After 8 months/81 hrs of gameplay, I completed the main story line for Final Fantasy XII this evening. Not a moment too soon, either, as my strategy guide is about to fall apart. At the end of the Summer I will probably revisit the game and visit the optional areas I've not had a chance to really explore like the Necrohol of Nabudis and the Zertinan Caverns, get the remaining espers and complete the optional hunts, find/defeat all of the rare creatures, and collect the Zodiac Spear.
My final review on the game, based on a 0-10 score:
Presentation: 9.5 (The story is amazing, but still not as good as FF X)
Gameplay: 9 (I think that the combat system could be more challenging, overall. I still enjoy it over ATB turn based combat any day of the week, however)
Lasting Appeal: 10 (This game will go into the history books as one of the best rpg titles ever; I will definitely be returning to take this game to the 100% complete mark)
Even if you don't like Final Fantasy, you owe it to yourself to play XII; it shows you the limit of what the PS2 is capable of. Played on a PS3 I found the colour/shadow detail/cell shading to be greater, gameplay to be smoother, the surround decoding to be be more full and panning more actively, and the lightning fast load times to be even quicker.
For those of you playing FF XII and wondering where I was when I took on the final level, here are the basic stats I had for each character:
Vaan, level 63
Basch, level 57
Fran, level 57
Balthier/Peneleo/Ashe, level 40
Everyone had Diamond armour or above. Vaan, Ashe, and Penelo had the Deathbringer sword (a necessity if you're hunting down marks or shield worms) and crystal shield. Fran had a Yoichi bow, or the one just above it. (I forget) Basch had whatever the most powerful melee weapon was available and a crystal shield (It's a hammer but I forget which one). 12 gambit slots for all characters, every enhancement liscence and every magick available. 3 mist charges and an esper for each character.