|“Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis” is a Game Boy Advance turn-based strategy game. It is set in a fantasy setting, with bows, swords, arrows, and dragons. The main character is Alphonse (you can change the name) and he is a Knight of Lodis. Lodis is an Empire, comparable to the Roman Empire. In fact, it is almost EXACTLY like the Roman Empire. It conquers the world to spread the idea of Lodisism, it lets captured lands keep their own laws, as long as they don’t revolt, and their soldiers are equipped with tower shields and short swords.|
But anyway, Alphonse is a 15-year-old Knight of Lodis. He is sent with his friend Rictor to be a small-unit commander in a conflict between two different countries, a northern aggressor and a southern defender/subject of Lodis. On the way to leave, Alphonse encounters a fortuneteller, who asks him his name (which you can change), DOB, and asks him six questions. They relate to your personality, and are such as: “The Builder asks: Build which future?” and you can choose between Glory, Mercy, Freedom, etc. They apparently have some effect on the story, but I can’t see it. The rest of the story is kind of odd, and the characters you meet may not stay for long.
The REAL glory of this game comes from the battle system. It is a turn-based system, with a Grid Map, and all that. You can have as many as 8 troops of your side on the board, including Alphonse. Every unit type has certain spells, attacks, and movement speeds. It goes as any turn-based strategy, with troops moving a certain amount per turn. Melee-equipped people use melee attacks, and missile-equipped people fire bows at longer range, but for less damage.
After a battle, you get prizes and money (called Goth), which you can use to buy equipment and soldiers. When you buy a soldier, you can choose his/her element (Fire, Water, Wind, Earth-they interact with each other), and name them. Then you can buy armor and weapons for them. One soldier can be kind of expensive, but Troops can also gain levels and experience from fighting, and eventually can change class. The classes include Ninjas (move fast, can throw shuriken barrages), Wizards, Clerics, Beast Tamers (Male) and Dragon Tamers (female), Knights, and Soldiers. All troops start as soldiers, but certain deeds done in battle can constitute the ability to change classes. Also, certain deeds will get you Emblems, which are mostly used for show, but some are needed for class changes. For example, the Sniper Emblem (which, I think, is just for show) is gained when an Archer does a long-range high damage attack. The combination of Role-Playing Game and Turn-Based Strategy makes it one of my favorite GBA games yet.
The Graphics are done in the style of Super Nintendo Role-Playing Games (such as Final Fantasy Six), which is my FAVORITE type of Graphics. The special effects aren’t that great, though, but for a Game Boy Advance game, they are pretty darn good. Also, one of the best features of the classes has to do with graphics, specifically, how each class has their own “look”. For example, a Female Ninja has a traditional Ninja suit and a headband, while the Male Ninja looks more “Armored”.
The sound in this game isn’t great, having that “16-bit” sound to it-not tinny, but not great, either. When units die, they make a weird little groan noise, unlike the voices they do now for games such as The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (for GBA, not Super Nintendo). That is basically the game’s only shortcoming. Total Ranking: 8/10.
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