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.