|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Square Enix||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Square Enix||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 9, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Justin Conte
As a younger lad, I spent more time with the original Final Fantasy Tactics than I should admit. Literal months were poured into the title, beating it many times over, exploring everything the game had to offer, leaving not a stone unturned. Suffice to say, when I heard a remake of sorts was coming, I was excited and scared all at once. I went into the game ready to go over it with a fine-toothed comb. What I found was a blissful experience made all the better, but not the perfection I was so looking for.
The gameplay itself still remains the best turn-based strategy one can find anywhere, without exception. For those unfamiliar, battles take place on grid maps, with squares not unlike a chess board but obviously much more complex. Characters ranging from Archers to Black Mages to Samurai must find the best course to take in order to defeat enemies who often have severe advantages ranging from high-ground to a 3:1 ratio in their favor. In typical RPG fashion your characters grow and level up, gaining access to new jobs and abilities. Much of the addictiveness here comes from the huge number of possible combinations this system provides strategy enthusiasts with. Few games match this level of customization.
That's not to say there aren't many improvements present though. Most noticeable to fans will be the retranslated story and cinematic sequences providing a much better idea of what's going on throughout the story, instead of the convoluted and hard to understand story present for much of the original. The main downside caused here is previous players may be confused when re-learning many attacks, as many names have been changed completely. This is a small price to pay for the greatly improved translation. Entirely new story sequences and battles round out the main additions to gameplay, providing additional insights into the story of Ivalice.
The game suffers most in the graphics department. The game's graphics were already lagging at the time of original release. Now the game has been released on a more powerful system, yet in battles any time one uses an ability that causes any kind of lighting effects, there's a slowdown present between when it is cast and when the sound begins. This isn't game-breaking, but will be a disappointment to fans of the original looking for the definitive version of the classic. The beautifully crafted cinematics take many striking moments from the story and help make them even more touching, with a certain majestic beauty and charm in the styling. Developers should take note: this is the way you do a classic justice within a remake.
Do yourself a favor and wear headphones whenever you can; the speakers present on the PSP simply do not do this game's amazing score justice. Every track truly stands out, and you're sure to find them stuck in your head long after you've put the game down. Even the new voice acting that has been added for some sequences fits well; it doesn't feel shoehorned in, instead feeling natural. The only fault with the sound lies in the system, not with the game itself.