The overall impact of “Final Fantasy Tactics” is seriously underestimated

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In 1997, the Final Fantasy franchise took bold steps to solidify its legacy as a video game powerhouse. After withdrawing from the Nintendo 64 in favor of the graphics and processing power of the original PlayStation, Squaresoft was ready to change the face of the game.

This, of course, started with the blockbuster release of Final Fantasy VII before Squaresoft made a full 360 with the release of the tactical sprite-based RPG Final Fantasy Tactics.

This year has also seen the result of other experiences from the company, namely the fighting game Tobal No.2, the alternative JRPG SaGa Frontier, as well as the side-scrolling Einhander shoot ’em up, among others.

That said, Final Fantasy Tactics was probably the game that really made the difference between innovating and serving as a great Final Fantasy game as a whole, which is probably why it is remembered so fondly today.

Tactical change

The foundations that formed the creation of Final Fantasy Tactics didn’t even begin with the first games in the franchise. On the contrary, it started with an entirely different franchise.

This franchise was called Ogre Battle and its game systems will be familiar to fans of Final Fantasy Tactics. Squaresoft basically poached the creator of these games and asked him to create a whole new sub-series within the Final Fantasy franchise.

This resulted in a game that had all the intricacies of Ogre Battle games, with added Final Fantasy elements like the revered working system and a sprawling storyline filled with political intrigue and a young hero.

Alliance Ivalice

What’s cool about Final Fantasy Tactics is that it offered a different playstyle for those who enjoyed the tropes of Final Fantasy but wanted a break from the usual turn-based gameplay.

The strategic approach to its gameplay has added depth in terms of unit placement and the types of classes a player should bring to the battlefield.

Not only that, but the world of Ivalice has also become the perfect backdrop for all kinds of games in different genres, from the various sequels to Tactics to the action-RPG Vagrant Story, which ultimately bled into the main series with Final Fantasy XII.

Redesign galore

Beyond a 2013 mobile game spin-off called Final Fantasy Tactics S, this sub-series hasn’t seen a new entry since 2008’s Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift on Nintendo DS.

That said, there are at least a few options for those looking for that classic tactical gameplay with War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius on mobile. It’s a great free game that is supported with a constant stream of updates.

There’s also the upcoming Project Triangle Strategy which is considered the perfect spiritual successor to Final Fantasy Tactics, with updated HD pixel graphics as well as a story-changing morality system.

Either way, while Nintendo’s Fire Emblem may have become today’s first tactical JRPG franchise, we hope one day we can return to Ivalice for longtime Final Fantasy fans.

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