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Tactics Ogre: Reborn review – remaster strategy

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Tactics Ogre: Reborn screenshot
Tactics Ogre: Reborn – this is not Final Fantasy Tactics (pic: Square Enix)

The genuine inspiration for Final Fantasy Tactics will get a model new remaster, that reconfirms Tactics Ogre as in all probability the best ever tactical RPGs.

You’d assume that any recreation that obtained a number of remaster might want to should be one factor pretty well-known, like Resident Evil 4 or Skyrim. That is commonly the case nevertheless usually, significantly if it’s a Japanese recreation that wasn’t initially launched inside the West, it could probably take quite a few makes an try sooner than there’s one thing close to a definitive mannequin. Such is the case for Tactics Ogre, which is a recreation most people have on no account heard of nevertheless, within the occasion that they’re strategy followers, will uncover instantly recognisable.

We didn’t realise this was a remaster at first and assumed from the subtitle it was actually a reboot of the sequence. Alas it is not. It’s a remaster of PSP recreation Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, which in flip was a remake of 1995 SNES recreation Tactics Ogre – which was moreover ported to the Saturn and PlayStation nevertheless on no account launched inside the West until 2011.

That is a classy family tree, and we doubt that this incarnation has any larger likelihood for mainstream success than the others, nevertheless it is a extraordinarily influential recreation, whose have an effect on on the huge strategy type is not appreciated. If you notice what Final Fantasy Tactics is, and are these screenshots in puzzlement, assuming they’re one and the an identical recreation, there’s an excellent trigger for that – apart from that Tactics Ogre obtained right here first.


Final Fantasy Tactics is credited with popularising the trendy thought of the tactical role-player however it absolutely actually arrived on the scene practically two years after Tactics Ogre. Not because of it was a copycat nevertheless because of it was developed by primarily the an identical crew, who left the now defunct Quest to work at pre-merger Square.

To complicate points extra Tactics Ogre is simply probably not the first recreation inside the sequence, which started in 1993 with the nearly absolutely dissimilar Ogre Battle: The March Of The Black Queen (as you might determine by the subtitles, the builders are large Queen followers). Ogre Battle has no trendy counterparts and was a weird hybrid of real-time strategy and role-player, whose solely European launch was on the Wii Virtual Console.

Turn-based strategy video video games are comparatively in type today nevertheless that usually seems to be on the worth of tactical role-players, which was as fashionable as strategy video video games ever obtained. For a really very long time they adopted the template of Tactics Ogre/Final Fantasy Tactics very intently, with battles that occur on small, isometric maps, the place you administration a small navy of fighters with their very personal distinctive experience and expertise. Think XCOM nevertheless with way more stats and storytelling.

The success of current strategy video video games seems to have lastly glad people that they’re not as tough and obscure as their recognition suggests. Indeed, the gameplay in Tactics Ogre, like a whole lot of the type, boils proper all the way down to nothing further tough than being able to switch as quickly as and assault as quickly as all through each characters’ flip.

There are many points previous that, which add extra depth to the battles, nevertheless they’re all pretty logical and solely become very important the extra you progress. Terrain, elevation, local weather and the utterly completely different weapons and expertise of the numerous utterly completely different combatants all play a element, as the game takes on chess-like connotations with battles which will last for an excellent hour or further (which actually suits the Switch surprisingly properly, because you probably can take it anyplace and stop and start with ease).

The recreation moreover inherits Ogre Battles’ obsession with Tarot taking part in playing cards, as originally of the game you’re launched with a sequence of moral dilemmas, the options to which relate to specific taking part in playing cards. These, and others you probably can earn in battle, provide quite a lot of specific abilities, from diversified buffs to distinctive spells and the all-important potential to rewind time.

Tactics Ogre is, and on a regular basis has been, pretty troublesome however it absolutely’s surprisingly accessible, not just because the basics are simpler than you’d take into consideration nevertheless as a consequence of top quality of life choices much like an auto-equip chance and simplified levelling up for help fashions, that was added in with the PSP remake.

This remaster goes extra, by altering the easiest way characters examine and apply new experience, so that you just don’t lose monitor of who can do what. The levelling system has moreover undergone a model new modernisation, which may very well be very welcome as a result of the customisability of the characters is no doubt one of many recreation’s most spectacular choices, with the ability to make even these which is likely to be part of the an identical class practically totally utterly completely different by the use of abilities and stats.

There’s new content material materials as properly, along with quite a few experience – along with one which helps you to gang up on enemies with quite a few allies – and devices often called charms which can have numerous outcomes along with elevating stats or altering elemental weaknesses. Perhaps most welcome though is the ability to shortly stage grind fashions in teaching battles the place they will’t die, in its place of attending to rely upon random battles on the world map, the place permadeath may merely lose you a unit in its place of levelling it up.

A plot dependent stage cap prevents this attribute from being abused, in what’s an impressively properly thought out sequence of tweaks and enhancements – along with a revival system to stay away from permadeath and a clearer seen indication of the place exactly ranged assaults are going.

However, the remaster more than likely may need carried out with out the addition of taking part in playing cards which will buff or debuff you and the enemy, and which litter the sector like discarded chip wrappers. They add an extreme quantity of of a random ingredient and we would’ve most popular an chance to switch them off.

That goes for the model new high-res graphics which use an disagreeable, if comparatively delicate, blur filter, very like the smoothing often utilized in trendy coin-op emulations. In these circumstances though it’s usually merely an chance, whereas proper right here you’re caught with them and the noticeably further bombastic soundtrack remixes.

Tactics Ogre: Reborn screenshot
Tactics Ogre: Reborn – chibi chivalry (pic: Square Enix)

Overall, the enhancements do outweigh the negatives nevertheless only some further selections to chose between the distinctive mannequin(s) and the model new choices would’ve made the entire distinction.

The final concern is one factor that’s on a regular basis been some extent of rivalry inside the recreation, and that’s the overwrought plot, which takes itself extraordinarily considerably and is full of cod-Elizabethan dialogue and, now, equally corny voiceovers. The story does try to take care of some vital factors, nevertheless no matter its biggest efforts the entire converse of ethnic cleansing and gritty class struggles seems unavoidably absurd when being talked about by super cute, pint-sized sprites.

That’s on a regular basis been a difficulty with the game though and your mileage will differ by the use of how off-putting you uncover it. For us, it’s positively not ample to undermine the nonetheless superb strategy gameplay, whose new nips and tucks current an impressively thorough and delicate contact for such an earlier recreation.

The hefty asking worth is likely to be going to limit its mainstream attraction better than the retro stylings nevertheless we dearly hope there is a mannequin new recreation by the an identical crew, because of Tactics Ogre isn’t solely considered one of many first tactical role-playing video video games however it absolutely’s nonetheless in all probability the best.

Tactics Ogre: Reborn review summary

In Short: One of the grandfathers of tactical role-playing returns with an daring new remaster, that encompasses a gorgeous number of enhancements and just some missteps.

Pros: Deep and very versatile battle system with a couple of of the best character customisation ever seen inside the type. Surprisingly accessible, with some welcome new top quality of life choices.

Cons: The story, dialogue, and voiceovers can actually really feel very overwrought, significantly given how unintentionally cute the character graphics are. Not all of the model new choices are welcome.

Score: 8/10

Formats: Nintendo Switch (reviewed), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC
Price: £44.99
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix
Release Date: eleventh November 2022
Age Rating: 12

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