Developer: Square Enix
Rating: 4 out of 5
Nearly a decade has passed since the original release of Final Fantasy: Tactics for the Playstation. Square-Enix has granted the wishes of many with this turn-based strategy gem, Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions for the Playstation Portable (PSP). Released after Final Fantasy VII in 1998, the Tactics franchise was widely overlooked due to the massive popularity of FF7. Final Fantasy Tactics deviated from the original course of the main Final Fantasy series, and this PSP title retains all the original charm, elegance, and absorbing gameplay from its predecessor while tacking on some extras.
Initially, you’re presented with a tutorial mode which is highly beneficial for anyone who isn’t familiar with the mechanics and the backstory. It covers everything from the battle system, the job system, and the lore of Ivalice. There’s a wealth of information that is almost necessary and will help you on your journey.
Your character begins the journey as a Squire or Chemist. From there, you can level up these jobs and branch off into other professions like Knight, Black Mage, and White Mage, etc.. Battles take place on a field of tiles of varying height and different terrains, with variables suchs weather impacting skirmishes as well. Each character can move a certain distance and posses a different attack range, similar to chess.
You’re allowed to have 5 players on the field and a maximum of 24 selectable characters in your army. As you engage in battles, you’ll gain job points for your main job, which allows you to buy abilities. Simple, right? Well it is pretty simple. Fight baddies, use items, gain experience points and job points, rinse and repeat. Ahh, gotta love the RPG grind! In order to achieve the higher jobs, you’ll need to temper and hone your characters as much as possible. Levelling up your jobs unlocks more advanced ones.
The plot is concrete and linear; Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions isn’t a game that allows you to choose your own path. It’s a tale of dueling families, friends killing each other and unsuspecting villainy; very Shakespearean. As the plot progresses, new areas are opened up on the world map. You can travel back to older areas to battle, go to towns to stock up on wares, or you can press ahead to advance the story. An additional feature is the ability to battle friends over local ad-hoc wifi. Multiplayer mode also adds some hours by letting you team up with a friend for challenges or pit your parties against each other. Being ad-hoc only, you’ll need to find a buddy with a copy of the game around your level.
Overall, Final Fantasy: The War of the Lions is an impressive port to the PSP. It is a solid title, and always welcomed in the rather hungry-for-games PSP landscape. Lions packs so much content you’ll be busy with your PSP for hours. If you didn’t get a chance to play the original title, then you cannot pass up this magnificent update
Credit: The Gamer Studio – http://www.thegamerstudio.com