Review by Easy772

"Could have been a 10..."

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift is a must play if you're a fan of the Final Fantasy series or are a fan of RPG's in general. I would have preferred a more raw and hard-edged approach like they did in Final Fantasy VII, but hey the games rated E so I knew what I was getting into when I bought it.

Sound: 7/10
You can tell when they made this game that they were trying to cater to a younger audience, an attempt to usher in new Final Fantasy fans. The music is cheerful and whimsical, and it does a good job in this aspect. It sounds like music that would be playing in a fairy tale book, which is basically where the game takes place, so yeah good job. The sound effects are good, nothing great. Just good old fashioned Final Fantasy. The only complaint I have about the sound is that at times it is too childish for adult gamers.

Graphics: 9/10
I really enjoyed the graphics in this game. The characters are extremely detailed and the backgrounds are colorful and well done. Square did a very good job making you feel like you are inside of a fantasy land with this title. The graphics bring me back to the 16-bit era of gaming, which was the golden age in my opinion.

Story: 7/10
Not much of a main story, but there are a lot of sub plots and side quests that have good story elements to them and make you actually care about winning the battle or not. From what I understand Final Fantasy Tactics games are notorious for not having that great of a story.

Control: 10/10
The control in this game is great: simple, easy to understand. The menus are easy to navigate. It would be hard to mess up the controls in a turn-based rpg/strategy.

Gameplay: 8/10
The most important part of any game in my opinion is the gameplay or overall fun factor of a game. This game boasts excellent gameplay and is extremely fun, would have gotten a 10 if it were not for a couple of minor flaws. I'm currently on my second session play through of this game, trying it on hard now. Beating the game on normal isn't very challenging unless you purposely challenge yourself by attempting bosses at low levels or without your full party. Playing the game on hard definitely offers more of a challenge, but it's more fun that way. Sometimes the difficulty on certain missions in which you have to protect or escort is ridiculous however, due to the fact that these characters are not under your control and they often make asinine decisions which will get them killed before you even get within four spaces of them (considering you are around the same level as the ‘rank' of the mission you are attempting). Another gripe I had with the gameplay is that you MUST use certain characters in the ‘main quest' battles, which limits the customizability of your party greatly. This is my number one complaint about this game, it really limits the types of parties you can produce and lowers the replayability. The replayability is still great however, especially since there are so many classes with cool abilities to try out.

Overall, this game is a great game for anyone who is a fan of RPGs,turn-based strategies, providing you don't mind the sickeningly sweet atmosphere it has at times. The reduced customizability and 'cherry on a frosted cupcake sweet feel took away from the game to me, I'd still recommend it to any fan of the series without hesitation.

Normal Mode: 3/10
Hard Mode: 5/10

Time to complete: Excellent
30-50 hours (or more if you decide to complete all of the quests etc.)

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 07/25/08

Game Release: Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift (US, 06/24/08)

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