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Why Do People Think Final Fantasy XII is Unpopular?

Why Do People Think Final Fantasy XII is Unpopular?

    Last Updated on June 11, 2023

Final Fantasy XII, released in 2006, is a notable entry in the long-running Final Fantasy franchise by Square Enix. Yes, it garnered critical acclaim upon its release. However, it has often been labeled as an unpopular installment by some circles of gamers. The perception of Final Fantasy XII as an unpopular game requires closer examination. Indeed, a deeper understanding of the factors that contributed to this viewpoint is required. In this article, we will dive into the key reasons behind the perceived unpopularity of Final Fantasy XII. At the end of it, we hope to shed light on its enduring qualities.

It Departs From The Traditional Formula Of Previous Final Fantasy Games

One of the primary reasons Final Fantasy XII is sometimes viewed as unpopular is its departure from the traditional formula that characterized earlier entries in the series. Unlike its predecessors, which relied heavily on turn-based combat, Final Fantasy XII introduced a real-time combat system with a strategic twist. This change disrupted players’ expectations and prompted mixed reactions. While some did appreciate this bold new take, others feel as if Final Fantasy XII strayed too much.

Final Fantasy XII Combat

Perhaps no other element exemplifies this better than the game’s infamous Gambit system. This enables players to program their characters with pre-set instructions for combat. It is true that this system provided depth and flexibility. However, it required a significant investment of time and effort to fully grasp and utilize it effectively as well. Some players found this complexity overwhelming and preferred the more straightforward character control found in previous Final Fantasy titles. Meanwhile, others praise it to this day as a very unique combat system that other RPGs should experiment further with.

A Convoluted Story And A Forgetful Protagonist 

The narrative and characters of Final Fantasy XII also played a role in shaping the perception of its unpopularity. The game tackles several complex political storylines set in the fictional world of Ivalice. It focuses on themes of war, betrayal, and redemption. While some players appreciated the mature and intricate narrative, others found it convoluted and difficult to follow. 

Additionally, the stoic and less overtly charismatic protagonist, Vaan, was a departure from the more iconic and over-the-top lead characters of previous Final Fantasy games. Vaan didn’t resonate as strongly with some fans. In fact, others remember his side characters more than him. And if that doesn’t sound like a forgetful main protagonist, we don’t know what is.

The Competition and Timing When It Became Available

The release timing of Final Fantasy XII also contributed to the perception of its unpopularity. It faced stiff competition from other highly acclaimed games during its release window, including The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. This intense competition may have resulted in some players gravitating toward these other titles, causing Final Fantasy XII to receive comparatively less attention and recognition.

Despite the initial perception of unpopularity, Final Fantasy XII has undergone a reevaluation over the years and gained recognition for its unique qualities. The game’s stunning visuals, expansive world, and rich lore have garnered appreciation from a significant portion of the gaming community. The release of Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, an enhanced version for modern platforms, has provided an opportunity for players to revisit or experience the game for the first time, leading to a renewed appreciation and a shift in the perception of its popularity.

Final Words

The perception of Final Fantasy XII as an unpopular entry in the series stems from various factors. Its departure from the traditional formula, the complexity of its Gambit system, the intricate narrative, and intense competition during its release. 

However, it is important to recognize that popularity is subjective. Over time, Final Fantasy XII has managed to find its audience. With its unique gameplay mechanics, captivating world, and enhanced re-release, the game has overcome its initial reputation and is now celebrated as a distinct and memorable installment in the Final Fantasy series.

Written By
Eidervan Frago

A gamer his whole life. Can go the whole day talking about everything gaming-related. He now mixes his love for writing and passion for gaming to create informational and helpful articles for all.

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