The grandfather who hasn’t aged a bit!

Oh how old! But the quality of the game hasn’t changed much and hasn’t aged a bit. Tactics Ogre is the source of inspiration for all tactical RPGs that came out after it, including the very famous Final Fantasy Tactics, which bears the name first, or the very current Triangle Strategy, which shares many things with its ancestor.

Because if the latter’s recent success is partly related to its mature and deep storyline with many branchings, it was the same with Tactics Ogres when it first appeared in 1994. Also it offers a story with other ramifications. That was very innovative for the time and even today too few titles dare to develop this type of screenplay. This means that it is still perfectly in tune with the times.

The story takes place in a heroic fantasy universe at the heart of a bloody and very complex island conflict, which inspired Triangle Strategy without plagiarism. We play Denam, a young man seeking revenge alongside his sister Catiua and childhood friend Vyce. In his search he is manipulated and becomes the tool of the rulers. To get out of this swamp he will have to make difficult choices that will lead to different conclusions of the story. Which of course leaves room for a New Game + mode and the possibility of consulting which events were unlocked last time. We indicate it because it is part of the supplements of this new edition. For the sensitive souls, however, it will be necessary to abstain. Even if the violence is not visible, it is manifested in the deceit and harshness of the universe.

The Renaissance!

To illustrate its story, it now comes with full dubbing in English or Japanese and a new soundtrack. The title also gets a facelift on the graphics side. Granted, we do find the typical little guy aspect of the 16-bit era, but with retro coming back in style, that’s not shocking. Then you have to put things in context: in 1994 a game with this kind of animation was crazy.

In this reborn edition, the main thing that has been adjusted is the visual quality with a better resolution to take advantage of our modern screens. But that’s not all, the menu interface has been completely redesigned to meet our standards. It may seem trivial, but the clean ergonomics allow you to enjoy a game without pulling your hair out. There’s even an option to change the camera angle to better read the battles.

Finally there is now a full French translation! Despite arriving in Europe via the PSP in 2011, it has only been translated into English. With the success of the tactics over the past few years, it was time to move on. It was important to reach a wider audience like the gameplay adjustments.

Revamped gameplay!

Many items have been added or changed. Tactics Ogres was originally a very difficult, punishing, and elite title. Over the course of its reboots, the game has received mechanics to make it more accessible. Reborn is the perfect example. No more intensive individual farming, now experience points are shared with all units participating in a battle, such as: B. Pokemon Multi Exp.

The class system has also been revamped to be more permissive. In its old versions quite randomly, apart from the hero Denam, it was very difficult to guess what class of fighters our units could evolve into. Now we earn class cards to use as we see fit. It is very easy to change and retrace our steps if the result is not satisfactory, whatever the character.

Units now receive class-specific skill levels that grant access to new abilities. By using a sword, ax or similar, a unit improves its mastery of that weapon on condition that it equips the appropriate handling skill. An archer can use bows, crossbows, and daggers. He therefore has the associated mastery abilities by default. If you decide to make him a crossbow specialist but leave him the bow skill, he will not progress with the crossbow and will not learn the super attacks specific to him. Fortunately, there are many tutorials to guide us.

The old system of permanently learning skills with skill points no longer exists. It is no longer possible to learn an ability like Dual Wield from the Ninja class and then dual wield as a Knight. Whether this is really a remake or a new game, you have to wonder. If a fight is going badly, it’s possible to go back a round or more to take matters into your own hands.

Battles that don’t change?

While purists will no doubt find all of these changes bad, the game is more accessible. But at least one thing stays the same: the fights, well, almost nothing changes. They always take place in an isometric checkerboard-like arena. Friendly or enemy units take turns depending on their initiative value.

Positioning is still just as important, because if you get hit in the back, it hurts more. Movements are made from square to square in a number defined by the class of the unit. In short, the mechanics are very well known today. But Reborn brings its share of little novelties.

We haven’t talked about that, but the saga has a certain affinity with card games, but that’s another long topic. To establish the link, small cards symbolizing assets appear randomly on the field. Each of these can be selected to provide a tactical advantage such as: B. better physical or magic attacks, better critical hit rates, magic point regeneration, etc.

This makes the clashes much more enjoyable and accessible to the general public. It’s very satisfying to see your fighters stronger, even temporarily. However, the assets sometimes appear at the other end of the field, giving the enemy team, led by the AI, enough time to collect them before your units arrive. This leaves some accuracy in the clashes.

Especially since the AI ​​is quite well designed. She’ll mostly try to backstab you, reclaim assets, and most importantly, finish off your lowest HP units. Which is fairly easy to predict, but the slightest carelessness can prove fatal. So it’s a big challenge waiting for you.

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