Blah blah time to talk about Tactics Ogre blah blah
by, 27 Feb 2012 at 03:15 PM (1224 Views)
I enjoyed Final Fantasy Tactics, saw this game was cheap as heck, and decided to give it a go. So here's my thoughts after a playthrough...
Despite its most recent revision being on the PSP, Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together still very much feels like a precursor to Final Fantasy Tactics. It comes off as a more focused game in some ways due to the extraneous classes and customization not being as much of a factor. You can't really expect to go in to this game with a Calculator wrecking everyone or a Black Mage teleporting around while burning katanas. Needless to say this game doesn't even try to plumb the absurd depths of something like Disgaea. It's a traditional affair where much of your success comes from applying proper tactics...huh that's novel.
Still that doesn't mean that Tactics Ogre is balanced. If you're ever having trouble with this game I have three words for you: Archers and Ninjas. These two classes are extremely viable for 90% of the battles, as their weaknesses tend to be heavy creatures like Dragons and Octopi. While other classes struggle to land a hit, archers will be dominating the battlefield thanks to their extremely high accuracy and range. Ninjas...well they can attack twice. In a game like Tactics Ogre it doesn't take much to overpower adversity. Something as simple as being able to hit someone two times in a single turn is enough. Most of the other classes are frustrating to use since they suffer from the old adage of "sounds good on paper but in practice..." Knights have all the tools necessary to be handy tanks, but the enemy AI never targets the strong. A handful of skills can be used to limit movement, but they take a lot of work to train up and you may need multiple knights just to sufficiently cover everyone. Spell-casters such as Wizards and Priests have their uses I suppose, provided you can keep them alive and involved in the battle to get things done. It's usually better to just have the alchemy skills and pop some mending leaves when healing is necessary.
One of the new features of this edition is the World Tarot. The story offers multiple paths that lead to different endings. Using this tarot you can go back to those important decisions and find out what happens afterwards. I didn't get any use out of this because Tactics Ogre employs level-scaling. Look I am done with level-scaling. It's one thing for levels to scale in the random battles that can occur on the world map, but cut me a bit of slack when I'm replaying the game. Maybe do something like have the enemies at party level -3 so I'd still pay a bit of attention but at the same time not spend 15 minutes just to get through the fight. Battles can really drag in this game, especially when trying to mop up wizards and archers. Also it seems like in the late-game everyone has to know the spell that causes stone. It's just an absolute nuisance.
My opinion of this game is pretty unfavorable and I blame it largely on the final dungeon of the game. In Final Fantasy Tactics this consisted of just a few battles, some with multiple parts. The final dungeon in Tactics Ogre is something like 12 floors. Yes there are ways to skip a number of them but that isn't a good enough excuse. These battles are a waste of resources, time, and especially patience. Also leaving to restock is for the most part out of the question. Still since I was over-leveled it wasn't really a problem. The final battle however, jeeze whose brilliant idea was that?
Anyway the finale of this game coupled with the level-scaling has turned me away from ever picking it up again. Maybe I've been spoiled by similar offerings in the SRPG genre, as they allow for more freedom so I can customize my experience and go my own way. It could be also that I'm just sick to death of level-scaling, and it's the main reason why my copy of Skyrim was just sold on ebay. Altogether the experience has left me rather unfulfilled and conflicted. I probably would have had more fun attempting a replay of Final Fantasy Tactics or burning through Shining Force 2 for the zillionth time. Instead I played Tactics Ogre, a game that never really felt like it was going to let me in. I mean after 40 hours don't I deserve the opportunity to loosen the game up a bit, maybe get some fun out of it?
Oh well. All I can do is move forward.
Hopefully I can do Fatal Frame 2 next. Also I've been diving into a few of the Megaman X games so ehh.
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