Final Fantasy Tactics Articles RSS Feed | Final Fantasy Tactics RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network 5 Final Fantasy Games Perfect for Newcomers Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:11:23 -0400 Will Dowell

Final Fantasy is one of the largest JRPG franchises in the history of the genre, with countless spin-off's, sequels, and remakes making up its robust catalog. These games have brought both laughter and tears to an audience of millions over the years.

With Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age out on shelves, those interested in trying a Final Fantasy game may feel overwhelmed due to the sheer amount of possible entries in the series. Luckily, these five Final Fantasy games are perfect for newcomers.

Final Fantasy XV

The latest game in the mainline series, Final Fantasy XV eschews the Active Time Battle System (ATB) present in most Final Fantasy games and instead wows players with intense, real-time action. While the focus on intense action may turn off lifelong fans, those wary of turn-based combat will have a blast fighting their way through the world of Eos.

Even with the combat changes, Final Fantasy XV is, at heart, a Final Fantasy game. Following Noctis throughout a tale of adventure and war provides the emotional stakes seen in any Final Fantasy game -- all with added Blockbuster flair. An open world aids this adventure by imbuing the game with the sense of grandiosity needed for an adventure like this. While it's the latest entry in the FF series, Final Fantasy XV is perfect for the action-loving newcomer.

Final Fantasy VI

For those who enjoy turn-based combat, the SNES classic Final Fantasy VI will satisfy your tastes in addition to providing a fantastic cast of characters. The ATB combat system shines in its full glory as you fight to achieve peace in a chaotic world. Esper customization increases the strategic depth of FFVI, allowing you to create the perfect battle party.

However, all of the gameplay is overshadowed (in a good way) by the endearing characters as they grow in a fantastical world. From Locke, the protective treasure hunter with a bit of wit, to Shadow, an assassin with a mysterious past, these adventurers must struggle and overcome their personal obstacles to save the world from a maniacal villain.

Final Fantasy VI ties these powerful elements together with a tale full of both lighthearted adventure and dark drama. Final Fantasy VI is one of the best Final Fantasy games of all time and shows newcomers the best of what Final Fantasy has to offer.

Final Fantasy IX

While Final Fantasy VII revolutionized the JRPG genre, its flaws make it a harder introduction to those unfamiliar with Final Fantasy. It has aged harshly and poor translation diminishes the plot. However, Final Fantasy IX serves as a fantastic introduction to the series, even though it wasn't as groundbreaking as FFVII.

Final Fantasy IX exudes the traditional Final Fantasy charm while providing the extravagance seen on only a handful of PlayStation adventures. Yes, the combat can be slow, but with the ability to plan how your characters learn and grow, each victory brings its own rewards. There is a lightheartedness seen throughout the game that brings joy and adventure in a way not seen in many games today. Characters live through and bring excitement to both the story and the player. Enjoy the world and characters, as you fly through Final Fantasy IX.

Final Fantasy Tactics

Unlike the mainline series, which usually has a consistent level of quality, the Final Fantasy spin-off's vary wildly. From horrible cash-grabs to amazing titles, there's a lot of varying quality to be had here. Luckily, Final Fantasy Tactics is a fantastic strategy RPG that rivals the greats. Survive in a world torn apart by war and corruption, with both allies and enemies manipulating and killing each other to pursue their own goals. Watch as close friends become hated enemies, and families turn against each other. While not as overly dark as some games, Final Fantasy Tactics has a harsh world with everyone, both good and evil, struggling and suffering.

This weight is seen in the combat as well, with the possibility of each move being your last. Enemies are challenging and brutal, forcing the player to prioritize and think strategically as they handle each mission. Sadly, grinding is required to unlock classes and gain an edge in combat. Yet that grinding leads to new and interesting strategies as the player customizes their party for battle.

Final Fantasy Tactics rivals the mainline series in terms of quality and gives a darker edge to the standard fantasy world.

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac may seem like an odd choice, but with it out on shelves now, it is a fantastic entry point for newcomers. Follow Vaan, a petty thief way over his head, as he aids Princess Ashe in freeing Dalmasca from the Archadian Empire. While Vaan himself seems one dimensional, the people around him are entertaining and interesting. May it be the leading man or the falsely accused, every character in Final Fantasy XII has a story. Engage in epic boss battles with combat that blends the strategy traditional ATB System and the fluidity of MMO combat with the use of Gambits.

The major issues that plagued the original PS2 release of FFXII have been alleviated in the remaster. For example, grinding and backtracking padded out areas and wasted the players time, but with the added ability to speed up game time, long grinding sessions become quick and painless. The Zodiac Job System, an addition seen in the international release, but not in the North American one, gives players structure to their character progression and gives each party member a purpose. With the major flaws of Final Fantasy XII mitigated, it becomes a must-play for both newcomers and fans of Final Fantasy.


Final Fantasy is a fantastic series that has revolutionized both RPG's and gaming as whole. With Final Fantasy XIV going strong and a remake of Final Fantasy VII in the works, Final Fantasy will touch the hearts and minds of gamers everywhere. As long as new entries capture newcomers like the games above can, Final Fantasy will thrive. 

5 JRPGs That Should Get the Final Fantasy Tactics Treatment Sun, 26 Feb 2017 23:25:21 -0500 Will Dowell

Final Fantasy Tactics is considered a cult classic and a premier turn-based strategy RPG. It took the overwhelming wealth of fantastical material from the Final Fantasy franchise and created a truly magnificent game. Final Fantasy Tactics set the precedent of how to make a proper spin-off from a strong JRPG.

However, very few JRPG's have created a spin-off similar to Final Fantasy Tactics. With Pokémon Conquest being the only exception, developers have ignored the strategy RPG sub genre used in Final Fantasy Tactics and instead focused on more action-oriented gameplay. While not all JRPGs are suited for these types of spin-offs, those that are will benefit greatly from creating them. Here are a few JRPGs that should get the Final Fantasy Tactics treatment.

Breath of Fire

To create a strategy RPG battle system that stands out from the rest, you must either create unique mechanics that change the way a player perceives combat, or create characters that allow the player to devise new strategies in battle. Breath of Fire already does both with its combo system and cast of anthropomorphic characters. Players can create new tactics depending on the abilities in each character's arsenal.

Breath of Fire does not have the following to support a proper Final Fantasy Tactics like spin-off, however. The last game in the series, Breath of Fire VI, was a free-to-play online RPG that earned the scorn of longtime fans. Breath of Fire VI is still only available in Japan and has been considered a critical flop. Even with those challenges, Breath of Fire could still create a worthwhile strategy RPG.


Xenoblade Chronicles

Xenoblade Chronicles may not seem fit for a strategy RPG spin-off, but the unique world and interesting lore can build multiple games from different genres. For example, take the war between the Mechons and the Homs. That war alone can span a full series of strategy RPGs that would lead up to the beginning of the first game.

The player can follow a small group of soldiers led by the previous Monado users. Since they are engaging in a much larger conflict than themselves, each battle can fit into an overarching goal for the game. It is imperative story wise to focus on the soldiers and how they deal with the stress of constant battle. A strong

Gameplay wise, the use of the stagger system and Monado would change how players strategize in each battle. You can encourage continuous onslaught with the stagger system, while giving the players time to react with the Monado's ability to see the future.

Regardless, Xenoblade provides interesting mechanics and deep lore that are perfect for a strategy RPG.

Source: Mynintendonews

Shin Megami Tensei 

What's better than controlling a party of demons? Controlling an army of demons. While Shin Megami Tensei already has a strategy RPG spin-off series, the scope can easily be increased. Combining a large customizable army with the brutal difficulty famous in Atlus games creates an absorbing strategy game.

This is easily the most likely to occur as there has been strong support for the previous Devil Survivor games. Introducing more strategies and demons will allow players greater control on the battlefield. Fighting Hell's army would be both challenging yet so much fun.


Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross

While most players would rather have a new Chrono Trigger game, a strategy RPG would still be fun. The sheer quality of the two games sets high expectations for any future title, spin-off or otherwise. If a strategy RPG would be created, it would need to be extremely well-polished and fulfilling to the fans.

Besides the high expectations, the biggest challenge to a Chrono strategy RPG would be the combination of customization and fleshed out characters. Chrono Trigger has amazing characters that are well defined and experience personal growth. Final Fantasy Tactic shas a few good characters and a bunch of blank slates. This simply doesn't fit into the style of Chrono Trigger. Luckily, creating a balance is possible, it will just take a lot of work on the developer.

For combat, the technique system seen in Chrono Trigger could encourage synergy between party members. Using the progression system in Chrono Cross could properly flesh out challenge and alleviate grinding. Just make sure it doesn't overly restrict the player's strategy. Any Chrono game would be awesome at this point and a strong strategy RPG would be icing on the cake.


Dragon Quest

Considered a direct competitor for Final Fantasy for years, it is only fitting for Dragon Quest to get in on the turn based action. Combining a strong class system, great customizability, and a huge amount of lore, Dragon Quest is perfect for a strategy RPG spin-off.

This would likely be the most direct adaptation of Final Fantasy Tactics in terms of gameplay. Players would use a vast array of classes to engage in challenging battles that test your intelligence. While the classes and abilities will be different, the combat will remain similar to Final Fantasy Tactics -- without any major twists. That isn't a bad thing, however, as it allows the developer to polish something that works and create a strong product.

Story-wise, the depth of Dragon Quest's lore is strong and can create countless tales. The focus will still be on creating a strong set of characters, but Square can fully realize an engaging world. All in all, a Dragon Quest spin-off would be awesome.


Remember that Final Fantasy Tactics was successful because it showed Final Fantasy in a different light. It was darker than the main series and provided a gameplay style uncommon to this day.

These games can also pull off an amazing spin-off, but it will require breaking away from Final Fantasy Tactics. Strategy RPGs are amazing, and these spin-offs would truly be awesome.

