Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
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9  |  Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
rageahol , 4/29/2005 5:43:09 PM

This was my first ever strategy RPG, and I think that FFTA gave me a very gracious welcoming to the tactics genre. It might take a bit of getting used to for someone who has never played one. At first, I expected something along the lines of Golden Sun or Lord of the Rings, but instead it gave me a well-blended mix of the two.

Story
Put plainly, the story is no thrill. It is actually quite lame. But how would you get your "perfectly normal" characters with unique problems into a fantasy world? Through a very mysterious book? One day, after a snowball fight, three classmates get together to check out a new book one of them (Mewt) has dicovered at the library. A few wishes are made and the next morning, they're part of Final Fantasy. And thus the journey to the 'real world' is begun. Wow, talk about making sense.

Graphics
The graphics are as good or better than you'd see on a Gameboy Advance. It is very easy to tell one job-class from another, although it can be tough at times to distiguish your clan from another. But that won't effect your gameplay because it will tell you what clan the target is part of when you are aiming. The attacks, particulary magical attacks are very defined and impressive.

Gameplay
The controls are difficult at the beginning because the battlefield is diagonal and the D-Pad is not of course. You can change which way you want the cursor to go in the options menu. Everything else flows well.

Memory
FFTA features two memory slots, thankfully. It includes one field log save, for mid-battle breaks, seeing as the battles are so long.

Repeat Value
FFTA is a very long game. It features a grand total of a reported 300 missions plus others that occur thanks to various events or linking. Of course, if you're just thinking about beating the boss, there are a mere 25. This game will take you hours upon hours to beat the first time. If you decide that you want to beat your record, that's up to you. The game itself is fun, though the talking at the beginning is hell. Get through that though and you're free to go. You will probably play it all the way through a couple of times before it hits the eternal display case.

Sound
The music is pretty good. However, there isn't a whole lot of selection. There's the In-Battle theme, the Out-of-Battle theme and the menu-screen theme. And sometimes, the battle music doesn't sound like it's suited for fighting. The sound effects on the other hand are great.

Strategies and Features
FFTA contains a diverse group of jobs or classes. Although each species (there are 5) may start out with only 3-5 job oppotunities, that number will grow gradually as they master new techniques. To do this, you simply attach a weapon to your warrior or mage and send him off to war. After a certain amount of battles, the skill will be mastered and you can move on to another. Try taking your Vierra race Fencer all the way to the insta-killing Assassin or work up a Moogle Gunner for incredibly long range. Also to be noted are the LAWS. Remember to follow the law each battle or prepare yourself for prison life. There are only one or two laws each battle though, and there are cards that nullify them, but always be on the look out for which laws have been set down.

All in All
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is a wonderful game with strategic battles and a simple plot. Don't let me or your friends tell you how great it is. Pick up a copy yourself. You're not likely to be disappointed.

Graphics~9
Gameplay~9
Repeat Value~8
Sound~7
Value~10
Difficulty~Moderate/Hard
Length~Long


Total~8.6

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