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Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (Wii U) Review

by Bryan Rose - February 9, 2016, 12:20 pm PST
Total comments: 1

9

FFTA is a fantastic game that, when given the time, can be immensely rewarding.

Thanks to the resurgence of the strategy genre in the early naughts with the releases of games like Tactics Ogre and Advance Wars, it seemed inevitable that the Final Fantasy Tactics series would get a reboot of sorts for the Game Boy Advance. I wasn’t sure what to think of the game when I first picked up way back in the day, but once I put the hours into it, the game felt immensely rewarding. That still rings true well over a decade later as Final Fantasy Tactics Advance can be a wonderful experience and a great start for players looking to get into the genre, though it can be time consuming.

The game’s premise is a relatable one. As the new kid in school, Marche befriends two other students, all who have some insecurities about their appearance or personalities. One day after a snow fight gone awry, Marche invites his friends to read a book based on their favorite video game, Final Fantasy, only to discover most of the pages were blank. Later that night the book comes to life, transforming their quiet, snowy town into a bustling desert oasis full of enemies, moogles, and other creatures in the Final Fantasy universe. The theme throughout the story is Marche looking to find a way home, but his friends have other ideas as their insecurities are gone in this new world. I’ve always enjoyed the story in this game; it isn’t deep by any means but is certainly relatable as everyone has insecurities they wish they could get rid of. The game’s dialogue can get cheesy here and there, but the light humor and overall sense of adventure throughout keeps the story told at a steady, solid pace. While not revolutionary, it’s perfectly acceptable.

Gameplay within FFTA is simple on the surface, but can be very deep once you get into the thick of things. You start off with basic classes based on a character’s race (hume, no mou, moogle or viera) and can evolve a character on there based on how many skills they learn in that class. Skills are learned by equipping different items; these can be collected by either purchasing them in the shop in various towns or obtaining them through missions. This gives the game incredible depth -- you can mix and match whatever skills you want, giving each character a different set of moves, reactions and perks that I’ve gleefully spent hours on getting just the right kind of character I want in my party.

Difficulty wise, the game is very streamlined, especially in comparison to the original. Characters, for the most part, don’t die, elements don’t really play part of the battle and as long as you grind, you won’t have much trouble getting past big battles. For advanced players, this game might not be much of a challenge at all. This is in stark contrast to the original game on the Playstation where it could be very difficult at time. It’s very much a streamlined experience in comparison to other strategy titles, but at the same time the game is also pretty inviting, which is a plus.

The art and music of the game is also really well done, though there are some faults. The music in the game is really peppy and enjoyable to listen to, and sets the tone for each area very well. It does get repetitive, however, especially when you’ve devoted a lot of time to the game. The graphics and characters really pop out in color and design and are nice to view, but some stages can be a bit barren based on where you are at on the map.

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is a very rewarding game once you put the time and effort into it. There’s a nice story, deep combat system and challenging battles for you to enjoy should you take the challenge. It can certainly turn into a bit of a grindfest and takes a long while to fully beat the game (for me, it was clocking in at nearly 100 hours) but if you are looking for something to play for the long haul, you can’t do any better on the Virtual Console.

Summary

Pros
  • Deep, rewarding combat system
  • Excellent presentation
  • Relatable story
Cons
  • Can be a bit too easy for advanced players of the genre
  • Requires a lot of grinding

Talkback

ClexYoshiFebruary 10, 2016

I personally strongly disagree with this review, but I'm someone who loves to hate this game.

There is an ocean of far better written tactical RPGs out there, ones that don't break down to be so simplistic in scope and yet so limiting in it's grind.

if you want games that put emphasis on the tactical acumen, play a Fire Emblem or Shining Force game. Hell, play XCOM 2 or Pokemon Conquest.

if you want a game that's more of a JRPG on a grid, play any given NIS game. play Hoshigami Tactics, play Tactics Ogre: Let us Cling Together...

Moreover, Play the original Final Fantasy Tactics! it is a MILLION times rewarding than this colorful trite garbage.

Play FFTA2 on the DS if you really HAVE to have moogles shooting BB rifles at each other, but do NOT play Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. do NOT give Square-Enix money for such a talking down slap-in-the-face.


also, THIS REVIEW FAILS TO MENTION THAT THIS VERSION OF THE GAME IS INCOMPLETABLE! It's true! The Vermillion, Eldagusto, and Choco Gratin are items that are mutually exclusive to a playthrough, and in order to have a file with all 300 missions complete, one needed to trade the other that they didn't get via Game Link Cable, which is a sight bit tough considering this is on the Wii U and I don't think they retroactvely included Wii U LAN support or such for this port.


I also think that I may not want to hang around Bryan Rose if either of us get sucked into the same fantasy world; he relates with the 'reality' grounded psycopath who'd wants to see his brother back to being a parapalegic and the guy that saved his life and gave him a job erased from existance.

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Genre RPG / Strategy
Developer Square Enix
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Release Jan 28, 2016
PublisherSquare Enix
RatingEveryone
jpn: Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Release Mar 30, 2016
PublisherSquare Enix
RatingAll Ages
eu: Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Release Jan 28, 2016
PublisherSquare Enix
Rating7+
aus: Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Release Jan 29, 2016
PublisherSquare Enix
RatingParental Guidance
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