Why Now is the Perfect Time for Square to Release Final Fantasy Tactics 2 Fri, 20 Jan 2017 03:00:01 -0500 Will Dowell

Final Fantasy Tactics won the hearts and minds of gamers in 1997. Its engaging story and layered gameplay makes it one of the best strategy RPGs of all time. Yet there has been no true sequel to this game. Yes, there are the Tactics Advance games, but they lack the challenge or mature tone that made the original so memorable. Luckily, now is the perfect time to release a sequel to Final Fantasy Tactics.

The Success of the Genre

A few years ago, people would say that the strategy RPG genre wouldn't sell in the current market. The shooters were riding high with the hyper realistic graphics and the RPGs were long and immersive. To the publishers, no one would buy a strategy RPG, even if it was attached to one of the largest franchises in gaming history. Now, the times have changed. Fire Emblem has received immense success with Awakening and Fates. Traditional JRPGs have also hit a resurgence with titles like Bravely Default turning a profit. The market has shown that these games are profitable and worth selling.

This success creates the perfect atmosphere for a sequel to emerge. Square has direct proof that these games sell and with how devoted fans are, success is inevitable. Final Fantasy Tactics could become another example that these games sell.

Final Fantasy Revived

Final Fantasy XV while not perfect, reinvigorated interest in the series. Many believed that after Final Fantasy XIII, the franchise should end. Now Square has built goodwill among its fans and can create support for a sequel to a cult classic. Final Fantasy XV has also welcomed newcomers who could support this game even further. With the newfound support, success is much easier to attain.

In addition to the larger fan base, the characters and abilities from the latest Final Fantasy can be used as either selling points or secrets. Taking the job system and providing a wealth of history to each individual class would create the customization wanted by many RPG players. This was done with Cloud in the original and Balthier in the remake. Creating more content by recycling the old can lead to a larger game.


The PlayStation era is now being regarded with the same nostalgia like the gaming generations before it. Kickstarter games such as Yooka-Laylee and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night tap into gamers' wishes for games that remind them of their youth. Final Fantasy Tactics already has a cult following, so there is already a loyal fan base. Reminding gamers of the past with a new RPG classic will easily become a success. Give them a game that captures the highlights of the original while making it accessible to the modern audience and Square may as well print their own money.

All the Options

Even if Square does not believe a console title will sell, the wealth of handheld and mobile devices make the sequel much more possible. The 3DS is still a success with a dedicated RPG fan base while the mobile scene contains a giant audience to market to. These type of titles require a much smaller budget than working in the AAA console space. That is not including the multitude of digital storefronts, where games of any size can be made and sold. Square does not have to waste millions of dollars when a smaller game will get the job done just as well.

Square has the environment and manpower for this sequel to be a success. With Final Fantasy XV regaining public faith and the market explicitly showing that this genre sells, now is the perfect time to release Final Fantasy Tactics 2.

Do you think the time is right for Final Fantasy Tactics 2? What other Square RPGs do you think should get a sequel today? Let us know in the comments.

The 7 Best Final Fantasy Titles You May Not Have Played Fri, 13 Jan 2017 03:00:01 -0500 Eliot Lefebvre

It's hard not to talk about Final Fantasy XV at this point, but then, it's hard not to talk about the series in general. With the first eponymous title having released in Japan back in 1987, you can expect the year to be full of celebration of Square-Enix's flagship series, the one that came before hearts and associated kingdoms, before the merged company was questing for dragons, and long before tombs and the raiding thereof.

But here's the fun part: Even if you've already played every numbered installment, you've still probably got some titles in the franchise you've never played. After all, three decades is a long time, and there are a lot of spin-offs, side stories, and connected titles that you can jump into if you're new to the franchise or an old friend.

Here, then, are some of the better titles that are also on the more obscure side. There are lots of spinoffs for the series that span mobile phones, handheld consoles, and various re-release formats, but these are the ones you might miss outright if you assume that Final Fantasy XV just had 14 predecessors.

1. Final Fantasy Dimensions

If you're an old-school fan of the franchise from the days of Final Fantasy VI, you may also be a fan who's loudly complaining about the fact that we haven't really gotten a direct sequel to the series' SNES history. But we have! Final Fantasy Dimensions came out in 2012, and it's really more or less everything you could want if you're a fan of the days when games were cartridges, graphics were sprites, and "blow on it and try again" was useful advice.

FFD follows the story of two separate adventuring parties, the Warriors of Light and the Warriors of Darkness, as they seek to understand a magical cataclysm that has hit the crystals (and, by extension, the world). Players can swap between numerous jobs for both parties, equipping secondary abilities learned by leveling jobs; you also unlock additional levels in jobs over time, and both Light Warriors and Dark Warriors earn new (and divergent) job options during play. It's a nostalgia trip for old-school fans and a fine way to while away time besides.

Acquiring the game: Some of the titles on this list can be a bit hard to pick up, but this one is going to mostly depend on your hardware; Final Fantasy Dimensions is available for iOS and Android mobile devices, but not for any console or PC platforms. It's probably best played on a tablet, but you can manage with a phone if you don't have a tab - and it's well worth the entry price if you can.

