Just another post gushing about FFT

I’ve been playing Final Fantasy Tactics like a madman since picking it up (Aria loves the super-loud sound effects, just ask her), and I just don’t get how a game from 1997 can STILL be the greatest TBS title of its kind. How, in 14 years, has no one been able to make anything as good as this game? How is it that a game from 1997 has more captivating and expressive animations than most games released today? How is it that the music and sound effects, ON AN IPHONE!, are more memorable and fitting than just about anything I’ve played recently?

It really is absurd on so many levels that not only has FFT aged like a fine wine, but that no game that I am aware of has been able to recreate what makes it so good. I mean I get that the TBS genre is not exactly booming or getting AAA-sized money thrown at it, but 14 years? Really?

And it’s not like FFT is perfect. The dialog, in its odd shakespear-but-not-really style, would not be my first choice. The game does have a stupid slowdown issue whenever you go to attack. You can save at the wrong time and screw yourself if the next fight is too hard and you can’t level up. Some of the mechanics are a little arcane (zodiac/brave system), the classes have some serious balance issues, and one could argue the difficulty of the game is annoyingly uneven (although I think that makes it interesting, but I can see how WoW-kiddies might get upset).

Yet even with all of the above, it’s still the best TBS game I’ve played. Each map is brilliant, the pace of the story is spot-on, the characters are memorable, ‘impact’ events actually carry some weight, you can min/max the HELL out of the game (or not), it’s packed with little details, hints, and side-stories, combat has that perfect mix of strategy and luck, and… well I could go on.

WTB FFT-clone.

10 Responses to Just another post gushing about FFT

  1. Straw Fellow says:

    I own FFT both on the Playstation and on the PSP and it’s been a longtime favorite of mine. One could say that they’ve tried to recreate the experience with the FFT gameboy advance (and I think DS) games, but I never enjoyed those as much as the original.

    I think the style is ripe enough for an indie company to come along and take advantage of it.

  2. MMOCrunch says:

    Im with you, FFT is one of the best games of all time and if you do find another game that’s just as good, let me know.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Good news! Tactics Ogre is the previous game by the same team, and although it’s a bit rougher (and harder to find, though I think it might be out on PSN now) it’s just about as good a game, better in some ways honestly. On the other hand it is kind of depressing that the only game I can think of offhand that’s better is even older.

    What it comes down to is that you can hardly go wrong with SNES and PS1 RPG’s.

  4. John Andrew says:

    Agreed — FFT is the best TBS of all time.

    I don’t have my Playstation any more (or my copy of FFT), but I would be willing to pay for a version of FFT for the PC. Does such a thing exist?

    (I took a brief glance at the internet but found nothing … still, one of you might know something)

  5. Drew says:

    Playing through FFT without using the over-powered NPCs is a nice challenge (use only your own generated characters). A couple of those guys are completely dominant with their field-changing abilities (Orlandu comes to mind, here).

    The plot was great, even with the questionable translations, and Square has always been good at putting arcane/cryptic stuff in their games. Hell, FFXI (the online MMO one) never did technically release what the stats did – people reverse engineered it for the most part. And you know what, it’s something I liked – made min/maxing less concrete and left some things to the imagination.

  6. Azuriel says:

    There probably isn’t something that is better than FFT, but you can try out:

    -Disgaea (haven’t played the sequels)
    -Fallout Tactics (dunno if it aged well)
    -Front Mission 4
    -Tactics Ogre: Knight of Lodis (came out on the GBA)

    Out of those, Disgaea is the closest in pure goodness.

    • SynCaine says:

      Yea played all of those. FM4 was great, but I doubt the 3D graphics have aged well. Fallout I know has not aged well. Ogre is still great, but lacks a lot of the charm of FFT (to me it feels a bit more ‘grindy’). I like Disgaea, and would not mind picking it up if it was on the iPhone.

      • Torcano says:

        I agree about knight of lodis, it never grabbed me like FFT. However TO: let us cling together is orders of magnitude better and much closer to FFT in it’s like ability. It has virtually no grind unless you choose to skill up certain classes late or something. Difficulty is solid if perhaps too easy if you minmax, but the story is really cool and involves 3 pretty different paths that you can swerve back and forth between, each with different available characters. My first play through I never had to grind, I chose to in order to make the main char amazing but I pretty much sailed to the final boss and beat him first try.

        Then I realized I had missed a bunch of big side quests, but the cool thing is after beating the game you get a World mode that let’s you go back to any major plot point with your endgame party and replay the game along any path, picking up characters you missed and reaching really epic power levels, and it’s all catered to your current level. Interesting going through the early stages with your level 30 badasses, and seeing what the Chaotic Lawful and Neutral paths offer. And surprisingly (or not) Lawful is the most “evil” of these.

  7. […] agree with Syncaine’s points on the greatness of turn-based strategy in general and Final Fantasy Tactics in […]

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