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Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift

Once again the review is for a game which has been out for several years, but which I’ve been enjoying a bit more recently than other titles.

One of the various spin-offs of the popular “Final Fantasy” series, Tactics is loose on plot, and focused more entirely on completing missions and unlocking and mastering job classes. There are plot-driven missions, but they come clearly tagged, and you can avoid them for as long as you want in order to tackle everything that’s been unlocked up to that point.

Downsides are, of course, that the “fun” of gameplay is almost entirely due to inventory and character management, and following the rules of the encounters, and much less about figuring out where to go to accomplish which random task, as with more typical RPGs.

In addition, if you fail a mission it can take up to one “year” of in-game time to cycle through again, meaning that you get one chance at solving some of the less oblique puzzle missions, or risk personal shame by looking up the answers online somewhere. Even successful missions take one day to complete, and travel between regions is also a day, so not paying attention to the amount of time given to attempt any particular mission could result in failure by expiration, rather than failure by death.

There are two save spots per game cartridge, but only one save game (essentially) as you can save on the world map, or save/quit out of missions, but loading a mission directly erases that save, as with most other temporary save states.

On the whole, however, the game is a great deal of fun, can be picked up and put down for thirty minutes or several hours, and allows a great deal of customization. I highly recommend it for long train journeys, but not for short car trips.

Posted in Friday: Game Review.