Final Fantasy Tactics (Retro Review)

INFO: This review was written in the year 2003, therefore I was much younger when I wrote it. The quality of the writing is probably much lower. Don’t grimace too much when you read it, please!

“Without a doubt, king of the strategy RPG genre.”

As shocking as this may sound, its almost 2003 and I first played Final Fantasy Tactics just over 6 months ago now… And let me tell you, I regret waiting so long. Despite being nearly five years old, this game’s age does not show, unless you’re one of those graphics freaks. With many features and an epic storyline I can honestly say you won’t be disappointed one bit.

Considering the age of Final Fantasy Tactics, these are very beautiful graphics. Other competitors in this genre include Hoshigami or Knight of Lodis, and while their character sprites can be recognized, they don’t have the depth and detail of Final Fantasy Tactics’ sprites. The geography in the game is nothing spectacular, and I don’t think they were when the game was released, but they are good enough to have me approve of them. The artwork in this game (faces and such) are very well done, although I don’t understand why so many people have blonde hair in this game… Perhaps Squaresoft had a Dragonball Z obsession at the time. The FMV movies looked awesome and I still enjoy them today, especially the one in the intro. Top stuff.

If you want good tunes in a game, let me sum this game up in a few words. I love you Nobuo Uematsu! The music in Final Fantasy Tactics is really incredible to say the least, and I really think Nobuo Uematsu went overboard this time… Well, in a good way of course. Sound effects were actually pretty bad I thought. The sound of poison hitting an enemy was just plain repetitive and the sound used for most of the summons (especially Shiva) can probably kill your ear drums if your TV’s volume can go pretty high, not to mention they sound worse than the FF7 summons (ie. Hades). So, the music is great, but the sound effects are ho-hum.

The storyline just rocked, to say the least. You play the role of Ramza Beoulve. The game starts with a battle at a place called Orbonne Monastery where Princess Ovelia is captured by a man Ramza knows. A man named Delita. After this the game goes into the past and you learn that Ramza and Delita are great friends. This little “flashback” leads up to the point where Princess Ovelia is captured and it moves on from there in quite a radical direction where many surprises await the player. This story is simply astounding and is much more than what I’d expect in a strategy RPG… If this were the story in a traditional turn-based RPG, you’d be looking at a masterpiece.

Since you have to raise and army and manage abilities, the replayability in this game is endless. You start one game and have fun with your powerful knights who can use any item, and in the next game you start you have fun with your lancers who know every black magic spell. Unfortunately, you can only have 16 people at a time… But that’s more than enough when you take leveling up and ability learning into your head. The amount of things to do is vast. Too vast to even write here. Basically, its never the same game twice, except for the story.

This game isn’t really too innovative. Its just a good game that many people try to copy. I’m actually surprised Squaresoft didn’t throw in any cool little minigames. I would’ve loved racing a chocobo against Izlude or even Zalbag! Sad that Squaresoft didn’t throw anything new and exciting in this.

Final Score


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