NA Feb 15 2011 | EU Feb 25 2011
$39.99 | ￡34.99
JP Site NA/EU Site
US Preorder Bonus
: An exclusive 22 tarot cards illustrated by Akihiko Yoshida
EU Preorder Bonus
: A 44 page artbook titled "The World of Tactics Ogre", an exclusive soundtrack cd and a 50% off voucher for a Vagrant Story purchase from PSN.
What is Tactics Ogre?
Originally a game made by Quest (directed, written and designed by Yasumi Matsuno) in 1995 for the SNES, it is Episode VII in the Ogre Battle series. It has received a few releases in for other consoles such as the Sega Saturn, Playstation and the Wii's virtual console. However the only English release of the game was the Playstation version and it was only released in North America. However that NA release from Atlus was quite limited and not very many people had the chance to play the game without paying exuberant prices. This remake should alleviate those problems to entry.
What's special about this game?
At the time of its release, it was known for its rich world setting, strategic gameplay and novel mechanics. It is the game that led to the fan favourite Final Fantasy Tactics. It can be said that Tactics Ogre is FFT's grandfather. The lead staff of Quest was hired by Square to create a game of similar flavour to that of Tactics Ogre and from that arrived FFT.
What are the similarities and differences between the two games?
The two games share quite a few similarities. The plot revolving around political and religious intrigue and the general gameplay mechanics such as the job/class system albeit in a worked fashion for FFT are the two main points.
Some of the particular differences that the original Tactics Ogre offers:
Permanent Death (through most of the game)
Bigger squad sizes (10 units in most battles)
An alignment system that affects what classes you can change into
If I like FFT would I like TO?
This is highly probable. Even if you just enjoy SRPGs in general I think there is a lot to be gained from playing this game. In this new remake fans of FFT will probably enjoy it more than the original TO.
Who are the key staff that were involved in this game?
Yasumi Matsuno was the director, game designer and writer for the game and is father of the Ogre Battle series. Akihiko Yoshida was the character designer with Hiroshi Minagawa as the art director. Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata composed the score for the game.
All of these people were also key staff in Final Fantasy Tactics and are reprising much of their roles for this remake as well with the addition of Tsubasa Masao on character design. The only differences this time around is that Matsuno wasn't director but still handled game design and the scenario. Hiroshi Minagawa took the directorial position. It is essentially a reunion of the all key TO staff after some of them had parted ways. Additionally this time the script is translated by Kajiya Productions (Alexander O. Smith & Joseph Reeder) who've worked on various Square games including the original Final Fantasy Tactics.
Being a remake, there are many additions to this version that make it a different and perhaps fuller experience. A list of some of the changes:
-Game interface sped up
-Free DLC with extra scenarios
-Mid battle save feature included
-A new visual engine
-Maps are now 3D and can be viewed from above
-New visual effects for battle (spells, attacks and the like)
-Screen interface changed to include a turn time-line at the bottom of screen
-Information bar ala FFXII on the top of the screen detailing selected character
-Rearranged music including 15 new compositions
-Music collection in game for re-listening to your favourite tracks
-Some characters no longer join you
-Revisions of the original story to add a fuller experience and new side stories for the new characters
-Great increase in text due to new/revised content
-New English script by Alexander O. Smith (of FFT and Vagrant story fame)
-No training mode
-Leveling is per class now, not per character
-Characters don't have specific elements anymore
- What you can recruit from shop is now limited to Human only. Demi-humans and monsters are only can be recruited in battle field (need specific recruit skills for specific Demi-human and monsters)
-Characters will be knocked out for 3 counts when all health are lost. Revive him/her to bring back to battle. But when 3 counts are gone, he/she will be removed from battle and lost one life.
-Each characters now have 3 lives. Lose all 3 and he/she will be dead and gone forever.
-New Tarot Card system
-Tarot Card you picked up can be used as items later.
-Scale of battle increased (while the original had 10 vs 10 battles, this remake will have 12 vs 18 where
player has a increase of 2 units and the cpu 8 for a total of 30 units on the screen potentially)
-Movement is reduced. Normally 4 steps, slow units are 3 steps.
-You can inherit dead characters spell and skills. Nothing is wasted. But need to have Silver coins.
-L-size units are now count as 1 units
-If it is not a story battle, you can retreat anytime. Plus you do not lose recruited character or treasure by
-You need to learn different recruit command to recruit specific units.
-Treasure drops are now randomized.
-Trees, Rocks and Barrels etc.. on map can be destroyed but takes time and effort.
-Equipments now have class and level restriction.
-Now you can equip up to 5 piece of equipments (4 if you have two handed weapons)
-Crafting system is added and can be accessed in shop, if you have Recipes you can customize equipments or create items
-Some accessories like Warp Ring now have to be used in battle to take effect. They won't break by using it, but number of uses are limited per battle.
-Except basic items, you need to learn skill to use higher grade items.
-Items no longer needed to be equipped. Just choose command to bring up list.
-Classes aren't restricted by gender or alignment anymore
-Classes don't have a best weapon anymore
-Particular skills/techniques for each class
-Class changing requires a license card that (which is used up), there are no other requirements
-Some classes like demi-humans and monsters have the option to class change as well
-8 elements (Wind, Earth, Water, Fire, Ice, Light, Dark, Thunder)
-Characters can now memorize limitless number of spells. Just use scroll (which will be lost when used) to learn more.
-Need to equip specific skills to cast spells.
-Heal spells now damage undead
-Some spells require catalysts
-Undead now need to knock out before Exorcism take effect.
-Some spells no longer affect whole map.
-Each magic have own effective range and area
-Even if you cannot cast spells, just use scroll for same effect. E.g Berserker can cast Exorcism.
Behold the Valerian Isles, jewels of the Obero Sea. Long a center of naval commerce, the people here have struggled throughout history for dominion over these shores.
Finally there rose a man to put an end to this conflict, his name: Dorgalua Oberyth. But history would know him as the Dynast-King. Dorgalua took the disparate races of men calling the islands home and united them as one. For fully half a century the Dynast-King reigned, and Valeria knew prosperity.
Upon the death of the king, the ruling Bakram declared the independence of their royal city of Heim. And backed by the Holy Lodissian Empire to the North, created the Bakram-Valerian kingdom.
This left two clans to vie for supremacy in the south: the Galgastani and the Walister. The latter however were far outmatched, and in the span of half a year had been brought to their knees. Thus emerged the kingdom of Galgastan, and with it an offical end to the blood war.
Victory begets peace, and for once, the battlefields of Valeria stand silent, yet none believe the calm will last.
: The main character. A youth who joined the resistance of Walistans to fight the oppression of the Bakram and Galgastani along side his sister, Catiua and childhood friend Vyce. Possesses a strong sense of justice and the will to see his convictions through. Yet these are tempered with caution and doubts about the war that must be waged.
: Denam's siter and fellow Walister, Catiua has a deep and abiding love for her younger brother. After losing their mother at an early age, the task of raising Denam and Catiua fell to their father. Now, along with Denam and their childhood friend Vyce, Catuia works as a member of the resistance. She fights not for a grand cause, but for fear of losing her brother.
: Orphaned when his father, his only remaining family, was slain by the Dark Knights, Vyce joined the resistance to fight against any who would oppress the Walister. A man of deeds, he and Denam complement each other well.
: After civil war erupted, Ronwey led the vastly outnumbered Walister clan in resistance against the Galgastani. Half a year of hard-fought battle later, he was defeated and now languishes in captivity.
Leonar R. Rimon
: Captain of the Knights of Almorica. A knight who believes in upholding law and order, he serves as the right hand of Duke Ronwey and is a vital member of the resistance.
: A knight in the service of Duke Ronwey, leader of the Walister. Ravness is a well respected commander of the knights of Almorica. A calm and seasoned warrior, she has been known to show a stubborn side when faced with a wrong she must feel righted.
: Leader of the kingdom of Galgastan. A ruthless expansionist, Balbatos declared blood war on the Walister, using military force to suppress dissent even from within his own clan.
: Regent of the Bakram-Valerian kingdom, Brantyn Morne is a man of great ambition who moved swiftly to occupy the seat of power after King Dorgalua's passing. It remains a mystery as to why Morne had insisted on pushing the royal family aside when he already had the ear of the king.
: High champion of the Dark Knights Loslorien, Lanselot was sent to Valeria by secret pact between Brantyn Morne, leader of the Bakram and the Holy Lodissian Empire in the north. As the Dark Knights serve directly under High Priest Sardian, sovereign of Lodis, Lanselot is widely thought to be the High Priest's right-hand man.
: A Xenobian born in the city of Valna in Charlom who formerly captained the Holy Knights of the Kingdom of New Xenobia. He was stripped of his status and banished by King Tristan of Xenobia for the misconduct of his knights. He encountered Denam as he roamed the lands with a small band of fellow knights seeking mercenary work.
Dorgalua O. Valeria
: The late dynast-king of Valeria, Dorgalua united the disparate races of men on the islands, encouraging marriage between clans to strengthen his kingdom. Though widely popular during his reign, Dorgalua died without leaving a successor plunging Valeria once more into strife.
The general gameplay of Tactics Ogre would be mostly what one would expect of FFT's grandad: various unit classes, battlefield to battle field progression with story in between, isometric viewpoint etc. I'll put all the changes from the original in the what's new section and here I'll just list the basics and introduce the new Tarot Card system.
The flow of battle is dictated majorly by one thing: RT (Recovery Time). The order of actions during a battle revolves around each unit's RT. The less RT you have the quicker you get your turns. There are mainly three things that affect RT.
1) Encumbrance - Heavier equipment increase your RT and vice versa.
2) Class - Each class has a base RT. Some have more, others less.
3) Action - If a unit moves and acts on one turn it will have a longer RT than if it were to only move.
The more you do in a turn the more RT you incur.
When each battle begins you select the units who will be apart of your squad and once the set up is done, the fight begins. There isn't any taking turns in this game between the player and enemy. Whoever's RT resets first get its their turn regardless of what side they belong to.
