Customer Reviews: Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift
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on June 25, 2008

+Deep, strategic combat
+Loads of customization
+Crisp, detailed graphics
+Fantastic artwork
+Great music
+More incentive to obey the law
+It overall greatly improves on its predecessor on the Gameboy Advance


-Forgettable storyline
-There are some ridiculous laws
-No control over the camera in battle
-Battles can be unusually sluggish
-Tacked on Stylus Controls

In 1998, Square released a game called Final Fantasy Tactics on the original Playstation. In 2003 we finally saw the follow up, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. While the original game gained a strong cult following, Tactics Advance had a love/hate relationship with many gamers. With that in mind, Final Fantasy Tactics A2 is very much in tune with its predecessor on the Gameboy Advance. If you enjoyed Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, you'll more than likely enjoy this one. If Final Fantasy Tactics Advance wasn't your cup of tea, then Tactics Advance A2 doesn't do much to make you like it. It sticks to many of its conventions and in turn, suffers from many of the same problems. It's problems, however, don't have as great an impact, and that overall helps Final Fantasy Tactics A2 be a better game than the Gameboy Advance outing.

Final Fantasy Tactics A2 focuses on Luso, a school student who is geared up for summer vacation. Unfortunately, his lazy ways have made the teacher want to straighten him out and instead of beginning his summer vacation right away, Luso is sent to the library to help clean it up. While he's there, he stumbles upon a book where the pages are blank. When he finally writes his name in the book he's transported to the world of Ivalice where he'll meet up with a clan who agrees to help him find a way home. Essentially, your main goal is the same as the first Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, to find a way home. The story isn't all that great. It's fairly forgettable, as a matter of fact. However, where Tactics A2 falls in story, it makes up for in gameplay.

Throughout the game, you'll visit pubs which will display missions for you to undertake. Once you select a mission you'll have to go to the location and carry out the duty. When in battle, Final Fantasy Tactics A2 plays like most other Strategy RPGs. You'll send your warriors into battle, move them a certain number of spaces and execute attacks against the enemy. Battles can, at times, be a little sluggish. Even the simplest battles can last for a half an hour at most, but the amount of strategy needed is pretty deep. As is the game's job system which can really put a spin on how easy or difficult a battle can be.

The job system is easily the best part of the game. You can choose a wide variety of jobs. Warriors, Mages and Summoners alike. The job a character can choose depends on their race. For example, a Viera can't become a Soldier. You'll unlock more jobs based on how many abilities you learn for other jobs. Abilities are learned through a character's equipment. This is both good and bad. It's simple to gain ability points, all you have to do is finish a battle. However, learning abilities is a slow task. While most can be learned in one or two battles, the fact that most battles will take a while to finish makes learning abilities take a little longer. Additionally, once you start needing 300 or 400 Ability Points to learn an ability, it's that much longer. Along those lines, since it goes based on your equipment, it's not always a good idea to go into battle with the best equipment. In terms of strategy, Final Fantasy Tactics A2 emphasizes it more so than most Strategy RPGs out there. A slight hiccup in your jobs or abilities can cost you a battle. The strategy involved in the game is very in-depth.

Another feature that returns from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is the judge system. In every battle there are certain laws you must obey. To compensate, however, the judge also lets you have a privilege that will boost certain stats like strength, agility, etc. Breaking a law doesn't have nearly as harsh of a punishment this time around. If you break the law you lose your privilege and you can't revive any fallen characters. You'll want to follow the law as much as possible. Doing so can net you some bonus items, some of which are rare. The judge system works better in Tactics A2, but it still suffers the same problems. There are simple laws to obey such as not using a specific spell in combat, but there are still some outright ridiculous laws to beware of. In one battle, for example, it was against the law to miss the enemy.

The game also lets you use the stylus if you want. While the stylus controls seem like a perfect fit, they'll often slow you down. It's to the point where the stylus controls feel more tacked on than anything else.

Visually, Final Fantasy Tactics A2 is breathtaking. The battlefields are very well designed and colorful. The sprites are detailed as are the characters portraits. The spell animations are also pretty good looking, vibrant and colorful. What's even better is the games overall art design which is nothing short of fantastic. If there was anything to fret over, it would be that the game is isometric 3D and not fully 3D. This means that the camera stays fixed throughout the entire battle. You can't rotate it or anything and that'll become a problem when your characters get bunched up and you can't see them. The top screen is used to display the turn order by showing the sprites. It's detailed but the sprites also looks a little pixelated when they're enlarged on the top screen. Nonetheless, Final Fantasy Tactics A2 is an incredible looking game.

