Final Fantasy Tactics
Genre: Fantasy/War RPG
Plot - 10
Characters - 10
Music - 10
Graphics - 9
Battle System - 10
Replay - 10
Overall - 9.5
Final Fantasy Tactics is one of the most incredible, complex, awe-inspiring games I've ever played. It's really deep! The game is about Ramza, the youngest son of the noble Beoulve family, who trying to become great knight like his brothers. When the game starts out, he and his best friend, Delita, a commoner, are cadets in an academy. The events that follow have a great impact on Ramza's future, and he grows more mature as the plot unfolds. He goes from being a naive little boy to a brave man. The story is about two rivalry of two nobles wishing to be king of Ivalice. Both Larg and Goltana want to be the guardian of the prince. The plot goes deeper when Ramza finds the real controllers of what is known as the "Lion War." Full of deep, dark theological plots, a "heretic" trying to save Ivalice, and an ancient saint turned demonic, Final Fantasy Tactics is the perfect game for those who want more in a game than graphics, kiddy-style plots and quick, easy to beat battles.
Final Fantasy Tactics has an odd and unique style when it comes to characters. You have your main characters, yes, but you can also go to towns and hire people to join your party. You also have a system of jobs classes, and start out at either squire or chemist. From here you can progress to become all different types of mages, monks, ninjas, knights, bards, and even mimes. Each category has special abilities you can learn and use in battles. You can even recruit monsters during random battles, such as chocobos. Apart from hiring characters, you usually get most characters that hold important parts in the game as allies to join your party. Most of the time you can choose whether or not you want these characters to officially join your party once their tasks are complete. Many of these characters are really strong and useful in the game. The main characters are incredibly developed, and you get insights on their personalities, goals, and pasts. All of these combine to make the category of characters a perfect ten.
Final Fantasy Tactics contains some brilliant, beautiful musical scores. It makes you want to stop and listen for a while. Most of it has an ethereal sort of tone to it, and man, those evil songs sound evil! The music contains so much emotion, and is rather tear-jerking. Most of the music also has a bit of medieval-ish theme, as well. Music well deserves its 10.
The graphics of FFT are a blocky type of 3D. The characters also have an anime look to them. It's sorta like a cute, chibi type of computer animation, but the graphics are pretty primitive for PSX, when comparing it to more recent games. But comparing it would be unfair. For the time the graphics were put out, they were really good. They looked more animated than wood-like and impressed me back then. I still find the graphics enjoyable. The movement is smooth and easy, and it looks as if you're watching a show or movie at many different points. At the beginning of each chapter, there is a picture showing the next title name and a scene from it. These are dazzling paintings. Also, the character movement is really good for the time it was put out. As usual, this Squaresoft game was made to impress.
Battle System -
The battle system in this game is much different than any other. Instead of random battles on world map, the map has certain places you can visit. In places other than cities, towns, etc., you can fight random battles. You don't always get into one when you land on them, but it does happen. These battles are long, hard, and worth-while. Instead of quickly little battles like in the other FF games, you have to use tactics, hence the name "Final Fantasy Tactics." You can get up to six people in your party in a normal battle. These you choose out of your many characters in the screen before the battle starts. You also chose where these characters go from a grid that is given. You can start at many different places on the battle screen. Once you're all set and the battle starts, you appear on the screen. Each battle field is different, and suits their names. Some characters can only move on certain spaces of the field, while others can walk on all. It all depends upon what class you are. You have a turn where you can move all of your characters. Once you move, you can decided on a few things. These are attack, defend, and your special abilities. When you attack an enemy, it shows its HP. HP, MP, attack, and special abilities all depend on what class you are. Like in FF5, there is a class system that helps you figure out what you characters can do. You start with the classes of Squire and Chemist, and work your way up. Knights have a lot of HP, but just about no MP. The opposite goes for a Black Mage. Certain classes do certain things. Archers carry bows or crossbows and can shoot from afar, while ninjas can throw weapons from a distance as well. Each time you successfully attack someone with something, you gain EXP and JP. JP are job points, and are used to get new abilities. You master a class when you learn all of its abilities. These battles are tiresome, but well worth it. The required battles are a lot harder, so do as many as you can.
For many, replay is a necessity. There are many places where you can get stuck not being able to defeat a boss (Inward groan for all who remember a certain battle against a zodiac warrior..heh... -.-;;) and can't go out and train more. FFT is also much easier to understand once you've played it for a second time. The game gets easier the more you play it, but it is still an extremely difficult game. You might not have been able to do certain things because you accidentally beat the game, so going back and playing again makes things better. There are some sidequests you can participate it, and you can miss out on them if you don't replay.
Just a friendly tip -- keep two slots open on your memory card for this game. Use one to save on the world map, and the other to save while in buildings, in between major battles. It will make your life MUCH easier.
Crystal Zeal's Reviews
Final Fantasy Tactics Reviews
This Page © Copyright 1997, Brian Work. All rights reserved. Thanks to Sax for his help with the layout. Do not take anything from this page without my consent. If you wish to contact an author, artist, reviewer, or any other contributor to the site, their email address can be found on their index page. This site is link-free, meaning you don't need to ask me if you'd like to link to it. Best viewed in 1024x768.