Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age Is All I’ll Ever Need
If anybody ever asks you to choose just one game to play for the rest of your life, would you be able to pick just one? It’s an interesting question, quite unrealistic as most of us will never have to choose just one but nonetheless, an interesting question to ponder upon. My answer? Simple. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age. Now, let me tell you why.
I was a fan of the original Final Fantasy XII when it came out on PlayStation 2 more than a decade ago. I absolutely adored it. Everything about the game felt perfect to me. The world design, the characters, the battle system, the levelling system, the enemy designs, the story, the music, the voice-acting, the visuals and everything else that was a part of that game, down to every minute detail, was perfect to me. It was the first game I ever spent over 200 hours playing. It’s incredibly hard for me to put into words the immense love I had developed for this game. Whenever I was playing Final Fantasy XII, I would feel like I was at home in this beautiful world called Ivalice.
When I eventually got a PlayStation 3, I was hoping to find another game that would capture me like Final Fantasy XII did on the PlayStation 2. Sadly, there was no such game. While there is a slew of other genuinely amazing JRPGs on the PlayStation 3, many of which I have grown to love in their own right, that feeling I once had in my chest while I played Final Fantasy XII just wouldn’t emerge. Even later instalments of the Final Fantasy franchise failed to impact me as tremendously as XII did. After a while, I figured that it must just be me growing older and not feeling the same way about playing games anymore. I still enjoyed playing games, there was no doubt about that but I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe the era of me being able to seriously, passionately love a game as much as I did Final Fantasy XII was over and done.
Then, I heard a rumour about a possible Final Fantasy XII remaster for the PlayStation 4. I had already gotten a PlayStation 4 at this point because I made sure to prepare myself for the release of Final Fantasy XV. When it was finally confirmed that Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age was going to be released for the PlayStation 4 on the 11th of July 2017, I was ecstatic. I pre-ordered it the very next day, in fact. I was grinning from ear to ear. I was giggling like a little girl. I would keep telling people about the upcoming remaster even if they didn’t have any interest in the matter whatsoever.
So, as the weeks and months went by, I kept track of all the new details and changes that have been implemented in the remaster and how much of a difference there would be compared to the original game which I loved so much. To be honest, when I first heard of the Zodiac Job System, I was a bit scared. I was terrified of the possibility of the game looking amazing in HD on the PlayStation 4 but not being as enjoyable as it was on the PlayStation 2 due to the added restrictions. Still, it was plainly obvious that I wasn’t not going to play it. It is Final Fantasy XII after all.
After several months of waiting, the day had finally come. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age has finally been released and I could not stop smiling. I quickly made my way to the game shop from which I had pre-ordered the game, I went in and I was greeted by one of the employees saying, “Hey! Final Fantasy XII just arrived. Fresh stock!” I’ve always been quite fond of this shop and have spent quite a bit of time just talking about games with the employees so they’re very aware of my love for Final Fantasy. I quickly got the game and took it home.I had forgotten about my prior unrest towards the changes done to the game at this point due to my overwhelming excitement. I put the game disc into my PlayStation 4, started the game and despite all my worrying and uncertainty, I proceeded to fall in love with this game all over again. From the very start of the game, I just felt tremendously happy experiencing whatever was happening on screen. I felt like I was home again. I was overjoyed, and that feeling I had been missing for almost a decade was back.
As of writing this, I have spent over 70 hours playing Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age and I can safely say that I shouldn’t have been worried at all. The changes have made the game even better. The Zodiac Job System does add certain restraints but it doesn’t restrict the characters from becoming as strong as you want them to be, rather it allows each character to grow stronger in their own unique way.
So, the game I loved so much a decade ago has become even better and it’s in HD on the PlayStation 4! While I doubt I’d ever really have to choose just one game to play for the rest of my life, I certainly wouldn’t complain if that game was Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age.
Danial Aziz16 Posts
A passionate lover of games who likes what he likes and is vocal about what he doesn't. Also enjoys long walks on the Phon Coast.