Ogre Battle 64:
Person of Lordly Calibur
System: Nintendo 64
Capabilities: Controller Pak Compatible
Ogre Battle 64, is the 3rd game in the formerly Nintendo system exclusive series developed by the fine people at Quest. The first Ogre Battle, was released in Japan first in 1994 on SNES by Quest, but Quest didnt wanna bring the title over to North America, but Enix managed to license the game and publish it stateside in early 1995 on the SNES. The sequel of Ogre Battle was named Tactics Ogre, and was only released in Japan on the SNES in 1997, but wasnt brought over to North America until 1999 when it was rereleased on the Playstation along with the original. But the 3rd title was released in Japan first, by Nintendo for the N64 in mid 1999, but Nintendo didnt want to bother with the publishing dollars to bring it over to the states, and when all was doomed for this title reaching here, out of nowhere, Atlus (known for not being a very supportive N64 publisher, with its only other N64 games, being two kiddie type snow boarding games), and after about a year long translation, this title finally reaches US shores in September 2000, is the long wait worth the strategy/RPG starving N64? Lets get onto the review and find out.
Well, I gotta say theyre really resemble Playstation quality, and only look like a bit bigger, polished version of the first Ogre Battle. But all the characters in the game, are easily to tell apart, and have quit a few distinguishing features like you can easily see the swords on the warriors and knights, and bows on the archers, and I gotta admit, these are pretty impressive for sprites. The main world map looks really great, and much like one off of Final Fantasy Tactics, with city names, and hand drawn icons for mountains and such, and actually, the world map looks much like an old pirates map off television, I hope that gives you a good picture of it, but whenever you go into a sub area map, you get these little, not so detailed maps of just trails, trees, and rivers, not really that impressive, but I guess it works for the game. So overall, these graphics really fit the game, but I was expecting more out of it, heck, even the graphics from the 3 year old Quest 64 (1997) are better than this, and these graphics actually can be pulled off on the Saturn in my opinion. But, rarely does the visuals of a game make or break a game.
Well, you got your usual RPG music here, which is basically an mid-evil soundtrack like all the other one, and it fits the tune of the game well, but theres only three tunes, one for the main world map, another for the sub area map, and another for battles, and maybe a couple other minor ones, and while the may sound really good, they do get repetitive. The sound effects for the game, yet simple, they work for the game. The footsteps sound like footsteps, fireballs sound like fireballs and so forth. So overall a really nice job done in the sound department.
First let me start off describing the battle engine for the game, which at first glance, resembles Final Fantasy Tactics, although controls nothing like it. The only thing familiar to it is during the game and before battles you can arrange battle formations in your partie(s). Instead of manually picking a command for each unit for your party like in Final Fantasy Tactics; you pick from one of three battle strategies at the beginning of the battle: Autonomous, Attack Strongest, and finally Attack Leader each option has its own strong and weak points, and you have to come up for which one would be the most valuable strategy for your party. Then your party members will do a few rounds of throwing moves and spells at each other automatically on your own, without you manually telling them to do the moves every turn, and the team who deals the most damage, or destroys the enemies first, is the winner of the battle.
You fight on a sub area map, and theres several points on the map, with colors distinguishing them being neutral, under your control, or under enemy control, your objective is suppose to liberate all the enemy controlled bases, and if there is, beat the main enemy stronghold and bosses. You can call upon more armies from your stronghold if your doing pretty bad, but if youre main hero dies, the game is over. For winning battles you gain experience points and extra levels, and unlock more to the game to play, and even added Tarot Cards to be awarded after key battles which unlock extra stuff in the game. This can be pretty complicating and tedious, but it all involves strategy and a lot of thinking than most of the other battles in other RPG games, and it takes a long time to get down.
Well, next to Quest 64, so far this is the 2nd only RPG on the N64 (actually a 3rd one will be coming out in 2001, some game called Aidyn Chronicles), but this game definitely is for more experienced RPG and strategy gamers than Quest, and unlike Quest, this game has 30 hours plus of gaming. So youll definitely be playing this game for a while, but once you beat it theres really nothing much extra to play for.
+: In-Depth strategic game play, Way better than Quest, Great Battle Setup
-: Really Complicated to understand, Saturn-era graphics and sprites
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 8.9
Replay Value: 8.2
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 8
Well, I gotta say, N64 fans have been dying to get their hands on this, and I guess it was worth the extra delays that took so long to ship this game for those RPG starved N64 gamers. And while it may have some drawbacks, they are forgivable, and you might not want to take the time renting this, because Atlus has only distributed a limited supply of this game, like only 200,000 copies, so if you find this rare game, dont hesitate picking it up.