I beat FFXII last night :D (84 hours, and I'm still planning to go back for the rest of the hunts).
Final thoughts? I loved it. There were a few things that kept it from being TOTALLY MIND-BLOWING GAMING EXPERIENCE, OMG!!!! But overall it was better than I expected (given my luck with Square games lately) and I thoroughly enjoyed every bit it. Balthier was my clear favorite early on, but I also really liked Larsa and Gabranth (aka Wiegraf 2.0) and by the end just about everyone had grown on me. I can't think of a single character I disliked (unlike the last couple FF's - Zell, Quina, Eiko, Lulu etc etc).
One shot from the credits even choked me up. Can you guess which!? (Need artbook ASAP).
So in short, the game looks fantastic, the music was great, the voice acting was some of the best I've heard in a video game, the liscence board was addictive, the gambit system was great once I got the hang of it, and the story kept me going up through the end. The various FFTactics and Vagrant Story references made it even better.
Is it the best FF I've ever played? HARD TO SAY. Now that I can't bear to look at FFVII and my interest in FFIX fizzled soon after I beat it, I think it definately earns a place as best "numbered" FF game. But Tactics has been my favorite game ever for a long time, and even now that I've had it for nearly 10 years it's still the game I replay most often. I started a new file of it just this past summer getting ready for the return of Ivalice. If I pick it up for another 80 hour run sometime several months from now, then I'll know.
But of course, I still have some issues with it XD( One complaint and a few irks - spoilers )
And now I'm playing Vagrant Story again! With my old save it's my 7th time time through, and it took my just over 3 hours to get to the halfway point of the game. I'll beat it tomorrow. Oh Ashley, how I missed you and your assless pants!
I've wanted to do an Ivalice crossover fic for the longest time - maybe it'll happen this time, if I think of anything (not until One of Every Color is finished and up, I promise!). But I think if I put Delita, Guildenstern, and Balthier in the same place I'd explode from successive cranial orgasms.
But damn, I'd die happy.