I began losing interest in Final Fantasy as a series after the Super Nintendo. When the gameplay remained the same, except for only one or two changes per title, I started looking to other series to keep my interest.
With Final Fantasy XII, Square Enix has given me something new and unique, though. Combining real-time gameplay mechanics of popular online RPGs with pacing suitable for a single player game has resulted in something fast paced and ideal for someone tired of the derivative, turn-based RPGs on the market. The story is a bit lacking, not so much clichéd as simply boring compared to the game itself, and when most of the challenge comes from the games optional quests to kill super-monsters, the story is hardly missed when you don't advance it for hours at a time.
Graphics are among the best on the Playstation 2, and sound and music, while nothing particularly memorable, is still good enough not to warrant muting.
Gamers looking for something fresh need to make it a priority to pick up Final Fantasy XII. Player's can be challenged to complete all the games optional goals, or just coast through the main story for the sake of completion and experiencing a totally new take on the single-player RPG.