"The Worthiest Tactics Yet"
It has been years since I sat down to play an Ogre game. My SNES memories of March of the Black Queen were good. I remember the hours spent playing, strategizing, and getting immersed in a tactical RPG unmatched on consoles at the time. A little while later, the U.S. was introduced to Let Us Cling Together -- a mediocre port to the Playstation. While I still enjoyed it, it was indeed flawed on various levels. Fortunately for us old Ogre fans (and new gamers alike), we now have a clean, fluid, and nearly perfect embodiment of Let Us Cling Together. 15 years later, this is a must-have game for anyone interested in strategy RPGs.
Right away (despite the throwback, 16-bit-feeling graphics, which in my opinion offer more charm from a retro gaming aspect), the player is immersed into the world of Valeria, following a story of classically epic proportions. Already, after the first few battles, any old Ogre player will see how certain issues have been fixed, while new players will find a wholly new, accessible level of strategy RPG gaming in Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together. The story is deep and complicated enough without being a bore, and once a player lets the game work its way into their hearts (which shouldn’t take too long), they will start to feel the game is a massive work with a range of characters they feel organically attached to.
- The strategy RPG mechanics are masterfully implemented -
Unfortunately, for hardcore strategy RPGers and old Ogre fans, not all changes are necessarily for the best. Overall, the entire game has been nerfed. One of the main features you will find yourself using (unless you are one with great willpower!) is the feature that enables you to go back 50 turns. While this may make things easier, I find this feature actually makes the game better. Using it for battles (some being extremely tough) was a good way to learn, re-think, and progress without frustration. Another aspect I found was a great addition is that characters you usually end-up putting on the back burner and hardly use in the game will still gain skill points if they do not fight. This gives you the opportunity to use your entire army instead of power-leveling only a few characters and messing your strategy up down the line, or bringing those characters back out and grinding with them for hours just to get them back to par with the others.
Fans of large skill trees and a choice of character classes won’t be disappointed Tactics Ogre: LUCT. By earning skill points, each character is able to learn a vast array of useful skills. These skill choices play very much into the strategy of the game, and you will have to make a few meticulous decisions while choosing or you could be up-the-creek when you reach some battles (if you decided to choose more liberally and randomly).
For many players, this will be the first time they get a chance to try their hand at an Ogre game, since used copies for older consoles are scarce, and they might not have kept an open eye on virtual console for March of the Black Queen. The game is very comparable to Final Fantasy Tactics in both quality and genre. However, you will also find that Tactics Ogre is both less obtuse and more forgiving (less chance of perma-death, to name one reason). Also, the use of an overhead cam in battle is quite handy, and a relief after playing so many strategy RPGs that remain stuck in the isometric view for the entire game.
- This is a deep, strategic game for patient players -
Overall, Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Togehter is perhaps one of the better strategy RPGs I have played in a long while (for Final Fantasy Tactics fans, I think you will be quite pleased), and it is probably one of the best PSP releases so far. It’s a shame such a great game comes to the PSP as it looks on to the end of its era.
GameDynamo's Score for Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together (PSP)
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