I’ve been on tactical overload lately thanks to this game and Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, and when all is said and done, Square manages to make an excellent game that is going to give Nintendo’s Advance Wars and Fire Emblem franchises a run for their money. The battle system, the graphics, at least 30 hours of gameplay, and even the sound are amazingly packed into this tiny little cart, and if you’ve got a GameBoy Player for the GameCube then you’re in for even more of a treat. Although I must say that between this and Disgaea, which could have easily been on GBA, I’m going to have to side with Disgaea just because there is so much more to do in the game, but don’t take that as a bad thing, there is still plenty to do in this game, it just gets a tad repetitive with time, and I’ll explain more in detail.Long before the times that history remembers, there was an age of great magic in an ancient land called Kiltia. When a great flood swept over the world, the culture perished, but a key to its magic and secrets – a book called the Grand Grimoire- is said to have survived. It is foretold that the one who holds the ancient text will be able to change the world. Many have sought the book but none have ever found it. Through the ages, many legends were written about the Grand Grimoire, but legends are often forgotten. Those who once know it called it… The Final Fantasy. One day in the peaceful, snow-covered town of St. Ivalice a young boy named Mewt discovers a mysterious book with no title in the local bookstore. Little do Mewt and his friends Marche and Ritz realize that they will soon begin the greatest adventure of their lives.*
After one night with the book, a wish is made that would change the world, and Marche becomes the main protagonist as he is whisked away to the old world of St. Ivalice, where magic and monsters were common, and of course the most pressing issue would be to get home as soon as possible, but as Marche would soon discover, not everyone is exactly eager to head home.
In this new world there are clans to join and Marche is assisted by a moogle named Montblanc who would welcome him into their clan. Once Marche becomes leader of the clan the story picks up and is told in little snippets that will occur before or after a battle and in between jobs that are picked up at the local pub. Those who have played Final Fantasy Tactics on the PSOne will remember how pubs had miscellaneous jobs that could be used to bolster a character, well those jobs are still present but this time a lot of the story progresses thanks to the jobs that are taken. Once certain jobs/missions are completed then you are given the option to lay a new location on the map that will seem quite barren at the start of the game. If you remember Legend of Mana for PSOne then you’ll probably feel very comfortable with laying out the world to your own designs.
* from the Nintendo Game Power guide for Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
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