This was posted on April Fool's day

Originally released in Japan in summer of 1997, fellow North Americans would have to wait another half a year to get their hands on Final Fantasy Tactics, which is still regarded by many to be one of the best turn-based strategy games available. The game opens with a curious almost How I Met Your Mother story telling session where a historian tells you a tale of the past regarding the world of Ivalice, warriors, swords, swords, and stones. It's a little cliche by today's standards, it was just as amazing as all of Square's other RPG's when it was originally released.

Next, you're guided through a somewhat unconventional character creation process where you create your hero and choose a birthdate. It isn't immediately apparent, but the zodiac symbol that corresponds with that birthday actually plays a massive role in the game. (Arguably too massive.) Practically every action you take in battle can be either strengthened or weakened by what amounts to a game of zodiac game of rock paper scissors running in the background as some enemies are weak or strong to attacks that align with a certain sign.

With that out of the way, you're thrown into a tutorial battle where the game teaches you the basic mechanics that will be used throughout the rest of the game. In a nutshell, you learn about units having different movement ranges, how the active turn system works, and how you usually want to avoid attacking units from the front as you almost always do more damage attacking from the side or rear.

Final Fantasy Tactics is really a game of menu mastering. Menus and sub menus are everywhere that allow you to execute all kinds of strategies as units can be equipped differently and can hold different jobs which unlock new/varied abilities. The depth of all of these sub-systems is impressive, and while you can coast through the early parts of the game mostly ignoring them, actually completing Final Fantasy Tactics requires delving deep in to the job system.

I'm not entirely sure how much more of the gameplay is actually worth mentioning in this preview. Final Fantasy Tactics served as a fantastic foundation that has been imitated by countless other games. It combines all of the mechanics you'd expect in a Final Fantasy games such as magic, loot, and experience with a turn-based system that focuses the entire game on combat. There's "world map" but it really only serves as a cleverly disguised menu to get you to your next battle. Needless to say, if fighting is your least favorite part about Final Fantasy games, feel free to skip this one.

The controls of Final Fantasy Tactics work well, although it feels a little backwards that the X button cancels while the circle button confirms choices. Other than that, hitting triangle brings up the menu, and square allows you to move the camera around. Alternatively, hitting the L1/L2 and R1/R2 shoulder buttons allow you to tilt, rotate, an zoom the camera.

The save system in the game feels a little antiquated, in the modern age of cloud-based storage and all. Regardless, playing the game will require one block on your PlayStation memory card. It also will require a PlayStation itself, as who knows when this game will finally hit the App Store.

  • http://jarinudom.com Jarin Udom

    Meanest. Prank. Ever.

  • http://morereasonsyoushouldntfuckkids.tumblr.com Chungyen Chang

    you got me. =(

  • Darkus

    You're dead to me, TA. >:(

  • Drogers12

    So, we have to use a PlayStation controller to play? How does that work?

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      You plug the PlayStation controller into your PlayStation.

      • http://morereasonsyoushouldntfuckkids.tumblr.com Chungyen Chang

        i lol'd

      • Adams Immersive

        This is a great battery-saving option that I wish more iOS developers would use.

      • Drogers12

        So then my iPhone is just like a little screen for the PlayStation? That's cool I guess - does MadCatz make generic connector? Apple's PSX-iPhone connector is probably overpriced.

      • Drogers12

        So then my iPhone is just like a little screen for the PlayStation? That's cool I guess - does MadCatz make generic connector? Apple's PSX-iPhone connector is probably overpriced.

      • Anonymous

        He was saying that to play the game you will need a playstation, because who knows how long it will be before we see it on iOS. He wasn't saying theres a connection between your iDevice and the playstation... >.>

      • Finex

        that dude was obviously joking but nice try

  • Anonymous

    You're a good man Eli. I'm totally not buying this now. Besides, just like everyone else, my favorite Final Fantasy was X-2. How did they know I've always wanted to be a JPOP Star!!!

  • Cowboysfreetyme

    I loled when I read shoulder buttons. XD

    • Anonymous

      lol, yeah, I was kind of skimming it and then saw that and thought "WTF mate?"

  • http://www.minimaxir.com/ Max Woolf

    Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is better.

  • Lulz

    Totally expected this TBH.

  • http://twitter.com/coolpowers Simon Windmill

    I think these have been my favorite AFDs this year, because they all stand alone as legitimate articles.

  • http://twitter.com/M_Foody Michael Foody

    This made me absolutely furious

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Erik-Thomas/100001214773968 Erik Thomas

    And how much is this one gonna cost? Since it's about the same age as FF3, but obviously has worse graphics than that reboot, I'm betting $20usd?

    • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

      Whats the logic? You haven't seen the final version in game graphics. This game was (essentially) ported to GBA, you think the graphics are going to be upgraded for iPhone? Come on...

      And by the way, FF3 on iPhone plays like a dream and looks beautiful.

  • Tyler

    RAGE! This is basically the only game I am waiting for... I got excited for a minute

  • Anonymous

    To celebrate this day, I just through my PSX copy out of the windows (5th floor). Great news!

    • E_Domina

      u realize this was a joke?

  • http://profiles.google.com/phatbhuda Eric Ma

    *cry*

  • Mkay

    I have a jailbroken Iphone 3gs + Psx4all... works like a charm...Kthxbai

  • Sesquipedal

    That was so good. I even messaged a friend who is OBSESSED with FFTactics and said IT'S OUT FINALLY before reading the rest of it lol lol lol.

    Thank you for a real APril fool's joke!!! Blizzard did alright as usual, but it was expected as usual.

    Hahaha @ the guy who asked how to play it.

  • Derp

    Everyone's getting trolled.

  • albert

    there are different grade of april fools joke. this one fall far, far below "arse wipe" level. don't quit your day job, if you are lucky enough to qualify for one.

  • http://twitter.com/tweetDAVEtweet Dave

    One of my favorite games ever. I do have the PS1 version, but I'm looking forward to the iPhone version with the new translation. The original translation was not great.

  • Anonymous

    Interestingly, the whole circle/x thing is because in Japan circle means "correct" and x means "incorrect" - pretty much all games released in Japan (up to today) use the circle button to confirm choices.

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