New Release: Good news for fans of old-school RPGs! Pillars of Eternity has been released and is available on GOG DRM-Free

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (Game Boy Advance)

85
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
...
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.

Advertising Blurbs

"YOUR JOURNEY IS JUST BEGINNING..." promotional booklet:
    the fate of ivalice is in your hands.

    When Marche and his friends open an ancient magical tome, their small town is transformed into a fantasy-filled kingdom known as Ivalice. Now, Marche must take up the sword and master the arts of war if he has any hope of returning home. His quest will bring him face to face with his old friends from the real world. Ivalice has given each of them something they can never find in the real world. Changing the world back means destroying the fantasies of his friends. Can he bring himself to destroy their happiness to save his world?

    It's up to you to restore his hometown to normal... but do you even want to?

    • Certain spells have a broad area that they effect. Check the spell's effect radius, and target your spell so that you can hit the most enemies. Sometimes, that even means not centering your spell on anyone!
    • Know your laws! IF you don't check the laws before every battle, you could find yourself ill prepared for the fight ahead. After all, what good is a black mage when you can't use magic!
    • Check the height of your terrain. You can gain a serious advantage over your foe by claiming the high ground.

    Contributed by Joshua J. Slone (4617) on Oct 26, 2005.

www.square-enix.com:

    AN ANCIENT BOOK...



    Long before Noah built his ark, the tales tell of an ancient land called Kiltia... a world where swords and sorcery reigned.

    Its learning and power were swept away in the great flood, but one clue to its secrets remained: an ancient book known as the Gran Grimoire, hidden in darkness by the powers that once were.

    It is not certain how many copies of the book still exist, but it is said that whoever should hold one holds the power to change the world.

    Many lived out their days searching the world for surviving copies, but none were ever found.

    It was an illusion, they said. A myth-but one worth dying for.

    Our story begins soon after a young boy named Marche moves to the country town of St. Ivalice. Marche's family has had a difficult past, and it is all he can do to adjust to country life with the help of his new friends: Mewt, a mature but timid boy who often gets picked on, and Ritz, a stellar student whose strong-willed nature has made her unpopular at school. They are friends, though they barely know more than each other's names. But one day, the three of them come across an ancient magical book, and St. Ivalice changes forever...

    Contributed by Alrightya (312) on Jun 25, 2005.

www.nintendo.com:
    You can almost hear the collective drooling of RPG and Game Boy fans worldwide. As the inaugural Nintendo/Square reunion title, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance has a lot to live up to -- and it does, spectacularly!

    The long heralded Final Fantasy series has enjoyed a number of spin-offs and sequels. Using the familiar character types and classes of the Final Fantasy series, but with a wholly original storyline, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance creates an immersive world of strategic combat and conquest.

    Snow Job

    While most fantasy games favor romantic landscapes, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance slyly starts out in a plain-vanilla suburb. Players assume the role of young Marche Radiuju in the humble burg of St. Ivalice.

    A snowball fight introduces the characters and sets the groundwork for future battles. After a brief (but chilly) skirmish, Marche heads home to visit his younger brother.

    Marche Madness

    Soon after, Marche's friends drop by to show him an ancient book of mysterious origins. After failing to translate the text properly, Marche's friends leave for the evening. After a wistful slumber, Marche awakens and realizes he isn't in Ivalice anymore... or is he?

    Alone in a foreign land, Marche quickly comes under the care of a helpful creature known as a Moogle. It doesn't take much to convince Marche to adopt a lucrative career as a mercenary.

    Gangs of Ivalice

    A quick stop at the town inn introduces Marche to his new gang. A motley crew at best, your associates include low-level monks, mages, archers and soldiers. The only hope you have of finding your way home is to turn your ragtag group of misfits into a finely tuned fighting force.

    Begin your tour of duty by chatting up the local barkeep. He'll clue you in to interesting news bits, rumors and job opportunities. Due to your severe lack of experience, early quests are little more than errands.

    As you gain experience and reputation, your job options grow as well as the rewards. You can also send one of your crew members on side missions for extra swag. You cannot use these members in your regular quests until they return from their mission.

    Rules of Engagement

    Whether your quest is to fetch rare herbs or escort the local nobleman, you can always expect bad company. The battlefield is set up from an isometric 3D viewpoint, allowing clear view of every character in play.

    At the start of a match, you must choose which members of your gang you wish to take into battle with you. You have a clear view of the enemies before choosing, so try to match your lineup to your opposition.

    Final Fantasy Tactics Advance introduces an innovative Law system to the series. During every battle, an impartial judge decrees specific rules, such as banning poison attacks or physical attacks. The judges' unpredictability requires players to keep a well-rounded group of characters at all times.

    Technically, you can break the combat laws, but it is generally not recommended. Even if you win the battle, any of your characters who breaks a law is whisked away to prison. They can only be released after paying a hefty fine.

    Fantasy Fighting

    The battlefield is set up like a 3D chessboard, with elevations and terrain types. In each turn, a character can move a specific number of spaces and perform a single action, such as attack or using an item.

    Most strategy games employ either real-time or turn-based action. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance employs a speed-based system that is somewhere in-between.

    Characters still take turns to move and perform actions, but these are based on each character's individual speed ratings. Nimble characters like rogues and ninjas are usually the first characters to go and can usually move farther than other characters. The downside is that faster characters typically lack strong armor and health stats.

    Subtle details such as terrain type and attack proximity can have a direct affect on your ability to hit an enemy. Attacking an enemy from behind or the side will yield much higher hit percentages than head-on attacks.

    Job Fair

    What you do off the battlefield is arguably more important than what you do on it. Thanks to a stable economy, your characters can usually change job classes once they gain enough experience.

    Need a little more magic in your life? Try turning one of your grunts into a mage. There are more than 30 different job classes available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.

    Even in far-off fantasy lands, commercialism is a way of life. You'll be amazed at how quickly you'll end up spending your hard-earned greenbacks on shiny new stuff. Weapons and armor serve not only to boost your stats, but also grant special abilities to specific character types and species.

    While one sword might grant tremendous attack points, a seemingly lesser sword may give its wielder access to a special attack that can tip the scales in your favor. Thanks to the law system, one should never get too attached to a single piece of equipment.

    Face Value

    Gorgeous character illustrations and 2D sprites harken back to Square's 16-bit glory days. Each of the shops, inns, towns and fields is superbly detailed, with subtle background animations. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance maintains the series' stellar rep for technically and visually brilliant summon attacks.

    Uniquely, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance features three separate display settings, depending on whether you're playing on the Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Advance SP or the Game Boy Player. Each setting offers different levels of brightness, contrast and saturation to appease even the most fickle of gamers.

    The only thing that can rival the on-screen wonders is the audio candy. It is no surprise why Square Enix's soundtracks are the most sought-after in the video game community.

    Lasting Power

    Needless to say, there are hours upon hours of gameplay packed into this tiny little cartridge. Square Enix has done a tremendous job in creating an easily accessible yet incredibly deep gameplay experience. Plug into one of the finest strategy RPG experiences ever created with Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.

    Contributed by Xoleras (66142) on Dec 27, 2004.

Back of Box (U.S. version):
    The Fate of Ivalice Is in Your Hands.

    When Marche and his friends open an ancient magical tome, their small town is transformed into a fantasy-filled kingdom known as Ivalice. Now, Marche must take up the sword and master the arts of war if he has any hope of returning home. Guide Marche and his clan against countless foes in tactical combat and discover the wonders of Ivalice. How will you restore your town to normal... and do you even want to?

    Contributed by James P. Wong (2399) on Sep 26, 2003.