Sold and outed

Perhaps not surprisingly, a few scans from some Japanese publication or another have been drifting around the Internet to reveal the terrible, terrible fact that Penelo and Vaan are putting in cameos in Final Fantasy Tactics A2.

I guess Balthier was too busy with the original Tactics to muck around with Ivalice continuity again, so they made up for it by lending Vaan his shirt.

And that puts me of two minds for this news: on one hand, I’m annoyed, because I’d really like to think the Ivalice games are good enough that they don’t need to pander — loosely-intimated connections between titles should be enough. (We’ll forgive Cloud’s presence in FFT since franchise-whoring was untested territory for Square at the time.) On the other hand, with Vaan’s horrible filth-encrusted abdominal carapace covered, for the first time he now actually looks kinda… respectable.

And now that I think about it, FFTA2 will need all the help it can get if it turns out to be as lousy as its predecessor.

19 thoughts on “Sold and outed

  1. “And now that I think about it, FFTA2 will need all the help it can get if it turns out to be as lousy as its predecessor.”


    My biggest problem with FFTA…besides the story, the judge system, the characters I wanted to stab in the face, the irritating marketing campaign, and its inferiority to the first game was that, while the clunky strategy interface was somewhat understandable and acceptable on a console, it wasn’t streamlined in any way for a handheld.

    A DS variation should made stylus support a “duh” in a half for at least quicker and easier selections within battles. If they can deliver a respectable performance there and *not* screw up everything else, we might have a winner.

  2. For once I disagree with you. I really liked tactics advance. It wasn’t as good as the first, but it was far from the train wreck you’re making it out to be. I think the only gameplay thing I would have changed was the judge rules. Besides that I think it was a pretty good game and I can’t expect the gba to be as good as the psx as far as music and graphics go. It’s definitely one of my favorite on GBA.

  3. Yeah, FFT-A was in no way as good as the original, but it’s hardly lousy. Aside from the judge system and a few clunky menus, I had 100 hours of fun with it.

  4. Yeah, I got a lot of time out of my copy, as well. I even completed all 300 missions, which really just goes to show how much free time I have. The story, though… I completely hated it. I don’t know if this one will have a plot, but I guess if it didn’t bother me overmuch in the first, it shouldn’t in the second. Plus, giant cockatrice.

  5. The problem arises when people keep comparing these games with their predecessors. Advance was never toughted as a sequel. Unlike Gunstar Super Heroes (which, in itself, I believe is a solidly goo game in its own right), Advance is an alternative take on the universe. And I dare say it’s way more polished than most other strategy/tactic games out there for the system…

  6. Bandwagon.

    I put in close to 100 hours on FFTA. It’s not as good as FFT, but it’s perfectly balanced for short, breezy missions. (i.e. portable play)

  7. I might be able to forgive FFTA’s when-not-lame-nonexistent story if the game weren’t so childishly simple throughout. I might even be able to forgive the utter lack of challenge if there were a decent story. But man, those two factors together are pretty potent.

  8. Aww, you didn’t like occasionally getting absolutely screwed by Judges in Tactics Advance?

    Despite that, I did LIKE the game quite a bit, so I’m really looking forward to this too. I’m just wondering why there haven’t been any Vagrant Story crossovers in any recent Ivalice-based games.

  9. My problem with FFTA was how easy it was. Enemies alway used only one jobs abilities (white mages would never have seconday skills, and only use white magic, monks only use monk skills, etc). Also, while you could play forever after you beat the story, the missions never got challenging. Also, the main battle music sounded like a truncated version of that song Belle sings at the begining of Beauty and the Beast (hey, I have 3 little sisters).

    The story did suck. I liked how the Pink haired girl was a bitch because she secretly had white hair. At least the other kids had better reasons (crippled, dead mother). It looks like the FF12 rts is re-using sprites from FFTA. I hope FFTA2 doesn’t.

    Gunner + focus + confuse shot is unbeatable.

  10. Jesus, what a stick in the mud, if I may be so foul. I loved the first FFTA, but probably because it was the only game I had for gba at the time. And I played it during one of my escort jobs (watching people, not felating them) instead of actually working. I think that even Urban Champion would have been entertaining if it were a substitute for that job. Then again, maybe not.

  11. I… I liked FFTA…

    I mean, it was pretty good for a GBA game, no? Sure, it wasn’t much compared to its predecessor, but this thing is running on a system with a miniscule fraction of the power of a PS1.

    The tutorial stage was brilliant, and the character designs were beautiful. As for the story, well, it wasn’t -too- horrible. One thing I found interesting were the parallels between Ritz’s white hair and the world that Marche created, where all the women had white hair. Plus, the whole snow theme, and the fact that the arranged album was named “White”. I dunno, it’s nice to know they tried, at least.

    And if you could find find it, that album’s actually pretty good. Just saying.

  12. I’m pretty sure the reason why people dislike this game so much is that they were expecting it to be a direct sequel of FFT. But please, this is the GBA. The same device that houses fine games such as “Pocket Dogs” and “Veggie Tales: LarryBoy and the Bad Apple”. Some level of simplicity and easiness is to be expected.

    Yes, it wasn’t the complex masterpiece that was FFT, but it was still an enjoyable portable strategy game. As someone mentioned earlier, probably the best for its system.

  13. How would a Risk Breaker job work in an FFT game environment? Regardless, Ashley and Callo should find their way into one of the future Ivalice games. With the mysterious power of Lea Monde backing it up, any nonsensical side quest/story would suffice. Heck, you could even throw in some of the victims of Lea Monde. They are undying, right? I ask for cameos because a sequel is too much to ask for.

  14. Other than Vagrant Story, I agree with Parish’s assessments of Ivalice games. FFTA was overrated when it came out and still is. It’s still fun and has that now expected SquareEnix polish insofar as translation goes, but it essentially did as much right as it did wrong.

  15. I dunno what version of FFTA you guys were playing, but the one I played was dull and creaky.

  16. It would be so cool if you changed the website’s name to “The Great Jeremy Parish Conspiracy”, I mean, now that you have co-writers it’s like an Ocean’s 11 type of thing.

  17. Don’t get me wrong, I racked up 100+ hours on FFTA. I am surprised that Square didn’t make it a yearly franchise with slight updates ala Megaman Battle Network. Since it has been a number of years, and the DS is so much better, it worries me that the game looks closer to the GBA version than the Playstation version. Remember when the GBA came out and everyone said it was 90% of a Playstation? and now the DS is out, i’d imagine that it should look as good as the PS1 game (lower resolution aside). It is for DS, right? Also, the enemy sprite re-use looks worrying. I got sick of the 10 or so types of generic monsters years ago. To anyone who has seen it, how rampant is the sprite re-use?

  18. As I never played the original Final Fantasy Tactics, I lack that standard by which to compare the Tactics Advance. Tactics Advance was a decent game, but it wasn’t even the best strategy/tactical RPG for the Gameboy Advance. That honor, in my opinion, goes to Tactics Orge: The Knight of Lodis. It had branching storylines, great summon spells, and a reasonably deep story.

    To answer Suto’s question, the basic units (mages and soldiers) look the same as in both Tactics Advance games. The big differences are in the brightness of the graphics and the swanky new battle animations and portaits. Does anyone know offhand who does that portait art?

    The world of Ivalice is a pretty cool one. I hope Square-Enix decides not to wring it dry over the next few years. For all I know, it might be too late.

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