Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age review: Reinforced for reexamination

Enlarge / Hunts for named monsters are one of the only reliable ways to make gold. (credit: Square Enix)

Final Fantasy XII has always been a bit of an oddball within the long-running series. Its real-time combat smacks of an MMO, like FFXI and FFXIV, but it’s still a single-player adventure centered around a core party of characters. Throw in a Gambit system that lets players “program” party behavior and a story more about political intrigue than gods or monsters, and XII just might be the weirdest main game in its franchise—at least compared to what passes for normal in Final Fantasy.

None of this changes the fact that FFXII is also a damn good JRPG. That fact might have been overshadowed by its eccentricities since the PlayStation 2 era. So it’s nice that publisher Square Enix is releasing a superior version of the game (itself based on a superior version that never came out in North America) in the form of Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age.

International at last

If The Zodiac Age sounds familiar, it’s because Square also released Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System in 2007 in Japan (and only Japan; so much “for International”). That’s the version this latest remake is based on. It allows Western PlayStation 4 owners to finally enjoy Zodiac‘s many improvements over the baseline XII experience and a grip of new goodies that makes the game even more enjoyable.

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