Author Topic: Final Fantasy Tactics (and other TRPGs)  (Read 579 times)

NoSleep

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Final Fantasy Tactics (and other TRPGs)
« on: February 19, 2019, 09:33:42 AM »
Why did I wait so long to try this game out? I knew that it was going to become a favourite of mine as it is written and directed by one of my favourite game designers, Yasumi Mitsuno (Vagrant Story, Ogre Battle: March Of The Black Queen, Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, Final Fantasy XII). I knew that I would like it as I am a fan of Tactical RPGs (Vandal Hearts 1 & 2, Front Mission 1 [SNES fan translation as well as the DS version] & 3, Age of Empires; Age Of Kings DS [not to be mistaken with the other AOE RTS games], and I've even played the FF Tactics A2: Grimoire Of The Rift, Advance Wars [GBA, DS], Zone Of The Enders: The Fist of Mars [GBA]).
It only ever got released in North America, not Europe, so it's only been through the medium of emulation that I've been able to try the game out. There's been a PSP reissue with a fantastic new translation by Alexander O. Smith, upgraded cutscenes and multiplayer options which had some slowdown issues during battles, and fans of the game created a patch to fix the slowdown. Which led me to:

http://ffhacktics.com

These guys have incorporated the new translation into the PSX version to create the definitive version of the game. There's other patches that change the balance of the gameplay and more but I'm running through the PSX version with the "FFT Complete V0.50" patch at the moment and even though I've only progressed a little way into the game I love it. Both the gameplay and the story are compelling; I think this may compete with the best of the FF franchise (my two favourites being FFVII & FFXII, the 2nd being another Mitsuno creation, after all).

Any other fans of this genre and other recommendations?


samadriel

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Re: Final Fantasy Tactics (and other TRPGs)
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2019, 10:14:34 AM »
I'm curious as to whether Shining Force 3 and later are any good; I loved the first two as a kid (try the remake of the original on GBA, good times), but never got to play SF3, and I'm not even sure that any of the later games actually are TRPGs.

NoSleep

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Re: Final Fantasy Tactics (and other TRPGs)
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2019, 10:44:04 AM »
Looks like SF3 is a TRPG but it's in 3 parts, some of which have only made into English via fan translations.

I see that Shining Force made it to the Dreamcast as a part of a bundle of old Sega games so I'll be looking out for an ISO of that to burn for my DC. Although it looks like the English translation had a lot to be desired, so maybe I'll look out for a fan translation of that, too.

samadriel

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Re: Final Fantasy Tactics (and other TRPGs)
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2019, 12:58:25 PM »
If you emulate at all, I again encourage you to try the GBA version of SF1, it adds a couple of characters (and adds the cards system for one character, which deepens the game a bit), beefs up the story a tad, gives your fighters more to say at HQ, improves graphics... it's pretty much the definitive version.

Z

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Re: Final Fantasy Tactics (and other TRPGs)
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2019, 01:06:00 PM »
FF Tactics Advance was my most played game on my most played machine

NoSleep

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Re: Final Fantasy Tactics (and other TRPGs)
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2019, 01:11:19 PM »
If you emulate at all, I again encourage you to try the GBA version of SF1, it adds a couple of characters (and adds the cards system for one character, which deepens the game a bit), beefs up the story a tad, gives your fighters more to say at HQ, improves graphics... it's pretty much the definitive version.

I was reading that some stuff was originally left out of the english translation; some backstory. Is this what they beefed up the GBA version with?

NoSleep

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Re: Final Fantasy Tactics (and other TRPGs)
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2019, 01:17:53 PM »
FF Tactics Advance was my most played game on my most played machine

I've seen that FF Tactics Advance gets a bad rap from some gamers for being "for kids" but I watched a review on YT that pointed out that there's some serious shit in the lives of the children who are the central characters (alcoholic dads, dead mums, disabled siblings, etc). Probably the same people that diss FFTA2: Grimoire Of The Rift. As I've played FFTA2 I can vouch that the gameplay more than makes up for any lack in the storyline. That said, I'm am falling in love with the storyline of the original FFT but it's the gameplay that's central to my enjoyment.

samadriel

  • I`m not a shining wit, I`m a whining shit
Re: Final Fantasy Tactics (and other TRPGs)
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2019, 02:16:16 PM »
I was reading that some stuff was originally left out of the english translation; some backstory. Is this what they beefed up the GBA version with?

Yes, and the whole script was tweaked and polished, even in the original Japanese; Max is no longer a silent protagonist, for example.  Backstory provided by the characters when you've got them in your team is also quite influenced by the original Japanese manual/game bible, which provided some extra colour for your team members.  There's also things like the subtle suggestion that magic in the SF universe is actually caused by orbital satellites left in space by the Ancients; I recall it being subtle, at least, I don't think it's explicitly said.

a peepee tipi

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Re: Final Fantasy Tactics (and other TRPGs)
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2019, 06:17:05 PM »
Have yet to play FFT but both Tactics Ogre games are fantastic time sinks. Fire Emblem 5 up to Radiant Dawn is a fantastic run for a series, FE5, 7, and RD being my absolute favorites. Nothing really obtuse there, no massive catalog of skills, just good ol grid-battlin

NoSleep

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Re: Final Fantasy Tactics (and other TRPGs)
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2019, 10:54:23 AM »
Have yet to play FFT but both Tactics Ogre games are fantastic time sinks.

I've dipped my toes in Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together and will be playing it after I've finished FFT. It looks like all I would expect from a Matsuno game. Apparently the plot is based upon his reflections on the conflicts in former Yugoslavia.

Quote
Fire Emblem 5 up to Radiant Dawn is a fantastic run for a series, FE5, 7, and RD being my absolute favorites. Nothing really obtuse there, no massive catalog of skills, just good ol grid-battlin

I've got Fire Emblem:Shadow Dragon (DS) lined up, too. The DS seems to have been the ideal platform for the re-release of these older games. Disgaea, too (although I'm a bit wary of the cartoony, comedic veneer; hope the gameplay makes up for this).

Talking about good old grid battling, I was surprised at how the simplicity of Vandal Hearts 1, compared to many other TRPGs, including VH2, really works. No countless weapons or the necessity for grinding; all the depth of the games comes from looking for the secret levels and hidden treasure. I just went for a a straightforward run-through the first time, but remember an encounter with an old guy in one of the taverns, who asked something like, "Are you the true hero? No, I don't think so." This suggests to me I need to replay to get a different response from him by unearthing some more of the hidden maps and artefacts.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2019, 02:21:16 PM by NoSleep »

Jerzy Bondov

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Re: Final Fantasy Tactics (and other TRPGs)
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2019, 01:57:23 PM »
I loved Shining Force III at the time. I was convinced my Sega Saturn shat all over the PlayStation and this was my Final Fantasy VII. It's a real shame they never got round to bringing out part 2 and 3 in the west, but the first scenario is perfectly enjoyable by itself. It certainly isn't short.

NoSleep

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Re: Final Fantasy Tactics (and other TRPGs)
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2019, 07:07:18 PM »
The PS2 thread reminded me of another grid-based strategy game, which I guess is a TRPG of sorts: Gladius.

The big difference with other titles is that you are a travelling band of gladiators moving upwards in the ranks to becoming the ultimate champions of the arena. And you get  a choice of two different stories to follow.

NoSleep

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Re: Final Fantasy Tactics (and other TRPGs)
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2019, 01:46:29 PM »
I'm now into the second chapter of FFT and loving both the game and the story. Gamewise it's a little bit tough and you definitely need to do some grinding to progress through some sections, although I'm following my own criteria here and not letting any of my troops be left dead on the battleground, which happens if you leave them unresuscitated for more than three turns during a battle. Grinding in chapter one was limited to two battlegrounds that would generate random battles if passed over (sometimes several times before this would happen). As a result I now have a hatred of chocobos (which would spawn on one of these random battlegrounds), thanks to their heavy counter attacks when you hit them, their own Choco Beak attack and their annoying ability to constantly cast cure on themselves and their allies. Bastard chocobos.

Looks like my busy work schedule is going to take me away from the game for a spell. Bastard work.

Re: Final Fantasy Tactics (and other TRPGs)
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2019, 01:26:53 AM »
Vandal Hearts 1 was a favourite of mine, I think it's the only tactical RPG I've played.  Which of these games mentioned are the most essential to play which are similar to that one (apart from FF Tactics)?

NoSleep

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Re: Final Fantasy Tactics (and other TRPGs)
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2019, 05:59:34 AM »
VH1 stands alone amongst all the TRPGs I've come across so far for its simplicity. Even VH2 moves towards the model of FFT and the other complex TRPGs. There's definitely worth a replay or two in VH1 to make sure you've found all the secret content (as mentioned in an earlier post).

Re: Final Fantasy Tactics (and other TRPGs)
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2019, 02:04:43 PM »
Thanks for that.  Shame there hasn't been more games made in that simplistic style, it was very easy to get into and addictive.

NoSleep

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Re: Final Fantasy Tactics (and other TRPGs)
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2019, 02:17:03 PM »
In VH1 I don't think you level up more than about 20 times and you end the game pretty much with the same gear as you start with and no chance of changing your character's type. There are no opportunities to grind, either. It definitely worked for me.

But I like the usual type, too; grinding, shops full of new equipment and accessories, characters can change job, etc. Sometimes I spend an hour checking out new gear combos, enhancing natural differences in stats between characters to get the most out of them, rather than balancing everybody out. Sometimes spend a whole session grinding (especially necessary in a game like like FFT, where you can hire/acquire new recruits).

Re: Final Fantasy Tactics (and other TRPGs)
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2019, 02:27:02 PM »
Tactics Ogre is brilliant, but yes you do need to grind a fair bit.  If I love the fact that you can rewind backwards and forwards as many turns as you want if you feel you’ve made a bad decision.

No mention of Disgaea yet? This is probably the one I’ve spent most time on, and I love the fact that it’s essentially infinite, with an infinite amount of character development. I’ve been playing Disgaea 4 on and offfor four years now and though i finished the regular game within a couple of months I’ve still not managed to bottom out anything in the post game. A beautifully rendered and put together game that you can elect to play in different modes, ones that you can up with yourself.

NoSleep

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Re: Final Fantasy Tactics (and other TRPGs)
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2019, 02:50:47 PM »
I've got the DS version of Disgaea: Hour Of Darkness lined up for the future. I hope the gameplay eclipses the voice acting and setting because I never got as far as playing a round when I glimpsed what it was like, and I found the characters and the setting a little irritating.