Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings is a spin-off sequel pitting Vaan and Penelo on a quest to becoming sky pirates. After uncovering an ancient ship and befriending a ragtag group, the team travels to far off lands in the pursuit of adventure. It’s a more lighthearted quest compared to XII and while there are a few interesting revelations, it won’t keep players ensnared.
Except for a few mini games, this is the first full-blown RTS for the Final Fantasy franchise. Players can control Vaan and other hero characters to both attack and summon monsters to fight for them. It’s a very streamlined RTS layout where waypoints act as summon areas that can repeatedly send out varying types of creatures. If not for the small screen making it hard to see and direct, it’s actually quite fun. Unfortunately because of this battles can get dicey fast. That’s not to say the battle system is broken, but the small screen and sharp difficulty make it hard to recommend for hardcore RTS fans and for beginners in the genre.
Design wise, RW is reminiscent of the Tactics series. The characters, monsters, and environments are all great, oozing with personality. Even the music is like having a bite sized FFXII in your hands making battles that much more engaging. All the good aside, the main docking point the game are the battles. It’s fun and easy to handle at first, but they ramp up fast. This can be remedied with one of the more grind heavy Final Fantasy games in recent memory, which is another unfortunate sleight against this go-getter.
Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings is an excellent idea for a spin-off. The music and design of the world is fun, carefree, and uplifting. The battles are engaging, though again, it doesn’t last due to the small screen and quick spike in difficulty. It was a great effort that if revisited again in another game, it could work quite well for the Final Fantasy universe.
Score: 3/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on April 6, 2014 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.