I finished Final Fantasy 12 last night. It was an entirely enjoyable game, but I really hit the point of "I want it to be done now" decently into it. The cheating, which consisted of setting up a Gambit system to auto-level over sixty hours, really helped me get through the game. Even with having an average level of ninety, I actually enjoyed the last bits of the plot. Fluffy said it was very pretty and I think she's right. I also think there were a few other things they did right.
The Gambit system is very, very cool. I like the ability to identify the rules of a character for a real-time game. It made it much easier to customize the characters and to give them a distinct feel without me worrying about every single little action. The License Board, on the other hand, was not so impressive. Having to spend points to put on a corsage, a hat, or use a sharp pointy sword is kind of annoying. One of the advantages of cheating is that I got all the points and it was much easier to just pick up the items knowing I could use them. For spells and techniques, I think they are pretty good. I had an idea for Triumph using something similar to the License Board, but it hasn't worked out yet. I also didn't like the fact you pretty much had to have a walkthru to find most of the secrets. Randomized treasures weren't so bad, but somehow knowing not to open eight chests to get the best item in the game, that was kind of low. In one of the FAQ's, someone mentioned that they did that on purpose to encourage people to talk about the game, to share information, and to try replaying the game. Lately, I haven't replayed a single Square Enix game ever. Actually, the only game I've replayed was the second round of Ratchet and Clank, just to see if they had a better ending the second time (they didn't). But, there should be a way of knowing everything in the game from inside the game, not by needing a walkthru or a cheat book. If I do write a game, its one of those rules I really need to focus on.
Naturally, two days before, I opened my holiday gifts from my mother and brother and just got a new game, Wild Arms 4, so once again, I have two games unfinished. I'm probably going to keep WA4 in the wrapper until I play Oblivion at least a few more dozen hours. I have this huge stack of plugins to make it prettier, a new graphics card, and a 22" widescreen monitor begging to show off that game.
I also figured out how to post lj-cuts on my main journal to cut down on the massive data on the friends page.