That’s right, chess game. FINAL FANTASY TACTICS: THE WAR OF LIONS isn’t your typical RPG game from Square Enix. In fact, it’s a mixture of RPG and a chess game. Why? Because there are tactics involved, including where to move, who to attack, how to heal by being near someone. Hence the name tactics in the title (I’m such a genius hurhur).
In this game, you play as protagonist Ramza, who is deigned, along with her bodyguards and mercenaries, with the duty of protecting the princess Ovelia, who gets taken away by your long-lost friend Delita. Whoops. Everything just goes wrong even though you do away with the thieves and assassins sent to kill her. Meanwhile, Delita just waits for the distraction of you and the other members in your party to fight so that he can kidnap the princess. Oh nice. I’m liking this guy already. Brains over brawns. This is why you have a soldier guarding the princess at all times so villains can’t really go after their intended targets.
Not only do you now have to go find the princess, but you also ponder the situation of Delita, who appears after not seeing him for a bit. And you wonder why he’s with the enemy and not fighting on the same side as you. If only you knew, Ramza, if only you knew. They say curiosity killed the cat and in this case, many cats. Off to save the princess and find out the truth!
Keep in mind that when you play Tactics, you’ll get introduced to a very lengthy tutorial that teaches you all you need to know on how to play the game. The problem is with this tutorial that it’s so lengthy that you are bound (if you’re like me) to dump the info from your memory. You can always refer to the tutorial during the game by going to the menu, but come on, game, it would be better served during actual gameplay because it then sticks in your mind a little better. In addition, each battle is long. There is no way to make the fighting faster (not to my knowledge) and if there are many people in your party and many people in the other party, plus all the moving and attacks and item usage, you’ll be stuck fighting for a while. Ah, so lovely (not). No wonder it’s like chess!
When you get into your second battle (the first one during the flashback), please make sure that you fill up your party. For some reason, I wasn’t really paying attention (or I was and just made a noob mistake), but I only included Ramza in my party and ended up only having Delita and Ramza fight a mob of 5-6 people because I was under the impression that I didn’t need to control the other people present. Big mistake. Wasted probably around 20 minutes fighting a pointless battle. That was not fun when I discovered my (huge) mistake, ha. Speaking of battles, you control each character and you can move a party member closer to the enemy first before striking. The attacks are a little interesting and vary from person to person. You can move after your attack (if you choose to attack first before retreating). As for healing, you can heal your characters as long as they are in range of the healers. What does that mean? In Tactics, your battle field is somewhat like a chart where it’s located on different terrains and sometimes, because of the height of a building or landmark, you can only move a certain number of squares. It’s really like chess.
If you’re willing to spend $15.99 on this game (because it’s Square Enix), then by all means, do so. Just make sure long battles and tactics are up your alley. The graphics are more like the graphics in the older games in the Final Fantasy series, mainly because I think they’re trying to keep it a little more to the original series since this is a sequel, so you’re not going to get really high-quality graphics of a more FFXI level, but hey, it’s a fun storyline. Though Square Enix, I really wish the graphics were much better for such a high price.
I had fun playing the game but that tutorial plus long battles nearly tired me out before I even started to play. Then again, I could’ve skipped the tutorial but would’ve been even more lost during actual gameplay.
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