TacticsOgre is the sequel to the original OgreBattle, but the battle system is a great deal more like FinalFantasyTactics (the reason for the resemblance is that, apparently, SquareSoft hired a bunch of the design team which made OgreBattle and TacticsOgre away to make FinalFantasyTactics). The class types and setting are clearly more strongly related to OgreBattle, though.

I discovered that I liked both FinalFantasyTactics and OgreBattle more than TacticsOgre. OgreBattle had a lot of elements I enjoyed which were removed in TacticsOgre, such as flexible alignment and night and day. I don't like the substitution of lawful/neutral/chaotic for good/neutral/evil alignment, especially because while lawful/neutral/chaotic are supposed to be morally neutral *COUGH*, the class types simply don't match that position. Nor does the plot--though the "good" choices seem to always be the "chaotic" ones... Moreover, TacticsOgre simply does not have the epic feel which was one of the strongest elements of the original game. I found FinalFantasyTactics' game mechanics to be much more interesting than TacticsOgre (though potentially more broken), mainly because the Job system borrowed from FinalFantasyFive is the most effective combination of a class-based system with a skill-based system I have seen in any RPG, pencil-and-paper or computer-based. FinalFantasyTactics is also a great deal more polished than TacticsOgre in terms of the game system, with lots of small elements which add up to a significantly better interface.

On the plus side, TacticsOgre is hard, much harder than OgreBattle or FinalFantasyTactics. Reviving characters is hard; the enemy leader is almost always a couple of levels above you and sometimes has boosted stats to boot (and in TacticsOgre, one leved is a huge difference, to the point that a character one level higher will simply slaughter a lower level one in one combat), and there aren't any really any broken characters (with the possible exception of Denim's Lord class). Additionally, TacticsOgre is one of the most non-linear games I've played, with multiple storylines in the middle which converge towards the end, and with different endings.

On the minus side, TacticsOgre is much harder than FinalFantasyTactics. Reviving characters is downright impossible for ?most? of the game; the enemy leader will (more often than not) beat your sorry ass down, and the computer has no compunctions about doing things which result in certain death for its characters and nearly certain death for one of yours--a liberty that you generally don't have. Topping this off is the fact that the computer player is fairly moronic--the computer has the ins and outs of the combat system hard-wired, but if it's possible to tactically defeat the computer, the computer will walk into it--but a lot of the time it just doesn't matter, as the computer cares not about losses and generally has superior characters. It'd be a great game if it didn't piss me off so much...

TacticsOgre does suffer the damage creep problem in FinalFantasyTactics, though: the damage dealing capabilities of equivalent level characters increase much faster than characters of any class gain HitPoints?. Thus, towards the end of the game, most attacks become one hit kills, but unlike in FinalFantasyTactics, there are no counter abilities like BladeGrasp? in order to stop them. Thus, by the time you get Revivify and the stats to use it, you need it. TacticsOgre's translation is on par with FinalFantasyTactics: approximately atrocious. Personally, I hope that OgreBattleSixtyFour? restores some of the good elements in OgreBattle, especially the epic character, while retaining the difficulty of TacticsOgre. From the descriptions so far, though, I'm not holding out much hope.

--CurtisVinson --rant by AndrewSchoonmaker, mired down somewhere in chapter three (chaotic)


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Last edited June 11, 2001 13:01 (diff)