The Final Fantasy series is almost twenty years old. When Square developed the first title in the series, the game's name was meant to coincide with designer Hironobu Sakaguchi's retirement. Instead, the game's popularity set the stage for a series that has now reached twelve 'main' titles and more than half a dozen offshoots. Almost everything about the series has changed over the years, except for popularity and a generally high level of quality. Final Fantasy XII has changed almost everything from the series norm, except the quality. The result is a game that very well may be considered the best Japanese RPG in years. It's a smarter, more adult, and absolutely beautiful title; the perfect balm for anyone not taken with The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion . Read on for my impressions of the newest and most ambitious chapter of the Fantasy that's never quite Final.