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marurun
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by marurun Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:35 pm

ElkinFencer10 wrote:Or at least some bitchin' muttonchops.


Bethesda's been giving us mutton chops since Fallout 3.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by MrPopo Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:19 pm

isiolia wrote:
Ack wrote:As a straight, white male, I would like to see more video games in which the protagonist owns a freaking razor. Come on, guys, shave off the 'grizzled' every now and again.


While William in Nioh posseses many, many, many bladed instruments...changing his beard option requires a trip to the blacksmith, which is a cute girl (standing in for her father). I think Geralt similarly needs to head to a barber.

Clearly, facial hair is one foe that they simply cannot take on alone.

See, but at least Geralt let it grow into a proper beard, not just the carefully maintained stubble we get.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:34 pm

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10. Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together | PSP | SRPG | 2011 | 44hrs 26mns | 7/10

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In 1995, a little Japanese company, with the aid of an almost unknown director/designer, released Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together. That is to say, a Super Famicom SRPG with an obtuse title. Three years later, Tactics Ogre was ported to PlayStation for a USA release. Many called it a copycat of Final Fantasy Tactics, not knowing that actually, Tactics Ogre came first. Indeed, Tactics Ogre invented its own SRPG genre, a format that proved immensely influential, and new games of this ilk are still made today. Regarding its pedigree with herald, Square Enix elected in 2011 to not just port, but remake Tactics Ogre for the PSP. With utmost care this transition was accomplished, with aid once again from the original mastermind; Yasumi Matsuno. A man who's love for complex RPG design came only second to his undying devotion to the band Queen.

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A typical battle scene.

The core principle of Tactics Ogre is isometric terrain elevation battle fields, with unit-centric turn based battles. This premise was not new to the SRPG world however, the original Front Mission released before Tactics Ogre for example, and used isometric battle fields with terrain elevation also. But Tactics Ogre took it further, as height and unit direction affected damage, terrain type and weather influenced RNGs, and every unit was extremely configurable via equipment, skills, classes, and more. These additions coupled with a strong plot, excellent presentation, and a difficulty level that would befuddle the average gamer, made the original Tactics Ogre a force to be reckoned with. The PSP port/remake takes all of this and turns it up to eleven.

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With the PSP port, you can now squash the battlefield flat for a bird's eye view.

The PSP port brings tons of changes, too many to name in a review. The most obvious are improved graphics, an orchestrated OST, a new localization, item crafting, and increased unit counts on the battlefield, to name but a few. There are new unit classes, new equipment, new spells, and expanded sidequests and dungeons. One of the most debated changes is the re-balancing of the game, but we'll get into that later. Just know this; if you played through the SFC/PS1 Tactics Ogre and enjoyed it, you might as well play the PSP version. You're basically getting an experience that is at once nostalgic and refreshing simultaneously.

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Dialogue is always very serious, and always very dry.

While there are mountains of praise one could rightfully bestow upon Tactics Ogre, I would be remiss not to cite some irritations I incurred while playing. First and foremost is the repetitiveness of the experience. Battles simply differ too little from one another. After having completed 84 battles before I reached the credits, nearly each and every one followed one of two designs; kill all enemies or kill the leader. It gets boring very quickly to always be doing the same thing. Here's some other mission objectives that could have worked in Tactics Ogre's framework:

Defend a certain area from the enemies for X turns.
Successfully move a number of your squad to the enemy's location.
Capture an enemy's commander and escape with them to your border.
Destroy key enemy agriculture (like attack crop or tree tiles in a field).
Successfully navigate one unit across the battlefield while never taking damage.


Those are just five ideas off the top of my head, a few hours could net a dozen more. The point is; there's no excuse for the primary objective to always be only one of two things.

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Micro-manage your army well, or just use beefed up archers like everybody else does.

Another complaint is the plot falls up its own ass too early and for too long. And by that I mean, it's just unnecessarily complex. You're dealing with four powers struggling against one another, with such archaic place and people names that the game includes a built-in lexicon just to keep track of them. And yet despite that, half the time you're fighting commanders you have no idea who they even are, unless you consult the lexicon. And even your best efforts to keep track of the plot proves to be in vain, when the final area and final final boss basically show up out of the blue. It's almost Necron level in that regard. I understand Matsuno was trying to write a story that is at once mature and epic, but there's something to be said for conciseness and brevity making a tale far more poignant.

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The Warren Report is your only hope at making sense of the obfuscated plot.

One last point of contention folks; difficulty. Nope, I'm not going to say this game is too hard, that's not the problem (this is no Front Mission 5 or FE: The Binding Blade). Actually, the majority of the experience was too easy by my standards. I got through 90% of the campaign path I took with almost zero effort. And that's without ever using a strategy guide or walkthrough. HOWEVER the last 10% of the game goes batshit brickwall difficulty cliff. It's precisely designed to punish the strategic player for having played too strategically, and therefore having under-leveled units, facing two back to back dungeons with no exit, and chock full of seriously tough enemies. Also multiple bosses. So yeah, it sucked having to go back and grind for eight more hours, just to have my units match strength (not wits) with the brutes piled up at the end of the game. SRPGs shouldn't punish strategy, but there you have it folks.

