December 7, 2022

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private |  Ogre Tactics: Reborn

private | Ogre Tactics: Reborn

private | Ogre Tactics: Reborn – It seems that strategy RPGs have made a comeback again in recent months. The genre has long been sleeping in a warm slumber, but thanks to recent games like Triangle Strategy, The DioField Chronicle, Fire Emblem and a remake of Langrisser I & II…”. Bigger on its old titles.To surf as much as possible on the wave of tactical RPGs, Square Enix has once again dusted off one of the founders of the genre.No, there’s still no new Final Fantasy Tactics, but we can now enjoy Tactics Ogre Reborn: Remastered Edition From Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, a game from 1995 that actually got a remake in 2010 for PSP.

new copy?

So here’s a remake of the original, which might immediately raise some eyebrows. After all, a game that’s been re-released twice seems like an easy cash grab, right? Ogre Tactics: Reborn, however, is anything but that. Although much of the previous version has been retained, there are also enough changes that make it more modern and accessible. As a result, Tactics Ogre: Reborn can be played perfectly as a newcomer, but there’s also enough news for old acquaintances to justify a new gameplay.

The story of Tactics Ogre: Reborn has remained the same: we find ourselves in the Valyrian Islands, a kingdom that collapses in a rather dramatic way after the death of its king. Three factions (Bakram, Jaljistani, and Alistair) are now at war with each other for control of the region. In the midst of this conflict are Dynam, his sister Katiewa, and their friend Weiss, who are trying to start a revolution. What follows is an interesting political story full of plot twists and sharp moments. Furthermore, sometimes you have to make choices, which aren’t always morally black or white, so the story can go in radically different directions. Therefore multiple playthroughs to discover alternative stories are also recommended.

However, at first everything is a bit confusing: a lot of names and terms are thrown at you right away and you have to wade through this sea of ​​​​information. However, once you cross this initial threshold, an unforgettable adventure with deep knowledge awaits you. What’s more, this adventure is now fully voiced for the first time: you can choose between English and Japanese voiceovers and both options are excellent. This brings out the characters’ complex characters better and is a welcome addition to the package. Speaking of sound: the soundtrack has also been remastered, and the result is positive. However, it is not possible to switch between the new and original music.

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tactical expert

However, the biggest changes in this new version can be found in the tactile gameplay and way it is presented. Firstly, the visuals: they’ve been significantly improved, so environments and characters can now be admired in Full HD and that usually works quite well. Especially the stadiums, menus, and character portraits look a lot clearer because of this…but all that glitters isn’t gold. The sprites of the characters, previously made with charming pixel art, shine a lot more this time around. Some sort of filter has been thrown over the visuals, giving the vignette a “blurry” appearance. As a result, it stands out a bit against sharper environments, which could have been better.

In terms of gameplay, we are happy to report that Tactics Ogre: Reborn continues to be a great tactical RPG. Along with Final Fantasy Tactics, this game was also the foundation of the genre, so the expectations are very high. The gameplay has remained the same: you move your soldiers across a grid-based field and try to inflict as much damage as possible on your enemies during your turn to finish them off and win the battle. It sounds simple, but of course things are more complicated than that. A soldier can be equipped with different weapons and spells that – depending on his class – will deal more or less damage. Also, the character is tied to a specific element, which will then deal more or less damage against some other element. Yes, the system is very deep.

The gameplay is very smooth, because changes have been made here as well. After all, an in-depth combat system needs a clear battlefield with an intuitive user interface and that’s exactly what we got. The trajectory of your attacks is clearly marked, the health bars of the troops can be permanently triggered this time, and you will get more information about the efficiency of your attacks and more. All small changes, but together they provide a significantly better (and easier) experience. The game also has a frame rate of 60fps, which makes for smoother gameplay. The only “flaw” is the camera: you can’t move it freely, but it can only be rotated a quarter turn. You can move horizontally or vertically, but to switch through both perspectives you first have to return the camera to the neutral perspective, which feels clumsy.

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Advanced management

When characters survive a mission, they gain experience points, which raises their level. This all sounds very logical, but Tactics Ogre: Reborn has really undergone a major change here. Where you used to earn Skill Points (at a slow pace) that were tied to a specific class, characters will now level up individually thus unlocking skills. This has proven to be a very useful change, as it gives you faster access to certain skills, which also allows you to try different approaches more quickly. This version also received a lot of new skills, so that “old hands” can also start with new strategies. If you enjoy micromanaging forces individually, you will definitely feel like a fish in water here!

You can also grow your characters during battles: in this version, “temporary cards” appear regularly on the playing field that you can pick up. Blue cards give you a temporary boost while green cards give you a permanent boost. There is also a red variant that should be avoided because it has a negative effect. Please note: Enemies can also pick up these boosts and the revamped AI is smart enough to take advantage of them. You really need to keep your wits about you and use all the tools you’re given, because Tactics Ogre: Reborn is really hard at times.

However, if it’s too much for you, you can call on the AI ​​for help by putting one (or more) of your soldiers on autopilot. You can (if you like) let the AI ​​play entire levels and (if your characters are well equipped) the AI ​​is able to give you victory. We have to admit that the AI ​​sometimes makes… questionable decisions, but it generally gets the job done. Useful if you just want to focus on the story, or if you want to quickly earn some experience points. You will still have to manage your characters yourself: artificial intelligence simply cannot work miracles.

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As a fan of tactical RPGs, you will definitely have fun with Tactics Ogre: Reborn. After all, there is good reason to consider the original one of the founders of the genre. This ‘Reborn’ version is also more than a simple remake: the game has received many changes that make the experience more modern, dynamic and better. Then the sprites are a bit blurry and the camera is a bit clumsy at times, but we actually have a few negatives to say about this release. Be warned, though, that Tactics Ogre: Reborn is a very intense game: before you know it, you’ll be spending hours upon hours carefully outfitting every single character in your party, so you’ll be optimally prepared for the next battle. This is actually a bit of a commitment, because fighting is never easy, especially if you’re unprepared. Tactics Ogre: Reborn can be a bit overwhelming at first, but if you put in the time and effort, you’re in for a captivating fantasy adventure with deep tactical combat.

Played on: Playstation 5.

Also available at: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC.