The digital delights of Sony’s scrumptious PlayStation Network service know no bounds. Aside from letting punters compete in online gaming, stream films, browse the Internet and more, its premier attraction rests in the copious supply of downloadable games ripe for the picking. From PSN exclusives to PSOne Classics, minis and plain old add-on content, Sony’s online space is chock full of goodies battling it out for your hard-earned digital dollars.
Welcome back to another installment of Inside PlayStation Network, where every Monday – Friday we’ll pluck a PSN release—be it new or old—and put it in the spotlight for a thorough dissection. Fancy getting a new PSN game but don’t know what one to plump for? Perhaps this feature will help. Didn’t realize that a game was available in your region until now? We’ve got you covered. Or, perhaps you were musing over what those lucky Japanese folk were tucking into over in the Land of the Rising Sun? You can be sure our coverage will extend to those rare regional exclusives as much as those firmly embedded on the public consciousness.
Our latest entry shines the spotlight on Final Fantasy Tactics: War of Lions.
Developer: Square Enix
Region(s) available: Japan (PSN)
If videogames were comparable to a type of beverage, then Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions would very much be a posh bottle of plonk. Indeed, Square’s celebrated RPG-offshoot has aged very much like a fine wine, while other games of its time probably share more in common with a pint of stale beer down your local boozer. Strategically rewarding even by today’s harsh standards, War of Lion is essentially a tweaked port of the original 1998 PSOne outing, adding in all-new cut scenes as well as fresh character classes and playable heroes.
War of the Lions is sprawling affair, easily packing in 50+ hours of gameplay throughout its emotionally-charged tale. The game’s character class system is comprehensively designed, and may take a little used to figuring out all the kinks. Once you do, however, you’ll quickly find yourself managing your party with little to no problems. Everyone starts off as either a squire or chemist, before evolving into a monk, mage, assassin, and oracle among others. On top of that, there’s also a secondary job slot to fill, as well as various abilities plucked from various classes.
As you’d expect, characters will eventually level up after accumulating enough EX from battle. This also boosts your job classes, allowing you to purchase fresh abilities for them. New classes this time around include Onion Knight and Dark Knight; the former should benefit experienced players more than the latter, with Dark Knights more tailored for newcomers. Meanwhile, battles themselves ping-pong between excruciatingly difficult and supremely easy, making for a somewhat unbalanced difficulty. Expect to do some hardcore grinding if you want to stand a chance of vanquishing some of the mightier enemies you’ll encounter.
Elsewhere, War of the Lions supports both co-op and competitive multiplayer modes via ad-hoc, which you can access via in-game taverns. Here, you can take on a mate in a one-on-one duel or team up to tackle the invading monster hordes and gobble up loot to share. Obviously, things play out much more enjoyably (and fairly, for that matter) if both parties are at the same level. Otherwise, you may find yourself at a huge disadvantage to a high-levelled player in duels or find it a bit of a slog going up against bigger baddies thanks to your friend’s meaty stats.
Tune in again same time tomorrow for another butcher’s Inside PlayStation Network.