Author Topic: WLS Review: Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (PSP)  (Read 4929 times)

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WLS Review: Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (PSP)
« on: January 28, 2010, 02:35:31 PM »
Final Fantasy Tactics was an excellent game back in 1997, praised by both gamers and critics alike due to its deep storyline and addictive gameplay. It's no wonder Square wanted to bring this back on its tenth anniversary as part of the "Ivalice Alliance" series, but how does this new version compare to its predecessor?

Graphics (5~7/10)
:

You are probably wondering "how can you grade a game like this so low considering it's, well, old?", well, it's precisely because of that.

The original playstation graphics for the game were great, the summons looked just like they should've and some situations were nothing short of just plain epic, but apparently, Square managed to fuck that up. How. you ask? MOST OF THE IN-GAME ACTIONS RUN AT HALF-SPEED.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RQrgo1ytfA[/youtube]

What the FUCK is this Square? It's even dumber when you consider that the original PSX version runs at full speed in the PSX emulator for the PSP. Great.

The in-game cutscenes help the game a bit, they make you feel like you are playing something new instead of just a regular port. The scenes have some really impressive animation work and make (generally) a good job of representing the original in-game cutscenes, I will point out, however, that some of these have mistakes, especially with Ramza's outfits.

There's also the fact that you'll eventually notice that all cutscenes follow the same guideline: dialogue => fade to black => one phrase to sum it up => fade back to view of the sky and pan the camera slowly back to the characters => 2-3 lines => end.

Even with their flaws the new cutscenes are a nice addition and will help to get your mind out of the damn horrible lag you have in-game.

Sound (7/10)
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The soundtrack for this game is amazing, all of the songs set the mood perfectly for the player depending on the current situation during the story, and I guarantee that this will stay true even when you listen to the soundtrack by itself. This is what a soundtrack should be, very good job, Square!

The downside to this though is that the soundtrack suffers from the lack of reverb the original PSX version had, making some of the songs sound "plain" and missing some of the punch they had. Can't really ask for much here, considering Square's usual midi approach.

The sound effects were also downgraded for this version, and some others were replaced altogether. This is kind of a disappointment, some of the new samples are just borderline ear-rape and the quality loss is very noticeable if you've played the original. They should've just kept everything intact.

The voice acting in the cut-scenes was OK. Nothing spectacular.

Gameplay (10+2~3/10)


The gameplay is the same old, very addictive and fun.

The PSP version introduces two new classes to the game: The Onion Knight and The Dark Knight.

The Onion Knight is a class than can equip anything but has no special abilities whatsoever, this class is a powerhouse once you obtain its special equipment, but you need to obtain it via the multiplayer modes, making this class pretty useless in a single-player game.

The Dark Knight is probably the class everyone will want to check out, these units can cause some pretty heavy damage at the cost of their own HP, but they also have the "Nightsword" (Sanguine Sword, for the people that stick to the new translation) ability which will heal them after dealing a powerful hit to the enemy. The requirements for this class are just plain ridiculous, but you'll feel rewarded once you obtain it, it's badass.

The new characters (Luso and Balthier) are also a nice addition. Their classes seem pretty generic, though, but they received some very good stat bonuses that makes them worth having.

Square also fixed some of the abusable glitches the original game had, including the JP scroll glitch and the dupe trick. This is probably disappointing for someone that has played the game before, you can pretty much ask anyone that has played the original and more likely than not they will tell you they used the glitches at least once.

The multiplayer is probably one of the most interesting modes this game has to offer, you can do battle against a friend or join forces and complete the unique co-op missions for some really good bonuses and equipment. The downside is probably the fact that Square made the multiplayer part mandatory, so you can't access this mode unless you have a local partner (no online play, *sigh*), and the chances of that are really damn slim. It would've been nice to be able to tackle these missions as a single player, at least as some sort of challenge.

Story (10+1/10):

The story was left pretty much intact and is still as good as ever. Some extra scenes and battle sequences were added though, making it more enjoyable than before.

Overall (7/10)

Overall I think that the game is still as amazing as it was back in the PSX days, if you were a fan of the original you will probably like this version a lot thanks to the new additions.

The new translation (in my opinion) is pretty average and causes some headaches when reading some of the dialogues.

There's also the fact that some move names were really damn badass in the original and were changed into really... generic names in this version: Hellcry Punch vs Crush Weapon (UGH. :()

Also, some parts of the game that WERE translated properly in the original weren't translated at all here! I'm of course talking about the in-game skill introduction, they are completely GONE from this version, even though the option for them is there and turned on by default in the settings. What the fuck?

You'll get used to the slowdown, eventually. But you'll freak out whenever you see gameplay videos of the PSX original, and will probably still miss the extra speed throughout the game. Also, did I mention that the in-game lag was made on purpose? Yeah, think about that for a moment.

The really shitty thing about all these flaws is probably the fact that you'll WANT to replay this in its original, non-crippled form on the playstation while still missing the extras that were given to you here. But we all know that we can't have everything. :(

If you're a FFT fan then you NEED to play this at least once, but keep in mind that you'll be annoyed by the slow-down from the first swordskill you see in the game.

If you haven't had any contact with this game at all then I'd probably recommend waiting for the fan made patch that adds the PSP extras to the PSX version. But if you can't wait, then you'll probably want to play this as well.