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The protagonist will come to rule this world, but never by horseback.

Now I know it must seem like I didn't really enjoy Tactics Ogre, and basically I didn't! However, I did respect the hell out of what I was playing. As dry and rigid as the experience was, I couldn't help but be in awe of the complexity and deep subsystems. Not to mention the optional dungeons and ability to replay and take different paths, which could net a player over a hundred hours of play time if so desired. Yet I always remembered Final Fantasy Tactics, which I'd beaten previously. FFT was also designed by Matsuno, and it is in my opinion a more entertaining experience versus Tactics Ogre. The easiest way to put it is; Tactics Ogre is dry literature while Final Fantasy Tactics is pop fiction.

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Hope you enjoy micro-managing the piss outta party members!

This review is getting mighty long, and yet there's so much more to say. But let's wrap this up already. :lol: If you enjoy strategy RPGs, you owe it to yourself to play Tactics Ogre. Now notice I say "play" and not "beat". There's really no reason to subject yourself to the amount of hours and hours (and hours) it takes to finish Tactics Ogre, unless you just can't get enough of the nearly identical battles ad infinitum. I suppose if you really REALLY love class based systems, and super enjoy maxing unit classes, you'll be in heaven here. Your reviewer is indeed a lover of SRPGs, and while I deeply respect Tactics Ogre, I didn't love it. This was a good scholarly endeavor though, and did nothing to tarnish my rapturous opinion of lord Matsuno (Vagrant Story is a masterpiece).

Fat bottomed ogres you make the RNG world go 'round.

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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by alienjesus Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:07 pm

I actually felt that a lot of your critiques are more apparent in Final Fantasy Tactics then Tactics Ogre. I much preferred the latter myself. I found the plot harder to follow in FFT, I found the difficulty balance worse, especially if you were using generic units. I found the way it constantly threw named characters at you who far outclassed the guys you'd spent all the game training so far annoying.

Tactics Ogre isn't perfect, but I think it far exceeds FFTactics myself. That said, I feel like Tactics Advance and Tactics A2 are better than either by some way because they just feel more streamlined, despite being long games themselves.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by pierrot Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:27 pm

Exhuminator wrote:[...]An obtuse title.

Funny thing about that song: The title is actually Japanese--"手を取り合って" ("Teo Toriatte")--and includes the chorus repeated in Japanese.

Exhuminator wrote:And even your best efforts to keep track of the plot proves to be in vain, when the final area and final final boss basically show up out of the blue. It's almost Necron level in that regard. I understand Matsuno was trying to write a story that is at once mature and epic, but there's something to be said for conciseness and brevity making a tale far more poignant.

I thought the plot was pretty sensible, personally. I'll admit that the final boss would be difficult to forecast, but I wouldn't equate it to Necron. He was a pretty pivotal character in the last chapter, even if mostly talked about in passing. I feel like "Shyamalanian" would be sufficiently unflattering for how it was handled.

I thought the story was, hands down, the best thing about the game--with the music, and aesthetic close behind (I actually don't care for the PSPs "updates"). I do wish the four sisters had been given a little more "screen-time," but the ending felt almost perfect. It's not quite War & Peace, but compared to the bulk of the trite, useless exposition dry heaved out of video games, I thought the story was practically award worthy. I did the Neutral path, though.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:59 pm

I'm disappointed with the others. I wonder if the script was changed and downgraded somehow. The game blew me away when I played it a few years ago and I thought it utterly destroyed FFT. But I guess there's no use to keep going on about it. I thought it would be right up your alley. Maybe it got overhyped here. Ah well.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by marurun Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:33 pm

Maybe Ex just wants more hamburger and less steak.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:50 pm

alienjesus wrote:I feel like Tactics Advance and Tactics A2 are better than either by some way because they just feel more streamlined, despite being long games themselves.

I often wonder if I'd enjoy Tactics Advance and Tactics A2. I've read so many conflicting opinions about those two. The contention seems to stem from something called the "judgement" system or some such. And that the plots are more lighthearted. I also now wonder how I would enjoy The Knight of Lodis on GBA. I've read many times people disparaging it versus Tactics Ogre original. I certainly don't see mention of Lodis on this forum often.
pierrot wrote:I thought the story was, hands down, the best thing about the game--with the music, and aesthetic close behind (I actually don't care for the PSPs "updates"). It's not quite War & Peace, but compared to the bulk of the trite, useless exposition dry heaved out of video games, I thought the story was practically award worthy. I did the Neutral path, though.

It's not that the story is bad overall. There's a strong tale being told, without too much melodrama even (thankfully). It's just the dense way the story was presented, with the lack of proper context for the player at times, that put me off. Perhaps the original Japanese script is better.
Xeogred wrote:I thought it would be right up your alley.

While I may not have loved Tactics Ogre, I certainly respect it for what it did back in 1995. And the 2011 version is a nice spit shine of the original (in most ways). But once I hit the 20 hour mark I started getting very bored with this one trick pony. At least I really enjoyed Arc the Lad!
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:06 pm

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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:07 pm

Xeogred wrote:Image

If you think my review hurt read this:

http://www.tbstactics.com/2011/10/tacti ... r-psp.html
Last edited by Exhuminator on Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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