A laggy and lossy copy of an otherwise perfect game.
Pfilosophy wrote this review on .
See, there was some slowdown for some of the greater spells in FFT. Summons and giant flames in the form of full motion video would play in front of the sprites and maps in real-time. However, with the PSP's technology and for the size of the game to not even reach half of the UMD's capacity, I'm shocked and pained to say that this game lags so so much in comparison to its 9.5 year old ancestor. During the very first battle, that useless squire that didn't do much good in the first is back and ready to cast some Fire on an enemy. His AI is stull funky, so he makes sure to hit two of his own when attacking the strongest enemy on the field. However, once it's his turn to send out Fire, the UMD spins faster and the screen stutters and each frame is then spat out as the PSP tries to keep up with the clip of a flame being played over the field. If only I could say this was my only disappointment, I'd overlook it, but Fire is perhaps the quickest and smallest spell you can cast. When Gafgarion unleashes Shadowbane (they changed the names of some spells and skills as well as the spelling of certain words that were fine before: Igros = Eagrose!?), your PSP becomes a strobe light. I tested this on another PSP and the same thing happened during each skill attempt. Needless to say, I was not pleased. I mean, you know my love for this game so you can understand why I'd feel so frustrated. And then you have the new script, which is verbose for the sake of it. The story's still there but good god, it feels like what happens when you slap too much makeup on an already pretty girl with low self esteem. An unnecessary attempt at improving one's beauty that goes terribly awry. Seriously! Eagrose!? Corpse Brigade instead of Death Corps.? Ok, I see what they did there.
Anyway, after that first battle, there is an abrupt cut to a new cutscene which is jarring but also easy to overlook. This cutscene brings me to the few reasons to play this instead of the original, other than this version not being so rare. The new animated scenes are drawn beautifully, with some good voice acting. I believe Agrias is played by the woman who voiced Fran so it's hot. The direction looks like what the FFT crew wanted to do with the original had they the tech specs because I remember one of the trailers to FFT having dialogue popping up like the quotes were being dubbed into a movie trailer. New classes = new things to master, new ways to play. In my opinion, the Onion Knight doesn't really serve a true purpose but the Dark Knight is an interesting job class for people who like to get in close and stab some dudes, street justice. Multiplayer sounds like a fun idea on paper and I hear good things but I can't vouch for it since I don't know anyone with their own PSP and copy of FFT. While it is truly awesome to recruit Balthier, and it is, all of these are the few reasons to play this rendition.
I marked down the graphics because there's no reason for a updated 1998 game to run poorly in 2007 and not even at least look any different. Granted, if they changed the look, it'd be blasphemous but if they weren't going to change the look at all, it doesn't explain why it moves and feels like it really has aged. And the music doesn't sound as broad and orchestral as it did, which is a shame. Still, if you haven't played FFT, you MUST. When pit against other strategy RPGs, FFT will always be the clear victor. As slow as I've said everything moves, they still move the way they should and it's an easy game to get into and lose a lot of hours and it's a heavy contender for PSP game of the year. So, if you don't yet own a PSP, this is one reason to look into one. I just hope they don't give the same half-assed treatment to Symphony of the Night when Dracula X Chronicles comes out because if Sid Meier's Pirates! can play just as good on the PSP as it does on the Xbox, there should be no excuse for the Ivalice Alliance' other than "we knew you were gonna buy it anyway." And, well, I mean, they were right in my case.
For all the little things this whiny critic wish were different, it's still Final Fantasy Tactics and it still deserves to be owned and played by everyone.