In terms of music, most of it you'll have heard before. Much of the music you here in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 is remixed from either Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, or Final Fantasy XII. Most of it is good music, although if you didn't really like the soundtrack to Final Fantasy Tactics Advance or Final Fantasy XII, you probably won't find this one to be too memorable either.

In the end Final Fantasy Tactics A2 is a better game than Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, but still doesn't manage to be as memorable as the original Final Fantasy Tactics. While it has a forgettable storyline, it's deep, strategic and engaging gameplay will keep the player immersed for hours to come.
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on April 2, 2009
I spent over 100 hours playing this game and all of its various side quests, and I only managed to complete a little more than half of the total missions. This game also has a Hard setting so if you're into this game, you can easily get your money's worth by purchasing it and letting it siphon months of your free time.

However, I wouldn't recommend it; after completing the first hundred or so missions you begin to wonder to yourself just how many times you have to clean an airship, deliver correspondence, help with the spring festivals, and other menial tasks. Don't get me wrong, it was awesome to be able to level-up by accomplishing such tasks. It's also a nice break from always battling foes, but is it really worth the trouble? Is it really worth trying to visit four different areas in six days, visiting different baby mamas while posing as your client? Is it moral?

Most of the time it isn't; the dialogue is incredibly drab and after the tenth hour I always skimmed the words. This is an unprecedented move for me, as I generally love the dialogue/storyline of Final Fantasy games. It unnerved me that I just couldn't get into this game.

However bad the storyline may be the battle system more than makes up for it. The classes, weapons, attacks, terrain, enemies, and laws are all incredible. I played this game mainly for the battle system, not understanding most of the reasoning behind why I was killing this bunny, aiding this witch, picking up this flower, or intimidating this blob monster. It had to be for the good of mankind right? I believe I was fighting the forces of evil, but I don't really know. People were paying me to do it, and as a mercenary you don't ask questions.

It's probably a good thing there was no morality gauge in this game. Before I knew it the credits were rolling and I didn't have to contemplate as to my noble/horrendous deeds I committed or my impact on this world. I knew that in the final stage someone was trying to kill me, so I killed them. And that's all that matters in the end, when you're offered a little supplementary income by a shady bartender who has a friend who has a friend who wants you to fight someone to the death.
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on July 26, 2008
In the same vain as its predecessor, Final Fantasy Tactics A2 welcomes you once again to the world of Ivalice where you are reintroduced to the various races/inhabitants of the world: Bangaa, Nu Mou, Viera, Moogle, and the Humans/Humes. This time around, there is the introduction of two new races and a series of new job classes as well.


For everyone familar with FFTA, you would know the worlds were rich with detail and color and the characters animated quite nicely out on the battlefield. Each race had their own appearances and features that made them distinguishable from the other races in the game.

FFTA2 retains its predecessor's graphics. While the game's graphical engine remains identical to its predecessor's, the special effects used for spell skill and tech animations are a breath of fresh air as they were all redone and appear quite flashy.


In the same vain as Marche in FFTA, Luso opens a book and finds himself immersed in the world of Ivalice. Most of the game is comprised of gameplay; however, the story slowly developes. While definitely not the highlight of the game, it is intereseting unless you found FFTA's story to be uninteresting.


Some of FFTA's music can be heard throughout the game. A portion of the game's soundtrack is all new. One of the boss themes were straight from Final Fantasy XII. The music is a light-hearted and beautiful symphony that creates its very own mood varying from battle to battle and scenarios/situations.

The sounds and sound effects are similar to that of FFTA. The same can be said about the sounds each character makes when they are KO'd, but with better audio quality.


The game has a 30-60 minute learning curve. Similar to FFTA, the game puts you in a tutorial scenario; however, the game immediately throws you into a real battle this time. It can be thought that the game may have somewhat assumed you've played its predecessor; though, still taking the time out to teach you the basics.

The game is FULL of customization. With the inclusion of two new races AND a series of new jobs (some including the "extra" job classes introduced in the Advance version of Final Fantasy V) you would be spending a lot of time customizing your clan members alone.

There are SOME new objectives present in this sequel. Some jobs may require you to pick up items on the battle field OR simply visit a series of locations on the map to complete quests.

The Law System:

Its back, but is a lot less annoying (or detrimental) to battles this time around. Rather than a character breaking a law and getting thrown into prison, this time around, your clan loses the privilege you choose at the beginning of the match. In addition, you are unable to revive fallen clan members for the remainder of a battle.


This fits into a truly replayable game. Even after the Main Game is complete, there is still more to do. Customization plays into being one of the hugest reasons to replay the game.

