Platform: GBA

Genre: Strategy RPG

Publisher: Square-Enix

Developer: Square-Enix

ETA: September 2003


Related Links:

Review: Final Fantasy X (Playstation 2)
Review: Golden Sun (GBA)

Review: Throne of Darkness (PC)





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Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

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The world of RPG’s seems to be in a downward spiral toward completely relying on two factors: graphics and cinematics.  Graphics in RPG’s are being improved far superior then other genres, and RPG cinematics are the most fun to watch. On the other hand gamers should feel cheated of true quality in story, gameplay, and overall length. Though the next-gen consoles will concentrate on the two big factors, there might be one system that will stay true to a RPG’s spirit – the Game Boy Advance.

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (FFTA) will be the first Final Fantasy game to be published for the GBA (in the US and Canada). Unlike some of the more recent Final Fantasy games, this installment will feature a much more complex system of fighting, simply known as “tactics”. Instead of the traditional RPG style of attacking and using magic directly upon the enemy, the tactic system creates a chessboard interface, making the player have to decide who he/she should attack, and where to move the characters. Of course, this makes for long and sometimes hopelessly endless battles. While that may be true, the game becomes much deeper and more enjoyable when the player is given that much freedom and choice in a battle.

The story of FFTA is one thing that will remain traditional to the Final Fantasy series. You start out a schoolboy who gets into a snowball fight with the school bully and stumble upon an ancient book entitled “Final Fantasy” (what are the odds?). The characters begin reading the mysterious book, then find themselves submerged in a magical world filled with treacherous lands and bewildering creatures.

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FFTA will be released sometime in 2003 (most likely near the holiday season) and should be considered the must-buy RPG of the season. FFTA will make us reminisce about the more enjoyable RPG days which promises not to fill the screen with pointless cinematics.

- Eric “element” Lahiji

(June 22, 2003)