Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions Reader Review
Let's get this straight from the off. I have never played FF:T on the PSOne so I come to the game fairly unbiased and without the rose-tinted goggles a lot of people might have for this game. I HAVE played FF:TA for the GBA so I do have some idea of the nature of how the game plays.
Now, what frustrates me most about the game is that I can see how awesome it could be. Customizing your own private army, levelling them up, etc... it's all very cool. And the story and characters, despite their somewhat infantile appearance, are interesting and complex.
However, there are numerous problems that plague the game. Number one, the camera, is just terrible. It allows you to switch between 4 different POVs and to 'tilt' the action somewhat but is still insufficient to the point where you can't see what you're doing. So annoying. An associated effect of this is that it also becomes difficult to calculate weapon ranges due to a piece of terrain obscuring one's view of his surroundings.
Second problem - the difficulty. It would be an understatement to say that the game was hard. More accurate a term is 'unforgiving'. The AI is good, to give it credit, but there are battles in the early stages at least in which you have to level up from a few random encounters before you proceed on with the story. This would be ok if the random encounters weren't so unreasonably matched either. For instance, I wanted to train some two new lvl 1 characters from chemists to mages, so I enter them into the battle as well as two other characters, a lvl 6 archer and knight. How does the game scale the encounter you ask? By pitting them against a bunch of lvl 7 monsters all of which outnumber my party. My main character is the only one who is level 7 and that's the highest. How am I supposed to bring everybody else up to scratch if the AI calculates the random encounters so unfairly?
I know a lot of people will disagree with me and that's their perogative but from my experience, the game is just a bit too unfair.
Last problem. There is some kind of weird slowdown every time some kind of ability is used and it just looks a little amateurish for what is decade-old game playing on a system which supposedly has the processing power of a PS2. It's not game-breaking, but it looks bad.
I'm going to keep plugging away at the game though because I see the potential it has. Maybe it gets better? Maybe I just suck at the game? I don't know. But in my opinion, what I have experienced does not coincide with a 9/10 review. 7-8/10 maybe.