.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Wembley wrote:

I imagine it gets more involved later in the game, but I still just have Vaan and only the attack command. I mostly just run in circles while my action meter builds up.

And yet it's XIII that has the reputation for this.

So, that's something that I either forgot or never thought about before--XII is very similar to XIII in that the ramp-up to doing "cool" stuff in combat (meaning more than just attacks) is a slow burn. You're going to be just attacking for awhile until:

1. You get more party members & abilities
2. You unlock more gambits (programmable abilities for AI members)

Which I guess leads me to give a quick heads up to everyone that I forgot about--you aren't going to be able to program your AI members to do everything right out of the gate. You will need to unlock the gambits via story progression or purchasing them in stores. If you have Zodiac Age, this is actually better because you can just buy them all right at the start. In the original version there were some gambits that you could only find in chests.

Yeah, you read that right. The main mechanic of the battle system is something that is not 100% open to you and you need to buy more options from stores. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I'm going to start this over the weekend. Did you guys all decide what class combo's you're going to go with for each character?

I'm winging it. I started looking at guides a little initially but since this is my first playthrough I am just gonna try it blind. I made Vaan a ninja.

I don't think the tutorial really conveyed well enough what was happening. It introduced me to license points, explained how those worked then told me to go give it a shot. It seemed to kind of gloss over the part where I was choosing Vaan's first job and that this was a permanent choice. If it did give more warning, then I missed it. I knew what was up because of discussion in here but thought it was odd that such an impactful choice was so casually tossed out there.

For some reason the fact that I can freely move my character around already makes it feel more open than XIII (and I liked XIII).

I noticed the Gambit shop isn’t “open” yet.

Spoiler:

I did have a second character in my party briefly and it added gambit to the action menu but I’m Vaan solo again.

JeremyK wrote:

I'm going to start this over the weekend. Did you guys all decide what class combo's you're going to go with for each character?

Yeah, I ended up coming up with a plan. I have mixed feelings about “meta-gaming” it but I couldn’t resist. I’m going with:

Spoiler:

Vaan- Uhlan/Time Mage
Penelo- White Mage/Machinist
Basch- Shikari/Foebreaker

Balthier- Bushi/Knight
Ashe- Black Mage/Monk
Fran- Archer/Red Mage

It’s not necessary to use all the job. Probably not optimal to. But I wanted to. I also have them as two three person teams potentially. Just to play around with that.

Wembley wrote:

I'm winging it. I started looking at guides a little initially but since this is my first playthrough I am just gonna try it blind. I made Vaan a ninja.

I don't think the tutorial really conveyed well enough what was happening. It introduced me to license points, explained how those worked then told me to go give it a shot. It seemed to kind of gloss over the part where I was choosing Vaan's first job and that this was a permanent choice. If it did give more warning, then I missed it. I knew what was up because of discussion in here but thought it was odd that such an impactful choice was so casually tossed out there.

I think I remember a message about it being permanent, but I agree there wasn’t much made about the fact that his job choice was available. In fact I was surprised it came as early as it did. From what I’ve read, you’ll be fine with winging it.

Yeah Vaan seems like a thief to me so I made him a thief. Or whatever weird Final Fantasy name they gave the class. Like Thiefaga or some sh*t.

But what was months ago. Last time I played was either September or October, even though I'm pretty sure it has remained in the disc drive since then. So... yeah! Let's see how much I remember!

Spoiler:

The first thing I remember is I believe there is a story recap function so that's pretty good

Hmmm... ninja... thief...

Bushi, perhaps?

FWIW, I think Bushi is equivalent to Samurai. Uhlan = Dragoon and Shikari = Hunter.

Whichever one comes with Steal.

I think Vaan starts off with steal regardless of class.

Put the game in lat night, disk was cracked. I'll be triple dipping.

brokenclavicle wrote:

Soooo last night I made it to Raithwall...

Spoiler:

Beat Garuda, not particularly difficult, but I know the wall bosses in the next dungeon are tricky. I recall not having much trouble with them back in the day since I was a little over-leveled thanks to exploration, but I haven't done nearly as much side-questing this time around. It makes me slightly apprehensive.

Spoiler:

I don't remember how they balanced the original game, but in the HD version, the first one is pretty easy. The second one (which is optional, you can run from it, but if you beat it you open up a little extra area of the dungeon) is pretty tough. I was able to take it after a few tries/deaths, it took some luck as well as skill. I think you can come back and fight it later, maybe.

JeremyK wrote:

I think Vaan starts off with steal regardless of class.

Yes, each character has a couple of "freebie" skills.

There isn't really a class directly analogous to "Thief," I don't think. Archer and Machinist have easy access to Steal, and a few others can optionally reach it.

I reached the final dungeon last year before starting the spiral of starting with the intent of finishing, getting sucked into something end-game, realizing I needed to do a bit first, and then accomplishing nothing. This could be a solid motivator for just moving the hell on.

