No-one can quite agree which Final Fantasy game is the best (it’s VII – fight me), partly because of disconnected stories in each title and partly because of the leaps in gameplay that are made.The last remastered title in the series was Final Fantasy X/X2. Little to no changes were made to the game itself with a graphical remaster and bonus in-game content being the main attraction. In contrast Zodiac Age has made a huge overhaul to the gameplay, touted as; better, faster, and more balanced. It’s been a little over eleven years since XII hit consoles back in 2006, not a particularly long time in the gaming world, after all it took Crash Bandicoot 20 years before he got a remaster.
But Square Enix and gamers feel like it was worth it. Zodiac Age takes advantage of the PS4’s power to provide HD graphics and adding a high speed mode to make grinding a little less…grindy as well as a slew of bonus features that just weren’t there before.
Anyone who played the original XII will remember how confusing and labyrinthine the dungeons could get. Difficult games always have a niche but complexity to the point of rage-quitting rarely goes over so well. To combat this, Zodiac Age has added in a handy map overlay that’s infinitely more useful than the original mini-map. It lets you know exactly where you are to navigate your way through treacherous areas.
Choose The Right Combinations Of Jobs And Skills; Your Party Thrives
Powerful jobs are also made available to players. The classics are on offer such as Black/White/Red Mage as well as some unusual ones like Shikari, Uhlan and Foebreaker. But you don’t just need to stick to one job at a time. After you obtain your first Esper (summon) you’re given access to a second license board and can choose a second job for each character. Bonuses seem to nullify limitations, so a job with a heavy armour restriction can have it lifted if you pick a second job that allows it.
Unlimited power is yours… Or it would be if the developers hadn’t been smart enough to balance all the enemies to account for the boost. It still opens up a whole new world of customisation for your party and the combinations of power you dreamed about. Characters earn License Points (LP) that open up new parts of a License Board available for each job. These are necessary if you want to equip that amazing new weapon you bought because without progress on the board you can’t use new items or skills.
Zodiac Age Now Lets The Player Take Care Of Several Job And At A Faster Rate
The innovative gambit battle system has stayed the same for Zodiac Age. Players select gambits composed of a condition and action for each character to try, and cover for any eventuality. It can feel a little like writing a program and letting the computer do the work for you. But thankfully high speed mode can reduce that feeling by up to four times.
Grinding is the toughest part of any JRPG but thanks to these two features it’s satisfying rather than monotonous. Creating gambits to make a perfect killing machine out of your party will push your creativity to get just the right mix of status effects to inflict maximum damage. And you’d be making a big mistake to think you can just whizz through bosses without effort. Enough complexity has been poured into them to require seriously revamping your strategies and occasionally slipping into manual mode in order to beat them.
Once you’re set you’ll be able to save the world of Ivalice from a bad guy doing bad things with crystals. Can it even be a Final Fantasy game without a world full of deep lore and crystals?