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February 7th, 2007, 21:59
Ok, Wasn't going to post this here (and almost feel a little "dirty" for doing so), but I'm slowly warming up to consoles. I've been a hard-core PC gamer for years and never could see the appeal of consoles or the games that ran on them… until now.

During a recent moment of weakness (and following a long drout of RPGs on the PC), I made the 100.00 "plunge" for a PS2. At first, I found the controller cumbersome, the games too twitchy and difficult for someone not used to that kind of thing. I struggled through God of War… and Okami… and Resident Evil 4. The games had very high production values, much higher than I'm used to on the PC, but the emphasis on timing, save points, and quick reflexes was getting on my nerves.

But then I discovered Final Fantasy XII. Now, I know that some of you are going to smirk at hearing this (if you aren't already smirking now…), but FFXII is a true-blue, old-school Western-style RPG. With the exception of a few stylistic holdovers from previous games in the series (such as, chocobos and androgyny), the gameplay is extremely similar to KOTOR and NWN. In fact, it's better, as the level-up system is mind-bendingly complex, but also extremely intuitive. In other words, it has that perfect feeling of pulling back layers of an onion to reveal new modes of gameplay that one only encounters with rich, old-school classics like Fallout and BG2.

My Significant Other claims I am more hooked on this game than I've been on any game since BG2 and that is saying something, as I've played all the major PC RPGs that have come out since then.

So, if you already own a PS2, do yourself a favor and rent or buy this game. And when you do, give it some time… 10 hours or so… and when everything "clicks" and you begin to recognize the beauty of the engine under the hood you'll be hooked… believe me.

If you don't already own a PS2, I can honestly say that you might do well to purchase a used one just to play this game. It is THAT good.

There, I've said my console peace for now.

Lord Alex



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