Since Revenant Wings is a sequel, many who have played the original Final Fantasy XII likely have a general idea what to expect in FFXII: RW. While it remains true to the basic premise of FFXII, numerous changes, both small tweaks and major shifts, have been worked into the game, producing a wholly different experience. Many of these changes can be attributed to the change from Playstation 2 to Nintendo DS, but overall it feels as if the change in platform is more a symptom of a shift in target audience (aiming it at younger children). While this is not a bad alteration per se, it does bring significant changes to the feel of the game.
As to moral values, Revenant Wings contains little that is objectionable. The presentation is milder manner than in FFXII. Language is kept to an absolute minimum throughout the game, an improvement even over the already limited cursing in FFXII. In general the writing of this game is simplified as well, so that even from a reading standpoint it is much simpler and easier to follow. The battle animations tone down the violence a step, with no blood to speak of and significantly less detail. No characters ?die? in the game; when you defeat a monster it simply fades away and returns to the world from which it was summoned, and enemy leaders fall unconscious, often reviving immediately after the battle for the cut scene. Sexuality is quite limited, much as it was in the previous game. There are no overt references to sex, nor any inappropriate joking. A few of the characters wear somewhat revealing outfits, but this is generally present only in the pre-rendered movies, which are quite few.
One of the hardest most difficult aspects of this game to rate is the magic. The game is rife with it, though it plays a minor role. Every character, even the melee fighters, has certain special abilities. These range from hitting an opponent twice in a row to reviving someone (from an unconscious state, not death). For some characters these abilities are certainly what one would call magical, causing lightning to fall from the sky or fire to consume enemies. This magic really has no explanation; some characters are able to use it (though there is one reference to studying magic). In addition to these abilities, magic also takes the form of an enchanted crystal that is able to summon monsters from another realm to fight beside the player. These beings are said to be from the ?world of illusion? and are basically spirits that have taken on the shape of monsters. Much like FFXII, all these forces and creatures are portrayed as being neutral, so the magic of the world has no negative connotations. There are no rituals or chants to speak of, though summoning involves holding a crystal up and a flash of light.
In terms of its message, FFXII Revenant Wings is very clean as well. While one character is the bartender from FFXII, he serves an entirely different role in this game (shopkeeper/information source). In the story there is really nothing that could cause a problem, though it does portray one character as seeking to gain the power of ?eternity? or immortality, and there are godlike-beings who are said to manipulate humans to their whims. Perhaps the most problematic concept is the fact that the characters you control are self proclaimed ?sky pirates.? There are a few parts in the game where your main character acts the part, engaging in questionable behavior, but never in any significant amount. An important distinction is made between your party and the other sky pirates, indicating that you are more a party of adventurers than common thieves. At one point the main character even states that a treasure that one hasn?t earned is basically worthless. Also, your characters are allied with the authority figures of the major nations, and, while free spirited, are in no way rogues.
Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings provides an enjoyable experience with its short missions and simple story ideal for light play in small increments. The overall depth is limited, but possesses enough meat to keep most players entertained. The story does justice to FFXII, continuing it and staying true to its roots, all the while adapting it to a new audience. All in all, players who enjoyed the last game will almost certainly find Revenant Wings a pleasant sequel. The game is not without its flaws, but most of these can easily be overlooked in favor of the things that the game does right. While certainly not the greatest DS game we?ve played, content-wise it offers minimal objectionable material, and generally seems like a highly accessible title for those still a bit young to tackle other, more mature RPGs.
» By Jesse Porch, Plain Games. Published 12/17/2007 1:10:37 PM.