Review by Lone

"Arguably the best strategy rpg on the PSX."

The next installment of the Ogre Battle series or whatever the name of the damned series is is definately a stellar release. Originally made for the Super Famicom, Atlus brings it over to us in the States on the PSX platform. For fans of Ogre Battle, this is a definite hit.

Graphics (7/10)
Nothing earth shattering here. No changing of camera angles is a definite minus here. The character portraits are pretty good, though. Seyle is probably the best looking one, in my opinion. No hearth throbs like in FFT. I should stop now, I'm starting to scare myself.

Music (5/10)
Pretty lousy. Not unbearable, but nothing really good either.

Difficulty (8/10)
Now here is something that's pretty great about this game. It manages to be difficult without really making you want to throw the game against the wall. Most of the time, at least. It's not really THAT hard, but it's a lot more difficult than say.. FFT. Also, unlike FFT, there is no one character which once you obtain him, he completely dominates the entire battlefield (Orlandu).

Story (9/10)
Great job on making an interesting story while still providing some slight non-linearity. I look at this game more as a step in the right direction than the final completion. If Atlus can take Tactics Ogre and run with it (different direction than Brigandine, I hope) then we'll see an extraordinary strategy rpg. The choices the player makes which determine which road you take are far and few in between, but it does at least give you more of a feeling that YOU decide what happens throughout.

Pros:
No one "god" character.
Choose your path thing.
Ability to "train" your guys without hoping for "random encounters".
Enemies level with you.

Cons:
The choose your path system needs work.
Enemies are the same level as the highest level character you bring into battle, which means every time one of your favorite characters levels, you have to level EVERYONE else because level differences in this series mean a lot. It gets annoying.

Head To Head With Final Fantasy Tactics:
(note: TO was made a few years before FFT by former employees of Quest who later joined Squaresoft and produced FFT, which is why there are so many striking similarities.) FFT was MUCH easier.
FFT had a MUCH better story, but in TO you had a say in what happened.
Both FFT and TO had the best friend character who you get into a rivalry with.
Both FFT and TO had four chapters.
TO was a better game for strategy rpg purists, whereas FFT was a better game for straight RPGers looking to experiment.
Both FFT and TO were great games for strategy rpgers.

The down-low:
If you like strategy rpgs or the Ogre Battle series, definately look into this game. If you were a huge fan of FFT, then try this game. You might like it, but most Final Fantasy fans only like linearity and really easy games. This one isn't totally linear and isn't hard, but it is no FF7 or FFT.

RIYL (recommended if you like):
Dragon Force, Ogre Battle, Mystaria, Final Fantasy Tactics


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 11/01/99


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