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Dragon Age's Striking Similarities To Final Fantasy XII

Those who come here regularly know I've really fallen in love with Dragon Age: Origins, which is especially great because I was starting to think my age-old love of RPGs had disappeared. After all, the last RPG - outside of Lost Odyssey - that really attached itself to me was Final Fantasy XII.

Being a massive FF fan, I play all FFs and usually do everything there is to do in every installment. But there was a time I did that with most all RPGs; I'd play them almost exclusively during the PS1 days and while my tastes expanded in the PS2 generation, role-playing was still my favorite genre. And in FFXII, I spent a good 100 hours and even took down Yaizmat. ...but since then, the RPGs that really "got" me, so-to-speak, have been few and far between; I know Demon's Souls was stellar but that just wasn't my thing, and I've never liked the ones like Oblivion and Fallout 3. So Dragon Age: Origins comes along and in five days, I realize I've spent 18 hours playing it and I have difficulty putting the controller down. On Saturday, I stood up after a 5-hour gaming session (the absolute longest in years) and said, "man, haven't done that since FFXII." And then...it hit me. I was playing FFXII...only in a Dungeons & Dragons environment.

I'm certainly not accusing Bioware of ripping anything off; that's just absurd. It's not like we hadn't seen this type of style and/or gameplay before FFXII and in fact, one could even make the argument that FFXII was trying to be more like Western RPGs. But even so, the similarities really are interesting: the combat is that same real-time hack 'n slash format that allows you to pause at any time by bringing up in-game menus. You can switch to other party members whenever you wish but when governed by AI, they perform the actions outlined in their set Tactics (or in FFXII, Gambits, which are exactly the same thing). Even the world layout is similar; the areas you explore are about the same size, as are the towns and cities and the only significant difference is that Origins has a world map where you select locations, while in FFXII, it was more of a full, seamless world you continued to explore.

No, Origins doesn't have the Licenses and all that and of course, the environments and storyline are immensely different. But in how you play the game - everything from how the combat functions to exploration to fulfilling secondary objectives - Origins feels a looooot like FFXII. I still miss my favorite mechanic (turn-based), which is probably why the only RPG I've completed this generation is Lost Odyssey, but at least I can pause in the other two games in question, and I just love how things progress. It's a nice combination of story and freedom and one I can really get into. I'm just saying: if you liked FFXII, I'd be very surprised if you don't like Origins. Same idea, fellow RPG aficionados.

Related Game(s): Dragon Age: Origins

11/9/2009 10:48:29 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (59 posts)

tlpn99
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 11:12:52 AM
Reply

I wanted Origins and it got put back until the 20th same date as Assassins Creed 2 I think or there abouts.
So now least it will give me time to complete MW2 over the next couple of weeks.

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bigrailer19
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 1:31:18 PM

dragon age origins has been released, last tuesday!

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tlpn99
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 6:54:45 PM

sorry Bigrailer I should have said in the UK it has been pushed back on the PS3 to 20th November 2009. :)

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darxed
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 11:25:41 AM
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Well I liked the gameplay in FFXII, but not the story, as a matter of fact It was the first FF that I have not absolutely adored, to little character development, If the story is as good as I've been hearing it is then I might get this, although If you ask me, I wish turn-based RPGs would make a come back... well heres hoping for a Persona 5 to not go the western route...

Last edited by darxed on 11/9/2009 11:26:33 AM

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Kevadu
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 11:30:39 AM

I agree with you about FFXII's story. It started off OK but then it was just kind of forgotten 20 hours or so in. So far that hasn't been an issue in DA:O. The story is very strong and it looks like it will probably stay that way.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 12:29:30 PM

Yeah, I didn't like the story, either. But the gameplay more than made up for it, IMO, and the ending was AWESOME. :)

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Kevadu
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 11:28:43 AM
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I'm really impressed with the amount of detail Bioware has put into the DA:O setting. Yes, it does include a number of the usual fantasy tropes and there is a strong LotR influence, but there is enough originality in there to keep things interesting. Mostly I am impressed with the detailed history and culture of the world, which really does give you the feeling you are part of a living, breathing world.

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Zemus101
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 12:00:06 PM

I agree with everything you said. I can't remember the last time I was excited about a games background story and history.

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Zemus101
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 11:56:19 AM
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This is kinda funny because I'm the opposite. Loving Dragon Age: Origins (about 20 hours of game time) and just didn't like FFXII no matter how many times I've tried to go back and play it.

I've been a huge FF fan for years, ever since the first on the NES. FFIV and VIII being my favorites. I just did not enjoy XII. I hated having to always set up gambits from scratch and changing them depending on what I'm fighting. I've been about 30 hours into XII 3 times now over the years, and it's always at about the same point where I lose interest, which has never happened with an FF before! I found nothing memorable about the story (where every FF before that had huge moments throughout the games) I also found the license board to be very weird, I basically just found it essential to race to the special moves that were on the edges of the boards, therefore not really having many options or choices in something that "looks" like it would be unlimited in that way.

Dragon Age: Origins however, I am absolutely loving. Maybe it has something to do with creating my own character to explore the world with. Perhaps it's because I feel like I'm creating most of the story as I go, depending on my actions and choices, and which party members I use. I'm only 20 hours in but I don't see myself losing interest, and hell ...if I do, I can start over with a new origin story and go a completely different route (maybe just kill anyone when I have the chance? or be really lazy lol) Plus there's trophies, how many side characters?, many different ways to build your character, optional dlc... etc

EDIT: Oh yes, and I enjoy the "Gambit" system in DA:O because there are preset lists that you can just tweak and edit. My party members don't seem to do anything stupid (yet) and I can usually just focus on my main character (and switch to my side characters to use certain trap or AoE spells)

Last edited by Zemus101 on 11/9/2009 11:58:08 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 12:31:34 PM

I know what you're saying, because I usually play FF for the story, too, and as I said above, FFXII didn't have one of my favorite stories.

But I also think in regards to Origins, that it has a lot to do with who your main character is. For example, as a mage, I really have to keep a VERY close eye on all Tactics and continually tweak them as I did in FFXII. So that's why it feels so much like FFXII, I guess.

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Scarecrow
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 1:09:42 PM

FFXII had one of the most mature/ storylines in FF history

It wasn't 'bout saving the princess/summoner and all that. Or the love story you see in every FF

It was more 'bout love for one's country, and ultimately one's world. That bonded the characters really well imo. I loved the story, you always felt like there was a purpose in everything.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 3:14:14 PM

Yeah, I know, but you can make mature storylines that have nothing to do with politics.

Being apolitical, I basically dislike all stories like that.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 4:20:18 PM

ha, I'm a bit the opposite on FFXII, I liked the story but found the gameplay rather lame. For the most part I could just set up my gambits and then sit there while my team beat the enemy for me. I liked FFX and X-2's ATB where I really felt engaged. And man you spent more time just running from place to place than anything else, like they wanted to fill out that play time.

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Kevadu
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 @ 1:00:52 AM

My problem with FFXII's story was more the pacing than anything. It was good for the first 20 hours or so but before long cut scenes started getting so short and sparsely distributed that you would forget what your objectives were and why you were playing...

That said, I really liked certain aspects of the gameplay. FFXII had the what was easily the best dungeon-crawling of any Final Fantasy game in my opinion.

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Lotusflow3r
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 11:58:56 AM
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I actually thought that upon watching the trailers Ben so, i think it may be the case for me when i get it too.

But, that's also why i said it looks like nothing new nor innovative and highly doubt it will come near my other 09 RPG experience, Demons Souls....infact, im guessing it will be unfair to DA: O if i did compare it to one of the finest games of the past 10 years so maybe i shouldn't.

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Zorigo
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 12:16:14 PM
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i would get origins, but im so broke, and so busy, i mean AC2, Mw2, finishing fallout3 + DLC, replaying Uncharted2, MGS4, and my exams, and coursework, i soooo aint got time. fallout is enough for me amongst everything. what i need is a good racer. i'll probly blast Pacific rift up, but i might tempt Dirt2 or Shift maybe. or maybe just wait for GT5

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michiganfan1983
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 12:23:25 PM
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Good to hear that you got your RPG mojo going again Ben. I also loved ffxii but do agree that story did get a little stale at times, but there where so many side missions that it was easy to ignore. The game play was great, I will probably have to added DA:O to the Christmas list, because of DS and Uc2 last month and AC2 this month I am tapped out. If I don't get it then I will probably have to wait till it drops in price. The more I hear you and Arnold (in his review) give praise (3 or 4 times now) the more I am willing to give it a try even with the frame rate issues on the ps3 version as I don't have a 360 yet, but if I decide to get one (under serious consideration just because all of my friends have one) this will definetly be a title to get with it.

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SirLoin of Beef
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 1:01:35 PM
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DAO isn't much different, gameplay-wise, from other recent RPG's from BioWare. I can't comment on its similarities to the Final Fantasy series as I've never played any of them but as I've been playing DAO, it feels like I'm playing Mass Effect, Lord of the Rings style. As I loved Mass Effects (and really love their stellar Knights of the Old Republic), I have no qualms with their continuing to use the same style of game mechanics.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 4:24:19 PM

no ff's? . . . for shame Sirloin.

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Scarecrow
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 1:05:35 PM
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There's probably not a bigger Final Fantasy XII fan then me. That game left me with some amazing memories. Still in awe of how much more mature the story was than in previous FFs and how it truly created a real FF world. Not just that, the cast was one of the most original ever (Balthier f****** rocks!)

If it wasn't because I don't like the design/fantasy style of Dragon Age I would've gotten it

I'm not too keen on the whole Dungeons and Dragons look, never liked those kinds of rpgs. I'm more of a pure fantasy/medieval rpg ish fan. I do like futuristic too, but not too futuristic *cough* FFXIII *cough*

Well I think I'll have to rent this game somehow

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chewy102
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 1:21:15 PM

I don't see how the characters where all that original. Their stories and personalities where unique but how they played was the exact same thanks to the licence board. It didn't matter if one got KOed or not. You would still have everything you needed to win a battle.

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Scarecrow
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 2:52:12 PM

Well, there where classes (weapons) which suited some characters better than others

Penelo for exxample was better Thief than she was a Lancer(?) or a black mage.

There were classes which suited some characters better than others.

Speed wise things factored in as well. You couldn't really make Basch a ninja or a thief or anything like that.

But I agree that it had more freedom as to which classes you could assign (which was great)

I went against the norm and made Penelo a gunner. She was soooo cute at it!!! omg haha

Balthier was the swordsman, since he was actually the main character.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 4:25:35 PM

Penelo ftw!

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chewy102
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 1:10:45 PM
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Sorry, but Im just not loving DA:O. It's a damn good game but there is just so much wrong with it.

1- The screen gets chopy every time I move the cam
2- The dialog cuts out time to time
3- Dialog volume can change at any time without cause
4- Horrible difficulty spikes (I know that the enemy level up with you but I just got 1 treaty done, without much difficulty, and now I can't survive 2 mobs. I can't go back to grind because of a story driven battle while traveling that has me outnumbered by at least 4-1. The longest I lasted was 8-13 seconds)
5- No one reacts to you (not important, but Id hope to at least get some reaction out of anyone when Im a giant f-ing spider!)
6- Only 6 commands (for a tank/rogue that is a good number but a mage needs a lot more. Yes I know that you can just press L2 to pause the game and use any spell you know but that's cheating IMO)

Bioware is known for weird/left field difficulty spikes, but there is no reason for one that can kill an entire team in under 6 seconds without any warning. I could just be ranting, it just feels like the game needed more work to pause me.

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bigrailer19
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 1:43:00 PM

this stuff does happen your right. but did you just wanna mow threw the game without dying? change up your tactics, and try using some dif. characters. i use two warriors on as a tank and alistair to help fend off mages since hs is a templar. i use a rogue for stealing, lock picking, and as an archer, and a dual wield if im aainst a boss like an ogre that has no ranged attacks. and ultimately a mage for spells, and now that im done leveling her ranged and attack sells im now getting some healing spells for her.

this works well for my style of play, i have encountered the difficulty spikes and i just change what im doing in tactics and ussually prevail later. make sure you set up your tactics with potions towards the top also because, the tactics works like code. it goes down the ist until one tactic fails the staRTS OVER. SO SOMETIMES IT MAY NOT REACH YOUR POTIONS. (oops sorry bout the caps).

also if you die you can easily change the difficulty, and go back to a harder difficulty later from the menu that pops up after death. i think that was implemented fo this reason. so saying the game wasnt ready isn't correct in my opinion.

good luck!

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 11/9/2009 1:49:44 PM

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chewy102
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 2:31:55 PM

I do want the game to challenge me, just not in a cheap "instant ass kicking" type of spike. Im not one that likes to HAVE to make the partners AI anew every time I complete a story quest. That kills a lot of a characters independence and originality. That is a cheap and lazy trick the devs use to make it seem they made a partner AI IMO.

