Square Enix bring the classic title back to life with their latest outing in the Tactics Ogre world: Let Us Cling Together. A remarkable revamp or a rehash of an aging giant? Let’s find ut in the GamesMediaPro review.
Rarely, if ever, do the powers that be, behind the design and development of some of our favourite games, ever remake a title so that the newcomer is better than the original. Well hold on to your Pop Tart’s, readers, as Square Enix may just have found the hidden formula.
When the original title first aired in 1995 as the Super Famicom game, Tactic’s Ogre, the world paid attention to the cracking title that had been unleashed, and even the Playstation port that took a year longer to reach Western audiences was received well, despite a few issues surrounding the titles combat and gameplay. So when the code arrived for this latest rendition of the classic title we were all buzzing with anticipation to see what the collective brains behind the development team’s at Square Enix could do to one of our firm childhood favourites, and did they disappoint? Not in the slightest! What the award-winning guys and girls at Square Enix have managed to do is unlock that magical blueprint, that has eluded so many developers before them in the quest to reinvent a classic game, and make it even better than the original it is based upon. Tactic’s Ogre: Let Us Cling Together looks all set to storm the handheld charts with its new look visuals, stunning gameplay and awesome storyline that has breathed new life into a true legend and brought this powerhouse title to a whole new generation of appreciative fan’s.
Heavy praise indeed then for one of gaming’s true greats but praise, all the same, that is justly deserved when you consider the weight of new content, stunning graphic’s, fantastic gameplay and attention to detail that see’s everything getting the freshly polished treatment from the developers at Square Enix. Anything that could have been improved has been improved, with new addition’s ranging from extra characters to spanking new levels littering the title from start to finish.
Take the excellent new levelling up system for example that now see’s players able to upgrade and improve the entire party of characters that they bring to the quest, as opposed to the mind-numbing and time-consuming previous format, which saw players only able to level up individual’s through actual training or combat. This meant that enemies would be as mighty as your strongest character, so if you had not bothered to take care of business for each individual in your party, then they were at the mercy of the far more powerful adversaries that would attain the same level of attributes and abilities as your strongest character automatically. So, only after countless hours spent in the combat training arena, and with much fiddling of menu’s and setting’s prior to each mission, could you then decide to tackle the next stage of your perilous quest. Thanks then must go to the men and women who opted to forego this tedious process in favour of the far more fluid levelling up system that we see in Square’s latest version of Tactic’s Ogre. So now instead of spending countless hours locked away in pre-battle preparations, players will just level up their main character and every other member of his/her party will follow suit accordingly. So simple, and yet so utterly brilliant in its design.
The individual character classes are all there once more, with the levelling up system bringing with it some great new slants on the way that you will equip and learn new skill’s and commands for your heroes. Players will now be awarded with ‘Battle Points’ as they progress throughout the game and get further involved in some of the quality combat that lies in wait for them. Armed with this all-important ‘cyber currency’ you will then invest your hard-earned Battle Points as wisely, or foolishly, as you see fit. We say ‘as wisely or foolishly’ because even though there are literally dozens of skills and attributes to pick and choose from, it will undoubtedly require a player to learn from previous mistakes with purchases to decide which skill best compliments the class of character, and the attributes that you have assigned to him already, before you get a better understanding of where to splash your hard-earned Battle Point ‘cash’.
For example, the game may have a wide variety of skill’s for you to choose from but not all of the upgrades, magic and amazing abilities can be used with each other, or indeed, even at the same time. You may well have purchased two or more summon abilities for one character only to learn that you may only equip one or the other. Or you may have learnt a handful of new spell’s but can equip and actively use a mere two of them in combat. Limiting though it may seem it does make perfect sense for fear of players just equipping every single upgrade, skill, spell and attribute that they can and not getting the real sense of danger and urgency that is to be felt when in the middle of a raging battle. If your character is, for want of a better analogy, upgraded to the point of near omnipotence then what would be the point in completing the quest? You already know that nothing could possibly challenge you, so why bother? You play Tactics Ogre:Let Us Cling Together to try to taste everything and every scenario. Juggling skill’s and spell’s as you attempt to overcome the immensely powerful foes that stand in your way as you and your band of trusty friends seek to complete the immensely enjoyable quest that you have undertaken.
Visually the game is stunning with the top down side on angle that is easier on the eye than Keira Knightley, ( er…almost ). The score and sound effects have been completely reworked and give the game a real crafted edge to it that far surpasses other titles in its genre. With a staggering 40 hours plus gameplay to be had in a basic run through of the campaign Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together offers up an altogether greater experience than even some console titles as the game is just head and shoulders above most retail RPG‘s on the market.
Graphics: Flawless and fantastic. Square Enix have done an outstanding job with Tactic’s Ogre:Let Us Cling Together make no mistake about it. Everything look’s crisp and clear from the combat zones to the menu’s and cut scenes as you are taken on what has to be the single greatest role-playing experience of the handheld market. Stunning. 10
Gameplay: Attempting to bring to you a review of a title that has this much quality dripping from every pore is somewhat difficult when e also try to avoid spoilers like the plague. All we can say is that everything that you wanted fixed, has been. Every issue that you wanted to see addressed, has been. Everything that you love about RPG’s and in-depth titles that take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions, from the moment you switch on your PSP to the moment you sit back into your chair and breathe an awe-inspired sigh of amazement as the end titles bring a tear to your eye, well, that’s all in here too. The very best handheld RPG title on offer to date. With no exceptions. 10
RePlay Value: Let’s face it here, dear GmP readers, we all loved the first of the Tactic’s Ogre titles so much that given the opportunity to play it again we would so what do you think the odd’s of you plying the far superior handheld version again are then? There is just so very much for you to see in do in Square Enix’s absolute gaming masterpiece that to not play this title through time and time again would be a crime against gaming. 10
Presentation: Once more Square Enix have risen to the challenge, and very probably surpassed even their own expectation’s, with the very excellent Tactic’s Ogre:Let Us Cling Together. The game has been given a much-needed overhaul and the fan’s of this stunning title will relish the prospect of playing through all of the amazing new additions to the game, as well as reliving some of the fantastically reworked events of the previous title. A serious contender for RPG title of the Year, regardless of handheld or console. This game is just that good. 10