2. Final Fantasy Adventure

The Mana series, for most people in North America, seemed to have started and more or less ended with the excellent Secret of Mana on the Super Nintendo. What's easy to miss is that that game was itself a sequel to an explicit Final Fantasy spinoff, sort of a halfway point between the traditional gameplay of Final Fantasy games and the top-down adventuring of classic Legend of Zelda titles.

As you might expect, the gameplay still holds up remarkably well over the years, although what hasn't held up terribly well is the branding. Every remake of the game (and there have been several) tends to drop the Final Fantasy connection for one of several titles tying it back into the Mana franchise, which makes a certain amount of sense, but also means that you could easily miss that the game existed in the first place.

Acquiring the game: Despite the wishes of the fans, the original title is still not available on the various Nintendo Virtual Console stores, so you'll have to settle for the 3D remake Adventures of Mana on Android, iOS, and PlayStation Vita. Or you can hunt down the original Game Boy cartridge, if you feel like making more of a project out of it.

3. Vagrant Story

The answer of whether or not Vagrant Story is a Final Fantasy game changes depending on the day of the week, but the bulk of the evidence indicates that it is. The game never explicitly says where it takes place, but it's full of evidence that it takes place in Ivalice, and a lot of contextual clues support the idea that it's a sequel, in ways, to Final Fantasy XII. Considering that both titles are the brainchild of Yasumi Matsuno, this is not entirely surprising.

But even if you aren't totally sold on the connection, there's plenty to like within the game itself; it's a one-man romp through a complex city full of jumping puzzles, magical traps, and weapon customization. Figuring out the game's in-depth reforging system will take up plenty of time, and it will also be integral to properly dealing with the game's array of magical beasts. And if you like terse political stories about complex power interplays like Final Fantasy XII... suffice to say you're in for a treat.

Acquiring the game: This one is nice and easy; it's on the PlayStation Network, so you can easily download and play on a variety of different consoles and handheld devices. Although it's still a game meant for prolonged session play, so don't expect to load it onto a PSP and just pick up and go.

4. The Final Fantasy Legends series

While Final Fantasy Adventure is a title always included in the franchise that has later been excised, The Final Fantasy Legend was never part of the franchise in Japan. It's part of a wholly different series, the SaGa series which most people remember for going hideously off the rails into unplayable with Unlimited Saga. These three titles, then, are forgotten.

This is a shame, though, as The Final Fantasy Legend, Final Fantasy Legend II, and Final Fantasy Legend III are still really interesting games partly because of their weirdness. Even if they got into the franchise via backdoor branding, you can't really compare to the niftiness of a game that lets you install parts to turn your characters into cyborgs or evolve into new forms based on eating monster meat. They're far afield from the usual franchise, in other words.

(Full credit to GameFAQs for the screenshot.)

Acquiring the game: Unfortunately, this is going to be difficult. Final Fantasy Legend II had a re-release on the Nintendo DS back in 2009, but only in Japan; Final Fantasy Legend III, which may be the best of the batch, has never had a re-release since 1998. You'll need to hunt down the original cartridges and a working Game Boy to play through these, or resort to emulation.

5. Final Fantasy Tactics

If the only experience you have with this series involves the subtitle "Advance," you're missing out. Final Fantasy Tactics is a marvelous game that was still eminently playable long after its release, and its updated re-release The War of the Lions is an even better game, complete with a translation that hasn't been mangled beyond all comprehensibility.

Aside from featuring excellent tactical battles that pit players against a variety of terrain features and force you to think about aspects of jobs that you would have never otherwise considered, FFT features a complex, mature plot covering the rise and fall of nations while the player characters move on the periphery of huge events. It's a game that still has an active fan base and community nearly two decades after it came out in North America, and it's the sort of game you can lose yourself in for months... even after you've beaten it.

Acquiring the game: Fortunately, this one is easy; the remake for the PSP is a few years old, but the game is also available for iOS and Android devices, so you can doubtlessly find some way to play it.

6. Final Fantasy Explorers

Pretty much all of the titles on here are older titles, since many of them came out in a time when the game industry was akin to the Wild West, with no sort of central knowledge about what in the world was coming out for any given system. Final Fantasy Explorers, though, is just a year old, but it seems to have been largely forgotten despite that... which is a shame, as it's a fun game with lots to recommend it.

While the story is more or less purely an excuse plot, the actual gameplay is something of a fusion between Final Fantasy and the Monster Hunter series, with elements of Final Fantasy XI's baroque design. It also has a strong multiplayer focus, which encourages you to spread the game to your friends and farm up weird items together. That's always fun.

Acquiring the game: Again, this one came out in 2016; it shouldn't be too difficult to find. It's only for the 3DS, but since the 3DS is about as common as air molecules, that shouldn't pose a problem.

7. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

With the Final Fantasy VII remake on the way, it's a fair bet that Square-Enix has forgotten that the plot of that game was in no small part focused on how Cloud Strife wasn't a hero. He was some random dude pretending to be a hero for the sake of his ego. Harsh? Yes. But you can play as the hero of Final Fantasy VII; you just have to jump back to the prequel, Crisis Core. Which was released many years later, of course.

