Friday, February 10, 2012

Such a sweet grind

I have written many blog posts about the pleasure I get from leveling up my party members in RPGs. The grind is however never as satisfying as in an RPG with a good job system. As I’m writing this I just watched the end credits of Final Fantasy Tactics and that game had the most fantastic job system ever. The ability to combine different skills from different classes is so much fun that the hunt for experience points never gets boring.

An example of one of the immensely satisfying combinations you can put together involves the Monk. The Monk is an all-around great class, but limited by his inability to equip armor. But if I temporarily turn him in to a Knight and level him up I will unlock a skill allowing him to equip heavy armor no matter his current job. Suddenly I have a Monk wearing heavy armor, pretty awesome. Another great combination involves the Ninja, a job class with a wide movement range which is important in a strategy RPG. He is perfect to send in behind enemy lines to get rid of annoying archers and magic users but will inevitably be attacked by the enemy when his turn is over. However if I let him spend some time as a Monk I can equip him with the counter ability. Now I will almost welcome those enemy attacks, especially if he spent enough time as a Monk to unlock first strike ability, allowing him to not only counter the enemy attack but to strike even before the enemy has a chance to.

I’m so happy I got to play this game since I completely missed it back on the original PlayStation. I played it on the iPhone and being able to level up my party whenever I had a free minute was great. The PSP port probably has superior controls but honestly it’s not that big of a problem in a tactics game. In an action game unresponsive controls completely kills the experience, here there is no time pressure so it doesn’t really matter.