Tactics Ogre - Review  

Tactics Ogre
by kupomogli

Moderate - Hard
50 -100 hours


Rating definitions 

   Originally released by Atlus to the SNES, this title unfortunately never came to the US. However it was finally ported to the PSX and released here in 1998. The game happens after the events of the original Ogre Battle, and about the same time as the events in Ogre Battle 64, for anyone who wants to keep up with the timeline. A game so good, it even spawned the prequel, Tactics Ogre: Knight of Lodis.

   It all starts out with the city of Griate being attacked by the Dark Knight Roslolians. Vice, Kachua, and Denim attack who they think is the Dark Knight Lans Tartare, but is really a knight from the kingdom of Zenobia, who just happens to share the same name. With the help of the Zenobian knights, Denim becomes known as the Hero of Griate, and becomes a part of a huge war. Rather than having a single path for a storyline, Tactics Ogre has three seperate storylines, only seperated by two questions throughout the game, while other questions cause other things to happen. The storyline is possibly the best I've seen in any RPG ever created, and there's not just one, but three.

Vice is the man. Vice is the man.

   The gameplay used in this game is about customization. While you can just train and level your characters up to defeat enemies, it's possible to actually reach a few really hard battles in the fourth chapter without training once. Anyways, the customization is unique to most games, where if you train a character as a Wizard type class, then 20 or 30 levels later you decide you want to use that character as a Knight or such, the character will actually end up as the worst character in your party to that effect. Each class gains certian stats, and those stats are permanent, where changing classes has no effect in them other than how they'll be raised once you level up or your slight strength and defense bonus', so you can make the ultimate party by leveling characters as multiple classes, then choosing the final class on level 50, which is the highest level.

   During battle, you get control of 10 party members, and can use as many small size characters as you want but you can only use a max of two large sized characters, where this includes characters such as Dragons or Griffons. A unique idea to this game, is that every character no matter the class, can equip any weapon or armor in the game, yet if you use a class like a Knight and attack with a claw, the hit percent as well as attack will be greatly reduced, rather than a weapon of the same attack power and weight being a sword, taking off more, and having a better hit percent. This works for all characters, and the same goes for magic, where if you are a wind elemental character, then you better use wind element spells if you want to take off more damage and have a better hit percent. Characters also have a certain Wait Time that starts out to be really high the lower the level, but as you gain levels and get higher agility the WT of the character reduces. WT is what determines the speed of the character, and when it reaches 0, the character will take their turn.

   Also, there are rare items all over Tactics Ogre, most of which are in hard battles, and the only way to get these rare items are to kill the enemies who hold them, so if you want to get all these items, then your best bet is to kill all the enemies in the game rather than go after the leaders. Once you get to the end of the game though, even more stuff is unlocked, allowing you to spend half the time you spent to get there in order to do even more sidequests, one of which is the 100 basement dungeon, Hell's Gate.

Can we guess who the character designer is? Can we guess who the character designer is?

   The game was originally on the SNES, and it's graphics are excellent in that extent, with great detail spent on the towns, castles, and other battlefields, as well as the character sprites and animations for those sprites. The game was ported to the PSX however, and even so, the game looks alot more beautiful than alot of games that came out at that time, yet, others newly released around the same time have better graphical effects, even if the detail isn't as great.

   The music is some of the best you'll ever hear on an RPG, and this is by more than one composer, however, due to it's age, the quality is still SNES quality. The sound effects as well suffer the same fate as being SNES quality, but this really isn't a problem when alot of other games during this era couldn't hit the mark in that area anyways. Localization to the game is excellent during almost all the storyline, then on a few of the endings, there are alot of easily seen misspelled words and sentence errors.

   Truly the best storyline ever created, and this is added to a game with great gameplay and a high level of character and party customization. If there is a game any collector or true fan of tactical RPG's would want to have, then Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together would be it.

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