Final Fantasy Tactics Game Review

Today Final Fantasy spin-offs are everywhere, but in 1997, the idea of a title bearing the family name that wasn’t part the mainline series was unthinkable. Not only that, but Final Fantasy Tactics, a historical and tactical role-playing game, bears few resemblances to its namesakes, save for a few Chocobos and oversize broadswords.Nevertheless, it emerged not only as one of the best titles in the series, but also of all time. A beautifully balanced and executed turn-based strategy game that matches its grand narrative with deep, rewarding mechanics. Battles take place on three-dimensional isometric fields that are overlaid with a grid. For each unit’s turn, you move a certain number of squares (depending on the character’s class and clothing) before executing an attack on an enemy unit. If your unit is a knight, you will need the target to be in an adjacent square, but if you are controlling an archer or mage, you can use ranged attacks from afar. Every action, from a sword swipe to drinking a potion, earns experience points (to level up your character) and job points (to increase their abilities in their chosen specialization). It is a classic system the likes of which will be familiar to fans of Disgaea et al, but rarely have these mechanics felt as solid and workable as they do here.Despite attracting widespread praise from the video game press for its plot, soundtrack, deep and involving game play and intricate art from Akihiko Yoshida, the game was only a niche hit outside of Japan, not making it to European shores until the superlative PSP re-release, subtitled War of the Lions. For this remake the game’s dialogue underwent a much needed re-translation from the original Japanese and, for this reason, the more recent version is recommended.When it was released, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance was unfairly assumed by critics and fans to be inferior to the original Final Fantasy Tactics (and its PSP remake, The War of the Lions). Unfairly because although the two games were ostensibly similar, they excelled in very different ways, and, while the Advance was perhaps too easy, it contained an infinite variety of strategy. This variety is most evident off the battlefield, in the way you nurture and develop your characters to maximize their abilities.Grimoire of the Rift returns to the world of Ivalice, modeling itself on Advance rather than the original Tactics. The battles are still too easy, but, as in the previous game, the real challenge is in how you develop your clan, steering them through the various character classes to pick up skills and combos that expand your tactical horizons. As in so many other games, the point is not so much beating the game, but beating it well, and with style.And visual style is something that is clearly important to the creators of the game. The precise re-creation of Ivalice is one of many delightful touches: The towns and villages and their inhabitants are as breathtaking as the cut scenes in which they are recreated during Final Fantasy XII, for example, and the lush jungle battlefields seem to teem with life. The style of the game, though, is the strategic equivalent of a free-roaming sandbox, giving players the freedom to go anywhere and do anything, choosing to follow the main quest or ignore it in favor of the auction houses or hundreds of subquests. This is nothing less than one of the most interesting realms in Square Enix’s long and illustrious history of world building.

The Relevance Of Online Gaming In Today’s Life

Gone are the days when little children played about in parks in the summer. The children of today’s age unwind by playing games on their computers or PlayStations. The gaming culture is no more related to children and has become a rage among all age groups. Internet has taken this world by storm, and the addiction is hard to resist. Online free games can be of various formats, depending on your personal choice. The categories to choose from are action, puzzles, adventure, car racing etc. These are an instant addiction and are hard to get over.Most of these are usually free, but some of these do demand a multiple user policy for which the players need to form a team. These multiple user games can be played using WiFi connections among groups in a particular area or can even be played by users from various different locations. Some of the very interesting features that they offer are state of the art sound quality which almost places the player in a make-believe world. The high technology graphics are other important aspects which attracts the users towards these online games.The games can be downloaded and then played where as some of the games require online assistance to be able to play the games. The games are generally multi level games and thus maintain the attention of the player by varying the difficulty of each level.Online games are becoming a current obsession of the game frenzy and technology savvy users. These players select the best games depending on the quality of the graphics and adventure level. The graphics almost makes it impossible to differentiate between the virtual and real world. With such progress in the online gaming sector, it is also a good prospect for an entrepreneurial venture.Websites to download and play these online games are mushrooming in the market and only the best can sustain the tough competition in terms of popularity. A regular gamer spends at least two to three hours gaming everyday on an average. Although the online gaming scenario is booming, psychiatrist all over the world are apprehensive of the effects of cyber games on the players. With so much of time and energy devoted to these games, the players are losing sight of the real world and slipping into the virtual world of the games. Hate it or enjoy it, cyber gaming is here to stay.

