What if you could fly in an airship and hunt treasures as part of a sky pirate crew? Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings does just that and gives us a look at the aftermath of the events of Final Fantasy XII. With gameplay similar to Final Fantasy Tactics and familiar faces from Final Fantasy XII, Revenant Wings brings fun to the tactical RPG genre. The gameplay and story are enjoyable and gave the world another game that was difficult to put down. Although there are few movie sequences because the game is on the DS, Revenant Wings uses them well and has crafted some beautiful movies.
The game starts off a year after the events of Final Fantasy XII with Vaan, Penelo, Balthier, and Fran hunting for a treasure known as the "Cache of Glabados". Little did they know that one treasure would set off a whole new adventure featuring the Aegyl, Yahri, and the main antagonist the "Judge of Wings". Revenant Wings also introduces us to a new land floating high above the world. Protected by the auraliths, the Aegyl have lived there for centuries. Now, sky pirates have attacked the islands in the sky and are wreaking havoc on a once peaceful society.
The gameplay is similar to Final Fantasy Tactics, but the main difference is that you are moving in real time. If you don't move quickly enough, then the enemy will come to you and with a vengeance. Some missions need speed, whereas others need careful planning. There are plenty of side missions to do in order to build one's level in the form of monster and summoning battles. These three battle types can be completed as many times as you like. Monster battles are against the native monsters of a specific location. All you need to do in order to pass is to defeat all of the monsters. Summoning battles are a bit different because there are group leaders and in order to get past the mission, you have to defeat the leader of the group. If you do not defeat the leaders then they will keep summoning more monsters to help them. There are also certain missions that you can only get by talking to people on your ship. These usually involve unlocking new Yahri to summon, or extra storyline that is not vital to the main one. The main thing to remember is that on top of the traditional elemental weaknesses of traditional Final Fantasy games, you need to remember a triad of strengths and weaknesses. Melee beats ranged, ranged beats flying, and flying beats melee. The player must use all knowledge of this system as well as the elements to successfully pass any mission.
The music helps set the mood of the missions well with beautifully crafted battle music as well as music that allows for an air of fun. Most of the main characters are still young and despite their adventures, they still retain a youthful quality and, as Vaan always taught, the indomitable spirit of the sky pirate. Being a sequel, we can expect to see all of our favorite characters from the PS2 game. From Vaan and Penelo to Ashe and Basch. The new characters, though, help carry the game further. Llyud, Kytes, and Filo round out your arsenal with abilities and weapons that are new. The look of the characters is a bit more cute than in the PS2 game, however this does not compromise the integrity of characters that we know and love. Basch still is serious and Balthier is still cocky.
All in all, the game is a great addition to the collection of any fan of Final Fantasy Tactics or Final Fantasy XII because it melds the two games together seemlessly. Taking the gameplay of the former and applying it to the world of the latter helps to keep the world fresh which is necessary for spin-offs and sequels alike. A player can also find the challenge they would like in a tactical RPG without the restrictions of a grid and also can practice on all different levels of challenges. The story is amazing, and what we have come to expect from the main entries in the Final Fantasy series. An epic adventure that is sure to be remembered.
A game that continues the story of the well-received Final Fantasy XII and tactical gameplay suited for gamers of any level? What more can a fangirl ask for?
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