FFXII: Hands on Exclusive with AlterGenesis
AlterGenesis-X    2006-10-03, 16:48 pm.

Hey there, Final Fantasy Fans, I have been privilaged enough to try out an early copy of Square-Enix's North American release of Final Fantasy XII. I've only got a few early glimpses in the first half hour that I have played the game and it looks great. As soon as you start up the game, an epic feeling comes over you, as the main menu itself, is a Full Motion Video.

At the game's start, we are treated with another lengthy FMV that starts in the Dalmascan city of Rabanastre, where a large parade is being held for Princess Ashe's marriage. At a first glance, the video sequences look fantastic and never have I seen so much attention to detail since Bandai Namco's Xenosaga III. We are made aware of an attack began by the Archadian forces, soon after Ashe's wedding. The FMV continues to show a gruesome battle at a Dalmascan fortress where Ashe's new husband takes part.

In order to not spoil your own experience, I will move on. After all that has ended, we meet Vaan's older brother Reks and gain control of him for a short while. Captain Basch, finds you and gives you a brief tutorial on moving around, opening doors and a short battle tutorial. Battles take place right on the map, eliminating any sort of load time. Using the R stick to look around and L stick to move, the whole map is a battlefield. A gauge fills up, indicating the time before an action is carried out. By default, a blue line from you to your enemy, signifies which enemy you've targeted and a red line from an enemy to an ally, signifies which ally is being targeted.

After more of the story is revealed, we eventually gain control of our main protagonist, Vaan. He's in the middle of the sewers exterminating unusually large rats, where we gain a little more experience with the battle system. As he goes to the surface, Vaan notices Imperial soldiers giving a vendor a hard time since they seem to have a problem paying for fruit. He quickly decides to bump into them and pickpocket the soldiers for all they are worth. He gets away and in his mad dash for safety we are introduced to another character, Penelo. Penelo and Vaan are both orphans, yet Penelo refers to Vaan as their leader and they appear to be very close. She playfully takes some of the money from him and tells him that Migelo has an errand for him to do. With a cute smile, she walks off and we gain control of Vaan and access to the World Map.

Essentially, the game looks like quite the experience from the little time I've spent with it. I have been very excited and ecstatic that I have recieved the oppurtunity to try the game 30 days before the actual release date. My excitement has driven me to write this article as soon as possible. Square-Enix, after a few so-so games, they are back on the rise!

More details on the game will follow as soon as they become available. Final Fantasy XII is coming to the store near you at the end of this month!

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