Wednesday, November 08, 2006

FFXII: Eye Candy

This game is fucking beautiful.

The picture retains its worth in words, so I invite you to hit up a few gaming sites and check out the screen shot galleries for FFXII:

FFXII at Gamepro
FFXII at IGN/Gamespy

There is no doubt in this artist's mind that Square has employed the best character designers our generation is likely to see. And that ain't no fluff, in fact that statement is highly contested! Hell, I give actual scholastic lectures on the subject. But one thing can't be denied-- be it by Amano, Nomura, or Yoshida, FF character designs are stunningly original. Yoshida's designs for FFXII tread a delicious line between contemporary haute couture and pure fantasy costuming. The lead character, Vann, is noticeably effeminate, but commands both power and emotion. I can only assume he is appealing to female players, yet with sword in hand and the expected protagonist bravado he still kicks ass without taking names. By contrast, additional male characters are alternate universe Marlboro spokesmen who don't even have time to be labeled cool.

The female supporting cast is as beautiful as can be expected. Requisite Princess Ashe commands respect upon entering the game as a battle-ready resistance fighter (tho most of the marketing materials featuring her seem to contradict this). Spunky sidekick Penelo rocks the combat zone in pigtails! And Fran? Well... yes. Far from the whispy "healer" roles relegated to females in RPGs past. (Aside, FFX2-- who's lead cast is composed entirely of women-- is a hell of a fun game. It's a pristine concoction of D&D Barbie in just about every way)

Environments and support artwork in FFXII are visions of wonder and awe. If not for visual impact, than in the pure artistic skill involved in their creation. All of this is gushing, I know, but I'm an artist after all. Such imagery speaks to the heart as much as the brain, and only spurs inspiration.

Final Fantasy XII Official Site.

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