My team is a bit weird. I tried to not have everyone fall into the roles I felt FF: Record Keeper imposed (even though those roles were probably taken from this version), but quickly realized I was being dumb. So Ashe is Knight/BLM (which I regret most), Basch is a Samurai/Monk, Balthier is a Foebreaker/Machinist, Fran is an Archer/Lancer, Penelo is a WHM/RDM, and Vaan is a Thief/Foebreaker.

Possibly of interest: PC version of The Zodiac Age releasing on February 1. Unfortunate timing, it'd put you well behind the curve, but... it's coming.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:

I reached the final dungeon last year before starting the spiral of starting with the intent of finishing, getting sucked into something end-game, realizing I needed to do a bit first, and then accomplishing nothing. This could be a solid motivator for just moving the hell on.

This game has some optional/completist things that are insanely time consuming and/or practically require a walkthrough. (In other words, it's a Final Fantasy game.)

I didn't use any job guides the first time around, and I'm not sure I will do it this time, either.

I'm in the final chapter of Xenoblade 2, so I'll probably start after the (4-day) weekend.

beeporama wrote:

Possibly of interest: PC version of The Zodiac Age releasing on February 1. Unfortunate timing, it'd put you well behind the curve, but... it's coming.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:

I reached the final dungeon last year before starting the spiral of starting with the intent of finishing, getting sucked into something end-game, realizing I needed to do a bit first, and then accomplishing nothing. This could be a solid motivator for just moving the hell on.

This game has some optional/completist things that are insanely time consuming and/or practically require a walkthrough. (In other words, it's a Final Fantasy game.)

You mean it's a JRPG? hehehe not just a FF staple, that :D. The Zodiac Age removed much of the absurdly obtuse stuff from the original/vanilla version (like the "don't open these arbitrarily placed chests throughout the game that have no indication of being special or else you'll miss out on the uber weapons later" thorn in everyone's side), so in that respect it doesn't really require that much assistance from a guide.

Aight, I'll take the cellophane off one of my Christmas gifts.

CptDomano wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:
Wembley wrote:

I imagine it gets more involved later in the game, but I still just have Vaan and only the attack command. I mostly just run in circles while my action meter builds up.

And yet it's XIII that has the reputation for this.

So, that's something that I either forgot or never thought about before--XII is very similar to XIII in that the ramp-up to doing "cool" stuff in combat (meaning more than just attacks) is a slow burn. You're going to be just attacking for awhile until:

1. You get more party members & abilities
2. You unlock more gambits (programmable abilities for AI members)

Which I guess leads me to give a quick heads up to everyone that I forgot about--you aren't going to be able to program your AI members to do everything right out of the gate. You will need to unlock the gambits via story progression or purchasing them in stores. If you have Zodiac Age, this is actually better because you can just buy them all right at the start. In the original version there were some gambits that you could only find in chests.

Yeah, you read that right. The main mechanic of the battle system is something that is not 100% open to you and you need to buy more options from stores. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

FFXII is more like Xenoblade Chronicles 2 than XIII as you're stuck with one party member doing next to nothing for a lil while and then combat begins to add systems. Well, a system in XII, the gambit system.

In XIII standing around waiting for things to happen is basically the entire game, even when you gain more members. It's passive in a way that a lot of people didn't like. I prefer Legend of Legacy's take on XIII's system more than XIII as I still enjoy choosing attacks and whatnot.

Yes, XII can absolutely play itself once you setup the Gambit system, but it's more like a programming puzzle game than anything. The game plays itself, but according to your rules. XIII streamlines all that into a smaller set of roles, relying on the combination of those roles to change things up.

And that doesn't even touch on the less than spectacular AI in XIII. If my party does something stupid in XII, I probably screwed up the Gambits. In XIII if I watch two of my party members be in the right roles, but cast completely wrong spells then that's on the AI (and potentially on my having the wrong roles). XIII is just a tidge too hands off for me. I like fiddling with Gambits, much like I enjoy fiddling with character builds in SRPGs. XIII has its merits, but I personally don't care for it.

That's interesting, because I think of XIII as the most active of the single-player Final Fantasy combat systems (I haven't played XV). The ATB timer is really fast, and you're constantly swapping paradigms to make sure everyone's in the right role at the right time. (The AI is also pretty good about using the right spells, but it helps to use Libra with new enemies to scan them, something that's historically pretty useless in Final Fantasy games.)

But comparison, the other games mostly are just watching animations waiting for the ATB to refill. That system probably hit its nadir with IX, which is otherwise my favorite game in the series, where it's so slow that you will frequently find yourself watching idle animations while neither you nor your enemies can do anything.

That "watching nothing happen" is one of the things I really dislike about ATB systems from the SNES and PSOne eras. It took some other games to convince me that ATB isn't just inherently bad.

Gonna be honest, right now I'm of the mindset that everything is wrong about the gambit system being great and insisting on inputting commands anyway because at least then I get to do something.

We'll see how long that goes.