Crisis Core is an odd blend of turn-based and real-time combat set in the same world with a number of new systems derived from Final Fantasy VII's Materia system, with the story filling in the events before the start of the main entry. So you get all of the fun of swinging a huge sword without a hero who lapses into catatonia partway through. It's win-win.

(Full credit to the Final Fantasy Wiki for the screenshot.)

Acquiring the game: This one is only a few years old, but you'll need a PSP to play it, which might actually be more of a chore than finding the game itself. Gaming is weird like that.

5 Final Fantasy Games That are Better Than Final Fantasy XV Sat, 03 Dec 2016 15:06:06 -0500 Pablo Seara

Finally, Final Fantasy XV, the latest entry in the well-known franchise, is available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It is a game many of us have waited for far too long, and it is now in our reach. After playing the game for some time -- and enjoying it a lot -- our fellow reviewer concluded that it is a worthy installment in the Final Fantasy series.

However, it is not one of the best Final Fantasy games of all time. There are other games in the Final Fantasy series that are masterpieces. These include titles from the main line, as well as spin-offs originated from the franchise.

In this list, we are going to take a look at five Final Fantasy titles that are better than (and perhaps helped influence) Final Fantasy XV, from all consoles and all origins -- and in no particular order.

Warning: There may be spoilers for FFXV found in the following paragraphs. If you want to stay completely in the dark about Final Fantasy XV until you have had the chance to play it, tread carefully!

Final Fantasy VI

Final Fantasy VI is probably the best game in the franchise and the pinnacle of the classic JRPG genre. The final installment in the SNES trilogy, Final Fantasy VI excels in all its elements, from the story to the gameplay. It is a pure, unadulterated Japanese role-playing game. It has turn-based combat, an interesting and surprising plot, likable, deep characters and much more.

The story of Final Fantasy VI revolves around The Replicants, a group who fights against the Gestahlian Empire, which is led by Emperor Gestahl and Kefka Palazzo, the best villain in the series (sorry Sephiroth). The game has the biggest selection of playable characters in any FF game, each one with unique skills and traits. AND the title has one of the most memorable moments in gaming history: the opera scene.

Finally, Final Fantasy XV antagonists, the Empire of Niflheim, share many similarities with the Gestahlian Empire. Both of them are more advanced than the rest of the nations in their respective worlds, and they both use Magical Technology -- or Magitek. So, it is safe to say that Final Fantasy VI had some influence on the Final Fantasy XV. 

Final Fantasy Tactics

Although Final Fantasy Tactics is considered a non-main title for the franchise and is a strategy game instead of a turn-based RPG, it is considered not only one of the best tactical-RPG titles ever made, but also one of the best Final Fantasy entries ever made.

This series of spin-offs takes all the characteristic elements of Final Fantasy, like the monsters, jobs and atmosphere, and introduces them in a tactical role-playing title. It was first released for the original PlayStation, and later as an enhanced port for the PSP, with the subtitle The War of the Lions.

The story of Final Fantasy Tactics takes place in Ivalice, a world torn by war, political intrigue, religious cults and treasonous subterfuge. The main character is a young noble named Ramza Beoulve, who discovers a sinister plot behind all the fatal events that devastate the land. The game has one of the most complex and darkest stories in Final Fantasy.

Dealing with themes like death class discrimination and the miseries of war, Final Fantasy Tactics talks about very real-world issues in extremely relatable ways. It also includes dozens of characters, sub-plots and interesting, three-dimensional relationships, which add huge amounts of depth to the backstory.

Final Fantasy XV also seems to adopt a little bit of the dark atmosphere of Final Fantasy Tactics. However, its approach is completely different. Noctis and his friends are a cheerful group, who believe that the journey is better than the destination, and who make the most out of all moments, both big and small. Conversely, Ramza cannot have a moment of rest, and the events that take place in FF: Tactics taint his soul.

Final Fantasy IX

Final Fantasy IX was the last chapter of the franchise for the original PlayStation and marked the series' return to a medieval, fantastical setting after the previous two installments took place in more modern, steampunk worlds. 

Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of Final Fantasy, is especially fond of FF IX and has stated that this was his original vision for the series as a whole.

Final Fantasy IX tells the magical tale of Zidane Tribal and the Princess Garnet von Alexandros. The story, like many JRPGs, begins with a simple objective: flee Alexandria to the neighboring kingdom of Lindblum. During the small journey, Garnet changes her name to Dagger, blends with the villagers and learns from them. However, everything changes when they get to Lindblum and learn that her mother, Queen Brahne, has invaded the land...

What is more, crystals are very important in both Final Fantasy IX and XV. In FF IX, the Crystal World is the origin of life and contains the memories of the planet. In FF XV, Lucis possesses the last known crystal in the world, and it is the main reason for Niflheim's invasion.

Kingdom Hearts II

Kingdom Hearts originated as a spin-off to Final Fantasy, a crossover between the role-playing franchise and Disney. After the original Kingdom Hearts, it developed into a franchise of its own, much in the same way Persona did.

