5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A deep and charming experience that will provide you with hours upon hours of strategical goodness,
This review is from: Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift (Nintendo DS) (Video Game)
Final Fantasy Tactics has always appealed to those gamers who were looking for a FF game with a little extra kick, and let me tell you... this game has it in spades!
It begins with the same typical story, ripped straight from it's predecessor. Luso, a young boy, gets sucked into a magical book called a grimoire, and finds himself in the peculiar land of Ivalice. I'll spare you the torture of the the subsequent happenings, but it's all textbook fantasy from there on.
Luckily for me, and most other players, the story is not where this games strengths lie and is most definitely not the reason I bought it. Unlike other FF games, tactics relies heavily on what it's title would suggest and requires the player to do much more than simply hack n' blast through the enemies. You are given the choice to play as a selection of races (7 in total) with each having a variety of jobs available to them. You can spend hours upon hours just tweaking your party to your liking, or to the current tasks requirement. Each job, as you would have guessed, excels in a different area and it's finding the right balance that is the key to winning. Players can also choose a sub job too, which adds another layer of depth.
To some extent, the races also have their own strategical value too. Gria for instance can fly, and therefore bypass having to climb or being surrounded, while Moogles and Nu Mou cannot enter water so you have to keep all of this in mind. While it is true that a few of the jobs are somewhat pointless or a little silly, for the most part TA2 does a very good job at giving the player as much choice as they could possibly want, and it's this that makes the true strategy RPG fans feel right at home. You choose your race, your jobs, your weapons, your abilities, which quests you do and don't want to do... there are a lot of options and chances to micromanage and it's all offered to you in a very crisp and functional way.
Now, it obviously isn't all as simple as it sounds. During battle you will have to keep many factors in mind. Each unit can move a certain amount of spaces per turn and this is determined part by job and part by equipment. You also have weaknesses and resistances to take into consideration, as well as many other details such as counter abilities, positioning and most importantly the rules. Players of the first GBA title will be no stranger to the judge, except that in this game if you break the law you simply loose your clan privilege and the ability to revive deceased members or obtaining the special item after the match.
Along the way you can pick up new recruits, including some familiar faces as well as compete in auction houses for control of the land. This and many other pace breakers help do exactly that and keep the game interesting and running smoothly.
This and the main story missions which are usually accompanied with mini cut scenes and dialogue. It's nothing majorly interesting but it's enough to hold your attention and give your battles minor purpose.
The game lasts 50 hours plus depending on how many of the quests you wish to accomplish. Completists will find 100 hours plus easily and even more if you want to try your hand at all the available jobs etc... I'm under no illusions that this games is perfect, it's far from it but it builds upon the already brilliant formula and what it produces is a game that is fun, addictive and intricately designed. For all it's flaws it has many areas in which it excels and as far as handheld games go this is a winner. If your looking for something to eat away at your time and to make your mind ticker away then this is your game.