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Tactics Ogre Reborn - Mama, I just killed an ogre...

WildcatJF

Red After Image
(he / his / him)

Square Enix, after the news had been leaked TWICE, has lifted the curtain on Tactics Ogre Reborn, due out November 11th on PS4/5, Switch and Steam! The official website confirms a physical and digital release, with the latter featuring a deluxe edition that includes the beautifully rerecorded soundtrack by Hitoshi Sakamoto (which I imagine is a Steam and PS4/5 only option given the Switch isn’t really primed for that sort of bonus, but we’ll see how SE handles that). The official press release is as follows:

Tactics Ogre: Reborn delivers beautifully converted high-definition graphics, updated battle systems and vast sound improvements including fully-voiced cutscenes (English and Japanese), recreated sound effects and re-recorded live background music composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto – all bringing to life a new experience that Tactics Ogre veterans and a new generation of gamers alike will enjoy.
Tactics Ogre: Reborn is set in The Valerian Isles, jewels of the Obero Sea. Following many years of conflict, there finally rose a man to put an end to this: Dorgalua Oberyth. Known as the “Dynast-King,” he brought peace and prosperity to Valeria for half a century. After his death, a civil war erupts and throws the isles of Valeria into a bloody struggle for power between three warring factions. In Tactics Ogre: Reborn, players follow the story of a young man, Denam Pavel, caught in the center of the bloodshed. Although he seeks a path of freedom and justice, players will soon discover that even the noblest of goals requires impossibly difficult decisions to be made.
Reborn and deeper than ever, this classic tactical role-playing adventure enables players to fully immerse themselves in the world and intrigue of Tactics Ogre. In Tactics Ogre: Reborn, players will take control of a team of units on the battlefield and utilize the turn-based combat system to act strategically and gain the upper hand over their enemy. As players progress, they can recruit additional party members, experiment with various classes, weapons, magic and abilities, and make key decisions at several instances in the story that will ultimately impact how events unfold.
New updates and features include:
  • Beautifully remastered graphics that enhance yet maintain the original distinctive visual style
  • Fully voiced cutscenes in English & Japanese
  • Full orchestral re-recording of the game’s soundtrack
  • Assorted quality of life updates, such as:
    • Redesigned battle system
    • Adjusted level management system
    • Reworked AI
    • Simplified and improved UI
For lots more info, check out Square Enix’s thorough blog post covering the new features, the game’s major players, and more! I am so PUMPED!!!
 

Sprite

(He/Him/His)
Very exciting, though I'm not really a fan of those sprites 😬

I hope we get remakes of the three Ogre Battles someday. They're such unique games and no one's ever iterated on them.
 

conchobhar

What's Shenmue?
I've been looking forward to this ever since the leaks and rumours; Let Us Cling Together is one of my favourite games, and I never actually got around to finishing the chaos or neutral routes, so this would be a great opportunity to do that. But the reveal has only dampened my enthusiasm. For starters, it looks awful, thanks to that smoothing filter (incredible that they try to pass this off as being "recreated in high definition") and a new font that's aesthetically out of step with the rest of the game. And I'm not really sure how to feel about the changes to the levelling system; certainly I think the class level system had its problems and could stand to be tweaked, but I think it was still a good and interesting idea that could have been modified rather than ditched. The promise of full voice acting might have convinced me to treat it as a trade-off, but frankly the clips we heard in the trailer were not very good. I think I might just boot up an emulator (or dig out my PSP) and continue off with my old save file instead.
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
I'm really looking forward to this. Personal elemental affinity, individual levels, equip slots for consumables... more limited skill/magic equip in general. Mechanically, this looks like as significant an overhaul of PSP version as the PSP version was of the original. The PSP version had wonderful presentation and is by far the best way the play the game for the story, but IMO the mechanics were a mess and it somehow ended up less balanced than the already uneven original. It's very cool to see them aiming for something in between the two versions.

