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Joystiq presents

FFTA2: Preparing ourselves for disappointment

You'll find no truer supporters of the Final Fantasy Tactics franchise than the DS Fanboy staff. We've spent far too many hours with the PS1 and GBA titles to ever turn our backs to the series. Reading IGN's recent interview with Yuichi Murasawa, the director of Final Fantasy Tactics A2: The Sealed Grimoire, however, left us scratching our heads over Square Enix's handling of the upcoming SRPG. What was supposed to be a hype-building preview of the new FFTA game sounded more like a list of unimplemented features and expectations that the development team didn't meet.

FFTA's simplified, adolescent plot was one of the biggest complaints that FFT veterans had with the handheld sequel. The original game's story, in comparison, was rich with political intrigue and complex characters, enthralling players with its narrative. When asked about FFTA2's plot, Murasawa admitted that his team's goal was to once again "keep things light." Wonderful.

Though we've become accustomed to Square Enix's inadequate Nintendo WiFi support, what with Mario Hoops 3-on-3's promised-but-not-delivered online matches and Final Fantasy III's half-hearted MogNet, we were really hoping to see the FFT series' multiplayer mode expanded for internet play. According to the IGN interview, FFTA2 not only lacks online functionality, but waives the multiplayer system away altogether. Instead, we'll have a "feature that makes use of the local connection" to look forward to. Great.

The final insult lies in FFTA2's nonexistent touchscreen functionality. This feature seems perfect for the SRPG genre, enabling players to quickly maneuver units and navigate menus with a stylus, but Murasawa must not have found it to be essential. He offers this comfort towards the end of the interview, at least: "Of course, if there is ever an FTA3 [sic], we'll definitely think about it." Looking forward to it!

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