You don't need a Lion's War to remain great.

User Rating: 8.5 | Final Fantasy Tactics: Shishi Sensou PSP
Ignore what's after the colon in Final Fantasy Tactics: War of Lions; it's pretty much the same game as it was when first released in 1998. Minimally altered with some voice acted cut-scenes and new job cIasses, and sprinkled by some rather colourised dialogues; it made a bold re-entry to the genre and the PSP, both of which victimised by much mediocrity of late. The majesty of FFT had stood firm, dissed all pretenders aside, itself still the true palette of a SRPG make-up. The relevance of this remake only served to prove that point.

But there are differences. Wrought by the inconsistencies of storytelling and translation woes, War of Lions makes amends to the original game, the premise of which laid down by the excellent Final Fantasy XII released earlier. The result is a much more coherent game play that ties up all the games which had stamped their grounds on the increasingly conceivable world of Ivalice. The changes, while erred only to the most loyal of loyalists, are necessary for said reason.

What War of Lions brings onto the table is nothing unseen in many recent games. It may as well take the role of a keen reminder of how its interpretation of the genre revolutionised the very which. While games of similar intent are released ever since, it's hard to find one of the same epic proportions. This condensed version for the PSP fills that void well; it's a relief to see the genre back in its traditional best.

Betrayal. Treachery. Loyalty. These are mere parts of the convoluted plot on offer. Aided by an impeccable script writing and sound track selection, it wouldn't matter that any idea of a graphics overhaul had been given the cold shoulders- the story comes to life when one pops in the UMD, screaming to be told. It also wouldn't matter how many times one plays Ramza, the unintended son of the proud Beoulve family; there always seems to be something new to discover as the pages are flipped.

The simplistic game play is contradicted by the deep customisation options. With cIasses as different as Chemists to Samurais, the definition of a well-balanced team is anyone's interpretation. A wide variety of skills can be learnt, and with secondary skills equip-able, FFT may be misunderstood as being lenient. Many of the bosses and stages take more than just power and gutso to overcome; the strategic element of the tactical game remains intact.

Cut scenes and voice acting are warm welcome to the growing senses of gamers. Both are flawless, but if only they appear more. Equally at blame are the technical faults. Perhaps let down by the limited capacity of the PSP, War of Lions suffers lags during actual game play- a glaring flaw for a game of such huge ambitions. The heavy story takes time and effort to both develop and digest, and to gamers caught up in the world of instant gratification; again, that could be inexcusable.

This remake does what a remake does, itself almost a direct replica of the original. The promise of new content is naught, but the promise of excellent game play certainly isn't. If it's not broken, don't fix it- this seems to be an apt conclusion for a game such as Final Fantasy Tactics: War of Lions.