on June 29, 2004
I picked up a copy of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance because, while I honestly cannot stand RPGs, I confess the "turn-based war strategy" genre is my favorite niche. I haven't played a really good one ever since Sierra's "Missionforce: Cyberstorm." So, while I'm not used to fantasy-strategy, and though I haven't played the Playstation version, I thought I'd give FFTA a chance.
It took me a long time to get fully into FFTA, and I'm only (ONLY?) ten hours into the game, but this has quickly become my favorite game for the Game Boy Advance. In spite of their clunkiness, the menus are intuitive and navigable; the character art is outstanding; the game is absolutely adorable (maybe a little TOO adorable...). The missions can become tedious, but when my nerves begin to wear, I simply set the GBA aside, and I usually find that my interest is re-whetted by the next day.
This game is so dense and immersive, and there is so much to keep track of. Characters are able to learn the skills that come with wielding a particular weapon, but they frequently need to be of a certain "race" (so what do I need to do to make Safra into a ninja, I often ask myself), certain laws of battle require you to rethink the way you fight and which of your characters you're going to send into a fray, and when one of your characters is away on a "mission," you're also going to need to think about whether you have someone who can pick up that missing character's slack.
Playing this game gives me such a great sense of satisfaction. It's incredible. Long, sure, and sometimes tedious, but in the end, an outstanding game.
on May 31, 2004
I bought this game, and really tried to get into it. Really, I did. I spent my $30 on it and wanted to enjoy my purchase. But no matter what I did, I found the game extremely boring. Sure, the game looks pretty, but the game moves at a snail's pace in battles which drags a simple clan mission into a half hour event. I don't have time for that, and I don't care if you can save in the middle of a battle. Little stupid battles should be that long at such a slow-mo speed. Advance Wars' battles can stretch out, but you can take off the animation to speed things up A LOT. There is no such option here. I have to sit there for 30 minutes watching these stupid little sprites walk in place and watch the stupid A.I. go really slow. Just hit me already!!
This being a FF game, I expected a storyline. This has none. I knew I smelled garbage when the characters said "Final Fantasy is my fav. game!". WTF?! There is no world map, there are no town to walk around in, it just sucks. I don't care if this is a "tactics" game, I wanted some iota of a stinking story and didn't get it.
On the bright side, it has nice graphics and sound, and the gameplay could be good if it was just FASTER and not so damn slow that I fall asleep during every battle no matter how hard I fight to stay awake. This game just bores me tears and it takes so long to play it should be a console game, not a GBA game. I cannot suggest this title to anyone. It was a big waste of my money and being a huge FF fan, I'm angry at Square for this garbage.
on March 30, 2004
If you haven't heard of Final Fantasy,then you must have been living under a rock for the last 15 years.Since it's launch on the SNES,it has grown into one of the most memoriable series on any game platform.If you want to fully understand the plot,you'll have to go out and buy all of the 14 games!
The game starts out with Marche,the "new kid". At school,the kids are playing in a snowball fight (you get to fight for the first time here).
After school,your friends,Ritz and Mewt come to your house with a mysterious book.After Ritz saying that she wishes that Final Fantasy would come to life,they leave.The next day,they...
I'm not going to spoil the plot.It's actually very good.
Great.Very detailed,3D battlegrounds. The graphics and animation when a character uses a "Totema" are excellent.
Near identical to Advance wars. This game is a RPG,if you don't know already.
Very crisp.The sound effects are very well done,like when someone swings a sword,groans,ect.
I'm not sure if you're going to be replaying this game much,as it is over 300 hours long!
Simple and easy to learn.
My only problem with this game is the fact that it is over 300 hours long.That'll take forever! Also,the missions and battles can take over 20 minutes to win.This game is for patient people.
Overall,I reccomend this game to the hardcore Final Fantasy fanatic,as well as the casual strategy game fan.
on March 8, 2004
Seriously, this game has taken my life away. I play during lunch break, I play during work and sometimes even at night. This is easily one of the most addictive and all around best games I have ever played.
There are 5 races you can play as: Human, Verran ( a human-like species but with long ears like a rabbit), Nu Mou ( a great magic using race), Baanga ( a lizard-like race, just don't call them lizards!) & Moogle ( a standard species in nearly all Final Fantasy games ).
To level and gain new abilities for your Clan( party of group members in the game, a maxium of 23 at one time ), your Clan must study abilities from weapons, armor, magical items, etc. Each ability is put into a class for each character which is called a Job. After mastering 1,2, or even 5 kinds of spelles, techniques, skills you can move on to another Job and use combo of two classes and become even more powerful.
The battle system is turn based, which means you move your character, attack, use a spell, etc, then face a direction to end your move. It may seem easy enough so far, but The Judging System can mean the victory or defeat of your clan. Every battle has certian rules, for example, lets say Missle attack are banned from the fight, you will be penilized for using a missle( arrow attack ) but if you use the opposite of missle ( which is swords ) you will be rewarded with a Judge Point (JP). JP's can be used for Combo moves which deal masssive damage & with other characters which could lead into the hundreads of damage points, maybe even thousands... JP's can also be used for Totema, massive summoned creatures you get for progressing through the game, but I won't spoil any more than that.
Overall this game is one of the best RPG/Strategy games EVER!! It's addictive as hell & fun as hell. For only $35 its worth any penny, every Game Boy Advance (or SP) owner should pick this up. You won't regret it.
on March 3, 2004
This is an awesome game, the storyline is where you are this boy called Marche(you can pick your own name though) your world has cahnged into a different kind of world, that is full of fantasy monsters that you can fight and other nice stuff, but your character is trying to change the world back into it's original state, with some others from this fantasy world that help you along.
The graphics are pretty good, the best part are the portraits of the each character/monster, for the pictures are atcual drawings which have an aime look to them, though the reason I took off the 1.5 is that the characters always walk in one spot, I know the reason it's for but It kinda gets annoying but it's easy to look over that, in other words it dun matter.
Okay this isn't the best music in the world, but some parts are really nice, quite good for a GBA game, so yea not much else to say.
Iv'e already told you the general idean above, but just to let you know this game does not have a plot that somehow you have to save the world, so this kind of plot is a nice change considering the plots for the other final fantasies.
In the battles it is a bit different but original, it is not real time action each character takes turns, you can move a certain number of squares and then chose an action eg.fight,red magic,lunge tech et. et. Note there is maagic and physical attacks so for magic you can attack from a distance, for physical attacks you need to attack them from the front/sides/or back, you get a higher hit rate if you attack from the sides or back, there is also another action called 'wait' if you 'wait' that characters turn comes quicker the next time around.
Really the only dissapointment in this game was that you could not walk around the cities or explore in them, instead you have whats called a 'world map' when you go to a town a menu bar pops up wheter you want to go to pub, shop etc. that reminds me you have to sign up for 'missions' at the pub if you want to finish the game. There are also 5 races in the game, human/moogle(if you are familiar with final fantasy then you'll know what this is)/bangaa/Nu mou/and Viera(all female buny eared things, my favourite reace), you also are in a clan, a group of peopel that work together in mission, fight together etc. your group can consist of any of the races, as long as they offer to join your group after you gradually finish each kind of missions(there are diffrent kinds of missions), your clan can contain a maximum of 24 members. Each race has their own kind of specific 'jobs' certain jobs can only be obtained by you character knowing some other job abilities, ex. In order for a Viera to turn into a red mage, it needs to know at least one 'fencer' move.
In the end I give this game 4 stars, which means I think this is a great game, trust me this game is quite long if you want to plan out all the abilities you characters learn, what jobs you want, and including the fact that you need certain items for specific items for other missions, also a whopping 300 misions, no you don't neeed to finish all them to progess in the game, heck I beated the game with only 65 missions done, but if you want a super extra character(s) *hint,hint-Nudge-nudge* I advise you to beat as many missions as you can, so yeah that's it.
on February 22, 2004
Althought i do not fear death i do not weloce it either _ Kazuma the treasner ( my favorite saying from my favorite manga almost.K well you need to know REALLY how to play the game for instance if u dont want to "engage"(battle) with certain "laws"(rules) than go to a town or location on the map and than use the left or right forget which one to c thos laws and if u still dont like them move again. WEll thats just a example.If u dont think you could really grasp how to play take your time and if you are the person who doent get mad if you waste 2min than you will like this game a lot. The graphics in this game in my ipinion or some of the best considering there for gba i give them a 8/10 the game play is like a 8/10 cause u might have ot start a battle or "job" over and that can be frusterating. I give the story line a 9/10 well because it is a little confusing at the beggining but thats because the main charictor, Marche, is confused at the beggining. The story rocks im not gonna give it away so u will just have to find out on ur own. The battles or engagments our fun it has a trace of chess like play in it for thoughts chess lovers there r lots of secrets yet to be discovered for me ive played 46hrs and 17 min in counting yes a waste of life. I still havnt beat it but i could beat the game ( not completeing all the missians in about 10 hrs if i wanted.Yes it takes a while so dont buy this if you are weak at heart. And with that said, thanx for reading.
on February 20, 2004
Ok, reading some of the other reviews, some people are comparing it to the original or to some other game or expecting it to be something it isn't. Those people have no idea what they're talking about. This game is simply brilliant. But a warning is to be issued, a certain level of patience is required as well as a taste for tactical RPGs. If you've played the original or Tactics Ogre, prepare for something similar with a few twists.
The graphics are colourful, wonderful, crisp and clear. Great looking game.
Sound is nice and clear, except some get repeated over and over and that gets annoying.
The music that is there is simple wonderful, unfortunately there isn't much music there, only a few tracks but it's still a colourful soundtrack.
Alright, so it's pretty basic, in battles characters get there turn according to their speed. Fastest character goes first and so on. World map movement is simple point and click. Where it gets original is in the law system. Never seen one like this. It's unique and fun, and forces you to think creatively within boundaries and create unique strategies or you can just cancel out the laws with those cards...Battles are fun, fast paced for a tactical RPG but otherwise they're sluggish taking a minimum of 10 minutes to complete. The gameplay is fun and addictive.
Story 4/5 and Sidequests 4/5
The story is unique, but has a fairy tale ending and takes some interesting twists once in a while. Problem is, the story can be very short if you play the story missions one after another in a row. I beat the last boss which was level 36 and Marche was only level 23, then I realized the game was over and I had only completed 141 missions out of the 300. There are more sidequests than u can shake a stick at BUT unfortunately the majority are boring dispatch missions where you send out ONE unit and must wait a little while, then unit comes back either having failed or succeeded, no battle involved. Some sidequests displace the story a bit as they actually happen after the last boss, so it disrupts the story. Nonetheless plenty here to keep you busy.
A must have for any tactical RPG fan or FF fan willing to play something different. Addictive, it will keep you busy for HOURS. I've played 47 hours and have only completed 168 of the 300 missions. This one will keep you busy for a while and is quite addictive and fun, go out and purchase a copy now.
on February 12, 2004
This is the first game I've bought for the GBA, but I've played enough systems to have a decent opinion on it...
PROS: This game is a lot of fun for those who love to advance, gaining abilities and levels and statistics. There's an awful lot of stuff to get and learn in FFTA, and with such a large team, you get new abilities and levels in almost every battle. Graphics are entertaining enough, music doesn't get as annoying as you'd think, and the strategic roles of the jobs and races make for some great battlefield moments. It's pretty addictive at the beginning, and pretty satisfying to knock your first Bangaa over a cliff.
CONS: I have played for 95 hours, according to the game clock, and have not finished the game. It's been 60 hours since I even went on a plot-related mission. Soon, all my characters will max out at level 50, and I will still have not have finished the game because I was never offered the final missions! This doesn't seem to happen to everyone, but MAN is it annoying.
After a while, battles feel pretty slow. The screen centers on an enemy, wait, then goes to your character, then back, then the attack is announced, then the sky darkens, then a spell is cast, then the sky lightens, and after the 9000th time it's like AAAAAUGH. JUST HIT ME ALREADY.
And finally, there's the FF issue: for a game as shallow and slow-paced as FFTA, this game has an AWFUL lot of secrets. Reading an Walkthrough will make your head spin; there are dozens of objects you should NEVER throw out, difficult abilities you should be cultivating from the first battle, objects that "you will rarely find in a single game of play," and enemy-gathering trips that can take days of your life, all for the tiniest little perks and advantages! Right now, I have 90% of the spells, abilities and skills....but if I want to get all 100, and I reeeeally do, I'll have to potentially play for another 60 frickin' hours, and frankly, the abilities I'm missing aren't as good as the ones I have. This isn't like FF7 with the Weapons being a fun side-challenge, or FF8 with the Research Lab being a difficult quest to achieve an almighty power. This is hours upon hours of trying your luck at silly little side-stuff that requires no skill, just rolls of the dice.
OVERALL: I had a lot of fun, then I had a lot of annoyance. Play this game with a good attitude, leave it when you're done, and you won't be nearly as bothered as some of us are.
on February 12, 2004
Let me start off by saying that I've been a fan of the final fantsy series since FF5. Each one has been different and had it's own good points and bad points. As for FF Tactics Advanced, the bad far outweigh the good. Let me tell you the good points first.
1. It's on GBA, meaning it's portable and that you can play it anywhere at anytime.
2. Player's are able to change jobs as in the original FF Tactics.
3. The graphics are pretty decent for a GBA game.
Now for the bad
1. The Story - the story for FFTA has to be the most thoughtless and simple ones for any FF game to date. Your character is warped into an alternate dimension where the Final Fantasy video game becomes real. Your objective now is to find a way back home (how creative). You join a clan of other characters and fight with other random clans throughout the game. You advance the plot by completing various missions. You eventually have to fight your friends from the real world who don't want to go home and convince them to go back with you. You can basically know the whole lame story of this game before you even get halfway through the game. I won't spoil the ending for those of you who haven't played the game (even though there's not much to spoil).
2. Laws - On FFTA the game has a set number of laws in each location and a judge watching the battle to make sure no one breaks them. At times you can cleverly use these laws to bind your enemies from doing certain things. However, later on in the game the game starts placing 3 laws in effect all at once. This slows down the battles greatly and sometimes the 3 laws could be barring you from healing, using magic, or even using the fight command itself! Sometimes they even barred me from doing dmg to animals in a battle where I was fighting 5 animals. These laws end up being more annoying than helpful especially if you're like me and want to build characters to their max lvs and stats.
3. Lack of Sidequests - This game has a huge lack of sidequests or other alternate things to do in the game. You can accept extra missions from the Pubs but half of them don't even allow you to fight, but rather dispatch a clan member to complete the mission for a certain amount of time. The extra missions where you can actually fight are often unrewarding and a waste of time. This game lacks a Dungeon or bonus area where enemies are stronger than the final boss like in the other FF titles (ie. Deep Dungeon of FFT, Via Infinito of FFX-2, Research Cen. FF8, etc.)
4. Sound - If you've played any FF titles before then I'm sure you know what I mean when I say that the music on this game is weak. The tunes on the other games were so good that you would go to some areas just to hear the music and would later find yourself humming the tunes. However, on this game that isn't the case.
5. Difficulty - Square usually tries to balance the FF games. Not make them to hard but then again not to easy either. This one falls in the category with the "kiddie game stigma" that plagues Nintendo today. The game is far too easy for anyone who's played and beaten the other FF titles. They made this one in order to ensure that all 6-14yr olds would be able to beat this game.
Overall I wouldn't recommend this game to a normal RPG fan. Get this one ONLY if you feel the need to have every Final Fantasy game in your collection or if you're not bothered by the huge number of flaws in this game (I would have listed more if I had more space).
on February 6, 2004
To start this review off, I would like to note that FFTA(Final Fantasy Tactics Advance) isn't even close to as good as the original FFT for PSX. However, a good FFT lover like myself will tell you that's not saying much.
This game does take place in a similar world to FFT, but overall is different. The battle system still uses jobs, but this time, there are races. Each race it's own characteristics and some jobs available to only it. The way you learn abilities is much like FFIX in the sense that you have to equip weapons with abilities and then gain a certain amount of Ap. The real problem with the battle system is rather the lack of difficulty. There is, however, one excepsion! The totema battles, which are like the Zodiac Battles, which in turn are like Boss Battles, are incredibly good. They are the best boss battles in a video game I've seen since 2001. The Totema battles feature big, hulking enemies, good music, and seamingly impossible challenges.
The story isn't exactly great, and rather then throwing you into a completely different world right from the get go, you start in more of a present day period. After some nicely done starting scenes, you and your teenage friends are thrown into another world with magic(yes, it's one of those cliches). The story evetually does progress into something better, but the lack of story actually makes this game more appealing since it's a portable game.
Overall, this game is great. If you didn't play FFT, you'll find the battles enjoyable and pretty challenging, and if you did beat the original FFT, the Totema battles and new job classes are more then enough to get you to buy this game.