Theology Gaming Monologues – Final Fantasy Tactics

Let’s talk about Yasumi Matsuno’s wonderful strategy RPG, somehow a Final Fantasy game…and possibly a lot about the use and abuse of history!

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About Zachery Oliver

Zachery Oliver, MTS, is the lead writer for Theology Gaming, a blog focused on the integration of games and theological issues. He can be reached at viewtifulzfo at gmail dot com or on Theology Gaming’s Facebook Page.
  • Mikel Withers

    Tactics is one of my favorite games of all time, but it appears, it is so for almost the exact opposite reason you like it. I’ll get back to that thought, but for now: just hearing the opening music makes me really want to play it again. The world of FFT is one of my favorite scifi/fantasy realms, and that is if it isn’t just plain my favorite.
    I am a “farmer”, you’d call it “grinder”. My son will watch me play a game for half an hour and then walk away in frustration as I just repeat the same actions over and over in order to level/equipment up.
    I LOVE when a game allows this, and doesn’t set some arbitrary rules-blocking in order to keep you from maximizing your potential. (especially if they also write cheat codes into the game, then the rule-blocking is just ridiculous)
    I have two complaints against the game, though. The first is that it is too short. I much prefer putting hundreds of hours into a game to dozens of hours. It is such a diverse world that I only feel like you get a glimpse of it.
    Secondly, I feel like the ability to use monsters is a bit of a dead end. I would love to go through the game with a monstrous party. Instead, they turn out to be a little gimmick that doesn’t pay off in the end.

    • Zachery Oliver

      You should try some of the other games in the series. Most people don’t seem to like Tactics Advance (or A2), but they are much more amenable to your tastes, at least as far as the grinding goes. I just find that “Tactics” goes out the window at that point, and it’s mostly a measure of how much time you can spend before winning. It’s good from a business perspective, if not a game design one. Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together is probably the best of the bunch, although it’s a PSP exclusive (it’s really, really, really good. Probably good enough to justify a PSTV purchase).

      Probably I would prefer enemies level up with you, especially in a game like this. The enemies should be set in terms of equipment, etc, but you get additional tools to work with.

      As for the world of Ivalice, you basically have to play multiple games to get a good sense of it. FFXII, Vagrant Story, among others. It’s an interesting world, that one.

      • Mikel Withers

        I’d love to try the other games (rented Tactics Ogre, the original, once back in the day) However, I am financially unable to do so.
        I would say that my tactic is to never enter a battle where the outcome is in doubt, if I can help it. (maybe that is strategy, though) Something about reading Sun Tzu at an impressionable age, probably.
        I’ve got no problem with enemies leveling with you, I just like expanding the tactics available to me. I’d even be okay with enemies upgrading equipment as well, I’m sure you know that two teams at equal level but one has significantly better gear is no more even than just having levels offset.
        Was Vagrant Story set in Ivalice? That is awesome, I really need to get that game again some how, some day.