Tactics Ogre: Reborn Review – Rebirth Of The Remake

One of the best TRPGs, reborn, and guns blazing.

Tactics Ogre: Reborn Review
Overall
4.5
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance

Verdict

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

Pros

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

Cons

  • Unpolished Sprite Art

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

Quick Information
  • Developer: Square Enix, Quest Corporation, Riverhillsoft
  • Publisher: Square Enix, Quest Corporation, Riverhillsoft, Atlus, Artdink
  • Release Date: November 11, 2022
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC
  • Game Length: 55.5 Hours
  • Time Played: 60+ Hours
  • Editors Note: We thoroughly Tactics Ogre: Reborn on PC, putting in just over 60 hours into the completion of the main story.

And seemingly out of nowhere in August of this year, Square Enix announced that they would 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
Story. (Image by eXputer)

A political saga in the medieval Valerian Isles unfolds, featuring knights, mages, and menacing monsters. The tribes – Walister, Galgastani, and Bakram – vie for control after King Dorgalua’s death. Denam and Catiua, Walister Clan members, seek vengeance against the Bakram for their father’s imprisonment.

Early on, Denam, Catiua, and their friend Vyce mistakenly attack the Black Knights of Lodis. They later ally with Lans Hamilton, forming the Walister Liberation Front to liberate the Isles.

While the plot does feel satifsying to delve into, it is still worth mentioning that the character development of characters other than our three protagonists falls pale in comparison.

This tale delves into the dark side of politics and war, revealing how power divides families and nations. With multiple story paths, each decision shapes the outcome. The world teems with diverse factions, each justifying its actions with unique principles.

Adding 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. Keeping track of all these elements without creating associations might become challenging. Nevertheless, everything is handled extremely well because there is much to convey, and the plot must start somewhere.

Tactics Ogre: Reborn review
Setting. (Image by eXputer)

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. 

Gameplay

Tactics Ogre: Reborn review
Gameplay. (Image by eXputer)

This title offers a tactical RPG combat system on 3D isometric grids. It’s turn-based and allows movement, attacks, and defense choices. Decisions must be made before each turn, and you can’t intervene mid-turn.

The menus and the user interface are more user-friendly than in previous versions. New features include the ability to ‘Scout’ the battlefield, enhancing strategic planning. Battles are quicker, thanks to the tarot card system, which adds randomness.

Tarot card effects vary: green cards boost unit stats permanently, blue cards provide temporary buffs, and red cards remove buffs. Four buffs can be active at once, significantly speeding up combat.

Tactics Ogre: Reborn provides a challenging but enjoyable experience, with improved enemy AI and a balanced difficulty level for all players.

Tactics Ogre: Reborn introduced a leveling system called ‘team level’ to maintain chapter-appropriate difficulty. This prevents excessive grinding, emphasizing strategy over brute force. Experience points are no longer limited to surviving units; all participating units gain experience points. Permanent death is avoidable thanks to a timer.

The game allows for skill diversity and class switching without penalties. Each class can equip unique skills, allowing players to experiment with different team compositions. The MP gauge fills gradually during combat, balancing potent skills. The game offers ample endgame content, like the 100-level Palace of the Dead.

Tactics Ogre: Reborn provides a challenging but enjoyable experience, with improved enemy AI and a balanced difficulty level for all players.

Visuals And Performance

Tactics Ogre: Reborn review
Visuals. (Image by eXputer)

Perhaps the visuals were the only aspect of the title that didn’t get a total makeover. The game’s sprites and other components have been upscaled to high definition, but they are unaltered apart from that. The art direction team chose this intentionally to evoke a sense of nostalgia in the player. 

The game’s soundtrack has also been improved. Nearly all of the orchestral arrangements were redone to give the game an incredible atmosphere. The music tracks are all expertly crafted to accompany the game’s narrative. While some of the fight themes get your blood pumping, others have a mournful tone that represents the devastation of war.

The game’s sprites and other components have been upscaled to high definition, but they are unaltered apart from that.

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. The game has full Japanese and English voice acting along with this fantastic soundtrack. The voice acting by the cast in both languages is excellent and gives the game’s narrative more depth. But honestly, the voice acting in this game is perhaps the most astounding feature because the cast can successfully portray many 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, which 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.

Verdict

Verdict. (Image by eXputer)

Tactics Ogre: Reborn is a timeless classic that once again cemented itself as one of the greatest JRPGs ever. 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, you might not be as interested in the title. 

The game engrosses you in its heartfelt narrative all the while keeping you occupied with its delightful combat system. You will think about the game even when 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 my Tactics Ogre: Reborn review. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles.

This is box title
Get This Game
If you are a franchise newcomer, because this is the perfect place for you to start.
Dont Get This Game
If you’re not into tactical RPGs.
Do I Need To Get This Game
Yes, whether you’re a veteran or newbie to the franchise, Tactics Ogre: Reborn is a love-letter that’ll surprise you in a positive way.
Alternative Games
  • Fire Emblem
  • Edge of Eternity
  • Shin Megami Tensei
  • Triangle Strategy
  • Growlanser
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Huzaifa is eXputer's Review Editor, who’s all about RPG games. He’s got several years of experience critically judging games and writing his unbiased thoughts on them. You can also find his content published on sites like Twinfinite & GearNuke. Huzaifa has been gaming for 23+ years, during which he managed to amass 400+ hours on Elden Ring! You can follow his gaming activity on his Xbox and Steam Profiles.

Experience: 5+ years || Previously Worked At GearNuke & Twinfinite || Mainly Covers RPG Guides & Latest Games Reviews

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