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Title: Tactics Ogre – Let Us Cling Together
Platform: SNES, Psx/Ps1, PSP
Genre: Strategy RPG (SRPG)
Publisher: The game was originally developed by Quest Corporation who are now defunct. The english localizations of this series have been handled by numerous third party companies including Atlus and Square-Enix. This review is specifically for the PSP enhanced edition released in 2011 by Square-Enix.
Overall Score: 83% B. Very Good Game for Girls
Where to buy: Amazon
Story: 10/10 – The story of tactics ogre is far more complex and mature than square’s own “final fantasy tactics” series. It resembles a lot of what made the original final fantasy tactics great, while the sequels of that series have been dumbed down to be child friendly. At it’s core, it’s a story of choice and consequence, in a war-torn continent full of political intrigue. At every turn, you will shape and mold the story and the fate of the people living (or dieing) across the continent. Will you be consumed with vengeance, seduced by greed, or sacrifice even those closest to you for the greater good? The story is also full of emotions, and does an excellent job drawing players into the world. They’ve even gone as far as to use old english in much of the dialogue to create total immersion.
Concept: 10/10 – The concept is also similar to most SRPG, grid based combat, lots of different classes for your units, recruiting new units, leveling up and equipping your troops, etc. – The difference with Tactics Ogre once again is that the choices YOU make, effect which parts of the story you live out. Instead of just being told the history of these people, you are the one writing their history and deciding their fate.
Gameplay: 10/10 – While it does little to innovate, there are certain unique twists on the traditional tactical rpg combat. You do not level up a single character, instead you level up a job class, and this job class can then be “equiped” to any character who will start from the max level you have obtained for their role. Any units who survive combat gain experience points for the class that they played as for that map. Since the choice and consequence system could also be considered a gameplay mechanic just as much as a story mechanic, I’m also awarding points to gameplay for this factor, because no other SRPG, and perhaps, no other game, period, puts to use such an elaborate and meaningful choice and consequence system.
Characters: 5/10 – While the story is moving and emotionally engaging, I still feel that character development was a bit flat. I have played a ton of rpgs, and just find these characters to be less memorable than others in other games. They don’t stick with me or make a lasting impression. Sure I care about them at different points throughout the game, some have made me laugh, others have made me cry, some have filled me with hate, but at the end of the day, when I’m done playing, I don’t think back about the characters, they look similar, talk similar, can have similar classes, skills, abilities, and don’t have as much heart or personality as more fleshed out characters in other games. I truly believe this is due to the game’s best feature, the choice and consequences system, when you have a more open ended, or multi-pathed game, the writer gives up control of these characters, to the player, while in a very linear game, the writing is very precise and true to the author’s original intentions for the cast. It’s a sacrifice or trade off. It’s rare to find a game that can do both well. I feel that it was a worthy sacrifice in this case, the gameplay is amazing and I would not want to sacrifice that at all.
Graphics: 5/10 – This is an old game, originally for the super nintendo, 16 bit system. It’s graphics are about akin to what any novice can produce in programs like RPG Maker today. But for it’s time, I think it had really strong graphics. They are definitely outdated by today’s standards though.
Music: 10/10 – This game has beautiful music which adds to the emotional impact of the story. The music itself feels very majestic.
Voice Acting: Not Voiced N/A
Overall: 83% B. Very Good Game for Girls