Review by GGAstronaut
"It kept me occupied for countless hours!"
Final Fantasy Tactics A2 was released into the US on the 24th of June on the year 2008. It's a sequel to Final Fantasy Tactics Advance which came out on the Game Boy Advance on the 8th of September back in 2003. Nearly a five year gap in between games, so is this game just as good as it's predecessor? We'll find out in this review.
You play as Luso Clemens the protagonist of the story, it all starts out as Luso Clemens finds a mysterious and magical book in a library which transports Luso into the magical world of Ivalice. As the story goes on, key parts of the story will get magically written in the book and Luso must venture throughout Ivalice to find a way back home. Overall the story isn't deep or dark, it's a bit shallow and pretty much straight forward. I guess they made the story simple so even young gamers alike can understand whats going on easily.
Now onto the gameplay where this game truly shines, I'm gonna go into detail here so bear with me. The learning curve may seem steep at first to new adapters but after 30 minutes or so you'll get the hang of it. To start things off there are a total of 64 classes in the game. Some classes such as the Dragoon are restricted to the Bangaa race while other classes such as the Black Mage can be used by Humes, Nu Mous and Moogles. As for the actual gameplay, it's a turn based strategy game so a player can move and attack in one turn then must wait for the enemy to have his turn kinda like chess. To acquire your equipment, you can either get your equipment by stealing it from the enemy if you have a Thief class unlocked, or you can purchase your equipment through vendors, you may also earn new equipment through the Auction House. Now onto the Auction House, in the Auction House you make bets on an item against the NPCs(Non-player characters). The thing is though, the NPCs are for the most part unintelligent making it extremely easy to win auctions. Also end game weapons such as the Materia Blade can be won early on in the game through the Auction House making the game extremely easy if you exploit the Auction House. This can be seen as a good or bad thing, but you be the judge. Another thing to note from the game are clan privileges, clan privileges are basically bonuses that you and your team members benefit from during the match. If you don't break any laws during the match you will get a bonus item/s at the end of the match. But if you manage to break a law during the match, you lose your clan privilege during the match and the bonus item/s at the end of the match. You may unlock more clan privileges through Clan trials, which you will find in pubs. Now onto the missions, there are a grand total of 400 missions in the game! But only 300 will show up in the missions list. This game will definitely last you countless hours, a thing that annoyed me a little was that I would do plenty of missions before I did an actual story mission so I would lose track of what happened in the story beforehand. A few quick things to note is that as you traverse through the map, random enemy mobs will block your path forcing you into battle with them if you don't find another path to go around them. Also you may use your stylus to move units and make actions, but it feels as if they added it just for the sake of adding it in because controlling the game through your stylus may feel a bit more difficult rather than using the actual buttons on the DS.
The appearance of the game has greatly improved compared to it's predecessor on the Game Boy Advance. I experienced no lag at all when my character would perform spells that would literally brighten up the whole screen on my DS. There are plenty of animations in the game and I am very satisfied with the graphics this game showcases on the DS. It truly pushes the power of the DS to it's limit.
I absolutely enjoyed the music throughout the whole game. The music was very upbeat and lifting even in instances in the game where things were turning grim for the main characters. Hearing the music surely adds to the feel of living in the fantasy world that is Ivalice. I definitely haven't enjoyed a games soundtrack this much in a good while, it truly uses the power of the DS to it's advantage.
Worth a Purchase?
If you're into Turn based strategies, Final Fantasy Tactics A2 is a must have to add to your game collection. The game has a very upbeat and childish feel to it seeing as it is rated E for everyone, but that doesn't necessarily mean older gamers won't enjoy the game. I think I made it clear that this game is definitely worth a purchase more so whether if you're into turn based strategies or if you're into the Final Fantasy series in general. The game wasn't much of a challenge to me so I can surely bet that young and older gamers alike will enjoy it. This game will definitely last you countless hours, I personally have 84 hours of gameplay logged into the game and I have only completed 206 missions. Hopefully this review changed your opinion of the game for the better. Thank you for reading and have a nice day!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 08/16/10
Game Release: Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift (US, 06/24/08)
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