Final Fantasy XII Opening

In games, opinion on March 23, 2006 by karan

Final Fantasy XII has been released in Japan, and inevitably it’s had ripple effects elsewhere. The opening movie is out on teh intarweb for everyone to have a peek at (just poke around the torrent sites and you’ll be able to find it). The one I have is 7 minutes long, and covers a very quick “Hello this is the game’s worl- battle!”

Immediate impression? something about it screams Star Wars. But before I delve into that minefield, I’ll say that the animation is pretty & clean, and clearly produced by the same guys as FFVII: Advent Children; however, it doesn’t have the effort that was put in to Advent Children. It looks very much within Square’s style, and in-game footage will be interesting to see. It’ll also be interesting to see if this ends up much like FFIX – a last hurrah for a console nearing the end of its lifespan.

Somehow, I doubt Square put in this much effort to produce a half-hearted work – do they ever? – but you can clearly see this shares much with FFIX, and the imminent release of the PS3 suggests its killer-app Final Fantasy XIII can’t be too much more than a year or two down the line. It’ll have to be a quick release cycle though, which suggests that perhaps Square is going to take its time – possibly leading to something more like FFVII, released two years after the PS1’s debut, as opposed to FFX, which was a early system release and successful for a whole host of other reasons.

Why is it Star Wars, and why is it like FFIX? Well, the opening suggests we’re seeing a techno-medival age with royalty marching about as nations go to war – the context is somewhat like FFIX, and one of the characters it looks like you’ll be using is similar again to FFIX. The bad guy hasn’t been spotted yet, however. As for the Star Wars aspect, you feel it near instantly when you see the lines of troops and the transports lifting off, followed by airships surrounded by dogfighting smaller flying things… yeah, it’s fairly clear where the influence is here. I’m not entirely sure yet whether this will be a good or a bad thing, as it could have been done badly, or it could have been done very well. I wouldn’t want this to turn into a Star Wars-esque RPG because that’s not the sweeping majesty & intricacy of the Final Fantasy stories; they’ve always had something more magical about them, and I hope that comes through here.

I suppose further evaluation will have to wait until I can get my hands on this hot little beasty.


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