I was listening to Joystiq’s podcast earlier today as they were talking about The Banner Saga, a tactics style RPG about Vikings on PC. And what surprised me was that they presented it as being akin to XCOM. Hello!! It’s an obvious take on Final Fantasy Tactics!
FFT is one of my favorite games to play on the regular PlayStation, and even though I don’t have my gray box anymore, I still have my copy of FFT in its own box somewhere, collecting dust. There’s a funny thought: a collectible collecting things. Anyway, I just couldn’t believe that these people totally breezed over it like it wasn’t an awesome game. I mean, WTF mate! It was because of FFT that they made Disgaea and Dofus! It proved that there was still a market for the genre, and while talking about a tactical RPG, it doesn’t even get an honorable mention. The nerve!
By now, I’d guess that some of you are asking yourselves, “What the crap is this game? Final Fantasy Tactics? That’s a dumb name.” If you’re really curious, check out Wikipedia’s article on TRPGs. It’ll fill you in. Admittedly, this video game genre is not for everyone, but in my opinion, Final Fantasy Tactics perfected the genre and gave it frickin’ clout.
The genre started out as a tiny niche for a select few strategy gamers in 1983 (what a good year), but it wasn’t until Nintendo released the first installment of the Fire Emblem series that it got any legitimate press. And even then, it couldn’t make it to the top-list area of reviews or hype in the gaming magazines of that time. Yeah, it may have gotten mentioned somewhere, but was almost immediately pushed aside for the big Super Mario World cover stories.
And then there was Final Fantasy Tactics. For Squaresoft (now Square Enix), their Final Fantasy series had lived in the JRPG world. Then they had one of their dev teams make this game, and it is legendary! The story is excellent and executed extremely well, the gameplay is easy to pick up but difficult to master, and the depth of the job system is so vast, you’d need Captain Nemo to fish out the bottom. In order to have just the main characters master all of the jobs, you’d need to play through the entire game at least twice. And then there’s the other peripheral characters that you can hire throughout the game. So depending on how much of a complete-ist you are, you’re looking at, at least 3 to 4 play throughs to get it all done. And this ain’t no beat-it-by-the-end-of-your-lunch-break kind if game. We’re talking at least 30 hours of gameplay before you reach the end… Once. So the replay value is extremely high.
Since it’s original release, it has also been remade for other platforms like Gameboy Advance, and there’s even a mobile app version of it in the App Store. I’d definitely recommend you pick up this game. It’s awesome!