Final Fantasy Tactics deviates from the traditional Active-Time battle system of previous FF games, offering a unique gameplay experience. Battles take place on a grid, reminiscent of a chess board, requiring players to strategize and think critically. The game features an improved Job System from Final Fantasy V, enabling countless combinations and customizations for characters with a wide variety of jobs, some of which are unique to Tactics.
As usual, players can equip armor, weapons, and accessories to enhance defense and attack power. However, in Tactics, armor also increases maximum HP, making equipment upgrades crucial since HP is generally lower than in other RPGs. The game also allows players to revisit completed scenes and access information on the storyline and characters. Overall, the gameplay is engaging and fits well with the strategy RPG genre.
While the storyline in Tactics is immersive and deep with numerous characters participating in the game's events, it is not without minor inconsistencies. The plot encompasses themes common in RPGs, such as ambition, honor, manipulation, pride, and betrayal, but primarily focuses on a few central characters. Despite these minor flaws, the captivating storyline is evident from the beginning.
The game's musical score is exceptional, featuring a diverse range of battle music and other tracks. This is a significant advantage, considering the numerous battles players engage in throughout Tactics. Although some attack sound effects could be improved, the overall quality of the sound effects is crisp and sharp. The game's music is on par with some of the best Final Fantasy scores, rivaling even FFVI. The ending credits showcase incredible orchestral music, and the character themes are dramatic, with few mediocre tracks in the entire game.
As my first experience with a strategy RPG, Final Fantasy Tactics exceeded my expectations. While the battle system takes some time to adjust to, the game skillfully blends classic RPG elements with strategic gameplay, providing over 60 hours of enthralling content.