What's the REAL Final Fantasy Tactics 2?
May 30, 2009 12:44 PM   Subscribe

What games are like Final Fantasy Tactics?

I've enjoyed playing Final Fantasy Tactics to an absurd degree, playing it through at least 5 times, including the side quests. I just can't seem to find another game that engrosses me in the same way. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance was too simple and the storyline was boring, to the point where I don't want to play FFTA2. Nippon Ichi's offerings like Makai Kingdom seemed like a grind-fest, where you easily beat a level, or else lose terribly, until you level up a few times, and then easily win.

Final Fantasy Tactics was (and is) great, a real challenge and tons of fun (excepting the absurdity of Orlandu and the Calculator class, of course), but I can't seem to find a spiritual successor to this 11-year-old game. Can you recommend any similar games that have come out in the past 2-4 years?

Bonus points if it's on Wii, Xbox 360, DS, or PS2. No game is good enough that I can afford to buy a PS3 or PSP right now.
posted by explosion to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (18 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
NIS's Disgaea games are pretty good replacements. I didn't really like Makai Kingdom, but I couldn't get enough of Disgaea, especially 1 which is available for almost every console. I think their first game "La Pucelle: Tactics" was less grindy than later games.

There's also the Front Mission games, which are similar gameplay but with giant Mechs. I seem to remember a new one came out/is coming out soon. Not sure for what consoles though.
posted by aspo at 1:25 PM on May 30, 2009

My BFF who is obsessed with FFT, but hasn't got a metafilter account, says:

"The unfortunate answer is that there isn't really anything there that captures the same level of enjoyment and feel. The only thing I can really suggest is the PSP version, which has new stuff and a vastly improved translation.

The disgaea games might be closer than makai kingdom, but they're all still grindy. Maybe the old Shining Force games, if they're available via virtual console or something."

Mind you, my BFF is a curmudgeonly old man trapped in a 26 year old's body. There might yet be something out there.
posted by Mizu at 1:33 PM on May 30, 2009

Yeah, Disgaea seconded. Nippon Ichi's stuff isn't really about grinding unless you make it so - it's about learning all the arcane things you can do in it and exploiting same for fun and profit. Also I guess Advance Wars and/or Fire Emblem? Fire Emblem (for DS) drove me up the wall with the party member perma-deaths, but... maybe you will feel differently?
posted by zusty at 1:33 PM on May 30, 2009

Maybe the old Shining Force games, if they're available via virtual console or something.

I was playing Shining Force II on Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for Xbox 360 today.
posted by soma lkzx at 1:45 PM on May 30, 2009

Also recommending Shining Force II and Front Mission. The former is an outstanding SRPG has stood the test of time, and the latter is basically FFT with motherfucking robots.
posted by Mikey-San at 2:39 PM on May 30, 2009

Eternal Poison on the PS2 and Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume on DS have similar characteristics.
posted by Verdandi at 2:42 PM on May 30, 2009

Have you played any of the Fire Emblem games?

They're top-down 2D instead of isometric, but other than that... Turn-based strategy, centered around individual characters, lots of pre-battle planning/management, branching class system.. all that.
posted by pokermonk at 3:09 PM on May 30, 2009

Dittoing Disgaea (the first one, at least) and the Front Mission on the original Playstation.
I wasn't as enthused about the PS2 Front Mission, but it may have just not been what I was in the mood for at the time.

Disgaea can be super ridiculously grindy if you want to do the optional stuff, but it's not hugely grindy to get the basic story ending.

For the GBA, Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis was superior to FFTA. Although leveling healers was a bit grindy IIRC.
posted by juv3nal at 3:10 PM on May 30, 2009

Dittoing Fire Emblem, with which I have been similarly obsessed.
posted by OolooKitty at 3:33 PM on May 30, 2009

I'm with you - I couldn't get into FFTA at all, as much as I loved FFT.

I got a lot of mileage out of Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn for the wii. The storyline feels similar(ish) to FFT, but FE games are notoriously difficult. The advantage of FE:RD is that you have an in-battle save function, which makes your life a hundred times easier when you're controlling 30 different people per turn and some characters die in one hit. Oh, and when they die? gone. Forever. As in ever ever.

Wii Virtual console just came out with Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen. I've never played it and haven't heard much about it.

I lost a good chunk of my life to Disgea. It's worth playing, but it is definitely a sillier game. La Pucelle is also fun, but I think inferior to Disgea.

Still, I've never found anything as fun as FFT, except that you could kill the end boss in two turns, but a randomly encountered chocobo would decimate you.
posted by OrangeDrink at 3:38 PM on May 30, 2009

Ogre Battle for N64 is pretty awesome. Search for "tactical strategy rpg" for more suggestions. The Front Mission games are great, too (substitute robots and machine gun hands for wizards and spells, you get the idea.)

Big fan of the Disgaea series, but it's a little different in some significant ways. And Fire Emblem drives me nuts. If a character dies, he's dead. That's not why I play video games, dammit.

Another great obscure PS tactical strategy game is Hosigami: Ruining Blue Earth, but good luck finding it.

Bottom line: FFT is unfortunately more unique than it should be.
posted by Aquaman at 3:49 PM on May 30, 2009

Grr, that's "Hoshigami".
posted by Aquaman at 3:49 PM on May 30, 2009

There is the free Battle for Wesnoth, but the focus is on multiplayer.
posted by mkb at 4:32 PM on May 30, 2009

Thirding Fire Emblem, I'm addicted to those games.
posted by InsanePenguin at 6:01 PM on May 30, 2009

Hoshigami was rereleased for the DS recently. I was really excited when it came out, but after playing it for a bit I didn't have any urge to continue playing, so I'd at least read reviews before I tracked it down.
posted by aspo at 7:14 PM on May 30, 2009

Valkyria Chronicles - but it's PS3 only.
posted by falconred at 12:15 AM on May 31, 2009

Mind you, my BFF is a curmudgeonly old man trapped in a 26 year old's body. There might yet be something out there.

That's me at 27.

Bottom line: FFT is unfortunately more unique than it should be.

I was afraid of that.

Thank you all for your suggestions. This will at least point me in the right direction. I'll probably check out the Fire Emblem series, as perma-death doesn't bother me too much. Front Mission seems good too.
posted by explosion at 7:11 AM on May 31, 2009

X:COM for the PC (1993, DOS-based. ) has a similar squad turn-based tactical game, along with a pretty enjoyable overland-commander game.

It has its flaws, and similar balance issues (Psi combat = Orlandu) but it's got that excellent blend of difficulty and strategy that holds up 16 years later.

There were 4 games total that I know of,
X:COM Terror from the Deep
X:COM Apocalypse
X:COM Interceptor

The first is probably still the best. Apocalypse I thought was fun but it was pretty universally panned, probably because of the laughably awful graphics and AI. Terror was ok but had some serious bugs for me. Interceptor I never played but heard it was awful, and it isn't even the same kind of game.
posted by spatula at 5:42 PM on June 1, 2009

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