Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (PSP) - Review
20 October 2009
Excerpt: Final Fantasy Tactics was one of my favorite PS1 games. Therefore, it was only logical that when I got a PSP, this port of the original game was one of the first games I needed to check. Yet, the PS1 version was released on 1997 (1998 in the West), how does an enhanced port compare to an actual game more than 10 years later?
Conclusion: In America, we’re just now getting the fine Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions. In 1997, this was the game that introduced us to Ivalice (which is slowly becoming the common denominator between Final Fantasy games, thanks to the Ivalice Alliance). Ten years later, the races and politics of Ivalice are familiar, and the game feels nostalgic even to those who’ve never played it before.
Excerpt: It's the same fantastic game you played in 1998 with some positive adjustments, including more mature dialogue and some lovely animated cutscenes. While a few other elements - character names, job ability names, etc - were changed for unknown reasons, the whole package comes together just as nicely as the original, though a few might have qualms with the cutscene voiceacting or missing infrastructure battles.
Excerpt: While some games don't withstand the test of time, others, like the commonly praised Final Fantasy Tactics, exist in a state of pristine stasis: never changing, yet standing proud at the head of the class, and rarely bested by legions of pretenders to the throne. In other words, you won't need the rose-hued goggles of nostalgia to appreciate Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions, since it's a great game even by modern standards.
Pros: A great, involving story further enhanced with gorgeous cel-shaded cutscenes, Fantastic character customization system allows for endless party tweaking, Intense, challenging battles, Dozens upon dozens of hours of strategic gameplay
Cons: Unbalanced multiplayer, Some inconsistencies in sound and graphics, Steep learning curve for newcomers
Conclusion: Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions is a great release for the PSP and nearly justifies the purchase of the Sony handheld by itself. As I've said before, if you played FFT for the PSone, then you know what this game is all about, except now it's portable, so you can play it when watching bad movies or when you're yobbing. It makes me glad I'm now the owner of a PSP. 10 out of 10 .
Summary: For the vast majority of British gamers, War Of The Lions is the first time they’ve have the chance to enjoy this epic spin-off from the Final Fantasy franchise. But even if you were one of the few fanboys who bought the game on import or squandered a small fortune buying a second-hand copy on eBay, this polished PSP incarnation is still worth a punt.