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Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift

 

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift
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North American box art
Developer(s) Square Enix Product Development Division 4
Publisher(s) Square Enix
Director(s) Yuichi Murasawa
Producer(s) Hiroaki Kato
Artist(s) Ryoma Itō
Hiroshi Minagawa
Akihiko Yoshida
Writer(s) Kyoko Kitahara
Jun Akiyama
Composer(s) Hitoshi Sakimoto
Series Final Fantasy
Ivalice Alliance
Platform(s) Nintendo DS
Release date(s)
  • JP October 25, 2007
  • NA June 24, 2008
  • PAL June 27, 2008
Genre(s) Tactical role-playing game
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift (ファイナルファンタジータクティクス A2 封穴のグリモア Fainaru Fantajī Takutikusu Eitsū Fūketsu no Gurimoa?) is a tactical role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix for the Nintendo DS handheld game console.

Grimoire of the Rift is the sequel to Final Fantasy Tactics Advance as well as an iteration in the Ivalice Alliance.

Gameplay

Grimoire of the Rift uses an isometric turn-based tactics battle system. However, Square Enix further developed the game's grid-based system and increased the number of character jobs. Some enemies also appear in larger sizes, taking up multiple squares on the grid. The world map has also developed, with the inclusion of "area maps". The area maps feature multiple battle locations and a town, which work similar to its predecessor. Enemy clans also travel the world map.[1] The game differs from previous Final Fantasy Tactics games because one chooses specific missions from a screen. Some missions are central to the story and can be replayed until successfully completed. There are over 300 other missions in the game that may be replayed in order to level up the player's team. There are also random battles against creatures that occur on the map, which one can choose to fight.

The jobs have been expanded from the first game. Characters learn abilities by equipping job-specific weapons, armour, and items. Clearing battles nets characters Ability Points, which go towards the abilities in whatever items they have equipped. Once they have enough Ability Points, they can use the ability without having the item equipped by Mastering. Eventually, characters can use any abilities they've mastered from two different jobs.

Grimoire of the Rift is compatible with its predecessor, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. With Advance inserted into Slot 2, a player can begin A2 with the Clan Ability "Libra" already known. This ability is also available later through a mission in the game.

Plot

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Setting

Like Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, the game takes place in both Ivalice and St. Ivalice. Chronologically, the Ivalice portion of the game is set some time after Final Fantasy XII,[2] while the St. Ivalice portion is set around ten years after Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.

There are seven playable races in the game: Humes, Moogles, Viera, Bangaa, and Nu Mou return from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, while Seeq, from Final Fantasy XII, are playable for the first time. The Gria are a new race that has been introduced to the world of Ivalice.[1]

The main character, Luso Clemens, is a boy who is told by his teacher that he will spend the rest of the afternoon helping the school librarian Mr. Randell clean the library for things such as turning up to class late, etc. Luso feels that this is unfair as school ends that afternoon for summer vacation. His teacher tells him that he has to earn his vacation and he has a "lot of earning to do". Luso goes to the library but Mr. Randell is not there; he then finds an old book. The book abruptly becomes blank in the middle. After this, the book commands that the reader should tell/write the person who should fill in this blank. He then writes his own name on the blank page, "Luso Clemens," after which he is transported into the world of Ivalice. After dropping into the middle of a forest right in front of an infamous large Crushatrice called "Klesta", he is told by a warrior named Cid that if he wishes to live he should join his clan. Luso does so, and swears fealty to the clan in front of a judge, after which he is magically given the abilities of a soldier, complete with appropriate clothing.

Luso tells Cid that he probably should be looking for a way home, as his aunt will no doubt be worried about him. Cid agrees to help him find a way home, and Luso agrees to help other people and see the world of Ivalice until he finds a way home. Along his journey he meets Adelle, a thief known as "The Cat" and Hurdy the bard. Together they face off against Khamja, a mysterious organization that specializes in illegal activities and assassinations. They also meet the great mage Lezaford who tells Luso that the book he carries is the key to going back to his world, and that since Luso wrote his name in the book, the book has focused its power upon him. Lezaford then goes on to say that the more Luso experiences and learns, so does the books' power, meaning that if he grows enough, he will be able to go home. While adventuring Luso comes up against Khamja several times, with one of these times being against Ewen, a Khamja agent who casts a spell to bar judges from battle, making it possible to die and be killed. Luso also meets up with the infamous sky pirates Vaan and Penelo at different points as well: at one point he must save them from headhunters. The tension between Luso and Khamja escalates when Khamja steals back a silver piece of magicite that Luso had found in the Rupie mountains after the fight with Ewen. Luso's clan is then invited to the Delgantua ruins by a quest, only to discover it is posted by Khamja.

There Luso meets Illua, a powerful agent in the Khamja ranks. Luso manages to defeat Illua and Ewen (the latter possibly dies as Khamja do not employ judges and he makes no further appearances); however the journal he carries with him glows and Illua recognises it as a grimoire and tries to attack it, only to have the book deflect her blade. The attack however transports the clan to the forbidden land of Jagd Zellea and has them face the hand of a powerful demon. After defeating it Lezaford shows the way back to the main land which is found inside Lezaford's cottage in the Aldanna Range. There Lezaford reveals that the book Luso carried around with him is named the Grimoire of the Rift, and it is named so for opening rifts to other places. This is said to be dangerous as powerful things lay dormant on the other sides of the rifts (such as the Neukhia, one part of which was battled in the Forbidden Land) and can destroy the world if they are allowed to come through the rifts. The book also has the power to close the rifts, which would hinder Illua as she seeks the power that is held beyond the rifts. This is what the secret organization targets Luso for, they see him as a threat to both Illua's schemes and their illegal operations including assassinations and black market operations.

