Ogre Battle 64
Nintendo 64
Reviewed: 01/29/2004

Atlus has brought many great titles to the RPG genre, such as Tactics Ogre, and Lufia. Yet it’s difficult for their other games to even hold up a match to the radiant beauty of their masterful epic, Ogre Battles 64. It is true that there aren’t very many RPGs on the N64. The genre is cut into such a thin slice of decent RPGs that it would leave even an anorexic gamer starving for more; but when N64 asked for a good RPG, they received one that left them satisfied with their wimpy inventory. I’m sure you’re asking yourself, can it really be good enough to make up for the lack of everything else? I’ll make myself clear, yes.

This game carries a great story, one consisting of personal conflicts, and “what’s right” for the people. Not only is the storyline great, the characters are good as well. If you enjoy storytellers like Lunar you’ll definitely enjoy this game. It begins with the past, which is a strange thing to put into a sentence but nevertheless it does occur; Magnus is speaking to his friend, Yumil about why he’s leaving to the military academy. Time then speeds up a good amount and soon Magnus is about to be sent out on his own mission. First off, you must answer several easy questions: What is your name? You’re Birthday? Etc…Then harder ones come out: For what will you beseech to thy gods? is one example, these choices define your beginning army, so choose wisely.

Once your missions begin you’re sent to stop an uprising at a nearby location only to discover that this was a mere distraction, a major assault is occurring somewhere else, and Magnus’ army of amateurs is the only one close enough to intercept them. Magnus continues battling the rebellion, but slowly begin to realize that there may be some justice in what they are fighting for, and you’re shredding any visible trace of it. Sure enough, you pull the old switcheroo- but this is the end of the predictability of the game and the beginning of an increasingly dark plot. You attempt to find allies for the rebellion and have to travel around the country liberating places and avoid rubbing Lodis, a neighboring empire, the wrong way. However, curious things occur along the way. Strange creatures from the netherworld begin to appear, causing one hell of a tough fight. The question remains: who would resort to using such powers? And if that isn’t enough, the Empire begins searching for some portal to the Netherworld. Only one person is able to open this doorway, but who?

How you command your army is the key…..

Along your journey through thick and thin you’ll come across side quests galore and millions of possibilities in this epic RPG-strategy game! Paths branch out as you fight for freedom, and depending on which road you choose alters your own storyline. Several secret classes, hinted at only in townsfolk’s rumors, set the replay boundaries at a near infinite length. Even if you don’t find the secret classes, there are enough classes to choose from to keep you busy. Classes are available to characters depending on their gender, stats, and how brutal or lawful he/she is. Brutal people attack the weakest person and lawful people attack the strongest. There is such a wide variety or classes it’ll be difficult for you to create your perfect army.

If, you ever do create the perfect army, you’ll dispatch your men during a mission. The missions are always introduced by Hugo the Tactician and he gives you the run-down about your base, your target base/objective, and where the enemy is concentrated. Command your groups around the map to achieve these goals; send them walking towards a town either from the mountains or through the front door. You have a great amount of control over your groups outside of a battle, you tell them where to go, what to do if an enemy crosses their path, what items to use, you can even trade members with other groups. But once you encounter a fight you’ll discover that the battles have very little manual instruction. A bar in the upper right corner shows whether you can change your strategy, retreat, or use an Elem Pedra power (a powerful elemental attack).

Many people would object to having very little control over your men, but that’s where the strategy plays an important role. Can you create a group that will work efficiently? Depending on which row your man is on alters his number of attacks and what kind of attack he does, his column can alter his amount of damage to the side and middle columns, and what type of class he is alters these as well. So the strategy lies not exactly in the battle, but whether or not your men can survive the battle. This game is definitely not for poor strategists, you must have a clear thinking mind in order to succeed in battle. If your men are completely getting their butts kicked, you can use an Elem Pedra attack to save their lazy asses.

The music is outstanding; it’s always able to capture the atmosphere and really adds to the feeling. Just beginning the game and listening to the title music makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, and a good RPG soundtrack should do just that. The graphics are as impressive as the music, or more impressive. Magnus and company travel through some pretty routes, all over the world it’s one Kodak moment after another, but NOBODY brought a camera!

-Valiant Warrior

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