I miss the games where you needed to make a party of people that fit your play style. DA is about half like that. You not only need the right people to support you you also have to make their AI. Why give a character a personality and you the ability to make them play the exact opposite of that personality (make a dps mage a support, or a tank into a long range fighter)? That's why I didn't like FFXII all that much. The ability to make a partners AI is a turn off for me. It makes the game feel like Im playing with a party of blank slates that can't do anything without an order or permission.

You can argue that turn based RPGs also play like that but those characters have a personality that fits their gameplay. I prefer to live the story through the characters eyes, like reading a good book. If you get to control everything, then nothing happens. No little surprises, no left field plot twist, no nothing that can't be seen long before it happens.

(damn I type to much. sorry about the wall-o-text)

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Alienange
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 2:37:45 PM

Those are some weak complaints.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 3:22:05 PM

chewy: I'm TOTALLY with you about your last comment concerning the need for a good story, and viewing it through a character's eyes. I really am, and I'm glad I'm not the only one.

As for the technical issues, are you playing the PS3 version? It sounds like it...I'm playing the 360 version and I've experienced no such problems, although there is some slight jerking in the cut-scenes. I always get this in 360/PC games, though; it must be a matter of the software/hardware integration or something because it's basically constant.

Now, as for the difficulty thing- you know, it happened to me. I was just rolling along, going about my merry way, doing a quest for the Dalish where I had to kill Witherfang. Note that I did this directly after the debacle in that first major battle and I went and explored the first town, Lothering. I was doing fine until I realized there were a few battles in the forest when I touched a gravestone where I got annihilated. FAST. Like, the undead showed up and I died. That should've worried me because I finally got to this temple and HAD to fight a similar battle, and it was just impossible.

So yeah, I was frustrated. And I would've been downright pissed if this were the type of game that didn't allow you to explore freely. Thing is, you can't really power level because there are no respawning creatures in areas so you're basically stuck as you are when you encounter something. But then I thought, "maybe I shouldn't have come here first. Alistair did say to go to Redcliffe..."

So I went there and lo and behold, the battles I had to do there were not only doable, but easy. I leveled up appropriately and got stronger and there are other places I could go, too. I noticed that I still couldn't go see the dwarves (way too tough battles in the mountains), but gradually, I could explore other places. I had to leave the Dalish quest unfinished, but you can always go back. So it's not really spiking difficulty; it's more like a true RPG where you do have the freedom to go certain places where you simply can't survive just yet.

I hope this enhances your enjoyment a little bit. Take it from someone who experienced exactly what you did. :)

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 11/9/2009 3:24:32 PM

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chewy102
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 4:55:47 PM

Ben~

Yeah I got the ps3 version. Also Im getting killed in the forest doing to elf treaty. I would LOVE to just skip that quest till later but like I said a story driven battle has me trapped there.

"SPOILER"
I did the mage treaty first (Im mage so why not go home) and it was a good challenge. After that while traveling to the forest a cutscene showed an assassin being hired to kill me. Well now that Im in the forest any world travel will take me to battle that assassin. He has about 3 mages, 4-5 warriors, himself, 2-3 archers, and maybe a 2nd in command. Iv tried to win this battle many times now, the longest Iv lasted is around 10-14 seconds ( tried to run around the map to learn who spawned where). Almost did it once but with only 1 person alive there was no way to take ouw the last 4 long range guys.
"end spoiler"

Either way you look at it I need to rethink on a lot of things.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 @ 10:17:42 AM

chewy: Just did that battle. I think my guys were Lv. 10.

I died fast the first time but for some reason did just fine the second time and lost only one party member. Maybe it was because I enchanted everyone's weapons with flame; I don't know.

You definitely want to try to win it, though, because when you do, the lead assassin there (Zevran) joins your party, if you want him to. And he's a better Rogue than Leliana. ;)

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NeoHumpty
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 1:13:35 PM
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Great to hear, but now I have yet another game I feel the need to buy. I'm gonna need to quit my job to keep up.

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bigrailer19
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 1:45:10 PM

you probably should keep your job though, so you can by the onslought of games coming ;)

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 11/9/2009 1:45:37 PM

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JPBooch
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 2:15:02 PM
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Back in the day, you only needed a set of dice, some paper, a pencil and a DM guide.

While all those calculations are going on before your eyes and you get to see pretty animations, nothing will substitute for ability to shape the battle and outcome with your strategy.

Final Fantasy, Dragon's Age, Bladur's Gate, Icewind Dale, my kind of game.

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LowKey
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 2:17:08 PM
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ewwwww regurgitation

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 4:30:36 PM

huh?

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Alienange
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 2:42:19 PM
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If the battles are like they are in FFXII, then what the hell are the PC crowd going on about their version being better because you can zoom out to the isometric view? FFXII had one of the best modern rpg battle systems ever. Going back to isometric seems kind of archaic after that. Gosh, PC crowd loves the past don't they?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 3:14:38 PM

Yes. Yes they do. :)

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Scarecrow
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 10:00:33 PM

They're stuck in the Microsoft mentality when Bill Gates said that PC would take over back in 1995

Yet they're still struggling to even catch up lol after over a decade

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 @ 1:26:53 AM

You guys are mean, play nice.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 @ 10:18:30 AM

It's not mean to say the PC elitists are stuck in the '90s. That's just laughable fact.

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 @ 11:34:48 AM

Anyone that thinks only owning one platform is the best decision is a fool. Owning multiple platforms and having the ability to pick and choose which game to buy based on how it performs on specific platforms is being a smart gamer. I'm a smart gamer, hence I picked up Dragon Age for PC.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 @ 5:59:18 PM

What does THAT have to do with anything?

Doesn't change the fact that PC elitists are stuck in the '90s.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 @ 10:00:12 AM

Simply pointing out the error in your comments. You're so quick to label anyone that views the PC as a legitimate gaming platform an elitist. Dragon Age performs better on the PC, only a narrow minded person would ignore this and purchase the more expensive version for consoles.

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Fane1024
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 @ 4:52:40 PM

"Doesn't change the fact that PC elitists are stuck in the '90s."

Then again, so are JRPG fans.

Last edited by Fane1024 on 11/11/2009 4:53:18 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 @ 8:50:29 PM

JRPG fans don't need to. They actually have different types of RPGs to play.

And I was never labeling anyone. It was a general comment that remains true.

Considering the PC is basically a waste of a gaming platform, I will pay it zero respect at all times. I suppose I'm allowed that opinion...?

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, November 12, 2009 @ 12:57:04 AM

Remains true in the sense that it's your opinion. It remains very untrue in the face of multiple games that can only be truly experienced on the PC platform.

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Mr Bitey
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 2:54:19 PM
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I'm about 75% through my Demon's Souls NG+ run. I think when I'm done, I'll pick this up. It seems like I would probably enjoy Dragon Age.

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noodles619
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 3:30:48 PM
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Loved 'Lost Odyssey' too. Thought that I will also enjoy the other Mistwalker RPG 'Blue Dragon' but DAMN, it was dire! Have you attempted Blue Dragon, Ben?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 4:23:07 PM
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Well, my copy is ordered, got a nice low price and can't wait to get started. By the vidz and descriptions it actually seems like this will play a little more like Rogue Galaxy, where the combat is real time but you find yourself pausing the action to take care of your team. I dug FFXII but it wasn't up there with my favorites, add the fantasy setting and western rpg appeal though and I'm finally sold on it.

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Naga
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 5:54:40 PM
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Wait you mean Dragon Ages gameplay is like FFXII? I'm confused

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 6:34:49 PM
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Derrr... ah, when do we get the review?

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atomaweapon
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 7:34:16 PM
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I was actually thinking that along the way too, the similarities between DA and FF11. Even the sound when you're walking (armor clanking) sounds like FF. I don't think that's a bad thing at all really.

I have it for the PC and using a keyboard and mouse to pause and give orders is great. Kinda like Neverwinter Nights only with a more engrossing story.

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Banky A
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 9:11:05 PM
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FFXII rocked 100% for me.

But damn Ben, you killed Yiazmat? Shit.
I'm 300 hours into the game and I still can't find the last Lv VII Mark I need before I can face Yiazmat.

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 @ 1:26:33 AM

Gamefaqs FTW

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Banky A
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 @ 2:57:49 AM

Gamefaqs won't help me =]
I tried.

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 @ 1:26:20 AM
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I'm getting it for PC, every single review I've read has pointed out the PC version is the better of the 3. Plus it's cheaper.

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Banky A
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 @ 2:57:25 AM

Thus, you win?

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 @ 3:20:34 AM

Don't I always?

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kitsune451
Monday, May 16, 2011 @ 4:52:59 PM
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I agree, Dragon Age's tactics system is very similar to Final Fantasy XII's Gambit system. That's probably why I love both of them so much even though it's such a departure from classic Final Fantasy gameplay haha.

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