Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire OfThe Rift is a tactical JRPG developed by Square Enix for the Nintendo DS and was released in 2008. It serves as sequel to Final Fantasy Tactics for the Game Boy Advance and it is part of the Ivalice Alliance Universe of the Final Fantasy. It was meant for the Gameboy Advance hence the A2 title but it moved to the DS. The game takes place in a different region of Ivalice called Jylland. Many characters from Final Fantasy 12 appear in this game. Thematically it has the usually Final Fantasy story themes. It has a much brighter atmosphere since it is set during the summer period. It borrows many elements from Tactics Ogre and from the first Tactics Final Fantasy.
(For a ds game it looks really good and imagine if it was on the switch)
The story focuses on Luso Clemmens who is in detention the day before summer break and has to help out at his school library. He comes across a half empty book and as a joke, he writes his name on it and then gets transported into the world of the book. Luso finds himself in the middle of a conflict and now he has to find out the origin and stop the fighting. As you progress through the game, more sections of Ivalice become available to you. You can get treasure from defeating the enemies and your mp starts at 0. You can learn many abilities from your equipment like armor, accessories and weapons. Before you start missions, you can choose which party member you would like to accompany you and what equipment would like before combat.
(Character classes of the game )
A feature carried over from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is the Law system where a Judge supervises the battle and imposes random restriction on the battle. If you adhere to the Laws of the Battle, you can get additional rewards. There are also zones in the game called "Jagd", where the Judges cannot go and fallen units are subject to Permadeath. You can learn many jobs in the game each with its own advantages and disadvantages. You can also send party members on training missions so they can improve their skills.
The art direction was pretty good and the graphics are very good and fairly detailed for a DS game. The musical score was quite enjoyable and much more lighthearted compared to the first Tactics game.
There were some pitfalls to the game. The story was really cliched but it was the Final Fantasy elements that made the game unique. The characters are as generic as the story. There were some characters from Final Fantasy 12 making cameos. The Law system was very clunky and unnecessary and the game could still have worked without it and the battles were pretty slow and seemed to drag on.
(Gotta love the art team of Square Enix.)
There isn’t a rotating camera so it just made things more confusing. The menu design was horrible with way too much micromanagement.
The game overall was a good tactical JRPG.
It gets 4 out of 5 stars.
If you enjoy Final Fantasy and RTS games, you will certainly enjoy this game. Ivalice could be seen again one day as the writer for Vagrant Story is actually working on a new script for a sequel.