What’s New In FFXII: The Zodiac Age
The HD Remaster for Final Fantasy XII has finally been announced, and no remaster would be worth it without upgrades to the original title. Since this title hasn’t been available outside of emulators since 2006, it’s safe to say it’s particularly anticipated. In Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, we’ve finally got an idea of what improvements we can expect when the remaster makes its way into our hands in the future.
For starters, The Zodiac Age in the title assumes the game will reference the International Zodiac Job System from the 2007 Japan exclusive title of the same name. In an interview with Polygon, producer Hiroaki Kato has announced the four major improvements coming to Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age. Those include game balance, trial mode, high speed mode, and an improvement to the job system.
First, game balance has been addressed, seeing as most people ho played the original title may not just how difficult FFXII can be. They have taken to alleviating the difficulty issue by first identifying what the problem could be, and then getting help from other senior staff on improving the games balance. Kato insists part of the problem was the introduction of a new combat system.
“One of the biggest challenges we faced in Final Fantasy 12 was to ditch the classic random encounter system that we had… In other games, you would go into battle suddenly, whereas in Final Fantasy 12 you saw enemies as you moved through the field. It’s a real-time battle system. It was a big departure from the classic system.”
In response, he spoke with other Square staff including “Hiroyuki Ito, who worked on the game design for previous Final Fantasy titles,” Kato said. “We overhauled the game balance so that it would be easier for players — closer to the feel of a classic Final Fantasy title.”
They’re also introducing Trial Mode, which will combat those who aren’t happy about the game being easier. It’ll provide a challenge for players, allowing them to load up their saved data and use the party they’ve leveled up to fight through a number of battles. About 100 battle scenarios will be available with each progressive battle increasing in difficulty.
“It’s specifically designed so that it’s impossible to go through all 100 stages on the same gambit settings. You’ll have to go in and tweak your gambits. This is something for users looking to get the most out of the gambit system.”
High speed Mode gives players the ability to hold down a button to mode much faster. The open world area is huge, and it’s a definite help for players to traverse its vastness. With high speed mode also comes a better guide feature to help players from getting lost. There will also be a new autosave feature implemented between maps.
Finally, the Job System will allow players to assign different class roles to characters, giving them unique skills and stat bonuses depending on the job they’re assigned. This will change the effect the license board had in the original game, where all your characters ended up being just about the same in the end.
“When you progress through the original game enough, you notice that all the characters basically become supermen,” said Kato. “The job system makes the game more interesting for the characters. Each job has different abilities, so you can really customize your party and enjoy character growth through those jobs.”
Apparently we can look forward to staple series jobs such as Archer and Knight, and even Red Mage.
With all of these improvements, there’s hope that players who haven’t had a chance to try the game, as well as those who didn’t quite catch on back in 2006 will give it a chance. Kato suggests (and rightly so in my opinion) that the game was ahead of its time, and that it can still hold up today with the other open world and real-time battle games in the atmosphere today.
You can check out the entire segment over at Polygon, and make sure you let us know what you think of the upcoming remaster.