Final Fantasy 12: Revenant Wings -DS-
Review by Pete
Final Fantasy 12: Revenant Wings for the DS is another great adventure through the world of Ivalice. I was happy to find that the graphic style to be very reminiscent to the Final Fantasies on the SNES. The game features some of the best dialogue and storyline to come out in a Final Fantasy game. All the characters are delightful and fun. This is a much have for Final Fantasy 12 fans, and a fun adventure for anyone else.
The first adventure through the world of Ivalice was Final Fantasy 12 on the Playstaion 2 in 2006. I wasn’t crazy about this game and I felt very unconnected to the main protagonist Vaan. I beat Final Fantasy 12 and although it had some very good times, I felt that some of the dungeons were far too long and bland and they left me bored and listless. I had no intentions of re-visiting the FF12 universe. In 2007, 1 year after Final Fantasy 12 was released, the sequel Revenant Wings came out. I wish I had picked this game up immediately because its just plain fun.
FF12:RW is not a traditional Final Fantasy role playing game. FF12:RW is actually a real time strategy game similar to Starcraft or Warcraft. You’ll be using the stylus and couple of hot-key buttons to command you’re troops. I would much rather be using a keyboard and mouse for an RTS, but the stylus actually functions pretty good for what you’ll need to be doing. Generally in RTS games it is pivotal to micromanage your troops flawlessly while in battle making sure to counter-play your opponent. FF12:RW is a much simpler approach where micromanagement is not necessary (or even possible) but rather group unit composition and timing.
The game starts you off in the hometown off in Vaan’s hometown Rabanastre. Vaan and his group of 10 year old friends stumble upon a stay airship and quickly commandeer it. The ship goes into auto-pilot and brings the band of friends to a foreign land. Vaan soon discovers a new suffering race of advanced flying humanoids. Your quest in the game is to bring peace to this war-torn breed of people and the plot is thicker and darker than you’d ever imagine. Your adventure is massive and will span the whole world of Ivalice.
The storyline reminded me quite a bit of Final Fantasy 9. FF9′s story gets pretty banana crazy toward the end and I really had to sit back and ponder. FF12:RW gets just as banana crazy. And unlike the original FF12, I really started to get emotionally attached to all the little characters. Vaan really started to come forth as a strong leader in the group and the other respected him. Penelo was the revered caretaker. Bathier and Fran were true pirates of the skies filled with deception and greed. And all of the in-game dialogue was so fun. They really did a good job on the script.
Each mission has a pretty large map and with the controls given, you should be fairly good at navigating your way through the map. The DS’s top screen is used to show the whole map and where all the units are placed, and the DS’s lower screen shows all the action that going on. To command your troops you just select them and point with the stylus where you want them to go.
Throughout the game there is a main quest line supplemented with dozens of optional side-missions. Every side quest is easily accessible through the main menu. Every mission has an objective. You’re to either take out enemies or reach a certain point on the map.
Although FF12:RW is a delight, it did have its share of frustrations. Almost all of the earlier levels can be completed easily on first try. But many of the latter levels are brutally difficult and require several attempts in order to learn the timing of each wave of enemies and to devise a strategy of attack. With the limitations of the control scheme, I thought some of the levels impossible until I found the trick to winning. Certain levels require a specific composition of allies whereas that composition will be useless the next level. I came away with the feeling that the game was being cheap and got way too frustrated and angry during my play through to fully recommend the game to everyone.
FF12:RW is a great journey. I’m so glad that I got to play a Final Fantasy 12 game that left me with a good feeling. The game took me around 30+ hours to beat and it was totally worth it. Every moment was spent honing my skills and coming up with new ways to assault my foes. It was a rewarding experience.
Review byPete June 3, 2010