It’s crazy to think that Final Fantasy XII came out over ten years ago. I fondly remember rushing to the store to get my hands on the game, hot off just completing Final Fantasy X. Square Enix last year unveiled plans to remaster the experience all over again with The Zodiac Age for the PlayStation 4, which is a port of the International Zodiac Job System – fancy talk for there’s much more things to do and all twelve License Boards as opposed to the original’s one. I hope this preview will bring some insight to those who have not played the original while attempting to convince the already hardcore fanbase of more reasons to just get excited about it.
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age officially brings a high-definition remaster of the Japanese only release of the International Zodiac Job System, which includes a few nifty additional benefits to the original. Players could control other characters as opposed to just the six main protagonists in the original, and for some reason, could control summons too. The Zodiac Age will bring all of that to fruition again in HD, and of course will feature the infamous double speed of the game along with New Game+ and New Game- (the latter basically meaning you can’t gain experience or any points to level up).
The Zodiac Age will also feature trophy support which you can add to your collection, along with a new musical arrangement for the soundtrack that should be a blast considering how stellar the original soundtrack already is.
However, that’s just what The Zodiac Age package can offer. The core of the experience lies in the original game, which is phenomenal in and of itself. Final Fantasy XII did fans a huge service and excluded the random encounters so it made traversing the world feel more free and not constrained by crushing anxiety with every step you took. Final Fantasy XII was also the first in the series to introduce an open-ended world in Ivalice; one that felt lively, vast and expansive while giving the player enough freedom to leisurely explore and encounter monster battles at their own pace.
The battle system is slightly tweaked too, adjusting the typical turn-based combat of the previous games to make it a more streamlined, real time experience. In the heat of battle, players could switch out between any given member of their party and double down on damage by performing reflexive strings of combos. With The Zodiac Age, this makes it especially exciting as the guests characters (who were formerly controlled by AI in the original) can now be controlled. The Zodiac Age also looks amazing on PlayStation 4, taking full advantage of the graphical push that XV gave to the series while feeling authentically like the essential XII experience we all know and love.
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age will be released on PlayStation 4 on July 11,2017. Watch the story trailer below: