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Author Topic: Rediscovering Final Fantasy Tactics  (Read 1414 times)
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Gratch
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« on: July 31, 2006, 04:46:46 AM »

I had to send my new gaming computer back for a motherboard replacement on Friday, so I was looking for something else to play.  Nothing on the PS2 or XBox grabbed me, so I decided I'd fire up FFT again just to kill some time.  Somehow, I ended up putting over 14 hours into the game this weekend.    

Playing this game brings back all kids of good gaming memories.  It's one of those games that reminds me why I started this damn hobby in the first place.  There are very few games that have a combination of story, artwork, music, and gameplay that is as solid as FFT.   It is one of those game that I can sit down to play for a few minutes, and come out 8 bleary-eyed hours later.

Oddly, it actually took me 3 tries to get into FFT.  I bought it originally when it first came out, right after I finished FF VII.  I was expecting more of the same, and was sorely dissapointed in what the game actually was.  Sold it after a couple weeks, but then rebought it again on a whim about a year later.  I fared a little better, but for some reason I couldn't get past the 4th mission, so I scrapped it again.  I decided to give it one last try when it came out as a Greatest Hits...and absolutely fell in love with it.  Once I figured out the combat system, job system, and menu navigation, I was hooked.  I put nearly 65 hours into it, but realized about 50 hours in that I had gone about building my characters completely wrong (I levelled Ramza way above everyone else, so none of my support characters could handle the actual storyline battles).  I gave up before actually finishing, and it has been in my permanent 'I'll get to it someday' backlog for a couple years.  I did a ton of research before starting this time, so I may actually try to make it all the way through.

Sorry I'm rambling, but with all the next-gen games, mind-blowing graphics, pricely systems, etc., I find it somewhat refreshing that the best gaming weekend I've had in a long time has been with a simple PS1 strategy game that is nearly 10 years old.
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ChaoZ
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2006, 05:07:31 AM »

I've tried to get into FFT twice, but never really got beyond the beginning. It too is part of my "I'll get back it" list.

I have to say though, if it takes 50 hours to realize the game is unpassable, I call it a very fundamental flaw in game design.
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2006, 05:28:05 AM »

" I decided to give it one last try when it came out as a Greatest Hits...and absolutely fell in love with it."
It was the neon green "Greatest Hits" stripe that pushed it over the edge slywink
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2006, 11:40:48 AM »

I always want to go back and try to play this but I never could get into it either.  I'm pretty sure the Fire Emblem games have spoiled me.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2006, 12:03:42 PM »

Fantastic game.  Finally really got into this time last year.  Been jonesing for something similar recently and have been thinking about starting up Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, which some feel is even better than FFT.
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2006, 12:45:30 PM »

I think this game has one of the more shocking endings of all time.  I loved the whole game-the story was a bit convoluted but over all it was fantastic.  I don't think i would like Disgaea as much because it seems like so much more of a leveling game. I don't want to have to level my guys up to 999 or whatever.  I'm really looking forward to Jeanne D'Arc because it reminds me so much of FFT.
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Gratch
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2006, 01:02:14 PM »

Quote from: "ChaoZ"
I've tried to get into FFT twice, but never really got beyond the beginning. It too is part of my "I'll get back it" list.

I have to say though, if it takes 50 hours to realize the game is unpassable, I call it a very fundamental flaw in game design.


I'd say it was more my fault than the game design.  I ignored the 'Enemies are at the level of your main character' advice in the tutorial, and levelled my main guy way out ahead of all the others.   The game adjusted the enemy levels accordingly (just like it said it would), and I ended up getting my ass kicked.

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I'm really looking forward to Jeanne D'Arc because it reminds me so much of FFT.


So did Stella Deus, and we all know how that turned out.  frown
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2006, 03:02:07 PM »

Quote from: "Gratch"
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I'm really looking forward to Jeanne D'Arc because it reminds me so much of FFT.


So did Stella Deus, and we all know how that turned out.  frown


Yeah, but Level 5 does have a much better track record.
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« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2006, 03:15:25 PM »

My PS2 won't even boot it up. :? I haven't run across another copy since.
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« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2006, 03:17:21 PM »

while among the minority of people who actually liked ffta (montblanc!) more than fft, i thoroughly enjoyed it, & imagine (& reviews seem to bear it out) that ffxii will be offering at least the same level of shakespearean-style character-developements & story complexities...
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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2006, 03:23:19 PM »

I loved that game. For some reason, though, I didn't enjoy FFTA nearly as much.
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« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2006, 12:16:50 AM »

Quote from: "semiconscious"
while among the minority of people who actually liked ffta (montblanc!) more than fft, i thoroughly enjoyed it, & imagine (& reviews seem to bear it out) that ffxii will be offering at least the same level of shakespearean-style character-developements & story complexities...


I actually enjoyed the combat system in FFTA more that FFT, mainly due to the fact that you could 'take back' moves if you didn't happen to judge a spell or ability range correctly.  I had a hard time connecting with the simplistic story though, mainly because of the age of the characters.  I put about 80 hours into FFTA until I realized there was a level cap.  Once a couple characters hit the cap, there just wasn't much of a point to keep playing.

FFT has one of the best stories I've seen in any game, which makes up for some of the combat shortcomings.
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« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2006, 02:15:18 AM »

I liked FFTA more than FFT... TA was more accessible and enjoyable, while Tactics takes 20-30 hours in prep (getting Gained JP Up and the basic classes for 10-12 seperate characters) before you can really dig in and play, else your characters are gimp and you lose bigtime.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2006, 02:22:21 AM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
I liked FFTA more than FFT... TA was more accessible and enjoyable, while Tactics takes 20-30 hours in prep (getting Gained JP Up and the basic classes for 10-12 seperate characters) before you can really dig in and play, else your characters are gimp and you lose bigtime.


Can't agree with that.  You do have to grind early, but I'd say  from the 5-10 hour mark at most.
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« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2006, 03:02:16 AM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
I liked FFTA more than FFT... TA was more accessible and enjoyable, while Tactics takes 20-30 hours in prep (getting Gained JP Up and the basic classes for 10-12 seperate characters) before you can really dig in and play, else your characters are gimp and you lose bigtime.


Can't agree with that.  You do have to grind early, but I'd say  from the 5-10 hour mark at most.
Only put in 5-10 and chances are the fight on the rooftops of that smaller city map will kick your ass.  20-30 hours is probably an overestimate, though, now that I think about it.  More like 15-20.
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« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2006, 03:16:40 AM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
I liked FFTA more than FFT... TA was more accessible and enjoyable, while Tactics takes 20-30 hours in prep (getting Gained JP Up and the basic classes for 10-12 seperate characters) before you can really dig in and play, else your characters are gimp and you lose bigtime.


Can't agree with that.  You do have to grind early, but I'd say  from the 5-10 hour mark at most.
Only put in 5-10 and chances are the fight on the rooftops of that smaller city map will kick your ass.  20-30 hours is probably an overestimate, though, now that I think about it.  More like 15-20.


That's exactly where I stopped the last time I tried playing FFT.  Just didn't feel like grinding frown
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« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2006, 04:34:07 AM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
I liked FFTA more than FFT... TA was more accessible and enjoyable, while Tactics takes 20-30 hours in prep (getting Gained JP Up and the basic classes for 10-12 seperate characters) before you can really dig in and play, else your characters are gimp and you lose bigtime.


10-12 characters?  Everyone's strategy is different, but there's no way I would try to use that many.  I've got 6 that I'm trying to specialize in a couple different jobs (my priest/mage combo rocks), plus Ramza & Delita.  That way I can keep all my support characters around the same level (currently between 14-16), and keep Ramza a few levels lower.  Since the main storyline battles adjust to Ramza's level, they aren't as brutal when he's a few lower and my other characters are higher (he's currently at 10).  I'll be in trouble, though, if I come up against a battle that involves Delita.  Since you can't use him in random battles, he's only around level 4.  Methinks he'll get whupped.

FWIW, I got all 6 characters with Gained JP up within the first 4 hours.
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« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2006, 05:57:28 PM »

This is a long shot, but I can't find it in on GameFAQ's anywhere and figured someone here might know.

Is there a specific number of battles or a certain level you have to hit before certain basic weapons become available?  I have 2 characters I want to change to Lancers (mainly to move to Samurai), but there are no spears available at any of the shops.  Makes them pretty ineffective if they don't have a weapon to equip.  Frustrating...
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« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2006, 06:22:25 PM »

Quote from: "Gratch"
Is there a specific number of battles or a certain level you have to hit before certain basic weapons become available?  I have 2 characters I want to change to Lancers (mainly to move to Samurai), but there are no spears available at any of the shops.  Makes them pretty ineffective if they don't have a weapon to equip.  Frustrating...


IIRC, the equipment is actually unlocked per city but it's been a year since I played it so I'm not 100% positive.
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« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2006, 06:34:25 PM »

Slightly off topic, but would FFTA be a reasonable entry point into the FF series for someone that likes TBS but has basically no knowledge about the FF universe?
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« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2006, 06:43:28 PM »

Quote from: "Misguided"
Slightly off topic, but would FFTA be a reasonable entry point into the FF series for someone that likes TBS but has basically no knowledge about the FF universe?


Yes.

FFTA, like other Final Fantasy games, share no plotlines or characters with other FF games.
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« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2006, 06:47:45 PM »

Quote from: "Misguided"
Slightly off topic, but would FFTA be a reasonable entry point into the FF series for someone that likes TBS but has basically no knowledge about the FF universe?


Yes.  There are some minor connections to other games (probably nothing you would even notice if you weren't familiar with them), but it's a completely new set of characters and plotlines.  IMHO, it has one of the better stories of any FF game, so if you enjoy TBS strategy and don't mind some dated graphics you should have a blast.
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« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2006, 08:56:29 PM »

Quote from: "Gratch"
Quote from: "Misguided"
Slightly off topic, but would FFTA be a reasonable entry point into the FF series for someone that likes TBS but has basically no knowledge about the FF universe?


Yes.  There are some minor connections to other games (probably nothing you would even notice if you weren't familiar with them), but it's a completely new set of characters and plotlines.  IMHO, it has one of the better stories of any FF game, so if you enjoy TBS strategy and don't mind some dated graphics you should have a blast.


Actually he said FFTA- I'm guessing you were referring to FFT since I don't think many would say Tactics Advance has one of the better stories.  

Misguided, almost every Final Fantasy title takes place in a separate "universe" so no previous knowledge is necessary for any of them barring FFX-2 (the only true sequel so far).  Certain concepts do carry over, so familiarity with the series is always a bonus but it really doesn't matter which title you decide to start with.  

Also, the Tactics games (Final Fantasy Tactics for the PS1 and FFTA for the GBA) really are completely unike any other entries in the series so if you are looking for a good jumping in point to the main series, then they probably aren't what you are looking for.  However, if you are looking for a great SRPG, then FFT for the PS1 is one of the best (FFTA, on the other hand, isn't nearly as good).
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« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2006, 09:48:25 PM »

I wouldn't discount FFTA so much, I actually enjoyed the battles and the Laws etc. more than the Battles from FFT.

FFTA is a great way to find out if you'd enjoy a tactics game like Tactics Ogre or FFT on PS1.

The story is somewhat cheesy and not nearly as deep in FFTA as it is in FFT, it IS however, a lot easier to understand and grasp and has a much better translation. Also, if you have an interest in FF12, it will share the same world of Ivalice that was created for FFTA.
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« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2006, 10:47:12 PM »

Quote from: "Misguided"
Slightly off topic, but would FFTA be a reasonable entry point into the FF series for someone that likes TBS but has basically no knowledge about the FF universe?


i'd say it's maybe the ultimate entry point tbs game period, but, as has been mentioned, not so much an entry into the ff universe, with the exception, as tebunker says, of the just-over-the-horizon ffxii (that was the main motivation for me playing it)...

as far as ffta's story, yeah, it's simplistic (tho pretty damn charming), but for myself (don't think this is a spoiler), who works in a hospital for disabled kids, it worked on a very fundamental level that i felt was surprisingly effective. not to mention the music is some of my favorite (the 'arranged' soundtrack cd is fantastic!)...
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« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2006, 11:24:10 PM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
Quote from: "Gratch"
Quote from: "Misguided"
Slightly off topic, but would FFTA be a reasonable entry point into the FF series for someone that likes TBS but has basically no knowledge about the FF universe?


Yes.  There are some minor connections to other games (probably nothing you would even notice if you weren't familiar with them), but it's a completely new set of characters and plotlines.  IMHO, it has one of the better stories of any FF game, so if you enjoy TBS strategy and don't mind some dated graphics you should have a blast.


Actually he said FFTA- I'm guessing you were referring to FFT since I don't think many would say Tactics Advance has one of the better stories.  


Doh!  Yeah, I take that back.  FFTA is still a great game (my personal favorite GBA game), but story is not one of it's strong points.  

Quote
not to mention the music is some of my favorite (the 'arranged' soundtrack cd is fantastic!)...


+1.  The full orchestrated soundtrack is really pretty amazing.

Quote
IIRC, the equipment is actually unlocked per city


You were right, thanks.  I just hadn't looked in the right city to find the spears yet.   2 lancers with the +8 jump ability are sweet.   Cool
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