I’m going to keep this review short. Painfully short. Why? Because this review, much like the re-release of this game, was and is completely unnecessary.
Square Enix hasn’t put many “PSOne Classics” up on PlayStation Network yet. They gave us Final Fantasy VII, which was nice. What should come next? Final Fantasy VIII would be good, or Chrono Cross, or heck, Xenogears would be nice! Instead, we got Final Fantasy Tactics. Granted, this is an incredible Strategy RPG from Yasumi Matsuno, creator of the world of Ivalice (as well as Quest’s “Ogre Battle” universe); and the job/ability system used in the game keeps bringing players back again and again. But consider the following information…
Two years ago, fans of the original Final Fantasy Tactics were treated with a wonderful surprise: a remake on the PSP. The new version, entitled “Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions,” added cel-shaded CG cut scenes, new job classes, hidden characters, and a completely revised English script. This last part is of significant note. The only noted issues with the PSP port are critiques of occasional graphical slow-down and inferior audio quality. That last complaint seems to be a problem of hearing the audio from a PSP’s speakers; put on headphones and the problem is solved, as far as I’m concerned.
This PSP version can be found in many stores for as low as $20 at this point. Why, then, would anyone pay $10 for the inferior version? In case you need it, let me remind you: when you summon the Lich, the game will tell you that you are summoning “Rich.” I think this one example speaks volumes about the quality of the original 1998 localization. While it’s not so awful a localization that you can’t understand what’s going on, there are plenty of awkward phrases and vague grammatical constructions involved. If you want to avoid them, you want the PSP port.
So I’m trying to figure out why anyone would buy this game on PSN. It’s one of the best Strategy RPGs of all time, yes, but it is the inferior version. Perhaps, if you own a PS3 but not a PSP, you might buy this. Or, if you were grossly uninformed about the PSP library and thought this was the first reissue of the game since 1998, you might buy it. Otherwise, it just seems completely redundant and a bit ridiculous.
Do me a favor: don’t pay to download this. Just get the PSP version and let Square Enix learn that no one wants pointless re-issues of games. What we want from the PSN service are games that are no longer readily available for consumers. In other words, Xenogears. Or Vagrant Story.