Tactics Ogre: Reborn Review – Rebirth Of The Remake

This is eXputer's Review of Tactics Ogre: Reborn.

In the world of gaming, remakes and remasters have been a slippery slope. On the one hand, there are works of art like Resident Evil 2 Remake that expertly captured the charm and soul of their original equivalents. And on the other hand, we have titles like GTA: The Trilogy that didn’t perform particularly well, to put it mildly. In a way, it destroyed the reputation of the franchise. However, our Tactics Ogre: Reborn review will reassure you that this is not the case with this title.

This is one of the most cherished tactical RPGs of all time and for good reason. It has one of the finest narratives in a game of its kind, and its combat system is unique compared to others at the time. It also remains one of the most fondly remember titles in the franchise to date.

And seemingly out of nowhere in August of this year, Square Enix announced that they were going to remaster the game. Specifically, the current release is a remaster of the 2010 remake Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together. Yes, this is incredibly confusing, but thankfully not much else about the game is.

Story And Setting

Tactics Ogre: Reborn review

The story is set in a medieval fantasy setting on the Valerian Isles. It is a political tale set in an awe-inspiring world, filled with knights, mages, horrendous monsters, and everything in between. There are a multitude of characters and classes that fit right into this mystical era that I will touch upon later in our Tactics Ogre: Reborn review. 

The Walister, Galgastani, and Bakram are the three principal tribes that inhabit the Valerian Isles. These three factions are engaged in a power struggle to take the kingdom following the death of King Dorgalua, who ruled over the Isles with a great vision. The Walister Clan members Denam and Catiua are two of the primary characters in the story, and the two siblings seek revenge against the Bakram for imprisoning their father.

During the opening sequence, we can see Denam and Catiua, along with their friend Vyce, attacking the Black Knights of Lodis. After the scramble, it is revealed that the Walisters had misrecognized Lans Hamilton for Lans Tarate of Lodis, who was involved in the imprisonment of Denam’s father. Hamilton and his mercenary crew join the group under the guise of Walister Liberation Front, with the aim of liberating the Valerian Isles

This is a story of politics, a story that exposes the turmoil and tragedies of war for all to witness. It skillfully illustrates a timeless lesson of how the pursuit of power can split families and nations. Beyond this brief overview, it is difficult to discuss the plot in more detail without giving away major plot points.

There are several diverging pathways in the game, each with its own unique lore. There are three main routes you can go in the long run, and each decision you make will have an impact on it. The world-building in the game is given a great deal of life thanks to the early introduction of numerous groups and factions. It seems like there are other parties involved in the conflict, and each side has its own set of principles that serve as justification for its acts.

Tactics Ogre: Reborn review

The addition of several factions enhances the game’s universe, but it also has drawbacks. Most of these factions and their territories are initially merely names without any associated characters for the players to connect with. Without creating associations, keeping track of all of these elements might become challenging. Nevertheless, everything is handled extremely well because there is a lot to convey and the plot must start somewhere.

While this is not a criticism in any way, it is still worth mentioning that the character development of characters other than our three protagonists, Denam, Catiua, and Vyce, falls pale in comparison. The game intensifies its exploration of its leading characters because it recognizes that they are the main draw That isn’t to say that the supporting characters do not have good character development -they do, but it isn’t at the same caliber as the protagonists. 


Tactics Ogre: Reborn review

In this section of our Tactics Ogre: Reborn review, we will discuss the elements that make up the gameplay. This title features a tactical RPG combat system, and battles take place on three-dimensional isometric battlefields that are divided into grids. It has a turn-based combat system and gives the players multiple options to choose from. Players can move characters around on the battlefield grid and perform different actions such as attacking or defending. At every turn, players must carefully consider each character’s move options before watching the battle unfold without the option of intervening mid-turn.

To make them more accessible, the menus and user interface have been reworked from the ground up. It is now very user-friendly, with all pertinent information displayed clearly on the screen. This is a significant improvement over its predecessors, which had slightly more complex menus. There are also a ton of other changes, some not as good as the others, that I will go over now.

