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Your FF Tactics A2 Review!

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  RandoomDude (Aldwin) 1 year, 5 months ago.

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    Joseph DeGolyer

    Review away!


    It’s still escapism, but this time, it is healthy apparently.

    Tactics A2 is a game of lot’s of improvements, and lots of steps down for me, it’s been a long time since I originally picked it up, and for the longest time, held a more negative opinion of the game compared to Tactics A1, I found the original to have an amazing story, and a gameplay so tightly woven and balanced across the hundred are so hours you would put into the entire game, I don’t think it would have taken much for a sequel to make a good follow up, and when it finally did come out, I can’t say they didn’t do their best in going all out trying to make the most worthy sequel possible, almost everything in A2 is an attempt to try to improve from the original A1 game, but does it all work out?

    Overall, it’s an a huge step up graphically from what came before, especially on the technical side of things. Working on the new DS hardware compared to the original GBA game is a huge improvement in terms in graphics and sound, the maps look better than ever, the colors pop out twice as colorful as they ever did on the GBA, the simplistic sprites are spruced up just ever so slightly, and the music which was just okay in A1, starts to really come into it’s own, building both upon the tracks of it, and FFXII, using the DS’ much better sound system this time around, finally leading to a Tactics Advance musical experience that really stands up against the hours of gameplay that the game challenges you to, a great experience in both these department, that I concede completely surpasses the original.

    The story, in my opinion, is a fun and very solid experience overall, and creates for a fun game from begging to end. It is pretty basic, but in a good way, and while a lot of the more serious themes of the original aren’t really present, I’m fine with it, and in general I think makes the game more suitable for a general audience, compared to original, which resonated with a younger, more adolescent audience in general. Marche will always be my favorite Tactics protagonist, but Luso is a decent stand-in for a more light hearted story, with more room for a fun romp in contrast to the more serious tone of the original. The side-characters are fun, and while it ends in a manner pretty similar to the original, it’s all about the journey, and it’s a good time all the way through.

    Gameplay wise, I really like how much they expanded on quests in this game, there is more variety than ever before, with different conditions for fights. There’s new enemy types in the game, and giant boss enemies, the quest system has been upgraded overall, and you can now see quests outside the pub in a organized map that tells you when quests are available, and what rewards they give. There is a much higher ceiling than any of the tactics games, after a bumpy early game, after you get your stride the game becomes a lot of fun, earning new abilities, getting new weapons, going on a much more varied set of quests, with story lines of there own, secret characters to unlock, tournaments to go through, there’s more content than there was in A1 in general, you’ll definitely not find yourself lacking of stuff to do. I love that the game has a hard mode, I think a lot of the tactics games can a be a little to easy, so it’s nice that this game is a little more challenging

    It isn’t all an upgrade though, getting into the heart of the game, by far the biggest change they made to this game, were how you acquired weapons, and by extension, abilities. The amount of weapons and armor you can buy from the default shop in this game has been drastically reduced. In the original A1, you had access to a basic shop that granted access to starting weapons for all of the default classes, giving you a basic set of abilities to start the game off. It’s a smaller selection at first, but it grows as you complete missions, and you basically get a full arsenal of weapons by the time it’s fully upgraded. A2 doesn’t have this, instead, when you first start off, the shop will be completely empty, instead, your introduced to the bazaar, where in order to get new items, you trade in loot you get from battles. The problem with this is how slow it is to start off, the way the bazaar works, you’ll find yourself very early on with a lack of weapons in even your most basic jobs, and it severely limits your options for what jobs you can acquire early on. If you don’t have the weapons, you can’t get the abilities, and you can’t get new jobs, so your stuck in this awkward position where you still need to go on new missions to get new weapons, without any abilities of your own. The game also doesn’t tell you what weapons your getting when you trade in loot, so if you don’t have a guide, you can sometimes get weapons that don’t give any abilities at all. It’s a huge pain, and while i’m not averse to the loot system entirely, the game needs a basic shop like the original so you can at least build up basic units, and then for the more advanced jobs make it so you need to craft the weapons

    While the bazaar is the most egregious change, there were a lot of smaller things too. They took out all of the combo abilities and the cool attack animations they did, enemies and units no longer leave corpses on the battlefield. They gimped certain classes like Assasins, added a stupid reverse MP system, the Laws are more annoying, no way to cancel them or see what they are before hand despite giving rewards now. Jobs are locked behind quests, even ones that were available right of the bat before like Fighter. Had convoluted bullshit in general, having to go on a quest for specific items to craft a book that I needed for a quest just to unlock the final scholar job, small stuff, but it all adds up, it’s all stuff that can be easily fixed though, I hope it does if there is ever a sequel.

    The thing about the game, is that it takes a while to get past a lot of the issues, but once you get your stride, it becomes a lot of fun, especially post game, with tons of sidequests and additional cutscenes with the main characters, once the nightmare of the bazaar is mostly behind you and you finally build up your dream team, it’s an amazing pay-off, and compared to A1, much more satisfying to 100%. The only thing I would say, is that it kind of requires heavy use of guides so that you don’t get stuck and know what your doing, I only recently beat it after coming back after several years of being stuck on the final boss, and it was only really possible by going through guides to look up optimal strategies, the game is a little to convoluted for it’s own good, and I think there’s a lot of things that could use fixing, and if there ever is a sequel to these amazing games, I only have the highest hopes for it. The Tactics games are amazing in general, and A2 takes a welcome seat in their history and legacy. Long live Ivalice.

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