I should let you all know…I never finished Final Fantasy VII. I know, I know. Flame me. Troll me. Abuse me all you want, but I just never got around to finishing the damn game. The same goes with Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy X (never really had the chance to play Final Fantasy IX). The one Final Fantasy game I did get to finish was the one not a lot of people liked (if I remember correctly) when it came out. The reason I actually loved this game was mainly because of the story. The story was something Square Enix boldly gone where it never has gone before.
Final Fantasy XII was released on March 16, 2006 and the last Final Fantasy to be exclusive to the PS2 since Final Fantasy VII. The story wasn’t your typical end-of-world thanks to some crazy guy obtaining unimaginable power or some monster wanting to destroy the world just because it fucking wants to. No, the story revolved around politics, power struggles, deception, tragedy, and vision. In the country of Ivalice, two great nations, the eastern Rozarrian Empire and the western Imperial Archadia, are in the midst of a great war between the two. Two smaller kingdoms, Dalmasca and Nabradia are in the middle of both great nations and are being targeted by Imperial Archadia. The story is full of deceit, political issues, and war. The story felt modern and fresh, as if Square Enix was highlighting an issue of what could happen in the real world.
This isn’t the first time Square Enix took another franchise (Square also took Nintendo’s beloved plumber to new heights in Super Mario RPG) and made a really good game out of it. Taking Disney’s characters and making a role playing game (RPG) was a huge step not only for Square Enix, but for Disney as well. Disney was never really successful at making games, yeah…there were a few “hidden” gems, but notice the emphasis on the word hidden, you had to search long and hard (ha ha…that’s what she said, now get over it) to find a good Disney game. The team up with Square Enix and Disney however, paid off and it was all thanks to its first collaboration game, Kingdom Hearts. It was released on the PS2 on March 28, 2002.
Kingdom Hearts wasn’t your average RPG, it was set on a third-person perspective and played more like an action game with some elements of an RPG and you controlled one character named Sora. You had other characters in your party like Goofy and Donald Duck, but they were computer controlled. There was another section of the game where you controlled a “Gummi Ship” (where do these names come from!?!) where it was like a rail shooter (like Raiden), but was pointless and very boring, easily the worst part of the game and whoever thought to implement this idea in this game should have been fired. The RPG elements were mostly about leveling your character and upgrading his stats and nothing really more. This game was a new direction for Square Enix at the time and it worked really well.
Alice in Wonderland? Dude…I must be high…