+This Game can be Played Over and Over!!! Better than Replayable
+Two New Races
+Many New Job Classes
+Improved Law System
+Varied Mission Objectives
+New Special Effects
+Great Music
+Some Cool Cameos

-Story May be Childish or Unappealing...
-This story was used before...
-The Graphics Engine was used before
-The changed method of inheriting new equipment and Job Classes MIGHT be unappealing
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on May 18, 2016
It is quite different than the original Final Fantasy Tactics, which I've been a fan of since it appeared on the original Playstation. I still find it to be quite enjoyable though, and very addictive. The storyline is much simpler, as it seems to be aimed toward a younger demographic. That doesn't mean that the strategy is less complex though. I have always felt that turn-based strategy like this is best suited to handheld consoles, and this game is no exception. it's a great game to pick up and play through a battle, even if you don't have a lot of time. Quick Saves make this even better. There are a lot of abilities to learn and classes to unlock, so it has a lot to offer for those who are completionists. I hope that they will make more games in this series in the future, most likely on the 3ds.

As a note, this game plays just fine on my New 3DS XL. You have to go back to the main menu to change brightness, which is an annoyance, but is true of all original DS games when played on the 3DS. If you are thinking you may want this game in the future, you may want to pick it up before it becomes harder to find (something that is becoming common with many RPGs and strategy games for the original DS.)
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on November 22, 2015
I found this game frustrating compared to the previous FFTA. The method of getting new weapons/etc. was more convoluted, which in turn made it hard to teach characters spells/abilities and thus in turn made it hard to get them into new jobs. I found it frustrating. While the previous FFTA was addictive, this one was not. The story, art, and music were all excellent though, as I've come to expect from the FF line. If you have money to spend and love FF games, this is worth a buy, but as a lover of FFTA, I would not purchase it again.
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on July 28, 2008
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance was one of my favorite games for the GBA (5 stars for sure), so I had high expectations for this game (3.5 stars). It's not a bad game, but it could have been much better. It feels like more good things were taken away from the series than were added to it. I thought that the law system in the previous game gave it more depth. In this game, it's more of an annoyance because only YOUR characters are punished for breaking the law. When the law is broken, you lose the ability to revive any KO'd characters, which can become annoying. The graphics and music are similar to the previous game. I often found myself thinking that some of the graphics for attacks in the previous game shouldn't have been changed, though others do admittedly look improved. There are significantly more missions than in the previous game, but a lot of them seem similar to each other or as though not much thought was placed into their conception. With so many missions, the main storyline and side plots can be forgotten easily (though they are not very deep). On the plus side, there are a couple of new races and several new jobs for each race to play around with. Also, this game has plenty to do in it, so it should keep you busy for a while (if you like strategy/rpg games). There's a lot more I could say about this game, but I'll wrap this up by saying that those who haven't played the first one will probably like this game more.
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on May 16, 2016
Played a couple of battles in this game and so far I am not impressed at all. I am a huge fan of the original Final Fantasy Tactics and this game is nowhere near it. Disappointing. I will continue to play it to see if the job system grows on me but right now the game is boring. I really want to like it too.
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on August 22, 2015
I was a big fan of Final Fantasy Tactics, but this game was not fun for me at all. The system have changed completely, and now you're just wandering around doing quests. I thought I Wouldn't mind this, until I realize that there is no excitement in just simply jumping from battle to battle if there's no purpose. It feels like an endless grind, which is why I stopped playing long before I finished the game.
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on November 25, 2011
I hate this game, but it wasn't for me. It was a present for my sister and she absolutely loved the game, I loved the price so I guess you could say it was a great buy all around. I have yet to have any issues with anything being broken or late.
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on November 15, 2013
As someone who thoroughly enjoyed the Final Fantasy Tactics series installments on handhelds, A2 satisfied that craving for turn-based strategy incredibly well on the DS. In comparison to previous installments, the game feels much more accessible to casual gamers (those who might pick up and play on occasion) but absolutely holds enough deep content to reward those who have played FFT before who may really want to invest their time finding every side mission and secret weapon.

The premise of the game is much more on the light side and feels something akin to a children's book at the start. But DO NOT let that stop you from trying out the game!! The story inevitably comes into its own and becomes more rewarding the further in you get. The battle system alone sets the game apart from most RPG's as well as how much fun the job system adds to fully customizing your crew of mages, soldiers, and archers (amongst many many other flavors of warriors). This game is great for long road trips or as a gift for the more meticulous and strategic minded gamer. I highly recommend giving this one a try.
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