Product Type: Nintendo Gameboy Advance games
Newest Review: ... their way to find each other. The story doesn't knock you back exactly and I haven't offered much but there are several key points tha... more
Addiction on Advance
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (GBA)
Member Name: AverageJoseph
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (GBA)
Advantages: Strategic, Addictive, Long, Lots to do, Customising, Multiplayer
Disadvantages: Main Character, Compatibility
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance has to be one of my favourite games for Nintendo's Gameboy Advance. Being a fan of Square-Enix's Final Fantasy franchise since the mid 90s', I was more than happy to try out the first FF game made specifically for a handheld console. Like the some of the series, the game is set in a fictional world where there are all sorts of different species co-existing with each other - lizard like creatures known strictly as 'Bangaa' (that take offence by that comparison!), ladies with rabbit ears called Viera, the classic 'Mogs' or 'Moogles', 'Humes' aka Humans and 'Nu Mou' - long eared spaniel/elephant/rat things. All of which have their own 'Totema' which are the equivalent of Summon like Limit Breaks, similar to those in previous FF installments. The story is initially about a bunch of kids who skulk around a regular life-like snowy town and end up being teleported to the completely different world of Ivalice where battles are a regular occurrence and the kids eventually figure out what is going on and why by fighting their way to find each other. The story doesn't knock you back exactly and I haven't offered much but there are several key points that would be considered spoilers. There is also a fair amount of dialogue to scroll through with so many interactions with other people and their clans as well as fans - which is fine unless you just want the strategy element and less of the minimal RPG-ness.
The protagonist is what you'd called a right goodie two shoes, because unlike many other FF games, you have minimal decisions and almost no chance to customise him, make him do as you see fit in difficult situations.. in other words - your character is a crybaby paragon. Anyway, the fighting is the real reason you're playing to be honest, with the traditional turn based battle system with friends and recruitable members trying to join your clan. You can name said clan and choose who gets into it, judging NPC's on their jobs and abilities. Older fans of the series will notice that the Job system has been brought back with many available (some race specific) - you can be/recruit: soldiers, fighters, thieves, black/white/red mages, white monks, ninjas, dragoons, archers, snipers, time mages, tinkerers, knights etc the list makes the game so much more expansive, especially as each job type comes with its own set of skill moves, learnt only by equipping specific weapons and armour - New abilities are learnt by wearing and using items, gaining enough exp/ap with them via battles - the better the skill, the longer it takes to learn. You can find/steal/buy weapons and armour. Battles can include a several of your clan members, against other clans and or wild animals. You get the standard menu with each team member: Fight, Move, Tech, Skill, Item, Skip. The idea is to move your teammates across the fighting plane, moving onto tiles like a board-game, get an enemy within range and strike with weapon, magic or skill.
The music is ok, mostly using upbeat 'off to battle' march music, but some special areas can have some pleasantly different soundtracks - keep in mind though its never going to sound brilliant being a MIDI music file. There's a world map where you move your player across to reach plot and job destinations - each destination has a specific set of rules in place for battle which are enforced by a judge in each match (expect for the jagd's) - these in turn make battles more diverse and can restrict you to use other methods to achieve victory. If a rule/law is broken, the rule breaker is either 'booked' or sent to a prison instantly. These rules can eventually be abolished and altered throughout the course of the game. Players have the standard HP and MP system, for health and magic, as well as JP with builds up by defeating opponents and using the recommended laws - these act as powerful limit breaks and unlock use of totema that can have effects on all units. It may sound a bit complicated and at first it is, but as the battles tick on, you'll find yourself wanting more - more skills, members, weapons, gil, the lot.
Its a game that can kill time but also make it fun, with a multiplayer vs option, allowing a link up battle of clans between you and a local friend - this is very fun but only available if you both have the same regional cartridge (you cannot duel if one has a PAL and the other NTSC). Not a must have game, but certainly a fun, strategic game to get immersed into on the go.
Summary: Addictive turn based battle ff game