Later on in the story, Adelle leaves the clan. However, she is found by Luso almost immediately afterwards in the Kthili Sands. Unfortunately, she is not herself: her mind has been overpowered by Illua's will, rendering her Illua's puppet. She also uses a strange and powerful new attack she never used before when she attacks Luso and he tries to override Illua's mental programming and return Adelle to normal. This could also imply that Illua was after Adelle's hidden talents as well as the power of the Rift. Luso succeeds in awakening Adelle, and Adelle returns to the clan. This mandatory event also opens a side quest chain where Adelle can gain many such powers through a job exclusive to her.

Luso and friends finally confront Illua in Jagd Zellea and defeat her for good, however the confrontation shatters the barrier between places and a rift opens, allowing the Neukhia to come fully through the rift, instead of merely its hand. After he and the clan defeat the monster he finally feels he can go home. Luso bids farewell to Cid, Adelle, Hurdy, and Lezaford before finally returning home. It is then revealed Mr. Randell is Mewt from the first game. This is slightly different from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, in that Luso is not overly concerned with getting home, but rather focuses his attention on the opportunity he has been given.[1] Also unlike the previous installment, the main character travels to the real Ivalice, instead of a creation of his and his friends' desires;[3] this fact is reinforced by the reappearances of familiar characters such as Vaan and Penelo.

Characters

The story of Final Fantasy Tactics A2 revolves around the protagonist Luso Clemens, and his exploits in the land of Ivalice. Upon his arrival in Ivalice, Luso is joined by Cid, the leader of Clan Gully.[4]

The plot of the game also involves supporting characters that have been featured in games within the Ivalice universe. Ezel Berbier plays a supporting role, featured in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Vaan, Penelo and Al-Cid Margrace, a noble from Rozarria, are playable characters that are featured in Final Fantasy XII. Even Montblanc, who appeared in both games, makes an appearance as Hurdy's brother. Other characters include antagonists such as Illua and Ewen of a criminal syndicate known as the Khamja, and new characters such as Lezaford and Frimelda.

The three primary characters of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance are also referenced: Montblanc will utter part of Marche Radiuju's name if he is KO'd in battle; Mewt Randell makes a cameo appearance as the school librarian, and Ritz Malheur appears as an illustration at the game's beginning. Also, Luso makes an appearance in Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions as an optional playable character. Khamja being part of the Final Fantasy Tactics story in relation to the characters Marach and Rapha Galthena.

Development

A screenshot of the Esper Hashmal from Final Fantasy XII was published in Famitsu's April edition.[5] Other Espers featured in Final Fantasy XII have also been revealed in the latest trailers and magazine scans, including Belias, Mateus, and Chaos. The North American and European versions of the game add stylus control, unlike the Japanese version.[6]

Audio

The music of Final Fantasy Tactics A2 is composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto and other composers under Basiscape. Several compositions were taken from the scores of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy XII

Final Fantasy Tactics A2 Original Soundtrack is the soundtrack for Final Fantasy Tactics A2. It was released in Japan on November 28, 2007.

Track listing

Reception

Square Enix reports that as of May 31, 2009, Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift has sold 670,000 copies worldwide, with 310,000 copies sold in Japan, 240,000 copies in North America, and 120,000 copies in Europe.[7]

Granting an overall score of 34 (out of 40), Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu comments on the wide variety of missions, jobs, and skills that are available to the player. The magazine also indicated that fans would be pleased on the ability to customize characters. Famitsu criticized the lack of camera rotation and the shallow story.[8] The reception for the North American version has generally been positive. IGN called it "just as deep as ever. It's also one of the best looking DS games around."[9] GameSpot cited the game's presentation, musical score, and deep gameplay as its strengths. GameSpot complained about the game's slow battles, restrictive law system and customization, and steep learning curve.[10] Game Informer said "When it all clicks, Final Fantasy Tactics A2 is a well-oiled adventure combining good design and fun gameplay that any strategy/RPG fan will appreciate." The Official Nintendo Magazine said "It's a daunting prospect but there are rewards for the brave here. This is a classy, addictive and sophisticated RPG."[11]

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift was awarded Best Strategy Game for the Nintendo DS by IGN for their 2008 video game awards.[12]

Crystal Defenders

Main article: Crystal Defenders

Crystal Defenders is a series of turn-based strategy games that use units from Final Fantasy Tactics A2. The first iteration, Crystal Guardians, was released for mobile phones in early 2008 only in Japan. The second, eponymous iteration was released through various online video game delivery services starting in 2008.[13] Crystal Defenders: Vanguard Storm, featuring a new gameplay system, was released for the iPhone in May 2009.

See also


References

External links

  • Japanese Official Website
  • North American Official Website
  • European Official Website
  • official Website
  • Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift article at the Final Fantasy Wiki
  • Review at TechCentral
  • Illustrated Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift story
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