Final Fantasy Tactics (series)

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Final Fantasy Tactics
Fftbox.jpg
Final Fantasy Tactics' North American release
Genres Tactical role-playing game
Developers Square Co., Square Enix
Publishers Square Co., Square Enix
Platforms PlayStation, PlayStation Network, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, IOS
Platform of origin PlayStation
Year of inception 1997
First release Final Fantasy Tactics
June 20, 1997
Latest release Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift
October 25, 2007

The Final Fantasy Tactics series is a series of tactical role-playing games developed by Square Co., now Square Enix. It consists of five titles, Final Fantasy Tactics, its remake Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and the sequel to Advance, Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift. The games are set in the Ivalice setting of the Final Fantasy series.

The first title, Final Fantasy Tactics was released for the Sony PlayStation in 1997 (Japan) and in 1998 (United States), and then remade and enhanced as Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions, released in 2007 (worldwide) for PlayStation Portable (ported to iPhone in 2011[1]). The second title, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance was released on the Game Boy Advance in 2003 (worldwide), and had a sequel Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift released on the Nintendo DS in 2007 (Japan) and in 2008 (United States, Europe). A new social title called Final Fantasy Tactics S was revealed in April 2013 for IOS and Android platforms.[2]

Development[edit]

Final Fantasy Tactics was produced mostly by the team that made Ogre Battle and Tactics Ogre, and was Yasumi Matsuno's first project with Square following his departure from Quest in 1995.[3] In an interview with Akito Inoue, an assistant professor at the International University of Japan, Inoue mentions that Final Fantasy Tactics was made because of how casual gamers are usually put off by games with branching storylines found in other Matsuno's titles such as Tactics Ogre.[4]

Final Fantasy Tactics Advances development began when Square announced its publishing agreement with Nintendo, and it was later confirmed by the producer Matsuno. The development team of Tactics Advance, Square's Product Development Division 4, was constructed from employees of Quest Corporation, and work began in February 2002.[5][6] This comes after Quest announced the handover of its software development team to Square, of which the former is famed for its Tactics Ogre series.[7] Initially thought of as a port of Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance was developed with an entirely new storyline and setting, and received significant changes to make it more user-friendly for the GBA handheld console; e.g. a quick-save function.

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions was revealed on December 13, 2006 in the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine as a PlayStation Portable port of Final Fantasy Tactics. The magazine stated additions of cel-shaded full motion videos, and extra job classes among other new features.[8] The title was originally made for the PlayStation console in 1997. Takamasa Shiba, the current game's producer, said that Square Enix decided to "re-envision the game a decade later". Because of the extensive gameplay and deep storyline, the PlayStation version would compel players to spend hours playing it. Shiba cited this as one of the main reasons why Square chose to develop it for the PSP, and because of its portability. The subtitle of The War of the Lions was chosen as it illustrates "the backdrop for the story of the two main characters Ramza and Delita", as well as illustrating the multiplayer gameplay.[9] The North American localization of The War of the Lions has full audio voice acting for the video sequences in the game.[10] The slowdown and sound downgrade, though acknowledged by the localizers, was not a priority for them to fix, being stated as "out of their hands."[11] Various reviewers have differing opinions about how the slowdown issue has been addressed; one of the previews of the North American version claims that the slowdown has been reduced, stating that "now the technical issues are about on par with the minor slowdown exhibited in the PS1 release and are no longer distracting", while others stated that the slowdowns still "occur when performing attacks or spells in battle".[12][13]

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift had its North American and European versions add stylus control, unlike the Japanese version.[14]

Common elements[edit]

Setting[edit]

Main article: Ivalice

Ivalice, the setting of the video game series, was first shown in Final Fantasy Tactics as a fictional kingdom. Its geography features ranging landscapes, from plains to mountains ranges to deserts and forests. It is heavily populated by human beings, although intelligent monsters can be found living in less populated areas. Magic is predominant in the land, although ruins and artifacts indicated that past populace had relied on machinery, such as airships and robots.[15] The setting was created as a medieval-like world where magic and machine exist together; with usual elements of Final Fantasy; such as Chocobos, Crystals and magic spells, blended into its setting.

In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, the protagonist lives in a land called St. Ivalice. Following the characters' discovery of the book called the Gran Grimoire, St. Ivalice was transformed into a "mirror" of the "real" kingdom of Ivalice.[16] The races seen in the world of Tactics Advance—Bangaa, Moogle, Viera and Nu Mou—reappear in the game Final Fantasy XII, the setting of which has come to represent the "real" Ivalice.[17] The sequel to the game, Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, also takes place in both St. Ivalice and the Ivalice of Final Fantasy XII.[18] Besides the Final Fantasy Tactics series, Ivalice has appeared as the setting to Vagrant Story and Final Fantasy XII.

Characters[edit]

Since all of the Tactics games are set in Ivalice, the characters have been seen in multiple games. The characters of Final Fantasy XII, for example, were seen again the games Nintendo DS sequel, and character Balthier was added to the original Tactics remake War of the Lions.

Gameplay[edit]

The games are tactical role-playing games, with turn-based combat taking place on a grid on which characters advance and fight. The type of terrain, and what type of unit a character is factor into how much damage they do to one another. Other factors such as elemental affiliation and moral alignment can also be determinants of combat outcomes.

Titles[edit]

Title Year Platform Notes
Final Fantasy Tactics (ファイナルファンタジータクティクス Fainaru Fantajī Takutikusu?) PlayStation Final Fantasy Tactics
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance Game Boy Advance Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions PlayStation Portable Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift Nintendo DS Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift
Final Fantasy Tactics S TBA IOS, Android Final Fantasy Tactics S was announced in April 2013 and will be released on the Mobage social gaming network.[2]

Music[edit]

The music of the Final Fantasy Tactics series, was primarily composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto, assisted by Masaharu Iwata, Nobuo Uematsu, Kaori Ohkoshi, and Ayako Saso. The Final Fantasy Tactics Original Soundtrack, a compilation of almost all of the music in the original game, was released by DigiCube in 1997, and re-released by Square Enix in 2006. As of 2008, no separate soundtrack has been released for Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions. The soundtrack was well received by critics, who found it to be astounding and one of the best video game music soundtracks in existence at the time of its release.

The Final Fantasy Tactics Advance Original Soundtrack, a compilation of almost all of the music in the Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, was released by DigiCube in 2003. This soundtrack was well received by critics, who praised the album's composition. A new age arrangement album entitled White: Melodies of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, a selection of musical tracks from the game arranged by Yo Yamazaki, Akira Sasaki, and Satoshi Henmi, was released by SME Visual Works in 2003. However, critics did not react as well to this album, finding it to be a mediocre with poor arrangements.

The music for Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift was also composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto, this time with the assistance of composers from his company Basiscape. The music was released as Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift Original Soundtrack by Square Enix in 2007. It was enjoyed by reviewers, who found it to be pleasant and rewarding.

Reception[edit]

Aggregate review scores
Game Metacritic GameRankings
Final Fantasy Tactics
83/100[19]
83%[20]
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
87/100[21]
87%[22]
Final Fantasy Tactics:
War of the Lions
88/100[23]
88%[24]
Final Fantasy Tactics A2:
Grimoire of the Rift
80/100[25]
80%[26]
Final Fantasy Tactics S

The Final Fantasy Tactics series has proven popular, mainly due to the intense love of the original, leading to several sequels and a remake of the first game. Tactics has been listed as one of the best Final Fantasy games, and one of the greatest games ever made.[citation needed] The other titles have also received favorable reviews.

