FF Tactics offers something different in terms of gameplay from past FF games and it’s completely different from the standard Active-Time battle system that many people are so used to nowadays. First of all, battles occur on a grid and it’s reminiscent of a chess board for that matter. Because of this, you will need to plan out your battle strategy well and there is more logic and thinking involved in them. The real interesting concept of gameplay is the fact that Square has revamped and improved the Job System from Final Fantasy V. This allows a number of possible combinations and customizations to your characters in the game and Tactics offers a nice variety of Jobs and some new ones that weren’t found in FFV.
Like always, you can equip armor and weapons to boost your defense and attack power as well as accessories, etc. However, equipping armor this time not only boosts your defense but it increases your max HP as well. This means that upgrading equipment is quite important as it raises your max HP and HP in Tactics is much lower than what you would expect in other RPGs. Other features in the game that prove interesting are that you can view previous scenes that you’ve completed as well as read information about the storyline and characters. The gameplay is overall is quite good and it’s what you would expect from a strategy RPG game.
Besides a few minor inconsistencies, the actual storyline in Tactics is very deep and there are a lot of characters involved in the events throughout the game. Tactics has a very impressive prologue and back story in relation to the events that transpired in the game and many themes that are present in all RPGs are present in this game such as: Ambition, honour, manipulation, pride and betrayal. However, while most characters don’t seem to play a very significant or important role in the game, the storyline mainly centres around only a few characters. These few minor inconsistencies in the storyline prevent Tactics from getting a higher score but besides that, it’s clearly a deep and compelling storyline from the get go.
Brilliantly composed, Tactics offers a good variety of battle music and some other tracks in the game, a huge positive considering that you will end up fighting a lot of battles in Tactics. The sound effects are crisp and sharp as well but some of the actual attack sound effects could use a little bit of work. Besides this minor flaw, the actual musical score in Tactics is some of the best seen in any FF game and even rivals FFVI as far as music goes. The ending credits shows off some amazing orchestrated music and the character themes are dramatic and there are very few mediocre tracks, if any at all within the entire game.
As the first strategy RPG game that I’ve ever played, Tactics managed to exceed my initial expectations. While the battle system takes a little while to get used to, the game successfully combines classic RPG elements with strong strategy demands for over 60 hours of thrilling content.