If we were to call you a 'spoony bard', how would you take it? Would you laugh it off knowingly? Or would you tell us to lay off the crack? For fans of the Final Fantasy series, that expression is the stuff of campfire lore, on par with some of the great gaming catchphrases of our time.  
However, twelve games in (or more than 20, if you count spin-offs, portable versions and semi-sequels), the series still remains veiled and intimidating for some gamers. How can a series span so many iterations of consoles, break past the language barrier and still come out with core games that rank amongst some of the finest of all time? Welcome to the evolution of the Final Fantasy series - a crash course through what has made Square Enix's series so loved and longed for by fans all over the world, and how Final Fantasy XII represents the culmination of almost two decades of sterling gameplay and design.