Tactics Ogre: Japan still gets all the good stuff

Pardon the awkward site layout for the moment; the site is currently making the transition between old and new backends. If you happen to be awesome at XML and CSS, please let me know. Because I could sure use some help customizing this nonsense.

You should update your RSS feed, by the way. The old one is about to become very inactive.

Anyway, on with the post; this is it.

Some Square Enix reps dropped by the office the other day to give me my first look at the English version of Tactics Ogre, and it was as great as I expected. The game looks to recapture the depth and intricacy of the original minus the terrible load times of the PlayStation version (attack-pause-load-pause-ARGH) or the awful need for relentless grinding before each new battle. (Random battles have been added to the world map, FF Tactics-style, so no more training mode.)

I didn’t get to play the game myself since it’s still in that early state where the publishers are afraid to let civilians touch it for fear that it will explode and kill everyone, or whatever. But they made up for it by leaving a few sets of the Japanese preorder bonus: Tactics Ogre tarot cards.

These things are wonderful. The Ogre series has always incorporated Tarot arcana into its narrative — the Japanese subtitle for the remake is Wheel of Fortune, after all — and this version is no different. It begins with a personality quiz based around Tarot cards, and each suite has been newly illustrated by Akihiko Yoshida. The preorder bonus cards are in fact these exact illustrations printed up on glossy card stock. That makes them one of the best bonuses ever.

Unfortunately, Square hasn’t announced any intent to include these for the U.S. release, and that is a darned shame. My advice to you is to contact them and ask — nay, demand — your very own set of Yoshida-illustrated Tarot cards for preordering the game. Bonus points if you make allusions to death and hanged men.

39 thoughts on “Tactics Ogre: Japan still gets all the good stuff

  1. I have to say, I’m really digging the new layout.
    That aside, it seems like it would be a logical misstep to forgo bringing such a neat pre-order bonus to the US. People enjoy pointless (maybe less so in this case) swag with their games, so why not have some sort of gimmick to bolster sales? Still, I feel kind of bad that I’ve never actually played Tactics Ogre.

  2. Some simple WordPress advice: If you can’t find a good programmer, consider using the ThemeShaper template, which is bare bones, heavily commented, and has an entire modding community behind it. Second, be sure you implement work from a “child” theme, as this will save you a huge headache in the log run. Third, know that modding WordPress is a soul-crushing experience for most people.

  3. Yeah I’ve been saying for a while that this looks like the best pre-order bonus ever.

    Hey Nich! You and Jeremy are buddies so I assume you are reading this. Please make sure that Persona 2 PSP comes with a Megaten-themed set of Tarot cards illustrated with Kaneko demon art. Thank you.

    • you know, you’d probably have an easier time talking to nich directly in the megaten thread on the boards.

      • Heh, yeah, I should really stop being lazy and figure out how to get an account.

        Also I wasn’t seriously trying to communicate with him here (even if I do hope my pie-in-the-sky pre-order wish somehow comes true).

  4. “Tactics Ogre tarot cards.”

    Lucky! *applause*

    “Square hasn’t announced any intent to include these for the U.S. release.”

    Boo! Boo!

    Square’s reputation decreased one point.

  5. Wow. I’m sorry, I haven’t read the content of this article yet… but this new layout is gorgeous. Thank you for putting all the work into it, seems to have really paid off.

    • The new layout is more or less an off-the-shelf WordPress theme. I changed some colors and removed some needless image borders, but it’s mostly someone else’s work. I’m just happy that I managed to covert all 1,600+ existing blog posts over without too many issues.

      • Why does this system insist on listing my name as toastyfrog!? That angries up the blood for sure.

      • Perhaps it is channeling the way (some people?) I instinctively think of you as toastyfrog.

  6. Those would be great individually framed as art. I know if I just kept them in their case nobody would ever see them again.

  7. Cool preorder bonus. I mean, I already own a set of Tarrot cards, but it’d be cool to get ones with actual artwork.

  8. The original TO had FFT-style random battles, too. I found them ideal for when half your party is only 1 level behind the curve.

  9. Just writing to ask if the new RSS feed is intentionally crippled (only showing the first few sentences of each article), or if this is just a temporary configuration issue. I love this blog and click through on tons of articles, but crippled RSS feeds annoy me soooo much.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Deliberate, because I hate the way RSS readers destroy formatting and design. There are no ads on this site and I hope to god there never will be, so I don’t care about clickthroughs. But I do care about how the text I write is presented. Any RSS reader worth using is going to let you click through to view an article within the application itself, so it’s not like I’m demanding some tremendous inconvenient sacrifice here.

      • Indeed, one of the reasons I often click through is because the formatting is not right (the other is to see comments). But I like being able to at least skim the whole article before I do so. One click and load is minor, sure, but when I’ve got a zillion new things in my RSS reader, it makes a difference.

        But whatever, I’m not here to quibble about how you run your site. I’m here for your insight and perspective, and its certainly worth a bunch of extra clicks.

      • If the RSS reader is on a phone without a data plan or immediate access to wlan, then yes — clicking the permalink is an inconvenient sacrifice.

        I completely agree that RSS readers are poorly standardized and highly capable of mangling text and formatting. But depending on the permalink totally subverts the use of RSS readers for offline access to updates. If you want a feed, I think it’s best to accept the format’s limitations, rather than crippling what you do offer.

      • Man, that’s the worst. “Hey there, chef, I know you put a lot of time into preparing this meal, but there might be someone here who prefers to eat through a straw, so you should serve the food in purée form.”

      • Not a straw! I just have sloppy table manners and an unwashed pink Hello Kitty fork. Even if my waiter is vaguely uncomfortable and my date is hastily planning an excuse to leave, my use-case isn’t totally crazy.

        Anyways. The new blog look is quite nice, so I really can’t complain about RSS no-longer scratching my trivially minor itch.

  10. Looking at the new theme, I have some wonderful ideas
    – dynamic html instead of loading a new page every time
    – “turn page” animations while changing articles
    – tabs at the top of the “book” with the article names

    BUT I don’t know how to program them and I don’t have the time to look it up. :-( So sad.

    All of this is maybe too work-intensive, but it would make me very happy indeed if you could provide the “Older posts” and “Newer Posts” buttons not only on the bottom of the page, but also on the top.

      • You have to scroll down to find it. I would echo a desire to see a link to the forums near the top of the page like how it used to be; it makes checking for updates on the front page and then clicking to the forum much easier.

        – Eddie

    • “- dynamic html instead of loading a new page every time
      – “turn page” animations while changing articles”

      You’re a disgusting monster.

  11. These cards look really beautiful, hope they’ll get released outside of Japan somehow.
    Oh and I like the new layout, I only miss the cute slime header picture.

  12. I have been doing web development for 5+ years, and would be willing to help make a new theme.

    I do have lots of experience in making front end interfaces, especially CSS, XML,and PHP. I have never made a WordPress theme before, so no guarantees, but if you are interested then please let me know…

    Oh, and Tactics Ogre looks like it will rock! (gonna pick it up as soon as it comes out)…

  13. Meh… with my luck even if they released these amazing tarot cards in the U.S. as a pre-order bonus it would be LameStop exclusive. :( I already have it pre-ordered on Amazon.

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