Reviews: Final Fantasy Tactics

Final Fantasy Tactics, an exact name.

Honestly I was disappointed by this game. Its been hyped up for me, hearing things like the best Final Fantasy you havent played etc. I know its a much loved game and I can see why. It has a deep complex story with a lot going on but I personally just didnt find it engaging. I didnt know what was going on half the time and its not my ability as a reader, I'm a fan of stories like this but this one just failed to grasp me. A lot of the time with big stories like this the main character has lived in isolation until the beginning and this the reader discovers the worlds as they do. Ramza is a young noble already familiar with all the key figures in the world yet Im not. Most of what they say make sense from an in universe perspective but from a story telling perspective it just lost me and I couldnt get invested (not that I gave up, I played it to the end). The series I would most compare it to is Fire Emblem which manages to keep an account of whats going on with a narration at the start of each chapter. The framing device of this entire game has a narrator yet its only utilized four or five times throughout the game.

The combat can also be really frustrating. From the outset you will be outnumbered in every battle and in the first ten or so fights you really have to plan hard to beat them as all the enemies are stronger than your units. Yet even this game design is contradictory since you get no glance at the level layout and must arrange your units blind before going in. Reviving your units is also needlessly hard. Either you can use raise which has a 50-70% chance of success or you can use Phoenix Down which will succeed but will bring your unit back with next to no HP ensuring they will get killed as soon as an enemy gets a turn (which they will usually get before you can heal your revived unit since there are more enemies and thus more turns). Basically there is too much luck and not enough information to make this a strategy game. The only way to win is to find the best abilities and rely on a set of cheap tactics (until you get Cid and he just breaks the game) which would make sense given the name but is really annoying in practice, again for me.

Overall Tactics is an annoying game with many, many flaws yet it can still be enjoyable so if you havent played it I would recommend you check it out. Just don't go in with expectations as high as mine.

Final Fantasy Tactics — save early, save often

This is the first Nintendo Hard game I've played that was not only difficult, but cruel. The enemies in the game level up as fast as you do, and the AI takes advantage of every opportunity it gets. If you're not careful about how you deploy, what healing abilities you bring to the battle, and how you move, your characters can die even in the easiest areas. Not just faint, but DIE. If they faint and you can't heal them before the timer runs out, they're DEAD. They've PASSED ON. They CEASE TO BE. They are EXTINCT. They EXPIRE AND GO TO MEET THEIR MAKER. They are an EX-CHARACTER. All that hard work you put into leveling up and learning abilities is GONE. Even if you grab your dead character's soul crystal, you can only gain a few of their abilities.

If you're not careful about playing this game, it will give you a punch straight to the solar plexus.

Sometimes even if you are careful, if the luck-based missions are any indication.

And yet I keep coming back to it.

With that in mind, the game reminds me of an abusive boyfriend.