Now with more lengthy discourse

I’ve been taking a more and more concise approach to my writing the longer I work as a writer, trying to be more economical with my words and maybe not bore people with so many needless asides. That Odin Sphere stuff notwithstanding. But I guess I’m still stuck in my old habits, because I started writing about Final Fantasy Tactics yesterdays and suddenly realized I had drafted a 1500-word glurge. And then I did it all over again in Retronauts, except, you know, it wasn’t written.

I guess I just can’t help myself. I’m a sucker for certain games, many of which have Hitoshi Sakimoto’s music in them. This is not the sole commonality! But it is a common enough motif that I guess it would hold up to scientific scrutiny.

Anyway, that preview does include a few small tidbits I haven’t really seen mentioned anywhere else: A new translation is confirmed, rather than simply being one of those “Well of course they’ll retranslate it” things. The U.S. version will feature voice acting in the CG cutscenes, something missing in the Japanese game. The existing cinemas are beautiful but almost entirely silent, which combined with the technical glitches gives me the sneaking suspicion that the Japanese version was rushed out the door. It also makes me hope that some of the janky slowdown will be resolved.

(Coming soon to Japan: Final Fantasy Tactics: Shishi Sensou International ~ Zodiac Vocal Edition ~ featuring all the minor tweaks of the U.S. version plus some minor unique improvement to annoy everyone who owns a previous version of the game.)

Best of all is the fact that Balthier’s voice actor will be returning to speak for his cameos. Balthier is just about the best character ever created, and his vocal performance in FFXII was completely perfect. So this news is unspeakably rad. Blizzrad, even.

Speaking of Rad, I guess I won’t be making much use of him or Alicia or Lavian this time around since I’ve already leveled my starting Pimp Daddy Squad way beyond anything reasonable. As of now, they’re known as the Not-So-Pimp Job Request Squad. Sorry, guys. That’s what you get for teaming up with that turd Gafgarion.

Edit: By “beyond anything reasonable” I just mean they’re a few levels ahead of the average enemy grunt in storyline battles. That’s a marked contrast to my PlayStation playthrough, where I essentially plowed through the entire game with special characters without pausing to develop hired hands. I’ve somehow become a lot more methodical and meticulous about gaming in the past decade.

21 thoughts on “Now with more lengthy discourse

  1. So by “way beyond anything reasonable” do you mean “almost unlocked Dark Knight in the first chapter”? I was just curious how much time you were plugging into the import.

  2. Well, no, no Dark Knight yet seeing as I do have a life and a job. But the Pimp Daddy Squad is up to about level 12-13 average, each with a job or two at level 6. Quite a bit ahead of Rad/Alicia/Lavian’s level 8 and jack-squat for job mastery.

  3. Am I missing something? The DS FF’s (FF3, FF4, FF:CC)are in 3D, and this PSP FFT is in stretched 2D?

  4. Just wondering, does the atrocious PSP D-Pad interfere with enjoying the game? If not, it could be a reason to dust off the old PSP.

  5. Glad to hear it’s getting a proper modern Square Enix relocalization… But, I dunno, it still feels like Chrono Trigger PSX all over again. (Buy our great game again! It looks the exact same but it has a handful of pretty cutscenes thrown in!)

    The difference is that the sketchy noseless CG art design in the cutscenes here makes me melt every time I see it. Hey Square Enix! Make a brand-new FFT game using this art style throughout, and I will have your children and then sacrifice them to you!

  6. Every time I hear Balthier’s voice actor, I think about the Geiko Gekko…

    “Save 15% or more on your airship insurance!”

  7. This isn’t the first time an “export” release has recieved improvements…

  8. Thus the line about an International version. It’s been customary since FFVII for Square to refine their big titles for U.S. release, then re-release that edition in Japan with added bonus content. See: FFVII, FFX, FFX-2, FFXII, Kingdom Hearts II, etc.

  9. Are you really sure about the stretched graphics on PSP? Due to a recent Matsuno craving I’ve been playing Tactics on my 16:9 hdtv, and when its stretched across the screen the characters are super chubby–much more so then any screenshot I’ve seen of Tactics PSP. Also, a telling sign to me that Tactics PSP is not stretched is that the windows on screenshots only go to a certain length, and stop a ways away from the actual sides of the screen, whereas the old 4:3 Tactics character status windows went to the edge on both sides.

  10. “Thus the line about an International version. It’s been customary since FFVII for Square to refine their big titles for U.S. release, then re-release that edition in Japan with added bonus content. See: FFVII, FFX, FFX-2, FFXII, Kingdom Hearts II, etc.”

    Too bad they did not uncensor FFVIAdvance here. We all know how crucial it is to see our Celes get beaten up…

  11. Are you really sure about the stretched graphics on PSP?
    I had my doubts as well. The backgrounds are definitely stretched, the square grids are no longer at 90 degree angles. And the circular design on the character management is now oblong. The sprites don’t look stretched but they appear slightly fuzzy, while the 3D backgrounds are a little crisper (I think because of the PSP’s screen?)

    It’s not a straight port and it appears a lot of care when into the conversion but, as Parish says, it was probably rushed to retail. Why don’t the Japanese get more upset about being treated like beta testers?

  12. You would hope the 3D maps look better. The PSP does have texture smoothing and perspective correct texturing, after all.

  13. Yeah, the formerly circular, now oblong crest when you go into battles doesn’t say “proper proportions” to me.

    The graphics in general look worse to me, but I think part of that is the ghosting inherent in the PSP’s screen.

  14. Is it possible that maybe full screen 2D art assets, like the background in the battle setup, have been stretched, while things that needn’t be full screen, like sprites and maps and spell effects, have not been stretched? Still, why can’t the system handle a 10-year-old PS1 game? That’s the real question.

  15. *Reads the preview.* Oh, so Dark Knight is a new job class. Cool. And so is onion knight? Well… I’ve never played FF3 (and I don’t plan to) so I can’t say whether that’s good or not. A tank which can’t use skills? Interesting – I suppose. So are the job and skill system the same or have they been tweaked?

    And what’s this about being able to battle against (and with) other players? Now that sounds awesome. Not awesome enough to make me buy a PSP just for this game but still cool.

  16. “Why don’t the Japanese get more upset about being treated like beta testers?” Maybe because they get to beta test stuff that we never get to see?

  17. Tanks seem counter to the FFT approach, but that’s what makes them interesting. I think if you could knock an Onion Knight’s faith down to single digits and crank up his Brave to max, he’d be a fairly unstoppable force in combat.

  18. That’s actually a pretty interesting idea. Or what about slapping some reflect armor on your Onion Knight? I wonder if any of the new armor in the PSP version gives the Innocent status… But in both of those cases you’d have to look out for enemies with break skills.

    I suppose you could also use Doubt Faith on the Onion Knight. But in order for that to work both the Onion and the spell caster would need high faith, which is sorta not what you were going for in the first place.

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