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Final Fantasy Tactics

Tactical RPG
Final Fantasy
  • 27 January, 1998
  • 20 June, 1997
A 181 total ratings
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Strategy At It's Best

A Final Fantasy Tactics review Author: alrightya Published: November 08, 2003
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Tactics Ogre with the Final Fantasy name seems kind of odd, but that is almost exactly what this game is. Square hired a lot of people that brought us Tactics Ogre, and had them make a similar game and branded it Final Fantasy. You might think that Square just put the name Final Fantasy in the title to make it more popular, but you'll see it has many connections with the series. It uses the same summons, spells, attacks, and even a secret FFVII character that you all know of by now.
This is a Strategy RPG, not a traditional like the regular Final Fantasy games. Which means instead of being placed in battle face to face with the enemy and just taking turns attacking, you are placed across a grid map and must take a few turns moving before you can attack. Each character gets to attack when their charge time(CT) is full. Depending on how experienced a character is, will determine how many squares you can move on a turn.
When your CT gauge is full, you get to move and attack. If you have a sword as a weapon, you many only attack an enemy 1 square away from you. If you use a spell or a summon, you can attack enemies at a greater distance. You will even see some familier summons like Bahamut, Shiva, and Ifrit.
The battles are fun, and sometimes they can be extremely long. It isn't uncommon that you can be fighting a battle for 45+ minutes, but it is well worth it. These battles can be very difficult and will require a lot of strategy if you wish to prevail. You don't get to wonder the world like a FF game, what you do is pick a location on the map and your character will walk town to town until he arrives or gets sucked into a battle. At each town you can shop or even send a few fighters out on a proposition to try and earn some extra gil.
You don't get to freely roam the world, or even the towns. All you do is battle, so we are very fortunate that Square has outdone themselves with the battle engine because you will never get bored with this game. The battles stay difficult throughout the majority of the game. Where other FF games are generally a little easy, this game goes the distance without giving anything away without a good fight.
Other than the propositions, there aren't many side-quests in Tactics. There are only a couple, but those couple can take hours upon hours to complete. There is a mysterious deep dungeon where you can find a couple very powerful allies, and even a certain FFVII character that you have all heard about before. Getting him definitely won't be easy, and he is rather weak when you find him, but get him some experience and he can be an asset to your team.
Although it is almost the same battle engine as Tactics Ogre, I still enjoyed the battles of FF Tactics a lot more. Just too bad you couldn't save in mid-battle. There will be times when you are 20-30 minutes into a big battle and you will have to go somewhere or stop for some reason, and your only choices are to shut off the game and start the battle over, or leave the game paused until you can comeback to it. It's a good thing FF Tactics Advance has a mid-battle save feature, just unfortunate they didn't think of it sooner.
Final Fantasy is THE pinnacle of video game story-telling. No other company comes close to Square in terms of story, and Tactics is as good an example as any to prove this point. You will never play a game with so many plot twists, and definitely never play a game with so many backstabs. It has been 1 year since the 50-year war ended in Ivalice. Gallione, with a White Lion crest, and Zeltennia, with a Black Lion crest, are now going to war.
The war will one day be known as "The Lion War." You play Ramza Beoulve, who was born to a noble family who served Prince Larg of Gallione. Delita Hyral, a personal friend of yours, is supposedly the hero who finally ended the "Lion War." He was born to a peasant family and was able to atend the elite Gariland Officer Academy through the influence of the Beoulve family. The very first battle you enter shows Princess Ovelia being abducted by a man who looks strangely familier to your childhood friend Delita. You then must fight and discover the truth.
Although Delita is mentioned in the history books, you will still play a large role in the Lion War, and you will strive to be the "real" hero even though there will be no lasting proof of you adventures.
Tactics contains the best story you will ever play through. Unfortunately, this game is tainted with THE WORST translation job in the history of gaming. There are mis-spelled words, missing punctuation, and just some confusing sentences that are hard to understand when you read them. There is also the possibility that you can get confused with the plot after all the twists that occur. Just stick with the game and you will be glad you did.
With all the many characters and events in the story, it would've been hard for anyone to keep track. Thankfully, Square has added a menu choice called Brave Story, where a historian named Alazlam will keep track of all events that have occurred and any major characters you have met. A very intuitive addition to the game. A story that will keep you glued to your seat until the very end. And whatever you do, you must stay until the end of the credits when you beat the game, do not turn the power off until the credits are ALL done.
9.5/10 (would've been a 10 if the translation wasn't so terrible)
The graphics are great. The characters are 2D sprites and the battlefields are polygonal. The summons, although not as technologically advanced as the FFVII-FFX summons, are enjoyably to look at and you never think that they could've been better. The fmv's, only one in the beginning and one at the end, are beautifully done. The character animations are nicely animated and the pictures of characters faces next to their status as well as when they talk, is a nice touch.
The spells all have a unique animation. The more powerful the spell, the better the animation that accompanies it. Although we get used to all the high-tech 3D characters and graphics that Square does so well, this is one of the games I consider to have the best graphics on the PSX. Very simple character animations work very well, and I'm glad they didn't try to overdue the animation during some emotional scenes. This game in full 3D, especially with this battle engine, would not have worked and I'm glad they didn't try it. Best looking 2D game I've ever played. Only flaw in my mind, was that other then the main characters, and guest members, all the male soldiers looked identical, and all female soldiers looked identical.
Masaharu Iwata and Hitoshi Sakimoto were the 2 composers with the daunting task of composing a game filled with almost nothing but battles. They did a great job with the pressure. The battle music never becomes repetitive. Alazlam's theme, the historian who dictates most of the story, and the man who writes the Brave story, is a wonderful theme. The battle themes are better and more diverse than all of the FF games combined. Decisive Battle, is one of the best battle themes you will ever hear. Only battle theme that comes to mind that surpasses Decisive Battle, would be One-Winged Angel of FFVII. An all-around outstanding soundtrack.
Replay value
A very long game with many long, hard fought battles. So long, in fact that you might not want to go through it again. I, of course did go back, and the majority of you will. It is a great game, and if you have the time and patience, you can go through this game multiple times and still not fully see all of the game unfold. You may understand the story, but each time you play you will see something new that you somehow missed before.
Unfortunately, those of you who got the game solely for the Final Fantasy name in the title, may feel a little humbled by the fact that this game is a lot harder than what you might've been expecting. Being a fan of the Ogre series, I knew exactly what I was getting into, and enjoyed every minute of it.
It might sound strange, but the addition of all the FF elements to the Ogre game really made a difference in how much I enjoyed the game. If you are up to the challenge, this is a game that should not be missed, and since it is a PS Greatest Hits, you can find it almost anywhere for $15, so pick it up and play it. You will not be disappointed.
Editor's Grade
dotted line "The best strategy game ever made. Add elements from the Final Fantasy world into the mix, and you have one of the greatest games ever made."
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Vapid Buttmunch
Member since October 27, 2003
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