Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
If you missed it the first time, don't pass on this game again
Oct 8, 2007
Nine years ago Final Fantasy Tactics chronicled the life of Ramza Beoulve, one of the sons of the late king Balbanes, and his role in The Lion War. Today it does the same thing by keeping the core of the game the same, while carefully adding features that keep with the original tone.
There are a couple of new character classes, several beautiful cutscenes, the game is displayed in eye-catching widescreen (16:9) and just about every line of dialogue has been retranslated to give a generally clearer idea of what's going on. There's a good deal that's new, but the combat system, which is what most of the game is about, has been changed very little and still makes for one of the most challenging and most rewarding turn-based strategy experiences of any game ever.
That's right, ever. But the rewards come at a price: this game is hard - not to be attempted by the casual gamer. The fights take place on three-dimensional grids using up to five characters from your party as well as the occasional NPC ally to help out. The game lets you know how much damage your sword swings and lighting bolts will do before you confirm them and what the chances of success are going to be. Spells and powerful abilities are each learned individually and take longer amounts of time to cast. The catch is that your opponents are devilishly merciless and can learn all the same skills you can.
The key to victory is in the job system and having a well balanced party. Characters can learn up to 22 jobs (including the new Onion Knight and Dark Knight) by gaining levels in the appropriate areas. For example, after becoming a level three thief, the lancer job becomes available. Each job has its own set of abilities that are split into active, passive, counter, and movement based skills. None of the jobs are useless, and each has skills that, once learned, can be used after the character switches to another job. Your characters will start as lowly squires and chemists and eventually become powerful hybrids of more advanced classes. If you want a samurai that can fly, use two swords and revive himself after death, you can get him - it just might take awhile.