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View Full Version : June/July Alt RPG: Final Fantasy Tactics A2


Parish
06-25-2008, 12:14 PM
For those who have already breezed through Etrian Odyssey II. Ha! Ha! Just kidding.

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift
Square Enix | DS | Tactical RPG | 2008

Gripe about not being able to create Viera monks here!

PapillonReel
06-25-2008, 12:19 PM
Aw man, why you gotta make me choose between EO2 and FFTA2? :( Though I was considering playing both at the same time anyway...

Adrenaline
06-25-2008, 01:12 PM
Now there are alternate RPGs? My mind is getting blown here.

spineshark
06-25-2008, 01:20 PM
Aw man, why you gotta make me choose between EO2 and FFTA2? :( Though I was considering playing both at the same time anyway...
I was totally going to come in here and joke that you are going to be in EO2's postgame next week. You're crazy like that.

Pombar
06-25-2008, 01:43 PM
FFTA2 is June/July? I was assuming it'd be June, then FF4 would be July. I guess FF4 is far too late into July, though.

I'm still debating whether to pick this up or not! There're plenty of Tactics games I need to play (Jeanne d'Arc being the most notable) and buy (Disgaea for PSP - my PS2 version stopped working when I was only halfway through), but FFTA1 still had decent game mechanics despite its wince-worthy characters and dialogue. I'll think about it some more.

Rosencrantz
06-25-2008, 08:33 PM
Okay, I'm going to give this game some love because 1) people keep posting in the other FFTA2 thread, and 2) they're not really talking about FFTA2 there.

I was a fan of the first FFTA - and yes, I've played the original FFT many, many times since its release day - and I am enjoying A2 a lot so far. I got a little concerned when I realized that the shops wouldn't be updating themselves and that you had to use the Bazaar system to get new equipment, but I think that then way they balanced it out is pretty good. I am, however, doing almost all of the quests as they appear, so someone trying to rush through the storyline is probably going to be a bit gimped on equipment and abilities.

The one problem I've had with the Bazaar system is that while I was getting lots of weapons and therefore abilities for my melee classes, it was several hours before I got any Black or White Mage weapons. For that matter, it took nearly that long before I even got any new weapons for Beastmaster (the third Nu Mou starting class), either. It's been pretty smooth sailing since then, fortunately.

Shadax
06-25-2008, 08:38 PM
Clan "Clan Clan" is nearing the end of the first landmass, and I have to say that I am pretty impressed. I'm enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would, even if the touchscreen controls are beyond worthless, and the bazaar system really doesn't seem to gel together. But hey, I get to tactically smack people around for hours on end, and there seem to be plenty of classes (I'm a bit of a class whore) so I don't regret my purchase yet.

pantone
06-25-2008, 08:55 PM
Is all of the art in the game super saturated colors? From all the screens I've seen, it appears that way. It's like they took assets straight from the GBA game which was designed to take into consideration playing with no backlight.

Still picking it up...

Parish
06-25-2008, 09:23 PM
It's like they took assets straight from the GBA game which was designed to take into consideration playing with no backlight.
Sprites don't really work that way.... I think they were just shooting for a friendly, colorful style. For the kidz.

PapillonReel
06-25-2008, 09:33 PM
Sprites don't really work that way.... I think they were just shooting for a friendly, colorful style. For the kidz.

Considering that Ryoma Ito did the artwork, that might not be too far off (though I fail to see why a bright, colourful artstyle is bad thing, esp. given the setting).

nunix
06-25-2008, 10:14 PM
How's the game compare to the first one? Is it really just same engine, new story + jobs, or what?

I didn't beat FFTA but did get to the final boss.. just wound up underlevelled and there was other stuff to play at the time, had no interest in grinding out the last bit. I enjoyed the game overall, though. It has the land placement system, has lots of cool FF jobs, more lighthearted, and I never had issues with the judges (didn't it show you what the laws were going to be before you entered the map? how fucking hard is that to avoid? geeze).

So anyway, if it's an "If you like FFTA you like FFTA2" dealie I am down for that.