The first title was a great surprise, with a colorful blend of styles, an inspiring, beautiful story and an original gameplay mechanic. However, Kingdom Hearts II is considered superior in many ways.

Taking place one year after the events of the first game and Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, a title for the GameBoy Advance, Kingdom Hearts II expands upon the already convoluted (yet endearing) story, adding new worlds, new characters from Disney and Final Fantasy, different subplots and much more.

When Final Fantasy XV was first revealed as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, the gameplay was a direct evolution of Kingdom Hearts' system. After ten years and many demos, FFXV is now a very different game, but it still shares some similarities with Kingdom Hearts' combat system.

Final Fantasy XII

Finally, there is Final Fantasy XII, the most underrated title in the whole Final Fantasy franchise. It is a flawed game, sure, with a declining story, a pair of insignificant, unlikeable main characters and an MMO-ish combat that did not convince a dedicated group of core-players. But, surprisingly, this same battle system is exactly why a vast extension of gamers love the game. Truly, the battle system is the main characteristic that sets it apart from other Final Fantasy games  -- and what makes it extremely addictive.


Because Final Fantasy XII is the first non-online main Final Fantasy game to introduce substantial changes to the core gameplay, like gambits (automatic patterns), battles that take place in real-time, a licensing system, and more. This is very reminiscent of Final Fantasy XV, a game that separates the most from the traditional turn-based combat system the franchise is known for.

Final Fantasy XII also takes place in Ivalice and shares many similarities with Final Fantasy: Tactics. Both stories revolve around war-torn nations, focus mainly on humans and are rich and complex in their storytelling. Revisiting Ivalice in a more expansive, modern and developed setting was one of the big reasons why players fell in love with the game.


As you can see, there are many Final Fantasy games that deserve to be played if you are a fan of the series -- or just getting started! The main line of Final Fantasy games is extremely good, but there are spin-offs (and other series that share parts of the series lore) that deal with different (and sometimes dark) ideas in gameplay, settings, and story lines.

And while Final Fantasy XV is a great and wonderful game you should definitely check out, it was not able to reach the top of the franchise simply because it's competition was so fierce -- and good.

So, what do you think of these games in the Final Fantasy franchise? Are they superior to Final Fantasy XV? Tell us in the comments below!

7 RPG's all gamers need to play Thu, 23 Jul 2015 08:05:53 -0400 Fireboltz_7795

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Developer: BioWare


Publisher: Electronic Arts


There a plenty of awesome massively multiplayer online RPGs (MMORPG) out there, but I really like what BioWare did with this one. It’s classic Star Wars in a lot of ways. You can choose the Galactic Republic or the Sith Empire, but you have some freedom in how good or bad you are. The missions are what sell this game for me. Being able to work with other players from around the world to tackle certain objectives never gets old, plus it’s fun to fight them as well. 


These games are just the tip of the iceberg, and if you're like me, you're always wanting a new and exciting challenge. Give these a try, and let me know in the comments if there is another game that you feel should be on the list. 


Publisher: Games Workshop


Not all RPGs have to be played with a controller, and Warhammer is one of those games. This tabletop RPG started back in 1983, and is still popular today. This game uses a variety of miniatures, ranging from humans, elves, dwarfs, goblins, undead, and more. Like many RPGs, your class gives you unique bonuses and abilities. I must warn you that this game is highly addicting, and can be really expensive. If you have the time and the money though, it’s worth the investment. 

Chrono Trigger

Developer: Square


Publisher: Square


Chrono Trigger is a polished masterpiece. There is little wrong with this game, and it is often listed as one of the best SNES games of all-time, as well as one of the best games of all-time. The combat is great, the boss fights are great, and what makes this game so unique is that there are multiple endings available that are based on your actions in the game. So if you didn’t like your ending the first time, you have an excuse to go back and play it a second time.

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance

Developer: Snowblind Studios/High Voltage Software


Producer: Black Isle Studios


This game is another action RPG, but it uses a bird’s-eye view instead. The game has a lot of hack-and-slash feel to it, but you have to remember to check your health, as you can die very quickly if you’re not aware. You have three unique classes to choose from, all of which have various abilities and bonuses to each, making it a game that you can easily replay. Also, if you don’t want to switch a character once you’ve beaten the game, you can continue with your already super-strong character and repeat the story.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Developer: Bethesda


Publisher: 2K Games


It’s one of the best action RPGs out there, and you have the option to play it in the 1st person or the 3rd person view. The Elder Scrolls as a series has always been an impressive one. You can name and create your character, be good or evil, and have the freedom to do essentially anything you want. Oblivion took the series to the next level, with smoother mechanics and in HD format. If you want to start playing this series, go with Oblivion

Final Fantasy Tactics

Developer: Square


Publisher: Square


If you’re a fan of the game Chess, you’re going to love this strategy RPG from Squaresoft (which is still now Square Enix). Final Fantasy Tactics is one of those games where every turn and decision matters, including what characters you select to go into battle, and what classes you use. The classes were essentially your abilities with a specific character, and if you went into a fight with the wrong class, you could lose instantly. If you like using that beautiful brain of yours, this is your game. 

