|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Square Enix||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Square Enix||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 20, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
With the successful release of Final Fantasy III, we've all seen that the Nintendo DS can handle the Final Fantasy series with ease. Now the DS will be getting an all new game made exclusively for the system, a spin off of the PlayStation 2 hit Final Fantasy XII entitled Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings.
One thing that it is important to make clear is that Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings is not a sequel to Final Fantasy XII. It is instead a different story, focusing on 18-year old Vaan, and his 17-year old companion, Penelo. The game will follow these two and the events that shaped their actions in the game upon which this one is based.
Also important to note is that this Final Fantasy will not be like its predecessors. This one is targeted at those who may or may not be familiar with the franchise, or games in general, and want to pick up a game that is fun, but not too challenging. The game has even been described as an "entry-level" Final Fantasy title by the game's director, who hopes to garner the type of mass-appeal for this game reminiscent of the appeal that was generated by Final Fantasy III last year.
Trailers of the Japanese version show that the game will use an "active battle" system. Although not much can be garnered from this title, it looks as if the active battle system will be a faster, simpler battle system then is presented in more advanced Final Fantasy games. Video of actual gameplay shows that attacks are carried out quickly without the traditional RPG menu or selection process. Icons are also shown above characters and foes showing different abilities or combat options that also may be possible. Playable characters are also displayed at the top of the screen with vital statistics to help the player stay on top of the critical aspects of their characters' overall status.
Visuals on the trailer look very similar to those in last year's Final Fantasy III. Characters are represented on-screen as small little 3-D dolls. The dolls are richly textured, and some of the detail visible in the trailer is enough to make you see your DS in a different light. The environment is also very detailed and varied and does not fail to impress.
The game will be scored by the same composer that worked on Final Fantasy XII, Hitoshi Sakimoto, so if you liked what you heard there, expect more of the same. It is unclear whether voice acting will be done by the original English cast (or if there will be any at all), but one might assume that since not much time has passed, the voice actors would be willing to reprise their original (albeit younger) roles.
With Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, Square-Enix is hoping to give its brand a more mainstream and mass penchant that other titles are able to enjoy. Hopefully, a simpler combat system and self-contained original plotline will help boost the game's appeal with those not familiar with the franchise.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer