You sure about that? EA sells millions of games by releasing a sequel year after another with little to no changes. I'd say that if you're smart enough, you'd welcome change with open arms.
You're comparing entirely different genres and demographics. Anything that EA puts out can hardly even be considered a video game.
I mean, unless you think EA would be smart to make major changes to the game of football. That's what football fans want! Something called football, but very different!
For example...? (take into consideration that changing the franchise after 20 years of little to no change is a bit different than a sequel of a two year old game doing things differently. The fans have rooted for the basic things you'd find in every FF, and once those things change fans get upset).
Changing the franchise isn't good when you throw away the successful elements and replace them with unsuccessful ones. So if you're wanting me to show you another game that did that, you got me, I can't. But don't downplay the changes that occurred from title to title. They all contained significant changes/innovations, and not always even for the better.
What do people find bad about XII's battle system?
Glad you asked, though really, if you just read some of the reviews and message boards, you can see pretty easily why people gave the game bad to mediocre reviews beyond just RAGE.
The character units are generic (except apparently Fran and Balthier actually have penalties with their respective default weapons, wtf).
The game is too dungeon-crawlerish and has too much boring travel.
The same strategy is ideal in 90% of battles (Haste, Berserk, etc.).
While the idea of customizable AI is not bad, the gambit system was poorly implemented.
Most of the abilities that might have actually had some strategic merit are throwaways you'll never use beyond the early game.
The Charge ability which allows you to recover MP quickly (and avoid downtime) is basically an annoying gambling minigame.
Quickenings make the game easy and cheap (many players refused to even use them).
And of course there was the ridiculous "have to learn to equip armor" thing.
Those are just the ones that spring to mind, and I haven't played the game recently at all.
By the way, Final Fantasy Tactics was a hugely successful game. It was incredibly well-received and sold enough units to make Playstation's Greatest Hits. It was also one of my favorite games. Vagrant Story on the other hand was an overshadowed game that was probably more deserving of a FF title than XII.
You could see the monsters on the screen. No more did I have to deal with random battles every time I visited an area, or the 10second loading screen before and after every single fight. What could you possibly not like about that?
At the expense of making the game dungeon crawler-ish, offline MMO-ish, etc. And god the early areas are awful for that, too. Square made another game that you might be aware of... Chrono Trigger? Widely considered the best RPG ever made? Somehow they managed to get rid of random battles without doing that back in the days of the SNES. I'm not exactly prepared to give them kudos for the sloppy fix in XII, though it really doesn't help that it's so much like XI that it barely feels like a different game in this respect.
The combat was also smoother and not so... rigid. You could also do things like kiting that normally you couldn't have done. The fact it worked in real-time (if you wanted) also gets a plus from me. The fights were much more intensive that way.
They were certainly much more like XI in this way, which is renowned for its fantastic, fast-paced and engaging combat. All of the falling-asleepness of FFXI with none of the multiplayer elements. Yay.
XII made several bad changes. They weren't all original changes, either. Just bad. Edited, Sep 20th 2009 6:13am by Kachi