New to this remake are Skills which are unique to each Class. These special abilites can be aqquired by exchanging Skill points that are obtained in battle. Once learned these Skills can be used even if a unit changes Class. By mixing and matching skills each unit can be made as a player would like.
Units that take part in battle earn Skill points upon victory. Use these points to learn Skills. A unit can only be assigned a limited amount of Skills so be aware of those limitations. Certain Skills become more powerful with use as such their rank increases. Higher ranks give more potent effects. There are also Finishing Moves unique to certain weapon types that require Tactical Points (TP) to execute.
Units gain experience points upon victory in battle. As Classes gain experience they grow in level and power. Individual units no longer have a level rather the each Class in the party has a level, which shows the relative power of the Class. So as the Class gains levels the party as a whole gets stronger. As such even newly recruited units share the strength and level of your exising units. Players don't have to abandon units they've grown attached to in favour of newer stronger units nor use a small group of powerful units they've had since the beginning.
Hiring and Recruiting
Visit shops located in towns and castles to hire new units. When choosing whom to hire, make sure to check the clan of each unit, be it Galgastani, Walister or another. If a unit's loyalty drops too low it may defect, so hire units likely to side with the choices Denam will make.
Shops aren't the only place to recruit people to your cause. With some exceptions, you can approach the opposing units in battle and recruit them. Recruit foes with powerful skills or Finishing Moves that your units haven't acquired. Improving an already powerful unit adds to the fun.
Different skills are necessary to recruit different types of units, so it may be wise to create a recruiting specialist by assigning them an array of recruiting skills.
Humans aren't the only creatures that can be recruited. Sometimes you'll encounter monsters in battle. These monsters can also be recruited. Monsters can be developed like human units and some of them can class change to another class appropriate to their race. They can even acquire skills like humans do which are not available to humans.
Lives and Skill Scavenging
Units have health (HP) and life, represented by the hearts beneath their sprite. Each unit begins with three life. HP fluctuates in battle to reflect damage taken. If HP reaches zero, the unit is incapacitated. When a unit is incapacitated a counter appears above the unit. If you revive the unit before the count reaches zero, the unit will rise and rejoin the fight without loss of life. However if you cannot do such in time, it will be removed from the battle and lose a point of life. Units will be able to join the next battle provided it has life. If a unit runs out of life, it is considered deceased. Though a deceased character cannot be revived, its skills can be scavenged by other units.
Tarot Cards such as Wheel of Fortune play a prominent role in Tactics Ogre. Tarot cards collected in battle can be used to active special abilities for individual units or your entire army. Rush to collect them as soon as they are dropped by your enemies, as they will not be automatically collected at the end of a battle.
I'm not aware of a list of card abilities so I'll update this as I find out about them.
One of the new additions in this remake is the CHARIOT system which allows players to rewind up to 50 turns in the current battle without cost. For beginners to the genre this should be a good assisting tool. For veterans I suppose this feature can be largely ignored.
Upon meeting certain requirements, a player can access previously played through sections (via check points) of the game and take the path they had not or simply to replay through earlier sections of the game without having to restart the game from the beginning. This feature should making replaying the game a much easier process to see the stories you weren't able to the first time.
Some of the Classes that you can make use of in this game.
Classes and Narrative Walkthrough
First 11 minutes of gameplay
Japanese Class Overview
Japanese Gameplay Trailer
Tactics Ogre PSP OST Playlist
There are currently 3 free DLC extra scenarios for the Japanese version of the game. For the English version it is already included in the game. I'll make a little blurb about them a little later.
For JRPG fans, this PSP remake of the 16-bit classic is definitely the game of the week. "All the new gameplay features added are incredibly fun and incredibly useful," one editor wrote. "You aren't just rewinding your turns in battle; you get to pore over the branching points in the story and every move you've ever made in the game, which is amazing. With a game as tough as this one, it's a vital tool for your strategy -- I think it makes things a lot more accessible to beginners."
"I like the changes made to the leveling system," another added. "It makes creating a truly unified force a lot easier. The difficulty and story are just as hardcore as always, too."
The numerous improvements and refinements are much appreciated, and for gamers with the patience, few other games come close to the sum-total quality of strategy RPGing that Tactics Ogre provides.
Since its debut in 1995, Tactics Ogre has always held a clutch of fans worldwide. It seems almost a shame that it's during the PSP's twilight that Tactics Orge finally emerged on the world stage. It's definitely testament to the quality of the original game design, however, that it remains so playable and engaging more than 15 years on.
RPG Site: 90%
I've played a lot of remakes over the years. I've loved a lot of remakes. But until now, a remake has never loved me back.
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together is, without question, the finest classic remake I've ever played. It helps that the source material is so strong, of course, but what really makes this PSP rendition stand out is the way its creators have addressed every single sticking point that frustrated me all those years ago.
It's ambitious to take a hugely influential game that helped to shape a whole genre and remake it, but more amazing than that is being able to then make what is without a doubt the definitive version of that title. Anyone who loves depth, difficulty and story in their RPGs owes it to themselves to play this.