Reviews: Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

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Many people seem to prefer A2 for the refined mechanics and graphics. I actually prefer the first. The story is simple yet engaging, a hero who manages to be relatable (without coming across as moody, blank or aggressively perky), and the difficult curve is tough - but fair. It's probably the most balanced of the Tactics games, the original included. Sure, once your clan is fully-stocked with advanced jobs, the game becomes a cakewalk, but it's a long slog to get there.

The game encourages you to try out the various jobs. A few optional missions require a Red Mage or a Gunner, for instance. The game can be kind of obtuse at times, though: Some missions are only available in certain towns; the Moogle village carries Cure Alls, but no one else does; and the Monster Farm is an unnecessary money pit. (Monsters won't eat the same item twice, and it's unclear how much/what item is needed. Why not Capture and be done with it?) And THE LAAAW! Suddenly I'm starting to see Armand Assante's point of view. Laws are a fun challenge... at first. But once you're juggling three bogus restrictions per battle, and your Antilaws only activate when they feel like it, I'm not so forgiving.

The story riffs a bit on Secret Of Evermore, another great unorthodox game. The story is meant for kids, so Marche's motives for returning home are summed up in a simple, anime-style moral at the end. But the fact that the game even challenges Marche's view is quite refreshing. Most of his friends from St. Ivalice are out to stop him, for instance. Ironically, Ivalice is somehow less silly in cartoon form that it was in XII's realistic setting. I really have a soft spot for it.
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Good Graphics and Good Game
So this is my first detailed review EVER. So excuse any bad grammar and lack of details.

First of all, let me summarize a bit about this game. Since it's previous game Final Fantasy Tactics is a game for teens with rather dark illustrations, complex stories and hard game system (which is of course something good for those who likes challenging games), Square Enix gives a chance for younger children to experience a tactical Final Fantasy game: Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.

To tell you the truth I've never played FFT before, but I know that FFTA is the lighter version of the former.

Now with the other elements. The graphics (or illustration) is drawn by artist Ryoma Ito, someone who copies the style of FFT, which was drawn by Akihiko Yoshida. Ryoma Ito did a good job on drawing a more family-friendly version of FFT's graphics. Especially that the main characters of the game were dominantly children.

The story plot is very good, too. I, as an FFTA player who finished all 300 missions, could already understand the concept of the plot, and the moral about not running away from reality, what a good message. Though I think the game's plot wasn't sent properly, which made some fans protest about the hero Marche Radiuju.

My score for the game system is rather low, though. But high enough for me to appreciate it. The game system is easy for beginners. The race system is also a good idea and shows uniqueness between units. The mission proved that they were good by giving the Tetris Effect. Though what bugs me is that the very, very last boss of FFTA wasn't challenging enough, seriously.

If I could give stars to this game, I'd give it 4.
  comments: 2