Excerpt: As the holiday season approaches each year, a few high-quality games seem to fly under the radar. This year’s example is Driver San Francisco , the first main entry in the series in over five years. By introducing an intriguing new shift mechanic, the team at Ubisoft Reflections has managed to breath new life into the sandbox driving formula and the entire Driver franchise.
Pros: Shifting mechanic adds a new twist to the open-world racer, Wide variety of missions Fun and unique multiplayer modes
Cons: Ridiculous story with cringe-worthy dialogue, Controls take some getting used to
Excerpt: Whereas each new Final Fantasy game usually brings new mechanics to the series, the game traditionally had, up until now, featured random skirmishes and anime esque storylines. On the other hand, the twelfth iteration of the popular and ever fantastic series is a complete Resident Evil 4 style reinvention of the franchise.
Excerpt: Final Fantasy XII returns to the world of Ivalice and brings the series back to its single-player roots after it diverted with the online Final Fantasy XI . Certainly, fans had high hopes for this game with a long four years in development and such a long time passing since the last single-player Final Fantasy , but it has also been controversial with its significant departure from the traditional Final Fantasy battle system.
Excerpt: Final Fantasy XII for the PlayStation 2 is a game riddled with drama both inside and out. Not only does the tale of Vaan and company make for an interesting story, but so does the game's development. With countless delays, the producer having a breakdown and being dismissed mid-development, extremely high Japanese praises, and a lukewarm reception of the NA demo, Final Fantasy XII raised much debate long before the game was even released.
Excerpt: One year after the conclusion of Final Fantasy XII , Vaan has achieved his dream of becoming a sky pirate, and he's busy traipsing about Ivalician ruins with his childhood friend Penelo. Unfortunately, as he meets up with their old friends Balthier and Fran to seek out the Cache of Glabados, things don't go quite as well as he would have hoped.
Excerpt: For the sixth time, North American gamers get to explore the world of Ivalice. This time, it is in the form of Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings , a real-time strategy RPG for the Nintendo DS. Revenant Wings serves as a direct sequel to Final Fantasy XII with a host of characters returning. The game does differ greatly from the original, offering a completely different experience in terms of gameplay.
Summary: A masterpiece of the RPG genre. It's drawbacks are far overshadowed by it's volume of quality gameplay, story and value for money. Start saving up your Gil and spend it on adding this game to your collection.
Pros: Best story line since FF8., Fantastic graphics, voice acting and atmosphere., 100+ hours entertainment is a bargain by any standard.
Cons: Will consume weeks of your life., Arduous and copious amounts of walking., Espers are a real disappointment.
Excerpt: After beating the game's final boss, I remembered a fight with one of those trophy enemies — a zombie mage named Disma. That dude was rough, able to take off obscene amounts of hit points with both his physical and magic attacks while getting far tougher as you close in on killing him. It was a fight only a masochist could love and winning it gave me more of a sense of accomplishment than I received from the final boss or any other storyline encounter.