We’ve seen Final Fantasy Tactics clones before, and many of them are actually pretty good. However, there’s a handful of developers who honestly take that inspiration and run with it, which is what I see in the first few hours of Fae Tactics. A tactical RPG is first and foremost about its battle system, but this game also gives us a group of charming characters who ease you into its unique approach to the genre.
It’s easy to see where Fae Tactics took inspiration from, but there’s some fine-tuning that has been done here to make the SRPG systems easier to navigate. One thing that takes a few battles to get used to is the complete removal of an action menu. Instead, characters will take actions based on whether you select an enemy to attack, move, assist a teammate, or wait, which also activities a unique ability for each character. The automation of this makes battles flow wonderfully as your prime focus and can be on the battle at hand instead of getting lost in menus.
Some challenging aspects of gameplay are that the enemies also reap the same benefits of party buffs and magical spells. Luckily, the party isn’t capped at only your party members as defeated monsters can be captured and summed to the battlefield to use their attacks and buffs. This monster-catching system forces you to consider the enemy’s you are fighting and weigh them against party members who might be effective against them.
Each monster has their own strengths and weakness. Alternatively, they each independently level up after battle to become stronger. The only difference between them and your main party is that skill points can be distributed to the main protagonist, with upgrades to attack and defense. This system also grows after a certain level to include new ways to spend skill points.
I’m just going to be honest and say the battles are freakin’ awesome. I loved the range of abilities that you have access to, such as chaining together attacks, using skill card abilities, and navigating fun environments. Thankfully, the opening moments of gameplay focus on teaching you each of these systems, without being too overbearing, which I appreciated.
I should also mention that the game looks amazing. Character designs for the creatures and the party are reminiscent of classic TRPG titles that I grew up with. I’m glad that the developer has managed to streamline these systems in a way that retains the complexities of the strategical genre, but yet makes it approachable.
As I make my way deeper into the campaign, I’m interested to see how this battle system evolves, and the strategical depth that monster capturing system adds. Furthermore, I’d like to know more about the main protagonist, Peony, and what her motivations are. It’s the blending of both narrative and systems that will truly make this a stand out experience in the genre. As it stands, I’m looking forward to playing many more hours of this adventure.
This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate Noisy Pixel earns from qualifying purchases.