Despite the improved visuals, a revamped job system is The Zodiac Age’s crown jewel. The sprawling license board of the original version frustrated me; it offered many possible ways to build your characters’ skills, but obscured that potential and made it difficult to plan your progression. That uncertainty is wiped away in The Zodiac Age; the intim-idating license board is replaced by 12 smaller and more specialized job boards, and each character eventually gets to choose two of them. For example, you can have a samurai/knight, or a white mage/machinist. I love how this produces distinct roles in combat and encourages you to use different characters, but also prevents any character from being rail-roaded into one path. Even though your party’s progression is more directed, you still have a lot of room for optimization. For instance, I agonized over picking my black mage’s second class; going with time mage would pair well on the magic stats, but archer would allow me to deal damage consistently without casting spells. You can even get deep in the weeds and assess bonuses you eventually earn for unlocking specific Espers on certain job boards, but that level of obsession is far from necessary. Unlike the original ver-sion of Final Fantasy XII, I was always able to spend my license points with reviews confidence in The Zodiac Age, and was generally pleased with the results. These improvements ripple out into combat, making battle even more sat-isfying. Though the basic gameplay is the same, the job system forces you to devise more interesting strategies. You can’t just buy an ice shield for everyone to use in a fight with a fire-breathing monster. Some classes don’t have that license available, so you need to take a closer look at the abilities on your boards, tinker with your Gambit combi-nations, and find more interesting paths to victory. Maybe you lean on inflicting debuffs, sticking to ranged combat, or using the trusty tank/healer/DPS setup.