Dominion Card Game Review

Dominion is a fast-paced card game in which you race and fight with other monarchs in your quest to gain control of as much land as possible. To do this, you will hire minions, construct buildings, spruce up your castle, and fill the coffers of your treasury. All in the name of creating the largest Dominion in the known world!You are a monarch, like your parents before you, a ruler of a small pleasant kingdom of rivers and evergreens. Unlike your parents however, you have hopes and dreams! You want a bigger and better kingdom, with more rivers and trees. You want a Dominion! In all directions lie fiefs, freeholds, and feodums. All are small bits of land, controlled by petty lords and verging on anarchy. You will bring civilization to these people, uniting them under your banner. But several other monarchs have had the exact same idea. You must race to get as much of the unclaimed land as possible, fending your competition off along the way.In Dominion, each player starts with an identical, very small deck of cards representing the starting power of their nation. In the center of the table is a selection of other cards such as money, land, minions and buildings that you can buy. Through your selection of cards to buy, and how you play your hands as you draw them, you construct your deck on the fly, striving for the most efficient path to the land cards which contain the victory points needed to win the game.The gameplay in Dominion is pretty unique, yet is a surprisingly simple concept to learn. The core of the game is deck construction: building your deck of cards as you progress through the game, creating a fine-tuned engine that will help you accumulate the most victory points by the end.You start each round with a handful of cards from your customized and in-progress deck. In order for you to win the game, you have to make sure that the hands that you draw are efficient and effective. You do that by buying cards from the set of cards available on the table, each of which costs a certain amount of copper (ingame cash) to buy. As an example, it would not be wise to buy land cards (that give you victory points) early in the game, since they will just clog up your hand and prevent you from buying more cards or playing powerful actions.The available stacks of cards on the table usually contain a whole variety of card types. I say “usually” because 10 of those stacks are randomly selected from a much larger pool of cards, allowing for more replay value. You will have 3 types of land cards with different victory point amounts and 3 types of treasury cards that provide different amounts of cash. And the 10 random cards may include passive action cards, attack cards, reaction cards and cards that last for long durations.These cards will have a huge variety of effects that you can use to advance your strategy. You could buy cards that allow you to perform more actions, or cards that will let you draw more cards, or even cards that provides you with more cash in order to buy the very expensive cards. You could get attack cards that will interfere with your opponents’ strategy. There’s nothing wrong with stealing money from your opponents or forcing them to discard good cards. After all, all’s fair in love and land-grabbing!In the end, the player who constructs and uses his deck most efficiently will be able to accumulate the most amount of land and win the game. As you can tell, there is a lot of randomness in Dominion, from the random cards that are used to set the table to the randomness of your hand draws. This is therefore not a game where you can plan the perfect opening move etc, and might not appeal to every player. It is however a game that can be learnt and mastered very quickly, and a great way of easing new players into the Eurogames which require more strategy and planning.Overall, Dominion introduces a great concept in constructing your own play deck. With a couple of expansions already in hand (and with more to come), a whole lot of interesting cards are added to the mix all the time. With so many available cards with interesting abilities, each combination of cards will create a whole new type of game with different strategies, keeping the game fresh and entertaining. In addition, games very seldom last more than an hour, making it a great game for that odd hour of spare time.Complexity: 2.5/5.0
Playing Time: 30 to 45 minutes
Number of Players: 2 to 4 players (up to 6 with the Intrigue expansion)