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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Game Review: Tactics Ogre: Lets Us Cling Together (PSP/Vita)

This remake of the moderately successful spiritual predecessor to the critically acclaimed Final Fantasy Tactics, is in no way a bad game. But it pales in comparison to more modern SRPG game series such as Devil Survivor,Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Disgaea. The Majority of what earned this game good review scores and cult following is its brand association with Square Enix and Final Fantasy Tactics.

Story: A power struggle war for territory between different Kingdoms: The Wallister, Galgastani, Bakram/Valerian with outlying kingdoms such as the New Xenobians and Dark Knights with a medieval setting. Your character is Denam Pavel of the Wallister Clan trying to find their way and secure a future for the Wallister that may or may not include your sister Catuia and friend Vyce depending on how you plan to achieve this goal: With Draconian measures (Lawful) Idealism (Chaos) or Neutral. The game often has your making binary decision that wil sway the game in one side or the other. Making a poor decision may cause death in a cut-scene or abandonment by powerful Unique and Semi-Unique characters with no warning or prompt to save or you simply may not go in the direction necessary to meet such units. A good story that doesn't annoy you with ye old English of final fantasy tactics 

User Interface: A Convoluted Mess! Despite having passed through many games such as Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Advance and plain common sense the developer didn't see it fit to implement a sensible menu system. This game came out in 2011 people! 

The item shop has no fitting room.To craft you first have to refine items into more usable materials which is fair but you can only craft a single item at once and each craft has a little 5 second animation also you can't set the game to craft x number of this or max number of this with available materials. 

Example: to get a silver ores you have to take 2 unrefined ores and watch the crafting animation to  be able craft a second one. You can't use ores  though. it takes 3 silver ores to make the usable ingots. Then finally weapon and armor crafting have a percent chance to fail and destroy your materials including the weapon/armor.

When learning magic you have to have the required command skill equipped to a character which is fair but you have to use a purchased or looted ( random and rare) consumable called arcanas every time you want to teach a single unit a spell. These arcana items are named in a gibberish/ false-latin language eg. Grimoire Radiante and Grimoire Vivicae that doesn't tell you what the spell does or even the name of the spell. you have to wait for the scrolling info bar to tell your that radiante is spiritsurge that deal divine damage projectile in a line to a single target. 

The spells aren't divided by category of use (Black magic/white magic/summmoning) but by the element they belong to. there are almost equal damage and utility spells for each element and lots of duplicates ( eg. An Identical cross shaped AOE Stun in both lightning and dark).

Graphics: The sprites are utilitarian and don't stay true to the portrait at times (lamia I'm looking at you). the environments are decent but recycled and different battlefields look just like rearranged version of each other. The skills and spells special effects are pretty but don't make up for the flaws.Ironically  the Gameboy Advance final fantasy tactics game and it's ds sequel had better sprites, environment variety In my humble opinion.

Gameplay: Aside from the  over emphasis on stat differences the mechanics are pretty simple. Non spell caster classes use basic attacks 75% of the time and have very little to differentiate each other besides stats.Most active skills are exclusive so there is little transfer of abilities from once class to the other as in final fantasy tactics and advance.

Example: The beserker is able to attack in an arc when powered up, ninjas do two basic attacks, white knights can paralyze on hit, knights can use basic healing spells. the classes are very shallow and combined with you needing a consumable to change classes every time, you'd end up not using some.

Archers rule the game, the have ridiculously high range, equal damage to melee classes and can can focus/charge their attacks every other turn with an early game skills, they can exceed designated range when on high ground or lose range on lower ground so the item description range doesn't apply most of the time.

Enemies scale to the average level of your team, not only in stats but in SKILLS too. The once, level 2 generic mages can turn you too stone when you reach (and they) level 15 with over 75% accuracy when they could not before. this is poor design because units don't have levels, but their classes do, so if you get a powerful classes late in the game you will suffer to bring it to a useful level .Also  if you recruit a level 15 unit of a class you never had before when the unit joins your party after battle they drop to level 1.

Would I Recommended it: for the story and lore,yes, gamepla, no.

3/5 stars.

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