‘Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age’: Content, What’s New, And More

Square Enix is remastering and releasing Final Fantasy XII, and there are new bells and whistles to give players a new adventure.

The original Final Fantasy XII was released on PlayStation 2 in 2006. Players took on the role of Vaan, the main protagonist who lives in the world of Ivalice. An orphan of the capital city Rabanastre, Vaan aspires to be a sky pirate, but the world around him quickly changes when he sets in motion a string of events that leads him to meet and explore the world with other characters of similar interest. The remaster is set to be released in 2017, but it won’t come without its share of content to revive the excitement that fans knew and loved.

According to Polygon, Final Fantasy XII has new and improved combat and movements to accentuate the upgrade from the original PlayStation 2 port. A graphics improvement is the most obvious fine tuning that has been done by Square Enix, but there’s also in-game content that changes the way that the game has been played. Final Fantasy XII was met with great reception, though there were some outstanding features from the original that had to be addressed for the new remaster.

Perhaps the most notable of the changes is the combat system, as Final Fantasy XII was considered hard to many who wanted to brave the depths of Ivalice. Producer Hiroaki Kato discussed this potential detriment to players returning to Vaan and gang, going into detail about how the combat system was overhauled.

“We actually got help from Hiroyuki Ito, who worked on the game design for previous Final Fantasy titles,” Kato mentioned. “We overhauled the game balance so that it would be easier for players — closer to the feel of a classic Final Fantasy title.”

It may seem like the game has been watered down due to fan complaint, but Kato made sure that the more hardcore players of Final Fantasy XII wouldn’t feel as though the challenge had been removed from the game altogether. There’s a “Trials Mode” that players can engage in, a series of 100 battles that prove harder with every encounter. The Gambit System, a set of criteria in-game that A.I. would follow to assist the player in combat, will need to be carefully managed to ensure victory. Metro reports that the Gambit System has been tweaked, lending a hand to making each encounter easier by acquiring new Gambits and putting them to use much earlier than the original port allowed.

“It’s specifically designed so that it’s impossible to go through all 100 stages on the same gambit settings,” said Kato, giving fair warning to players who would take the challenge. “You’ll have to go in and tweak your gambits. This is something for users looking to get the most out of the gambit system.”

The license board, a set of skills and abilities for each character in Final Fantasy XII, has been changed so that each character can be assigned a job. The original port held no specific role for any one character, leaving no difference between Vaan or any of his fellow companions in combat. Square Enix wanted to change this, giving players the ability to assign classes to diversify what each character brings to the table.

There’s also “High Speed Mode,” giving players faster movement through the various maps presented in Final Fantasy XII. This prevents tedious backtracking, and it helps alleviate the time consumption required to move from location to location for plot and mission purposes.

Ultimately, Final Fantasy XII is shaping up to be a brand new experience for old and new players alike. With adjustments being made to the remaster, Square Enix is giving fans what they know and love with additional options to revive the spirit of the Final Fantasy series.

Are you excited for the Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age remaster? Let us know your thoughts on the new content in the comment section below.

[Image Via Square Enix]