Ever one to do things backwards, now that I’ve reviewed Final Fantasy Tactics A2 I’ve decided that this is as good a time as any to go back and finally finish its GBA predecessor. I’d played about 9 hours before losing interest back when it was released, but when I booted up my save file this week I had no idea what was going on in the story, or how I had intended to develop my party. So, back to square one.
Seven hours later, I’m surprised to discover that I like the GBA iteration quite a bit more than the DS version. Not that A2 is bad or anything, but I’m finding quite a bit of underlying substance to the first game that I didn’t pick up on when I played it in 2003. There is a good reason for this: Much of what I’m noticing now are elements that connect it to Final Fantasy XII, which of course no one had played five years ago. It’s a certain undercurrent of subtleties that I’m having trouble pinning down precisely (as well as obvious elements, like pieces of music that showed up again in FFXII), but it’s definitely there. Despite the insubstantial story — well, initially insubstantial, I should say — Final Fantasy Tactics Advance feels like it belongs to Matsuno’s universe, while FFTA2 feels more in keeping with Revenant Wings. Which is fine and all, but… I know which I prefer.
On a random amusing note, Nich left a save file on this cart which I’m keeping for sentimental reasons. Well, sentimental reason: He named his clan “Gamentia,” which is one of the terrible, awful, ridiculous names we considered for the website we were helping to plan at the time before deciding that our first instinct was correct and that we should go ahead and call it 1UP.com. Goofy, huh? But Gamentia still beats some of the other suggestions a think tank came up with for us. My favorite is still “Varnishing America.com” — apparently because if you look hard, it has the word “game” in there! Yeah. Money well spent.