Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, released for the Nintendo DS, is another escapist fantasy in the eye-gougingly popular Final Fantasy RPG series.Luso Clemens is a typical troublemaking schoolkid who, on the last day of school, is forced to help tidy up the school's library as part of detention. There he finds a mysterious tome with blank pages, and impulsively decides to write his name on the first page. This act suddenly whisks him away to the magical land of Ivalice, a fantasy world where "Clans" of mercenaries compete against each other for territories, gold, fame and adventure.Luso is quickly cajoled into joining one of these Clans (to receive the protection of the enigmatic Judges who oversee them) and discovers that as he adventures throughout Ivalice, the pages of the grimoire he signed begin to fill up. Deducing that once the book is complete he will be taken back home, Luso resolves to see his "story" in Ivalice through to the end: doing jobs for his Clan, tangling with a tricksy thief called "Adelle The Cat", and dealing with a shadowy cabal of criminals known as "Khamja", whose leader carries a grimoire similar to Luso's own.The game features a host of gameplay enhancements over its predecessor. The Law system still exists but is far less restrictive: breaking a Law merely results in losing a token "Clan Privilege", the right to revive fallen units, and a few bonus items after the match. The game has also fixed several Game Breakers that existed in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, with Accuracy no longer being the main tool used to balance abilities. Clan Abilities no longer dispense items that can break the power curve of the game, and Thieves can no longer strip an enemy bare. The impact of Status Effects has also been toned down.Along with new jobs (such as Green Mages, who specialise in Buffs/Debuffs) and a general rearranging of previous jobs, A2 introduces two new races: the pig-like Seeq (imported from FFXII), and the dragon-girl Gria (invented just for the game). There are also four special guest characters that can be recruited: Vaan, Penelo, Al-Cid and Montblanc.Missions have been largely revamped, offering a wide range of new win conditions (such as finding a specific item or weakening a specific unit). It re-introduces Trap Tiles from Final Fantasy Tactics, introduces new Opportunity Attacks, a new Loot system for gaining new equipment and a revamped experience curve, and allows for every mission to be manually playable (though you can still use Dispatches to automate the process if you like).
The game reveals examples of: