- Sep 6, 2009
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together
Genre: Tactical RPG, Fantasy
Release Date: PS1: 1998, PSP: Scheduled for re-release on February 18, 2011.
Reviewed platform: PS1
[Img_Inline width="400" height="300" Caption="I swear to God, I didn't do this one." Align="right "]http://ui19.gamefaqs.com/1650/gfs_5232_2_3.jpg[/Img_Inline]The Ogre Battle Saga is one of those game series that you've either heard of and praise, or have never heard of at all and raise an eyebrow to the person asking you about it. Tactics Ogre, itself, is just one part of this long running series, sitting at chapter 7 with this installment. Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to grab any of the previous installments of this series, so it felt like I was jumping into the middle of the story. This didn't phase me, though, as most of what you need to know is explained.
The story itself is both complicated and simple. You're a member of a small liberation force within an occupied country and you're fighting to break free. Throughout the game, there are several decision points which will change the course of the story, and very few of these points are black and white. Do you massacre the village that's providing goods to your enemy when they refuse to join you? Do you trust the people above you? Do you kill the corrupt noble in charge of your liberation force and take control of the country? Even small decisions, such as killing opposing soldiers, can have massive repercussions, as your enemies remember who you've killed. Some come for revenge. Others refuse to join you when given the chance. This is where this game is set apart from most RPGs, even most modern RPGs. Such small decisions can turn into tide-turning points in combat. How? Let me elaborate.
Combat itself tends to be difficult if you force yourself onward without heed to your party's levels. If you do that, combat turns real ugly real fast. Casualties, if you don't have the rare resurrection spell, are permanent and your soldiers must be recruited in towns. If you start to loose to many soldiers, loyalty of your current soldiers starts to slip and some will turn their backs upon you. This can be used to your advantage as well, though. Loyalty works both ways in this game. Occasionally, a target will show signs of being disloyal to you opposing leader. With the right conditions, it's possible to convince this soldier to turn his back on his current leader and fight for your cause.
The entirety of combat is grid and time-slot based, similar to Final Fantasy Tactics. In fact, if you've ever played Final Fantasy Tactics, you'll be right at home with this game. The most difficult thing that you'll run into here is keeping your healers and spellcasters alive. If you ever lose sight of your casters or don't pay attention to what's going on on the field at all times, you can lose an exceedingly valuable character.
[Img_Inline width="400" height="300" Caption="With the troops that I lost to get here, you'd think he'd be happy to replace them." Align="left "]http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/8654/lans1r.jpg[/Img_Inline]This is unfortunately where it falls short. The main issue with this game is the emphasis upon the need to grind in order to continue on with the game. They were kind enough to include a training function built in, but it still requires a great deal of devoted time in order to accomplish much within the training field. You set a pair of teams to kill each other, essentially, and either control them yourself or choose to let the computer do it's own thing to get it done. The issue with this is that it's incredibly time consuming and it's easy to lose interest in the gameplay in order to move on with the story. The story itself is a good reason to continue and this is really my only main complaint with the game, but it's worth noting that, with a better training system, this game would appeal to multiple audiences at once.
Bottom Line: Since Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together set the stage for Final Fantasy Tactics, this game is worth a look. With it's new release coming in 2011 to North America, it's highly likely to see updates to the game that I did not see in this installment of it.