This post was originally written (by me) and published on April 18, 2007 here.
I had originally intended to write a lengthy discussion on the exact reasons why I don't enjoy Final Fantasy XII, deconstructing the story, characters, game mechanics and the disconnect between gameplay and cutscenes. It was, however, ridiculously long and can be summarised with the following:
On the back of the case in all capitals the top of the blurb is "Challenge an empire. Liberate a nation. Change the world." Sounds pretty awe-inspiring. Opening cutscene sets the context of the story and the tutorial section provides some more backstory. Now I have control of the main character, let's go be a hero. I've got to go kill a couple of rats for bounties? Ok, maybe. He's a street urchin, he has to make money somehow. Scene set, let's got onto that whole empire thing. Go kill a monster? I guess so, heroes slay dragons and so forth. What is this monster that's stopping merchants making it into the town? Rogue Tomato. Rogue. Tomato. Maybe it's just got a silly name, but it's actually really scary ... nope, turns out to be a midget in purple pyjamas with an enormous tomato instead of a head.
If you want to suggest that your game is a sweeping epic of drama and blah, blah, blah, I would suggest not using dancing cacti and vegetable-headed midgets as monsters to set the tone.