FFXII has been rather fun so far. The new Gambit system (a simple player-defined AI, based on IF-THEN statements), combined with infinite HP/MP cheat codes, makes for a much more pleasant playing experience, at least for me. No more micro-managing your characters' every action in battle. With infinite HP/MP cheat codes and a decent set of Gambits, it's practically point-and-shoot.
Hell, I don't even need to shoot. I simply point the characters in the general direction of monsters and they will chase the beasties down and beat the crap out of the monsters all on their own. They even handle their own status ailments. Yay! Maybe I should park my characters in a spot that constantly spawns monsters and just leave them there for a few hours. ::snicker::
As for the story and the characters, I have to admit that Vaan, the semi-main protagonist, doesn't do a damn thing for me -- he's just a teenager out to see the world. Penalo, the teenage girl, lacks any real personality. Ashe, the disenfranchised princess, actually irritates me a fair bit, mostly from a grating combination of blind obsessiveness and royal snottiness. Basch, the loyal knight-protector, is a little interesting, but he doesn't grab my attention.
However Balthier and Fran are a completely different story. I adore Balthier -- he's a delightful rogue, with tons of classy attitude and style, not to mention a secretive painful past. Fran also has also family and past history issues and loss in her life. The two are both sky-pirates and long-term partners. Whether it's a plutonic partnership or something more, I don't know. But they definitely are a team.
I'm feeling the vague urge to write some introspective stuff about Balthier and Fran -- how they might have met, how a very long-lived bunny-eared nonhuman (Fran) feels about teaming up with a comparatively short-lived human (Balthier), etc.
Speaking of prospective plot bunnies, I've had an minor onslaught of them. I was partially inspired by playing FFXII, but they're not based on the game. If anything, it draws a bit on "Scrapped Princess". The plot involves the typical fantasy elements -- kingdoms under threat by dark forces; quests for mysterious, powerful artifacts; political intrigue; true love(tm); etc.
But since it's MY imagination and muses, naturally things aren't what they seem. And of course there's also some nasty little bit of MC (that's mind control for you innocents out there) and BDSM type themes going on as well. ::twirling her whiskers::
I even have a working title -- "Protectorate" -- a term nicely ladened with implications of both protection and domination, hm?
And yes, at this very moment, the plot bunnies are still busily drumming away, damn it!