Monkeywrench: I didn't like FFT when it came out, and still don't, so nyah.

pantone
06-26-2008, 07:47 AM
Right--colorful isn't bad (quite a contrast from the NA cover art). From what I saw, it just looks like someone bumped the saturation slider up a little too far. Again, this is just from looking at screens online.

TheSL
06-26-2008, 07:55 AM
I played the intro parts in this Tuesday, but now its back to EO2 for me.

Sanagi
06-26-2008, 05:59 PM
Clan "Clan Clan"
Heh, I did that one once on FFTA.

`Hrist
06-26-2008, 06:50 PM
Picked it up today. Looks like FFTA, only with nicer special effects and better music (all I could have asked for really). Clan Sign Zeta has embarked upon its first mission.

The main character (don't know his name because I named him Kat, har) is a bit of a punk compared to Marche. Marche was like, "Oh no, what is this mad fantasy world?" This new main character is like, "Sweet, I'm in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance World. Let's have some fun."

It's alright to me, just kind of weird. :P

Balrog
06-26-2008, 08:36 PM
I'm going to play this after I finish EO. FFTA isn't all that great but it's still one of the best TRPG's ever made.

Ample Vigour
06-26-2008, 09:07 PM
I'm going to play this after I finish EO. FFTA isn't all that great but it's still one of the best TRPG's ever made.

I never saw the problems with FFTA. I've never been able to get past the first three battles or so on FFT, though.

I'll be in on this in July; same as EO2.

Egarwaen
06-26-2008, 10:26 PM
Anyone care to comment on how well the game uses Ivalice? I'm on the fence about it... I'm finding myself better able to appreciate TRPGs, but the first FFTA both bored and frustrated me.

Mightyblue
06-27-2008, 12:38 PM
It uses a predefined world map with several spots in each geographic area. Instead of being able to traverse the entire continent at once, you have to unlock the greatroad or Aerodrome paths between regions and continents to gain access to new areas.

So, it works much more like FFT than FFTA.

Paul le Fou
06-27-2008, 01:09 PM
Clan mlaut is on the road and ready for action!

I just got to the second region. I like it so far, but the bizarre bazaar system has me on edge. For one, like Rosencrantz, I'm already getting some substantial melee weapon upgrades, but have yet to see a single caster one - my nu mou is stuck as a black mage having mastered one white mage and three black mage skills because he can't learn anything else to advance to another class. Meanwhile I'm juggling melee classes for R and my Bangaa who have a veritable plethora of weapons/skills/classes available.

Not to mention that I could unlock a bow with an assassin skill long before a second archer-skill. I imagine this will stop being as big an issue as I unlock more classes, but it's kind of a pain right now.

Regarding bazaar loot - I've been more or less unlocking things as they become available. Is the loot gained-to-needed balance such that this won't come back to bite me? Like, if I unlock this sword, I won't waste a precious piece of loot that could have been used for a rod instead? Or is it mostly non-overlapping at any given level? I've been trying to only use loot I have a stock of just in case; I'm just wondering how sensitive the system is.

I'm also rather hesitant to start with clan trials - the lose-one-boost-another is an interesting system, but when you have ~5 points in each attribute and they're requirements for taking certain quests, it almost seems like the system was introduced a little too early.


My only other issue is that once again, all classes are not created equal. I unlocked and tried out the tinker job and promptly cast haste on the entire enemy party. If every skill has a 50% chance to be awesome or completely disastrous, I think I'll stick with something a little more predictable.

Pombar
06-27-2008, 02:21 PM
I'm with Le Fou on Clan Trials. I did a few, but now my stats are pretty buggered - the only way to repair them is to do all 4 in a row, and at the same level of the 5 titles offered.

I'm confused about how exactly dispatching works, and am a bit hesitant to dip my foot in there, since the only ones I'd trust to dispatch are vital to my squad.

I'm finding unlocking classes is a lot tougher in general, here. Thanks to the lack of a linear progression system like Job Levels, it can be quite sporadic.

Rosencrantz
06-27-2008, 03:48 PM
My only other issue is that once again, all classes are once again not created equal. I unlocked and tried out the tinker job and promptly cast haste on the entire enemy party. If every skill has a 50% chance to be awesome or completely disastrous, I think I'll stick with something a little more predictable.

I completely understand. I've been mostly sticking with Moogle Knight, because it's surprisingly strong for a Moogle class and, of course, Moogle Lance (the equivalent of Air Render) is always useful to have.

However, I'm running out of abilities to learn for it and I was thinking of switching around to some other jobs for my Moogle to see if there was anything else worth using. Surprise, surprise - it seems like half of the moogle jobs first require a couple skills in Tinkerer. Whoopee.

`Hrist
06-27-2008, 04:25 PM
[QUOTE=Rosencrantz;205427]I completely understand. I've been mostly sticking with Moogle Knight, because it's surprisingly strong for a Moogle class and, of course, Moogle Lance (the equivalent of Air Render) is always useful to have</quote>

Magic Gunner and Gunner are your best bets with Moogles. You can use all of the Moogle Knight's attacks as a Gunner, and they become ranged (including Ultima Charge) o-o

Egarwaen
06-28-2008, 11:58 PM
I picked this up today and played a couple missions while temporarily frustrated with EO2. It's pretty cool. The UI isn't as touch-friendly as Revenant Wings was (tapping moves the cursor space-by-space in battle? Ew!) but using it with the D-pad is fine.

Pombar
06-29-2008, 03:48 AM
Touch controls are lazily put in and not thought out, it seems to me. I hear say that they weren't in the JP version, so that might be it. Doesn't affect me much though, I've just come off another WOTL binge, so D-pad control seems more natural anyway. Not being able to spin the map sometimes irritates, though.

I've noticed that, combined with the listing of classes instead of the wheel, the 7 races make it seem like there're hardly any classes. All the class trees are really shallow (again, the list makes them seem more so), there's just seven of them. I kinda wish at least the human tree was as deep as the FFT/WOTL tree, but I guess this is the price I pay for 50+ classes.

Mr_Nuts
06-30-2008, 06:54 AM
I'm playing this now and enjoying it. And yes, I'd sum it up as "if you liked FFTA1, you'll like this. If you didn't like the first game, then don't bother with FFTA2." I also agree with Nunix about the judges and law system. I never had an issue with it and I kind of like it. Having to alter my tactics in every battle keeps things fresh.

I'll probably seek out the strategy guide. With all the classes, races, weapons and skills involved, having a handy reference would be, um, handy.

Paul le Fou
06-30-2008, 12:28 PM
6 hours and 20 quests completed later, I FINALLY get a weapon that gives me a second white mage skill so I can unlock SOMETHING for my Nu Mou and Viera. Still waiting on a black mage rod (although I have a summoner staff sitting in my inventory).

Are all the jobs that begin as ??? unlocked through quests like dragoon/beastmaster/green mage have been so far?

I'm starting to see what Parish's comment about "a number of needed steps forward and a few puzzling steps backwards" was all about.

Egarwaen
06-30-2008, 02:26 PM
The lack of good touch controls is really puzzling because Revenant Wings and TWEWY both had the absolute best touch interfaces I've ever seen.

Parish
06-30-2008, 02:28 PM
Yeah, the bazaar system is practically game-destroying. It took me hours to get the weapons that would let my black and white mages learn enough skills to graduate to other classes. Really screwed up the flow of character-building.

PapillonReel
06-30-2008, 02:36 PM
The lack of good touch controls is really puzzling because Revenant Wings and TWEWY both had the absolute best touch interfaces I've ever seen.

To be fair, those two had their interfaces designed during the actual development cycle instead of being added as an afterthought.

Spikey
06-30-2008, 05:40 PM
Here's a list I found of all the quests that unlock new classes.

Arcanist: The Nu Mou Nobles
Assassin: Veis Assassin
Beastmaster: Knowing the Beast
Cannoneer: The Bangaa Brotherhood
Chocobo Knight: Popocho's Chocobos
Dragoon: Kyrra, Dragoon
Fighter: To be a Fighter
Flintlock: Of Kupos and Cannons
Fusiler: The Goug Consortium
Geomancer: Geomancer's Way - Sun
Green Mage: Green Dominion
Lanista: A Lanista's Pride
Master Monk: Banbanga!
Parivir: The Eastwatch
Raptor: Instrument of Inspiration
Ravager: Ravager
Scholar: Treasured Tomes
Seer: Cat's Meow
Spellblade: To Be a Spellblade
Trickster: Sleight of Hand
Viking: Lord Grayrl!

Pombar
06-30-2008, 06:00 PM
Can't say I've had too much of a problem with the Bazaar or equipment. It feels like they've paced it all more via the abilities rather than the job levels - so you wait a long while for Cura because before then you don't need it. Similarly with Fira etc. This buggers a bit with the lack of a Job Level and having to learn abilities to unlock Jobs, but I can't say I've felt the need to change jobs other than out of curiosity.

Balrog
06-30-2008, 07:02 PM
The one thing that's bugging me, aside from the interface issues, is that the ratio of acquired abilities to number of known abilities is really small. I much prefer FFT's way of giving you a huge list of abilities to plan around as opposed to a small list. There only seems to be about 1-3 abilities that I can start working towards for each character; it feels more like I am slowly moving towards a maxed out ability character rather than customizing a character how I want.

Pombar
06-30-2008, 08:24 PM
True. I suppose the fact that you pick up ability-giving equipment at such a slow pace forces you to learn that ability at that time, in a specific order. Essentially like, say, FF9, that decides for you what abilities it wants you to learn and when.
I've also noticed that it seems like the total number of abilities has shrunk anyway. White magic is purely healing thanks to the division with Green Magic, and this isn't an isolated example. It seems like by making so many jobs, they've whittled away what made each job so interesting in the first place - a depth of abilities and opportunities for customisation within each one - much in the same way that making so many races has made the number of classes redundant, since each race's class tree is so tiny and simple compared to FFT's single-but-deep tree.

Parish
06-30-2008, 09:34 PM
Pombar wins the prize. You've perfectly isolated why Tactics A2 is a terrible, wasted opportunity.

`Hrist
06-30-2008, 09:48 PM
Yes, I agree. I feel a bit... squeezed... by the lack of options in the early going. There's nothing more demoralizing in a game like this then basically scrounging abilities for classes simply because you don't want to waste AP by sitting around waiting for more abilities to open up.

Paul le Fou
06-30-2008, 10:33 PM
I was running out of abilities for my main character to learn, having him as a pure melee fighter. I realized that I should train him as a thief so I could unlock ninja and get 2-swords. Then I realized that I didn't have enough knives (therefore skills) to unlock ninja. Then I realized that when I did, who knows how long it'd take to get whatever equipment to be able to learn 2-swords anyway.

On top of the fact that I can't go further than 3 spells as a black mage but have four different swords that my bangaa can use to learn skills for his second-level job (gladiator).

The bazaar system was pretty awesome in FF12, and in theory I like the way it works here in FFTA, but its balance/pacing (when combined with the abilities/jobs system) is fucked.


Another thing I realized - there's no grinding. No random battles, and you don't get experience/AP per action but per battle/quest. This could be a good or bad thing - it basically increases the challenge because you have a limited amount of experience and AP to work with. I found myself wanting to finish off a skill or two with a random battle but unable to, but I'm not ready to call this a "bad thing" yet.

Pombar
07-01-2008, 03:54 AM
Another thing I realized - there's no grinding. No random battles, and you don't get experience/AP per action but per battle/quest. This could be a good or bad thing - it basically increases the challenge because you have a limited amount of experience and AP to work with. I found myself wanting to finish off a quest with a random battle but unable to, but I'm not ready to call this a "bad thing" yet.

I'm undecided about this myself. The option for random battles was there in the original advance with the wandering clans that you could fight and they exist in some form after each auction season with the question mark things that appear, but it's just another thing added to the pile of things that make me feel like I'm playing this game on a pre-set path.

`Hrist
07-01-2008, 07:19 PM
Anybody else annoyed that most of the classes have to be opened up by special missions now? Stupid. I failed two of them, and now I've gotta wait until they're available again. :P

Parish
07-03-2008, 11:41 AM
Wow! This thread is a dud. I approve of everyone's taste in games.