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

Developer: Square


Publisher: Nintendo 


This game is one of the few games that brought the best of both worlds. Nintendo and Square (Now Square Enix) joined up and made a turn-based RPG that became a staple for the SNES. The fighting system was excellent, the bosses challenging, and there were so many side-quests and collectibles to boot. It’s still one of the most well-done RPGs to date, and a must play for all RPG fans. 


The Role-Playing Game (RPG) has evolved over the years. There are turn-based, western, strategy, action, and many other forms and sub-forms of RPGs that players and gamers enjoy. Not every type of RPG is suitable for players, but there are definitely games out there that all gamers should play. Here is my list for the 7 RPGs that gamers should play. 

New Dissida Final Fantasy Being Developed With Team Ninja Sun, 12 Apr 2015 10:03:43 -0400 Shatai Melvin

Square Enix has announced at their special “Closed Conference 2015” event in Tokyo, Japan that their working on the next Dissidia Final Fantasy game which will be released exclusively for arcade machines. The other exciting part of this news is that they're working with Koei Tecmo’s Team Ninja, who is known for the Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden series.

This time around, the game will feature 50 characters, including:

  • Ramza Beoulve from Final Fantasy Tactics
  • Y’shtola from Final Fantasy XIV
  • Onion Knight from Final Fantasy 3
  • Terra Brandford from Final Fantasy 6

...and many more. The game will also be developed with next gen graphics. At the event it was announced by Sony Computer Entertainment President, Atsushi Morita, that Dissidia Final Fantasy is being developed with the PS4’s technology.

Square Enix and Koei Tecmo have already collaborated to release Dragon Quest Heroes 1 which is available for PS4 and PS3. They also have Dragon Quest Heroes 2 in production for PS4, Vita, and PS3. Dragon Quest Heroes 1 will launch in the West later this year for PS4.

Final Fantasy Dissidia is expected to be released fall 2015 in Japan to arcade machines. There has been no news of an expected console version at this time.

Love letter to the Old School RPG Mon, 10 Nov 2014 14:55:31 -0500 corey.holmes.568

Now I enjoy blasting faces off with rocket propelled grenades as much as the next person (in video games...of course), those aren't the RPG's I'm talking about.  Final Fantasy 6, Lunar, Breath of Fire 3, you know, THOSE RPG's.  I've spent countless hours on those games on those games, and it wasn't just me. My family and I MADE these mostly single player games into a whole social experience.

My brother Deron and I would talk ad nauseam about enemies we killed, new character animations we saw, Easter eggs planted by the developer that we discovered without the strategy guide.  My older cousin David and I would play FF6 and set the PlayStation controllers to control different characters in battle so it felt more like a multiplayer game.  My younger, more rebellious cousin Jamarl would play Shadow Hearts and revel in the main character Yuri's anti-heroism.  Jamarl also (through some brutal trial and error) walked me through Shadow Heart's timing based battle system; I completely fell in love, why isn’t there more hybrid timing based battle systems a la Shadow Hearts and Xenoblade?!

RPG's have mostly been social experiences for me, but what also kept me playing were the grand epic narratives, massive and gorgeously scored locales, and the little (and sometimes not so little) nuances in battle mechanics.

Right now my RPG's of choice are Phantasy Star Online 2, FFT for the iphone, and Xenoblade Chronicles.  I'm a gamer at the end of the day that enjoys a little bit of everything.  But Role playing games will forever hold a place in my heart.

P.S.  The Job System from FF1.  Replicated in so many other different genre games e.g. Team Fortress 2.  RPG's are clearly dabest...

Video Games in the Classroom: The Future of College Education? Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:26:05 -0400 PencilPusha

Communication has gone into the digital age, and eventually so will teaching and learning, as if it hasn't already. There are commercials all over television encouraging screen-based learning: for the little ones, (a K-12 alternative) as opposed to physically going to school, and things like and for those grown folks who need a little fine-tuning or help in certain areas like math or memory. Whatever happened to just taking a regular class at the local community college? It's the sign of the times: the technological times.

On, writer Jordan Shapiro writes that "[while] digital games will certainly never replace a great teacher, they are tools that can help teachers do their jobs more effectively." Teachers bring so much to the table: mentorship, the ability to relate to their students, personality, and the list goes on.

Could video games teach the children of the future?

Shapiro's opening sentence leaves a lot to think about: "We often think about game-based learning as if video games can become robotic teachers." As much as some of us might like them to, they can't. Video games can't teach us about the world and its pros and cons. What it can do is teach us about one or two things in particular or show us how a good story unravels.

For example, The Last of Us is ideal for an English class or writing class. It has plenty of gameplay open to analysis and it's full of literary devices such as ambiguity, flashback, foreshadowing, tragedy, and it serves as a visual allegory. The game is long and difficult at times, unfortunately, so for the sake of time and frustration, a gameplay walk-through video on YouTube would suffice (minus commentary of course). It'd make a great project and an interesting one at that.

Other examples would be SimCity and Final Fantasy Tactics. SimCity would be ideal for a Civil Engineering class, while Final Fantasy Tactics would be great for teaching strategy, staying a couple of steps ahead of your opponent, learning to predict movements and act accordingly. Shapiro believes that social impact is key. Without social impact, this idea won't manifest itself into something greater.

Shapiro brings up a great point in her blog:

"In my undergraduate college classroom, I sometimes require all of my students to play a popular game in the weeks immediately following a unit on Freud. I challenge them to analyze the game like a dream. I ask them to identify the latent content. We identify gender biases, the subtle differences between games aimed at boys and games aimed at girls. What skills are these games teaching? What conceptions of reality are they privileging?"

These are very interesting concepts and questions that would be fantastic for Gender Studies classes! With video games and education, the possibilities are limitless - and lucrative, too.

According to, ASU Professor Elisabeth Hayes says: 

"Game players often develop sophisticated technical and language skills that can lead to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers.  It's a hidden opportunity for literacy that we could take advantage of as educators and parents."

What better way to reach college students than through something most of them enjoy? And the fact that it will lead to a successful career makes it so much more appealing to not only students, but parents as well.

Shapiro also writes:

"We need more video game studies departments that are not about game development and computer programming, but rather about critical thinking. Not video game classes that analyze game design and mechanics — video game classes that are about analyzing the literature of gaming. We have film studies, now it’s time for video game studies."

So instead of playing games that sometimes do end up numbing minds, play games that stimulate minds to think, and think well. 'Video Game Studies' would give Humanities a whole new perspective, as well as college. Imagine being a Video Game Studies major!

Final Fantasy Tactics - A Fan's Perspective Sun, 25 Aug 2013 13:13:36 -0400 Leah Augustine

I was never a fan of the Final Fantasy series. An opinion that causes some controversy in certain circles, but after talking with my friend, Marty, maybe my opinion can be swayed.

Can you give me a little introduction about yourself.

"I’m just a guy with a penchant for digital entertainment."

What are your gaming experiences. How long have you been playing games?

"I’ve been playing games ever since I had the motor skills to reasonably operate a controller.  When I first started, not having any idea of the possibilities of what’s out there, nor having developed any specific tastes, I tried to get my hands on whatever I could. Anything new was always extremely exciting (a feeling, sadly, I rarely get nowadays...), despite its quality. But, before I knew it, the JRPG had constricted me with its… tendrils."

What would you say is your all-time favorite game?

"There are a lot of games on my list that would be tied for 1st place, because they’re all special in their own way… but, I have to say, Final Fantasy Tactics takes it by barely inching ahead of the rest."

 What’s it about? What makes it different from other Final Fantasy games?

"The storyline involves a lot of political intrigue, conspiracies, and ideologies, which makes it difficult to give a brief summary of. When I first played it, the intricate story and its weighty themes went way over my head, but, even with its fantastical setting, the serious tone still came through. I could tell that whatever was happening was significant. Also, if you weren’t careful, you could permanently lose important characters. Having to deal with pretty severe consequences for making poor decisions made this game very impactful to me as a kid. It was unlike anything I’ve experienced before."

 Why is it your favorite?

"It holds up. After all these years it’s still a great game that I can easily jump back into, and spend hours upon hours with. The complementary art direction and music, along with the chess-like battle system pretty much make this a timeless gem for me."

Would you recommend Tactics to someone who's not a fan of previous Final Fantasy games?


Maybe I will play it... if I have the time. Maybe.

Grab Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions for 50% off on iOS Wed, 05 Jun 2013 11:55:38 -0400 Kazemusha

To celebrate a recent update for Final Fantasy: The War of the Lions SquareEnix is offering the game for only $8.99 on iOS devices, 50% off the original price.

"Wait," you're saying "I remember my PSOne version of Final Fantasy Tactics fondly, but what is this War of the Lions business?" Well, Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions was originally an updated PSP port of the original Final Fantasy Tactics game. Back in 2011, War of the Lions was release for iPhone, and subsequently released in 2012 for iPad.


Screenshot from v1.2.0 of War of the Lions

What does your $8.99 buy you?

Well you get the full Final Fantasy Tactics game, with a few great updates. According to a post on NeoGAF, version 1.2.0 of Tactics includes fully updated graphics (compatible with higher resolution displays), and improved draw speeds for much smoother animations. No more fuzzy, blocky, sprites gallivanting ever so choppily across your iPhone or iPad screen; Final Fantasy: War of the Lions v1.2.0 is clear as crystal and smooth as silk.

FFTacticsWOTL Update

Look at that sprite, just look at it!

Oh, and one more thing. War of the Lions v1.2.0 also features iCloud syncing of game saves and data. Now those of you with multiple iOS devices can simply pick up and play right where you left off, whether it be on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.

What about you?

Will you be jumping on the chance to get this fan favorite tactical RPG for 50% off?

As always comment below, game hard, and stay safe!