In lieu of the gross oversimplification of this game provided above or below this definition, I would like to say that Final Fantasy XII, an RPG published by Square-Enix for the Sony Play Station 2, is brilliantly distinguishable from its 11+ predecessors in the Final Fantasy series by its high production values, extravagant voice acting, a plot line easily identifiable as a blatant rip-off of Star Wars yet so intricate that it's more than forgivable if you're a fan of the series.
Essentially, if you liked LucasArts' Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic series for Xbox and PC for its gameplay, then you will have nothing against FFXII's gameplay. If you liked Star Wars Episodes IV-VI for their creepy-cult-forming stories, then you will fall in love with FFXII, because 90% of what made up A New Hope great is there: the princess without a kingdom, the orphaned boy with an above-average destiny from the desert, his slightly less-important side-kick, the knight of an extinct order, the awesome pirate that men envy and women adore, and his tall, dark, and fuzzy sidekick who used to live in a realm of gigantic trees. Hell, S-E even threw in their own Cloud City, complete with a Lando-character! But he's white and has a funny accent.
Since I cannot respectably portray the plot of this game without spoiling it, I will just go to say that you will not finish this game in the time you can finish KotOR, which took approximately 40 hours, and FFXII has already eaten up 55 hours of my time, and I'm not even halfway through it.
If you played Final Fantasy X and thought the Sphere Grid was too linear in terms of character stat development, then you will probably enjoy FFXII's mode of development, the License Board, in which you have total control of your character's spell development, weapons and armor that he or she can equip, and even which 2 of the 12 total Espers in the game that they can summon.
If you played FFX and thought that the Overdrives were over the top, then you haven't mopped the floor with the faces of boss characters until you've made use of the Quickening system. In contrast to the other games in the series, where each character has a few unique, super powerful attacks that they are able to use one at a time after they've charged their gauge, FFXII gives each character 3 fully offensive attacks that can be CHAINED together with the Quickenings from two other party members for a powerful combo capable of felling bosses before they can lay a hand on you. But, there's a couple of caveats: one, the MP gauge, also known as your Mist Gauge, is shared by both your magic AND your Quickenings, and two, it's also your Summoning gauge. So, you can't summon a monster, perform magic powerful magic, and then unload some serious pain with a Mist Chain without using some ethers or elixirs (if you have only one Quickening unlocked, that is). But, on the plus side, each Quickening you acquire on the License board will give you 100% more Mist at your disposal, so technically, you CAN do all three MP related actions if you have acquired all 3 Quickenings for your character.
If you liked being able to set behaviors in the KotOR series for your party members, in FFXII, you can fully automate your characters that you aren't directly controlling through the use of fully customizable instructions for them to follow, called Gambits. Of course, due to the nature of the Gambits, it takes a bit of practice to remember to check and re-customize these gambits for each area you visit or each enemy you fight, because you don't want your characters to be sitting around casting Shell on each other when you're being ravaged by melee fighters, or sitting around casting any magic when you want to save their Mist Charges for Quickenings and Summons.
For full reviews of the game, try a site like GameSpy, or IGN.
Final Fantasy XII scored well according to many respected reviewers. I like it better than FFX, personally. Square-Enix has outdone themselves in this PS2 classic.
Prices shown in USD.
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