Players now have the option to ‘Scout’ the battlefield. As the name suggests, this gives you the option to look around the battlefield and plan your moves accordingly. This is a huge quality of life improvement, as in the previous iterations your entire attack strategy could fail just because of one offscreen enemy. But that is no longer the case as you can view all of the enemy placements on the map.

The overall pace of the battles is much quicker now as well, partly thanks to the tarot card system introduced in the game. The tarot cards add a bit of randomness to the battles, with different types of cards that can spawn on the ground. Players should prioritize the collection of these cards as they can easily shift the tide of the battle.

The effects of these tarot cards depend on the type of the card itself. Green tarot cards permanently boost the stats of the unit that picks it up, while blue tarot cards give buffs like higher attack damage or improved defense, and red tarot cards remove the effects of these buffs. The buffs or debuffs only last for the duration of the battle and are not permanent. The effects of the green tarot cards are however permanent. Also, keep in mind that you can only have up to 4 buffs active at a time.

This mechanic helps combat more than one would think. It cuts down drastically on the encounter duration because enhanced units need fewer hits to take down an adversary. Due to how swift and fast-paced encounters are, this keeps the players engaged. It is especially helpful when the opposition has control over a favorable location or when you are up against a formidable foe with a sizable health pool.

Speaking of stronger opponents, the game’s balancing strategy is interesting, to say the least. Tactics Ogre: Reborn revamped the leveling system in the game. Like any other JRPG, you can level up your party members through winning battles, but this time around a brand-new mechanic called a team level has been included. This ensures that you are at the proper level for each chapter by including a soft cap on all of your party members’ levels for each chapter of the story. 

You cannot level your units beyond this soft cap until you progress the story. This implies that you will lose any experience points you gain after hitting the cap for a particular chapter. This was done to prevent people from grinding and making the game dull and boring. The emphasis is on using tactics and strategies to overcome obstacles rather than using power to force your way past them.

Some players really appreciated this update because it makes you reflect on every interaction, while others seemed to dislike it. Personally, I think this approach works well with the game. The experience is much more streamlined because players can play the game at the intended degree of difficulty. The game has no option to choose the difficulty as a result of the addition of this new feature. There is only one fixed level of difficulty that you cannot alter.

Thanks to another change, the grinding in the game is further trivialized. As opposed to the previous titles where only the surviving units after a battle would get experience points, now all the units that participated in a battle will gain them as well. This change is really helpful for players as they no longer need to spend time in order to level up weaker units in their party.

The 1995 version of Tactics Ogre had a mechanic for permanent death. The community generally disapproved of this, however, it has since been changed. Permanent death can now be avoided thanks to the inclusion of a timer. The pace of the actual combat itself was another enhancement in quality of life. In the event that combat grows stale, players can now speed it up. This is a huge boon in getting through some of the game’s longer bouts that have a tendency to drag on.

Let’s talk a little bit about the skills in the title. For every class in the game, there is a myriad of skills to pick from. These abilities serve a variety of functions, such as healing party members or killing numerous enemies with a spectacular attack. A leveling system for the skills themselves also exists, and it nicely complements the team-level system. The skills that players wish to level up can help the units become stronger without breaking the balance of combat.

The skills provide some much needed diversity to the gameplay. Even if two of your units share the same class, you can completely change the way they perform, depending on the skills you choose. Players also have the ability to switch classes of their units. Players also have the ability to switch the classes of their units, but doing so will not have any penalties and the skill levels will transfer over as well. 

In addition to the skills, there is also a multitude of classes in the game. Each class can equip up to 4 unique skills. The classes do not limit your weapon type either, with each class having more than one option to equip from. These factors give the players a lot of freedom to experiment and play around with different team compositions and see which one they like the most. The game also lets you keep up to 5 different teams that you can maintain and switch between at a moment’s notice.

There are a ton of characters to choose from. It is up to the players to decide how they want to approach the game. They can play the long game of endurance by doubling down on their defensive units or by fielding a team with an all-out offensive effort. The combinations of these units make each team unique and diverse. The units that best fit a player’s playstyle can be tested out and used moving forward. 

There is also another thing that Tactics Ogre: Reborn does that sets it apart from similar games. The MP gauge does not fill up at the beginning of the combat; rather, it fills up gradually as the action unfolds. This was done so in order to balance the game. Some of the skills are so potent that they can wipe out opponents in the first turn without this restriction. Once the combat has been going for a while, players can use those skills, making the game much more balanced.

The game also caters to players who want to keep playing after the story ends. There is a lot of endgame content in the game, such as the 100-Level Palace of the Dead. This is sure to keep you occupied even after you finish the mainline story. The inclusion of endgame content is partly the reason why I keep coming back to this game, even after completing it multiple times.

Overall, the game is by no means easy. The enemy AI moves in a much more strategic manner now which gives the game a formidable level of difficulty and provides a fun challenge. It is neither at the level of some games where the difficulty infuriates you nor at the level where players can steamroll through the game. The game provides the perfect blend of difficulty that it can be enjoyed by all kinds of people. 

Visuals And Performance

Tactics Ogre: Reborn review

In this section of our Tactics Ogre: Reborn review, I will discuss the visuals and overall performance of the game. Perhaps the only aspect of the title that didn’t get a total makeover was the visuals. The game’s sprites and other components have been upscaled to high definition, but they are basically unaltered apart from that. The art direction team chose this intentionally to evoke a sense of nostalgia in the player. 

Although the majority of fans support this choice, some people have a different viewpoint. The pixels around the sprites appear to have been rounded off while the sprites themselves lack detail. These upscaled images leave something to be desired as they can come off as a bit unpolished. This aspect isn’t so obvious that it will interfere with how you play. In fact, unless they pay close attention, most folks won’t even notice this.

The game’s soundtrack has also been improved. For the purpose of giving the game an incredible atmosphere, nearly all of the orchestral arrangements were redone. The music tracks are all expertly crafted to go along with the game’s narrative. While some of the fight themes really get your blood pumping, others have a mournful tone that represents the devastation of war. Together, these soundtracks elicit a wide range of emotions from the players, strengthening the impact of the key plot points.

The sound department had other changes as well. Along with this fantastic soundtrack, the game now has full Japanese and English voice acting. The voice acting by the cast in both languages is excellent and gives the game’s narrative more depth. But in all honesty, the voice acting in this game is perhaps the most astounding feature because the cast is able to successfully portray a lot of emotions through it.

As far as the performance goes, the game runs without any hitches on all the platforms. Even handheld platforms like the Nintendo Switch have no problem running it either. Players can even choose to play the game on the Steam Deck as it runs with a smooth framerate. There have been no bugs as far as I am aware, as expected of a game by Square Enix. I had no issues at all when it came to the actual performance.



Tactics Ogre: Reborn is a timeless classic that has once again cemented itself as one of the greatest JRPGs of all time. Some people may argue that the game didn’t need a remaster but dedicated fans of the series have shown massive support at launch. But if you are one of the people who never played the original or the PSP version, then you might not be as interested in the title. 

If you are a newcomer to the franchise, then this is the perfect place for you to start. With the multiple quality-of-life changes in the game, along with amazing pixel art and a wonderful soundtrack, there is no better way for you to experience this fantastic game. It tells a story that everyone should experience at least once in their life. Although the game has undergone some changes that some fans have criticized, they are not nearly significant enough for you to pass up the chance to play this game.

The game engrosses you in its heartfelt narrative all the while keeping you occupied with its delightful combat system. You will be thinking about the game even when you are not actively playing it. This combination is sure to keep you occupied for tens of hours. I highly recommend that you check out this game, while overlooking the slight flaws that it might have. 

This has been our Tactics Ogre: Reborn review. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles.

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Tactics Ogre: Reborn Review
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance


Tactics Ogre: Reborn is a timeless classic that has once again cemented itself as one of the greatest JRPGs of all time.


  • Exceptional Storytelling
  • Engaging And Balanced Combat
  • Awe-Inspiring Soundtrack
  • Great Voice Acting


  • Unpolished Sprite Art

Huzaifah Durrani

As an RPG fanatic, Huzaifah is probably Immersed in yet another playthrough of Fallout: New Vegas or Elden Ring. He will also help you complete game quests, and stay familiar with the latest game releases. You can also find his articles on Gearnuke & Twinfinite.

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