A new era in the Final Fantasy series is born. The strategy element, often lacking from the true F.F. series (1-8), takes hold of a new genre of game-players. The action fans will stay away from it, the true RPG fans might even ignore it, but those of you who are open to new and fantastic strategy/RPG experiences will absolutely love this game.... I'm speaking of course about Final Fantasy Tactics, not only a totally new concept and approach for RPG legend Squaresoft, but one heck of a game. I felt almost immediate and all-consuming adoration the moment I began playing. I mean, the music, for one thing, is outstanding and quite frankly some of the best I've ever heard. It pulled me in from the outset.
However.... I am not going to tell you that I had an easy time of it, learning the basics and how to move around on the 3-D plane. It was tough getting into the game, there is no doubt about that, and as I recall I had a splitting headache that night. I was honestly not happy with the title's initial complexity, but with time (and a few pain killers), the battle system became much clearer, and in no time, I was hacking, slashing, casting spells and all that other RPG stuff.
The storyline, as we ALL know, could have used a bit of work, particularly in the American translation department. Some things (quite a few in fact) made no sense at all to me whatsoever. Be that as it may, I thoroughly enjoyed the tension in the air during the pre-battle scenes, such as the fierce rivalry between Ramza and just about everyone and their grandfather (damn trouble making kids), not to mention the murder of Delita's younger sister, a plot point that managed to thoroughly chap my @$$. Knights, thieves, wizards, priests, ninja, archers, etc. all played pivotal parts in the ongoing war that the plot followed. Betrayal, murder, a bif of romance and plenty of supernatural activity round out a very long and very impressive addition to the PSX library.
In addition, there are an astonishing number of side-stories/side-quests, a few of which actually grant you access to extra members in your party and even lengthen the game by hours, even days! Suffice to say, there are many objects and locations to be discovered.
Graphics-wise, you won't be disappointed, even if you have played through more graphically-titanic titles such as F.F. VII, VIII and the semi-classic Xenogears. Eye pleasing sprites, smooth animation, and spectacular visual and lighting effects guarantee you something around every corner. Be warned: if you have not yet purchased this game, and are planning to: It is a spectacular adventure, but it is NOT for the impatient or the easily frustrated. A lot of time will be spent on equipping items, weapons, armor etc. (don't always trust the 'best-fit' option in the shops), not to mention fighting through hordes of enemies just to earn enough cash to buy them. When all is said and done, F.F. Tactics is a certain classic, for a certain type of gamer. On my scale of 1 to 10, I give it an 8.