Final Fantasy 12’s New Fast-Forward Feature Is A Godsend

Final Fantasy 12’s New Fast-Forward Feature Is A Godsend

After several hours playing Square Enix’s new Final Fantasy XII remaster, I can confidently say I like it. I can just as confidently say that I like it a lot more because I can fast-forward through it.

The remaster’s full title is Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age. It’s out on PS4 on July 11, and this is the first time the 2006 PS2 game has been made available for newer systems since it came out. This is a bells-and-whistles cleanup job: a visual overhaul, new save options, a tweaked job system and a re-recorded version of Hitoshi Sakimoto’s killer orchestral score. And perhaps best of all, you can press the left shoulder button and immediately make everything move twice (or four times) as fast.

FFXII is a big game, even by Final Fantasy standards. I’ve occasionally seen it referred to as a “single-player MMO,” since the combat shares more things in common with massively multiplayer online games than with the measured, quasi-turn-based combat of previous Final Fantasy titles.

Once you’ve assigned your party members their respective roles and combat operations (called “gambits”), you can get through a lot of fights without actively doing much. Enter the fast-forward feature.

I played the opening chapters of FFXII at normal speed. Shortly after the intro, the game puts you through several dungeons back to back, which quickly started to feel like a slog. Oh look, another sewer full of bats. Another cave full of mecha-spiders. None of those fights were difficult, they were just time consuming. My characters moved so slowly, even out of combat. I was spending most of my time watching them casually jog toward the next exit.

A couple hours in, I tried the fast-forward button, and everything changed. The game was moving twice as fast. I started racing through trivial combat encounters. Fast-forward also increased my overall movement speed, and I’ve started treating it like a goofier-than-usual “run” button.

I made a video to demonstrate the difference between the two speeds:

I like what I’ve played of FFXII so far. I’m mostly interested in the story, the characters, and that amazing music (which, thankfully, plays at normal speed when fast-forwarding). I don’t care that much about my twentieth Dire Rat encounter, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to make those go faster.

Without fast-forward, I probably would have stopped playing Final Fantasy XII somewhere in the third dungeon. Which would have been a shame, because this seems like a pretty good game.


  • Its so good without the fast forward you wouldnt have bothered continuing it is not the best way to sell a game…..

    • I would prefer game journalists didn’t try to ‘sell games’ to be honest.

      Kotaku has enough shilling articles, especially the tech reviews.
      Good to see some casual honestly in this piece.

      • I agree its just hearing how great a game apparently is, only to then hear its made better by speeding it up is just off putting. It sounds like an insincere attempt to praise it. Maybe its just how it appears to me.

        Again though the notion of a little more honesty and a little less shilling or agenda pushing is always a good thing. Maybe Im just being needlessly picky……?

        • I think you are probably being needlessly picky.

          I understand how it can sound counter-intuitive to you to hear, “The game is great if you experience less of it!” But there can be a lot more to games than slavish adherence to the developer’s intended pacing.

          If disrespectful time-wasting padding is a game’s only/biggest flaw, then a way to bypass that is surely an enhancement, unlocking for time-sensitive gamers the true strengths of the game that they would otherwise have been denied: the twists in the story, deepening mechanics options, expanded freedom of navigation and choices, and variety of biomes.

          Ironically, fast-forward doesn’t translate to playing less of the game. It results in playing MORE of it, where poor pacing would have turned time-poor players off. And knowing this makes me more inclined to experience all those aspects of the game that count toward making it ‘great’.

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