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Forsaken Lover
07-15-2017, 10:00 PM
So I am replaying FFXII but because my brain is broken, replaying it is making me want to play other stuff.

Back when I first played it and saw lots of love for the story and writing on here and othe rboards, I echoed those sentiments to people on a different board. I was told FFXII is just "typical Matsuno." What might seem pretty thought-provoking to me is apparently nothing really groundbreaking if you are at all familiar with his work. The politics and stuff is done better in other games, I am told.

See, I got this PSTV for Persona 4 Golden and I need something to do with it. I see that Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions is on there, along with I guess a remake of Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together. (that thing is 10GB. I'm gonna need a memory card, or to find the memory card that I had.)

I'm thinking I should play these, but I've never in my life played a tactical RPG. I've always been kind of nervous about it because I see people talk about the battle system and it's all Greek to me. RNG manipulation and judges and insane conditions for victory or something.

Whatever happens I won't be playing them until I get paid in August but figured I'd ask you all for some tips.

Wolf Kanno
07-15-2017, 11:20 PM
Gameplay really shouldn't be too much of an issue. While Matsuno is notorious for building games with surprisingly deep mechanics, they tend to be balanced well enough so that even the most basic of builds can net you victory. You've played MegaTen, you are more equipped than you think about what to expect from his games. The Judges are also only in Tactics Advance and its sequel, and even then, they are only an issue in TA and there are a ton of ways to get around them.

What usually sets Matsuno's games from other series is that he tends to write more gray and gray stories centering around ethics and historical background. His villains and heroes are rarely paradigms of good and evil, and in the words of one review I read about Tactics Ogre, no matter how fair and balanced you try to be, you'll always find out your someone's villain regardless of your good intentions. He also tends to base the backdrops of his stories on real life historical events such as Tactics Ogre being based on the collapse of Yugoslavia and the ethnic cleansing that resulted in the bloody wars that followed. FFTactics is based on the War of the Roses. Not all of his games do this of course, as Vagrant Story is more like fantasy Metal Gear and deals with political conspiracy and the conflict between peaceful cults and and harsher orthodox religions. FFTactics Advance is a pretty twisted take on the Lotus Eater Machine trope. Its interesting how characters like Marche, Weigraf, and Sydney tend to have very complicated views among the fanbase.

Regardless, his stories tend to portray the characters as flawed, but often well intended people. You've played XII so you have a taste of what I'm talking about. While I do enjoy XII's story, I will agree its not up to par with his past works, but then again, I read somewhere that he left the project before he finished the script.

Forsaken Lover
07-16-2017, 09:05 AM
Oh I've heard all about Tactics Advance and that Marche is the real villain. I'm inclined to agree based on all the years of posts I've observed. It's very easy to tell your crippled brother or whatever to just get over it and go back to the real world when you have no problems so this is all just a game for you.

But yeah, that's another game I need to play so I can finally weigh in on a surprisingly enduring debate for such a minor game.

It's interesting you should mention SMT since it has those Devil Survivor games which are supposed to be like Tactics? Haven't played them yet but it is something to keep in mind.

But yeah, thanks for the reply. Maybe look forward to me giving them a try in a few weeks. (also maybe show up so you can help me out as I am still certain I'll be in dire need of advice)

Fynn
07-16-2017, 10:54 AM
No Marche is not the villain. Whoever claims that has seriously not payed any attention to the game.

Edge7
07-16-2017, 10:52 PM
And so the Marche debate continues. Haven't actually played Tactics Advance myself, so I can't weigh in (the FFIX ability-equipment system turned me off).

As someone who hasn't played a lot of Tactical RPGs outside of the GBA Fire Emblems, Final Fantasy Tactics is a lot of fun once you understand what you can accomplish through its character progression system, similar to Bravely Default and FFV. It's also the game I imagine a lot of people think of when they hear Matsuno's name. My only problem with War of the Lions is the slowdown during spell animations, but I think it was fixed out of the Android/IOS version? There's also a fan patch if you're into that sort of thing.

As a Metal Gear fan, Vagrant Story is one of my favorite RPGs. Great story (if a little vague at times), great characters, a difficult, but rewarding battle system. Unfortunately, it also does a TERRIBLE job at explaining said system's mechanics; there's a manual in game that explains everything, but it's also misleading in some ways, so if you do ever play that one, don't be afraid to ask for help. I think if I ever attempted to do another Let's Play, I'd do Vagrant Story just to explain it to people overwhelmed by it.

I've played the first few battles of a friends copy of Tactics Ogre, and I think its great, but also more demanding than Final Fantasy Tactics.

Not available for the Vita, but I've also played a little bit of Matsuno's indie title "Crimson Shroud" and it has a rather robust, if completely unorthodox battle system. Story-wise, it feels like Vagrant Story-lite, and I really want to see where it goes.

Wolf Kanno
07-16-2017, 11:32 PM
Oh I've heard all about Tactics Advance and that Marche is the real villain. I'm inclined to agree based on all the years of posts I've observed. It's very easy to tell your crippled brother or whatever to just get over it and go back to the real world when you have no problems so this is all just a game for you.

But yeah, that's another game I need to play so I can finally weigh in on a surprisingly enduring debate for such a minor game.

It's a bit more complicated than that, but that's why the debate continues. It really comes down to how you view Ivalice in that game.


It's interesting you should mention SMT since it has those Devil Survivor games which are supposed to be like Tactics? Haven't played them yet but it is something to keep in mind.

Barring the turn-based grid layout, the game actually has more in common with Ogre Battle than Tactics surprisingly enough. They are great battle systems, I just wish the characters were a bit more likable.



And so the Marche debate continues. Haven't actually played Tactics Advance myself, so I can't weigh in (the FFIX ability-equipment system turned me off).

It turns me off as well, but the story really does keep you hooked in once it starts going.


As someone who hasn't played a lot of Tactical RPGs outside of the GBA Fire Emblems, Final Fantasy Tactics is a lot of fun once you understand what you can accomplish through its character progression system, similar to Bravely Default and FFV. It's also the game I imagine a lot of people think of when they hear Matsuno's name. My only problem with War of the Lions is the slowdown during spell animations, but I think it was fixed out of the Android/IOS version? There's also a fan patch if you're into that sort of thing.

Yeah, this was a result of bad porting, the original game on PS1 didn't have this issue and even worse, WotL removed the random spell chants characters would do when performing their attacks.


As a Metal Gear fan, Vagrant Story is one of my favorite RPGs. Great story (if a little vague at times), great characters, a difficult, but rewarding battle system. Unfortunately, it also does a TERRIBLE job at explaining said system's mechanics; there's a manual in game that explains everything, but it's also misleading in some ways, so if you do ever play that one, don't be afraid to ask for help. I think if I ever attempted to do another Let's Play, I'd do Vagrant Story just to explain it to people overwhelmed by it.

Tell me about it, I think when Pete for President started playing this game a few years back, I wrote up a beginner's guide to crafting and the main battle mechanics. It was quite the doozy of a post I might add. This is one of the underlying elements in almost all of Matsuno's titles. I'm playing Ogre Battle currently, and I'm still learning about major factors that affect alignment and class upgrades. It's surprisingly deep for an SNES game and as usual, there is no real in-game explanation for any of it.

Fynn
07-17-2017, 06:17 PM
Yeah, I'd never have gotten anywhere near beating VS without WK's guide

Skyblade
07-19-2017, 07:10 AM
No Marche is not the villain. Whoever claims that has seriously not payed any attention to the game.

Uh huh. You did read the essay I wrote on that, right? Should still be on the site. Are you saying I didn't pay any attention to the game?