Back in high school, I got a hold of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance for the Game Boy Advance. It was first foray into the Final Fantasy realm and I had a good bit of fun, with it. Years later, a sequel, Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, would come out. Would it be any good?
The plot revolves around a boy by the name of Luso Clemens. On his last day of school, he is forced to stay after school to clean up the library. During this time, he discovers a mysterious book. After writing his name in the book, Luso is transported to the world of Ivalice. Now, Luso must find a way back home.
The story itself is standard fare. There are some nice details within it, but nothing completely satisfying. The characters within the game are likeable, though.
The graphics are clean and vibrant. All of the special effects look great. It's not mind blowing, but it is solid.
The sound effects in this game are nice. Music wise, it's not earth shattering, but it's good nonetheless.
The main starting point for the battles take place in pubs. From there, quests can be picked, which can involve dispatching a group of units to complete a quest, while the user moves on to other things. Most of the quests involve battling a group of enemies.
Battles take place on a grid-based map. Before each battle, there's a law that is given (Don't use fire based weapons, don't use items, etc.). A clan bonus boost can be chosen, such as extra speed or extra power that stays in effect if the player upholds the law. If the law is not upheld, the player will not be able to receive bonus items. They lose their clan boost and will not be able to revive their fallen comrades. Normally, the law system works well, but it can be annoying.
The flow of combat is turn based, which means that the characters move in a designated order, based on stats. During combat, each unit is given a set amount of spaces that they can move. They also have the ability to not move or attack, but the wait command has to be used. Attacks can be weapon based or special move based (which might require magic points). All of the special moves are based around the job system. With the job system, a unit can learn a variety of jobs, based on their race. Each unit can combine a primary job with a secondary job, for more combat options. The downside to that tactic is that the unit won't be able to access their items, which can make or break a battle. At random, certain units might be able to execute commands, such as "Tough as Nails", that give the player an extra boost, during battle. Overall, the combat features plenty of variety.
Outside of battles, there are side quests that require retrieving items or visiting certain territories. The player can attend auctions for control of territories, which gives the player an opportunity for bonuses. Clan trials are available, in order to gain clan titles that bring about additional in-battle bonuses. Weapon shops are available to purchase supplies. In an interesting move, weapons can be available by mixing various items that are found within the world.
At the end of the day, it's a solid game. The only downside is the implementation of the law system. If you do not like turn strategy games or turn based combat, you probably won't like it. If you're open to this style of gameplay or you just so happen to be a Final Fantasy fan, you'll have fun.
8 out of 10.
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