Final Fantasy Tactics sold 824,671 copies in Japan in the first half of 1997.[27] Since then, the total number of copies sold in Japan has reached approximately 1,350,000.[28] In the United States it reached an estimated sale of 750,000 units as of year 2004.[29] As of March 31, 2003, the game had shipped 2.27 million copies worldwide, with 1.36 million of those copies being shipped in Japan and 910,000 abroad.[30] Final Fantasy Tactics Advance sold over 440,000 copies during its year of release in Japan, with nearly 225,000 units being sold in its first week alone.[31][32] By August 6, 2004, more than 1 million units of the game were sold in North America and Europe together.[33] The War of the Lions reached the top of Japanese gaming charts, and sold 100,000 copies in the first month of release in the United States.[34] The game was the 53rd best-selling game of 2007 in Japan at 301,796 copies according to Famitsu magazine.[35] The Ultimate Hits edition sold an additional 19,488 copies in Japan.[36] Square Enix reports that as of May 31, 2009, Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift has sold 670,000 copies worldwide, with 310,000 copies sold in Japan, 240,000 copies in North America, and 120,000 copies in Europe.[37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chris Rawson (August 4, 2011). "Final Fantasy Tactics released for iPhone at last". TÚAW. AOL. Retrieved April 11, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Pitcher, Jenna (April 26, 2013). "Square Enix to release Final Fantasy Tactics S on Mobage". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved April 27, 2013. 
  3. ^ critiqueofgames.net staff (March 19, 2004). "スクウェア・エニックス開発スタッフルーム". Critique of Games. Retrieved December 11, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Critique of Games: Akito Inoue". Square Haven. May 27, 2007. Retrieved December 13, 2007. 
  5. ^ 「ファイナルファンタジータクティクス アドバンス」世界市場で出荷150万本突破! (in Japanese). Square Enix Co., Ltd. 2003-11-18. Archived from the original on 2006-05-06. Retrieved 2011-02-11. 
  6. ^ Harris, Craig (2002-03-27). "Famitsu Confirms Final Fantasy Tactics GBA". IGN.com. Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  7. ^ Gamespot staff (2002-06-19). "Square acquires Quest's software development division". GameSpot.com. Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  8. ^ Nutt, Christian (2006-12-13). "Games Radar - DS news -- A remake and an original game both go portable - get ready". Games Radar.com. Retrieved 2007-03-01. 
  9. ^ Square Enix (2007-09-23). An Inside Look: Episode 2 About the Game (Podcast). Japan. 
  10. ^ Ricardo Torres (2007-05-13). "Final Fantasy Tactics: War of Lions Hands-On". Gamespot. Retrieved 2007-05-14. 
  11. ^ Michael Cunningham (2007-06-01). "Run to the Sun - Square Enix Interview". Retrieved 2007-06-14. 
  12. ^ Jeremy Parish (2007-08-24). "Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions Playstation Portable Preview, Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions PSP Preview". Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  13. ^ Jem Alexander (2007-10-14). "PSP Fanboy review: Final Fantasy Tactics". Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  14. ^ Square Enix staff (2008-03-19). "Dive into the world of Ivalice this summer with Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift". square-enix.com. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  15. ^ Square (1997-06-20). "Final Fantasy Tactics". PlayStation. Square Co. Agrias: "I hear a 'lost civilization' is hidden under Goug.... When St. Ajora was alive, airships were in the sky, and human robots in town. But time passed, technology was lost, and no one knows if it ever really existed." 
  16. ^ Square Enix (2006-10-31). "Final Fantasy Tactics Advance". Game Boy Advance. Square Enix. 
  17. ^ Studio BentStuff, ed. (2006). Final Fantasy XII Ultimania Omega (in Japanese). Square Enix. p. 146. ISBN 4-7575-1821-8. 
  18. ^ Craig Harris (May 16, 2007). "Interview: Final Fantasy Tactics A2". IGN. Retrieved April 11, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Final Fantasy Tactics (PSX: 1997)". Metacritic. Retrieved April 27, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Final Fantasy Tactics (PS)". Game Rankings. Retrieved April 27, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Final Fantasy Tactics Advance: Game Boy Advance". Metacritic. Retrieved April 27, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Final Fantasy Tactics Advance for Game Boy Advance". Game Rankings. Retrieved April 27, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (PSP)". Metacritic. Retrieved April 27, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions". Game Rankings. Retrieved April 27, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift: DS". Metacritic. Retrieved April 27, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift". Game Rankings. Retrieved April 27, 2013. 
  27. ^ Famitsu staff. "Weekly Famitsu 9/12". Weekly Famitsu (in Japanese). Retrieved December 16, 2007. 
  28. ^ "Japan Platinum Game Chart". Magic Box. Retrieved December 7, 2007. 
  29. ^ "US Platinum Videogame Chart". Retrieved December 7, 2007. 
  30. ^ "February 2–4, 2004". Square Enix. February 9, 2004. p. 27. Retrieved March 1, 2008. 
  31. ^ "2003 Top 100 Best Selling Japanese Console Games". The-MagicBox.com. Retrieved 2008-09-07. 
  32. ^ Wollenschlaeger, Alex (February 20, 2003). "Japandemonium - Off the Hook". RPGamer.com. Retrieved 2008-09-07. 
  33. ^ "Annual Report 2004". Square-Enix.com. August 6, 2004. Retrieved 2008-12-20. [dead link]
  34. ^ David Radd (2007-12-05). "Chart Toppers: Square Enix Strategizes a Hit with Final Fantasy Tactics". Retrieved 2008-02-28. 
  35. ^ Takahashi (June 18, 2008). "Famitsu Top 500 of 2007". Gemaga.com. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  36. ^ "Final Fantasy". Famitsu. Garaph. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  37. ^ "Results Briefing: Fiscal Year ended May 31, 2009". Square-Enix.com. May 19, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-21.