So the game industry has gotten to the point where we are remaking already existing remakes, huh? Tactics Ogre: Reborn is a remake of Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together for the PlayStation Portable, which is a remake of the Super Famicom strategy RPG game of the same name. The game follows Denam Powell, his sister Catiua and their friend Vyce as they are thrust into the middle of a civil war over the Valerian Isles. They will learn that life on the battlefield changes people; will you forsake your morals or will you do what is necessary to win this war?
If you’ve played any tactical RPG in the past 20 years or so, Tactics Ogre: Reborn’s overall gameplay will feel very familiar; I mean, it should, right? It’s what most tactical RPGs were inspired from. Grid-based movement, multiple character classes, elevated terrain, it’s all here and works exactly how you’d expect them too.
If you’re into tactical RPGs, then there's a good chance you love micromanaging and I’m glad to say that Tactics Ogre: Reborn has more than enough unit micromanaging to satisfy any tactical RPG fan. The player can alter a unit’s weapons, off-hand equipment, armour, accessories, spells, personality alignment and most importantly, of all the vast array of classes that are available, it means there is an almost unlimited amount of variations you can tweak before each battle.
Tactics Ogre: Reborn features a branching narrative which is very impressive when you remember that this is a remake of a remake of a Super Famicom game. Dialogue choices made throughout the story can drastically change the game’s plot and character dynamics. Combining this with the amount of micromanaging the game allows you to do and it leads to a near-excessive amount of potential replayability.
- The foundation of the tactical RPG genre still works fantastically
- Satisfying amount of micromanagement
- A branching narrative with a lot of replayability
Tactics Ogre: Reborn’s combat is pretty slow, even by tactical RPG standards. Battles tend to have way too many units on both sides, all tanking multiple hits before they’re defeated, which makes combat very tiring. I never got the chance to play the original Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, so I did a little research before writing this review and apparently the original was even slower. I can’t imagine how slow the original is if this is the sped up version.
Now this next complaint is not a fault of the game itself but the unfortunate consequence of me playing a remake of the originator of the tactical RPG genre for the first time after playing nearly 30 years worth of games that took direct inspiration from it. I’m afraid Tactics Ogre: Reborn lacks an identity of its own. Just about every tactical RPG I’ve played has taken an aspect of the original Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together and has done it better, the main one being Final Fantasy Tactics which makes sense since the original creator Yasumi Matsuno moved on to working for Squaresoft. Usually in cases like this, there’s still something that stands out and makes the game recognisable even among all the games that were inspired by it but in this case, Tactics Ogre: Reborn is overshadowed by all its contemporaries.
- Combat is slow and tiring
- Overshadowed by its contemporaries
Final Score: 7/10
Tactics Ogre: Reborn is a fantastic addition to any tactical RPG fan’s library but if you’re like me and missed out on playing the original back in the day, it may feel a little lacking. If that doesn’t bother you and you just want more of what you’ve already got, then you can’t go wrong with picking this up.
Thank you for checking out our Tactics Ogre: Reborn Switch review, thank you to Square Enix (via Bandai Namco AU) for providing the review code and thank you to our Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: