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Friday, April 13, 2012

Tactics Ogre - Let Us Cling Together Review

It’s been a long time since I seriously played a tactical-based game because of its lengthy gameplay and you would tend to spend more time in it considering that some of them would force you to grind. But these games always have been a charm for me. I never got to play many tactical games that much. One that I won’t forget was Final Fantasy Tactics. Then there are other unique tactical games like Valkyria Chronicles II. Then recently, I finally got to play Tactics Ogre – Let’s Us Cling Together for the PSP.

Released on February 2011, this game was already a classic game that was released way back the Super Famicom days and re-released on Playstation, Sega Saturn and recently to Playstation Portable. I never played the older ones so I can’t really tell how it was improved but personally, the PSP version was very good on its own.

The story of the game start off with 3 characters, Denam, Catitua and Vyce who want to take revenge against a Dark Knight named Lancelot for destroying their hometown. The 3 tries to ambush 5 travelers they mistakenly think to be the Dark Knight Lancelot and realize that he isn’t and that one only shares the same name as the Holy Knight Lancelot.

The travelers namely Warren, Gildas, Mirdyn, Canopus and the Holy Knight Lancelot decide to help Denam to take arms against the Galgastians. They take the first step by saving the leader of the Walister Resistance, Duke Ronwey. The Duke accepted them and join his cause to battle against the Galgastians and from there the fate of Denam and his companions will make a big turn.

The game’s story has several branching paths to take depending on the choices you make, some small pieces in the story or even the major ones will have a significant effect in the story-telling, like whether you decide to help someone or not, or whether you have able to save somebody in battle or not. At certain situations, if you fail to save a character and dies, they are permanently dead. There are several unique characters in the game but not all of them can be recruited. Depending on your actions and decisions, some of them can be your ally, some of them will not or some will just perish.

There are no absolute right and wrong in every choice (some parts perhaps), it’s all depend on how you look at it as far as story goes so you would probably feel torn in the choices. But then again, if you’ve felt you don’t like the outcome of your choice, just make sure you have backed-up your save data beforehand.

Like any other turn-based tactical games, the strength of your army relies on how you manage the equipments, skills and classes of every unit in it. The good thing here is that, building-up units is more convenient. Instead of leveling-up per unit, they are level-up per class and the level is shared, so if you have a level 20 Knight, all other of your Knights are also scale to level 20. Although class level is shared, skills must still learn individually but you have the option to transfer it to other characters. If your unit dies in the process, you can transfer his skills to another. This way no skills would go to waste entirely.

There are several features in the game that makes it more interesting and enjoyable to play in my opinion, like the Tarot system where you can freely replay your turns in battle just in case you don’t like the turns you’ve made. Chaos frame system which basically works with the loyalty level of your units where If your unit’s loyalty drop, they will leave your army and will never return. The game has lots of information to read regarding in-game stories and character references that constantly updates depending on how the story is mold for every character. I personally got fond of reading the information that I actually spent longer in reading than playing.

Replayability of the game is very good. After finishing the game, you will unlock few extra post-game scenarios and you will be given an option to replay scenarios from any points of the game and get a chance to choose different choices, try different paths and even able to recruit other characters that you didn’t get in your first play.

Overall, Tactics Ogre – Let Us Cling Together is a very good game for me. I personally like the story and more contents that will keep you on playing even after completing the game and most especially the classic feel of the game. If you’re looking for a good classic tactical game that would keep you busy for a couple of months or 2, you definitely should try Tactics Ogre – Let Us Cling Together.

Until then!

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