10 February 2010
Mediocre graphics, stupid music and super repetitive gameplay.
At a glance, that’s a brief summary of the 1997 Square Enix release Final Fantasy Tactics (FFT). A spin-off of the Final Fantasy franchise (one of the most successful franchise in video game history) for the original Playstation, this game was released in-between the main title’s seventh and eighth installments.
Despite some of its obvious shortcomings, however, FFT is easily one of my favorite games of all time. Why? Because no title released on any console ever has done such a remarkable job of fusing the RPG and RTS genres. While you can level up your character and open up different abilities and spells based on experience, the in-battle fighting system only allows so much energy per character for each turn, creating a strategic element not seen in many RPGs.
The game also allows you to wander back and forth between areas picking fights with random villains for an infinite period of time without having to advance the story. What this means is you can get your team to a God-like level of power before even embarking on the second mission, making the main story line a cake walk covered in carnage and the bones of your enemies.
Yeah, that’s what I liked about it. Forget the main story. It’s something to do with medieval knights or something. I don’t even remember it. But I don’t care about it now and I didn’t care about it then. All I cared about was running over gangs of thugs with my wizard and a monk who could shoot shockwaves from his fists. When I was a younger fella, I lived in a house down in Providence with a few friends. By the time we moved out, I had played the game so much and annoyed my roommates so extensively that one of them hid the game from me.
To this day, none of them have admitted to doing it, but I know at least one of them reads this blog and buddy, I know the truth.
FFT is awesome and while many franchises release spin-off titles that flop miserably, this release is a valuable addition to the Final Fantasy universe. You can play it for months or even years and never get bored, at least I didn’t.
By George Morse