Final Fantasy Tactics
Reviewed: 08/23/2003

The Ivalice Empire is in turmoil. Six kingdoms squared off in which was called, “the lion war”. But there is a more complex plot that lies in the mist of this war. It is the story of two war hero’s Ramza Beoulve and Delita Hyral, and about how they both made a huge impact on many lives. Final Fantasy Tactics starts off one year before the ending of the lion war. At that time, because of the death of king Beoulve, (Ramza’s father) the conflict between two royal families the Gallione and the Zeltennia intensified.

Each families king though that they where the rightful heir to the throne and instead of talking it out like civilized people they trade war over conversation. As those events unfold, you lead the life of Ramza, (trapped right in the middle) as you discover his role in the lion war, and why he was known as the “forgotten war hero”.

The holy knight strikes!

Final Fantasy Tactics is a strategy based RPG that doesn’t draw its influence on boasting major graphics. The heart of the game is tactics “Job System”. The Job System allows players to level up different job classes through gaining experience points. Job classes are jobs that you can learn like being a knight, chemist, wizard or white mage. Each job has a list of moves and/or magic that you can select based on the amount of experience gained through battle. With the Job System you can switch between jobs on the fly and each character has a default job, followed by a secondary job class so you can use two sets of abilities in battle. The default job class is Squire, but for special people in the game they have special default job classes like “holy knight” that are unique to all other classes. There are about 20 in total to get. This game is one of the most fully customizable games ever made. You have a total of 16 characters in your team, but you can use about 5 to 6 in battle. Tactics is all about strategy. To win battles you don’t always rely on full force. You have to use your head and plan the right course of action to win and/or out smart your enemies.

Hey guys, where ya going?

The environments and landscapes in this game are pretty much standard. Nothing too exciting. The attention to detail however is done very well in character design and some palace locations. But because this is a strategy RPG, things like explosive graphics get pushed to the backburner because of the limits of the playstation and the fact that square wanted to implement the “strategy” in the game first. Locales are drawn in with a nice medieval style. The attention to detail is good but not the main focus of the whole game. Square focused more on character design and special effects for attacks and spells in terms of graphics. Summon attacks in the game look very nice and knight magic has a visual style to it that demands for attention and wins it in spades. You’ll often find yourself using knight magic more often to get you out of rough spots in the game. There are only a total of 2 cinematic scenes, one at the start and obviously one at the end. Since this game was made in the same time period as Final Fantasy VII, the cinematics are up to that standard. They look good, but only if there were more….

The replay value in this game goes through the roof. Once you pass it the first time, you’ll find yourself eventually going through the story again to experience its great storyline all over and collect on anything you might have missed. But the story isn’t the only thing. This game is loaded with secret characters, locations, items and equipment. When it’s all said and done, Final Fantasy Tactics delivers, both on excellent gameplay and strategy. This game is a jewel to millions of square fans and looked at as an example compared to other strategy-RPG’s. If you’ve never played a strategy-RPG in your life, a first glance at this game might leave you thinking, “Why the hell did I get this?” But that is just because you don’t understand. This game is like a snowball rolling down a hill. It starts off a little slow but when it makes its way down the hill it keeps growing and growing into something bigger and better, by the moment. This is one snowball you won’t want to dodge.

Score Breakdown
Out of 10
See our Review Criteria
Gameplay Great
Story Excellent
Graphics Very Good
Sound/Music Very Good
Replay Value Excellent
The Verdict: 9