Ways Ogre is a landmark sport within the evolution of the strategy-RPG style, but it is by no means fairly obtained the appreciation it deserves exterior of Japan. A part of this has to do with the lengthy shadow solid by its directly-inspired and much-beloved youthful sibling, Ultimate Fantasy Ways. Regardless of receiving an unbelievable remake in 2011, PSP exclusivity as soon as once more restricted the viewers for Ways Ogre. Now, with the discharge of the HD and massively revamped Ways Ogre Reborn on each platform below the solar, Sq. Enix is taking steps to appropriate a long-standing injustice–though some quibbles with presentation and gameplay modifications hold this from being the definitive model of the all-time traditional.
Our story follows younger Denam and his sister Catiua, two siblings of the Walister clan. The Walister have suffered below the oppression of the ruling Galgastani for years, and a resistance motion has begun to type amongst them. What begins as a plan to avenge the demise of the siblings’ father snowballs right into a mission to rescue Duke Ronwey, chief of the resistance. However as Denam turns into a part of the rising resistance drive, he discovers the lengths that Duke Ronwey will go to advance his trigger, forcing him to make very troublesome decisions. Because the battle expands to contain neighboring states, Denam might want to discover his personal option to put an finish to the battle.
For those who’re aware of earlier works by director and author Yasumi Matsuno (Ultimate Fantasy Ways, Vagrant Story, Ultimate Fantasy XII), you will discover related themes right here: intertwining politics, ethical quandaries, class struggles, and idealism gone awry. Relying on the alternatives you make (together with some completely gut-wrenching, life-or-death selections) the story’s path–as nicely as which particular characters you may recruit–will change dramatically. There are many twists and surprises to expertise, enhanced by a mixture of an outstanding English script from famed localizer Alexander O. Smith and the addition of voice performing for cutscenes. The World Tarot system from the PSP remake additionally returns, which acts as an enhanced New Sport+: Upon finishing the sport, you may return to earlier factors within the story, exploring completely different outcomes and routes whereas holding your present character roster.
Gameplay is much like different grid-based strategy-RPGs: You domesticate and deploy a fastidiously chosen mini-army to battle towards a CPU-controlled squad by shifting across the battlefield and utilizing assaults and expertise to realize the higher hand. When every character will get their flip and the way far they will transfer is decided by a mess of things, together with stats, gear, buffs/debuffs, and what number of actions they took of their earlier flip. The effectiveness of assaults and expertise is equally affected by a large diploma of variables: stats, elemental affiliations, assault kind, and even which course you’re approaching from are just some of the issues that issue into essential decision-making.
What makes fight enjoyable is the sheer quantity of choices at your disposal and variables to consider–do you go in swords swinging along with your huge bruisers to attract the enemy in direction of you, or maintain again till your MP assets construct up first? Do you go for sustained smaller assaults on a goal, or attempt to weaken your foe with standing illnesses earlier than moving into for an enormous killing blow? Must you kill the monsters you encounter to acquire uncommon objects, or try to coach them to make use of their distinctive powers in battles shifting ahead? Determining a option to method every combat and executing your plans (or not less than trying to) is tremendously rewarding. And if errors are made, there is a option to take again significantly boneheaded strikes: the Chariot Tarot is an elective characteristic you may activate to “rewind” turns in battle and check out a special plan of action.
With the discharge of the HD and massively revamped Ways Ogre Reborn on each platform below the solar, Sq. Enix is taking steps to appropriate a long-standing injustice
However all of the rewinds on the planet aren’t going to avoid wasting you if you do not have a powerful military to start with, and build up a platoon of heroes to your liking is likely one of the most partaking and rewarding elements of Ways Ogre. There are a myriad of lessons to find all through the game–from style staples like mages, knights, and archers to fear-inspiring Terror Knights, undead-controlling Necromancers, and the projectile-specialist Fusiliers. Every class has particular expertise they will study and equip, however solely 4 may be assigned per character. You are not caught with a particular weapon kind in every class, both: all lessons have not less than just a few completely different weapons they will equip, and particular lessons can make the most of magic spells, too. This flexibility means it is attainable to have a number of items of the identical class with wildly completely different builds–for instance, you would make a ninja unit centered on a mixture of ranged bow assaults and ninjutsu magic alongside one other ninja character constructed for dealing debilitating harm with dual-wield melee assaults that inflict standing illnesses. Exploring the lessons and enjoying round with completely different configurations is tremendously enjoyable, and it is easy to spend hours micromanaging your digital troopers.
Including to this expertise are some revamped gameplay mechanics which can be brand-new to Ways Ogre Reborn. The methods for studying and using expertise have been streamlined tremendously, making it straightforward to maintain observe of what characters have realized and geared up. New expertise have been added, equivalent to a talent for some lessons that triggers a follow-up pincer assault when an opposing unit is surrounded and attacked. As well as, as an alternative of the complicated and cumbersome class-based leveling system of the PSP remake, characters now acquire ranges by way of a extra typical particular person EXP system the place every unit positive aspects ranges by way of EXP that carries over even after altering lessons. One other new addition, charms, are single-use objects that may enhance characters’ stats, elevate their ranges, and alter their elemental affiliations, supplying you with much more management over their customization. And if you wish to construct up the degrees and expertise of some items, you may select to enter coaching battles the place the chance of permadeath is mitigated. That additionally means no extra random battles when roaming across the map.
There are copious different modifications and quality-of-life upgrades to Ways Ogre Reborn: a trajectory viewer to see precisely the place ranged assaults will hit, the elimination of item-crafting failure, a revival system extra akin to Ultimate Fantasy Ways with a countdown timer on fallen items till permadeath, and having the ability to scout the battlefield earlier than fight. Most of those alterations are for the higher, however there are just a few which can be debatably worse. The addition of randomly showing buff and debuff playing cards to gather (or attempt to drive upon foes) on the battlefield is a neat thought, although it could possibly wind up making battles extra chaotic (to not point out messy after they’ve sprouted everywhere in the area). Expertise and Ending Strikes that used a useful resource known as TP within the PSP sport now all use MP as an alternative. This makes useful resource administration barely simpler, but in addition makes managing MP assets rather more difficult for sure lessons just like the therapeutic/tank hybrid Knights.
Lastly, one of many largest modifications is the introduction of a party-wide degree cap that solely will increase as soon as you have cleared explicit elements of the story. That is accomplished to stop you from over-leveling to beat story battles. Whereas it helps hold the problem degree constant, it prevents a participant that’s having bother in a specific encounter from grinding to assist overcome it, which they need to have the liberty to do in the event that they please.
The opposite main challenge is the visuals. Whereas the high-resolution character portrait art work appears unbelievable, the upscaling of the sprite artwork leaves one thing to be desired because it appears like a very unhealthy filter has been utilized. I bought used to it after some time, however in comparison with wonderful HD-2D reworkings like Stay A Stay–one other Sq. Enix title–Ways Ogre Reborn feels plain by comparability. Sure music alternatives have been redone, as nicely, however the emphasis on heavy orchestration takes away a few of the intense, melodic qualities of the earlier renditions. The flexibility to modify to extra genuine, pixely graphics or use earlier soundtracks would have been an important addition, however alas.
Ways Ogre’s intense tactical fight, in-depth character-building, and glorious storytelling makes it a must-play for strategy-RPG followers. It is fantastic that this sport is rather more extensively out there now, and many of the updates and upgrades make the package deal even higher. Whereas some would possibly balk on the $50 price ticket for a remake with an iffy graphical and sound overhaul, the very good technique gameplay and branching story paths will hold your consideration for a really very long time. Whereas it may not be an ideal remake, it is a rattling good one.