Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Final Fantasy Tactics Review

I've decided to port another review of mine over from Gamespot:

This game is what earns the credit of an 'instant classic' as soon as the opening thunders in with its beautifully animated cell-shaded opening. Originally Final Fantasy Tactics, was a PSX title that was released in the mid 90s after the soaringly popular FFVII title. Over a decade later the game still retains its playability and flair. In fact, the game itself is so engrossing that it redefines the 'instant classic' to most players whom never played the title probably would not even second guess it to be a decade aged title with such technical mechanics.

The strong-point about final fantasy tactics is its epic storyline, you play as Ramza, protagonist and hero of the FFT storyline as he gets entwined in a family struggle and plays a critical role unsung in the war of the lions. The story itself takes place in the kingdom of Ivalice, those new to the title could relate it to the stunning FFXII theme, although Tactics is believed to be later on in the time-line period than FFXII itself.

Furthermore, the newly cell-shaded animations adds further depth into the storyline further glorifying its beauty and immortality amongst some of the most 'show-stopping' events in console strategy based-RPG games of all time. The markings of such cutscenes make the epic story-line even more gripping and immersing as you journey through strategic combat with Ramza and comrades.

Now for the main event, the game plays 'turn-based' strategy with similar elements to games like 'vandal hearts' (konami) although the system allows for much more customisation with the job system which introduces JP (Job points) as well as the ever common EXP (experience points) As you accumulate enough job points you are able to unlock new abilities for your characters in his/her specific job. There are many jobs to choose from and the ability to add a secondary job-talent to your character endorses the feel for multi-classing and further enhances the strategy elements and depth of the game. As you level and 'master' (max out abilities) in certain classes you gain access to new job classes with certain jobs being a real 'feat' to unlock. The new classes in the PSP release of the game include Dark and Onion Knight (the latter which starts weak and becomes ridiculously strong as you level other jobs and progress through the game)

The major downside of the game is in retrospective to new players, the combat system can be confusing to begin with and the difficulty will feel fairly hard to inexperienced players. However, this should not be a setback to player who are willing to implore timed judgements and really get involved with learning the combat system, grinding for JP where needed. For the player who loves to 'grind' (level for EXP /JP) this downside will only increase playability and longevity to an already great game. The problem of 'LAG' most fans of the old game would cry would be barely noticeable for someone new to the game, certain battle animations are slowed down in comparison to the existing PSW title. However, this should not be an issue great enough to deem the game broken or unplayable.

In Summary, FFT is a great game for those who love challenges and are big fans of strategy-based RPGs coupled with an epic storyline. This game has a little of 'this and that' for everybody and the engine retains its playability with nostalgic sound effects that will bring a tear to most veteran gamers eyes.

Click the link below to buy FFT (US) - Your One-Stop-Shop for Asian Entertainment

No comments: