Final Fantasy Tactics was one of my favorite turn-based strategy games for years, and I loved the remastered edition that came out on the PSP a few years back. That was my favorite game in a genre that includes such classics as Fire Emblem, Shining Force, and Tactics Ogre. However, I never got into Tactics Ogre when it was available on the older consoles (such as the PSOne) so I was extra excited to see the return of this classic gameplay on a handheld I have little reason to power on.
After the jump, let me introduce my army.
First, I dismiss the generics I start with and re-hire new units so I can rename them and choose classes/sex/alignment. After the first few battles, I have a (slight) handle on skills, equipping magic and gear, and not getting killed on the field.
Here’s my army (not counting the story-based characters, just to avoid very minor spoilers):
Felix — My main character is a warrior specializing in 2-handed swords
Eric — A berserker specializing in fist/melee attacks. He’s got a magic ring granting extra strength.
Jay — A priest who will eventually become a knight (Tactics Ogre’s equivalent to paladins)
Calvin — A wizard focusing on air, earth, and fire magic
Bart — A second wizard focusing on death, water, and lightning magic
Kendra — An archer who just got a greatbow, though she’s too low level to use it yet
Kennedy — A valkyrie focused on spear combat and divine magic. This hybrid class that is decent at everything.
Early on I’m tasked with locating some missing soldiers. It turns out they were pinned down by an apprentice necromancer and her undead minions! A great battle ensues and afterwards we bolster our ranks with more troops, gear, and experience. Now I decide whether to track down this apprentice’s master. I chose to do so (after saving the game first…).
The apprentice’s master stands atop his conquest, a recently captured fortress. He has the high ground. He claims no further interest in the fort or the people living inside, whom he had been using for “research”. He further claims he just wants to leave to pursue his research elsewhere. I am given a choice. Let him leave peacefully or decry his vile behavior and send in my troops to destroy him.
I tell him he can go to hell, and I’ll send him there!
Naturally this didn’t go over so well, and he procedes to summon undead. Skeleton archers, magic wielding ghosts, and undead soldiers, one armed with a spear! This isn’t great. Also, most of the units are level four or five to my units level three or four. Mostly three. Hrm. It’s starting to look like this is an optional battle for a reason.
At least the objective is clear. We need only destroy Nybeth the Necromancer to clear the level!
Sadly, we sort of get clobbered by the skeleton archers. One of the ghosts has some devastating lightning magic. I bail out.
I vow to return when I have some better equipment for my army and a little more experience under my belt. I do indeed return a few levels later, and clear out the rabble. Which will yield some interesting story elements hours later in the gameplay.
Up next: those interesting story elements
BleedTheFreak (aka Scott Lufkin) currently lives in Iowa with his wife, two children, and a beloved PC.