Re: The sprites. This is definitely not just a smoothing filter. Looking at them closely, almost all of these sprites have been manually touched up. Lancelot's sword has a fuller now, for example, which was not visible in the original sprite at all (the blade was only two pixels wide). I would guess it was probably done with an algorithmic upscale followed by significant manual adjustment.

Edit: A ResetEra user put together some comparisons that seem to support this.

I would have preferred that they just left the sprites untouched. I mean, I don't even know why they felt the need to make them higher res -- the HD2D releases lately have chunky pixels and have been doing fine. That said, I honestly don't think they look that bad... stylistically, they remind me of the prerenders used in OB64. It's also worth noting that the PSP version had forced bilinear scaling, so it was fuzzy 90% of the time. I'm not sure which is worse.

At the very least, the old sprites will probably be modded into the PC version eventually.


Also, I need a high res version of that mural depicting the Ogre Battle immediately.
 
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YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
I'm finding myself less than enthused about this, apparently, and it doesn't have anything to do with the approach they're taking or anything like that. I guess I just don't see the need for another remake of this game, as good as it is. If they wanted to revisit the Ogre Battle series, then maybe remake another entry, or ideally get Mastuno on board to make an entirely new entry. They've already seen success with HD2D releases, including another SRPG that takes a lot of inspiration from Tactics Ogre! But whatever, if people want it I'm not gonna tut-tut that. I still have my tarot cards from the original release of Wheel of Fortune.
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
I still have my tarot cards from the original release of Wheel of Fortune.

Me too! They're actually on display in my living room. I'm a big nerd.

On a related note, they're printing another set that you can buy on SQEX's store. They appear to have new cardbacks and the map looks nice, but it's a little funny that they're charging $50 for something that was a preorder bonus a decade ago.
 
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Sprite

(He/Him/His)
At this point there are a significant number of nerds who grew up playing old games in emulators with smoothing filters, so this definitely looks more like an aesthetic choice than slapping on a filter. It doesn’t look lazy, just not what my old butt typically likes in these games. I’ll probably get used to it real fast if I end up picking it up.
 

ThornGhost

lofi posts to relax/study to
(he/him)
Man, Square Enix has to be working itself up for a new Final Fantasy Tactics something or other, huh? Three SRPGs in a year after so long a drought?

Anyway, looks good. Sprites are OK, I ain't mad. Buying it for sure, but which platform?
 

Pajaro Pete

(He/Himbo)
Man, Square Enix has to be working itself up for a new Final Fantasy Tactics something or other, huh? Three SRPGs in a year after so long a drought?

Anyway, looks good. Sprites are OK, I ain't mad. Buying it for sure, but which platform?

You should purchase it for every platform it's available for so we can get Ogre Battle Reborn
 

narcodis

the titular game boy
(he/him)
I don't think the graphics look bad at all. I've also never played this game, stoked to give it a shot.
 

Paul le Fou

24/7 lofi hip hop man to study/relax to
(He)
I'm finding myself less than enthused about this, apparently, and it doesn't have anything to do with the approach they're taking or anything like that. I guess I just don't see the need for another remake of this game, as good as it is. If they wanted to revisit the Ogre Battle series, then maybe remake another entry, or ideally get Mastuno on board to make an entirely new entry. They've already seen success with HD2D releases, including another SRPG that takes a lot of inspiration from Tactics Ogre! But whatever, if people want it I'm not gonna tut-tut that. I still have my tarot cards from the original release of Wheel of Fortune.
I can't say for certain, but I think "Remake an old classic" has often been a way to test the waters for a new entry in the series. At the very least, "More remasters" are a shoo-in. And if that gets us Ogre Battle again...?
 

Dark Medusa

Diamond Crusader
(He/they)
I'm excited for this because I've never played a Tactics Ogre game, and I love SRPGs... although I've also never played or had a hankering to play Final Fantasy Tactics. Triangle Strategy is also on my shortlist!
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
I noticed what looks a new mechanic in the trailer: At one point (about 58 seconds in), Ravness strikes an enemy that has an allied Knight standing behind it, which causes "Pincer" to flash up on the screen, followed by the Knight turning and attacking the enemy as well. I wonder if this is a new skill or something universal? You used to be able to do something similar by having spear-wielding allies poke each other and skewer enemies between with the initial hit and the counter attack.

There's a similar combo mechanic in the indie game Fae Tactics, which was @#$%ing great, so it's cool to see it turn up here as well.
 

ThornGhost

lofi posts to relax/study to
(he/him)
I noticed what looks a new mechanic in the trailer: At one point (about 58 seconds in), Ravness strikes an enemy that has an allied Knight standing behind it, which causes "Pincer" to flash up on the screen, followed by the Knight turning and attacking the enemy as well. I wonder if this is a new skill or something universal? You used to be able to do something similar by having spear-wielding allies poke each other and skewer enemies between with the initial hit and the counter attack.

There's a similar combo mechanic in the indie game Fae Tactics, which was @#$%ing great, so it's cool to see it turn up here as well.

Straight outta Triangle Strategy as well. (Which, by the way, if you are seriously excited about this game, go get Triangle Strategy because it's out right now and it's really great.)
 
At this point there are a significant number of nerds who grew up playing old games in emulators with smoothing filters, so this definitely looks more like an aesthetic choice than slapping on a filter. It doesn’t look lazy, just not what my old butt typically likes in these games. I’ll probably get used to it real fast if I end up picking it up.

Yeah I think the age cohort of this forum disproportionately represents people who prefer unsmoothed pixels, because we're in the sweet spot for having emulated a lot of NES and SNES era games on a computer before CRT filters were even remotely good and also before HD mobile aesthetics so we experienced "raw" pixels as the default. I feel like the average authenticity seeker wants a CRT filter, and the average normal person who grew up with cell phones wants things smoothed out, and we're mostly weirdos whose authentic experience primed us to enjoy seeing big squares.

Personally I also don't like this smoothing but also it's not a worst case scenario either, even if I'd prefer raw pixels first or a good CRT look as a distant second.

 
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Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
Ambition and desire are the motivation. Losers are called dogs and hogs.
 

Pajaro Pete

(He/Himbo)
It appears they've pared it back down to Four Items, Four Spells Four Passives, and... uh, Eight Finishing Moves, which I suppose make sense in the "Each weapon has Four Finishers, and you can technically hold Two Weapons"

"Lives" are out, but it Jennik here has one of the Revival Stones from the PSP version equipped so presumably those will be plentiful. I don't think we've seen any countdown timers, so it may be like the original game where you just need to revive someone before the battle is over?
IOkDAEy.jpeg

ZUVOQka.jpeg


Not crazy about the action menu though! Finishing moves seem to just use MP.
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
I'm curious about the icons next to the character alignment. It looks like these match the icons shown above the character name, in battle, which also appears to include status effects. The second icon is denotes the ability to wade through water, a passive class mobility trait. And on the menu screen appears to be the actual character menu and not the one you can view in battle. Which has me curious about the other icon - the turning arrow. Does that represent Counterattack, maybe? Counterattacks were innate in the original, but required a skill in Wheel of Fortune. But none of the skills Jennik has equipped look like Counter. And that arrow only appears to show up for certain units; others have a shield icon, or nothing at all. Is it class based? Maybe weapon based?

It's been a very long time since I've spent this much time poring over minute prerelease details, lol
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
877 strikes me as way, way more HP than a unit should have at level 25.
 

Pajaro Pete

(He/Himbo)
This is interesting, had they indicated any involvement from Matsuno in the announcement or has he made any clarifications on his twitter? My Japanese ain't great and I'm not seeing it in the English press.

His pinned tweet for the announcement also features an apology for keeping fans waiting, and if nothing else he seems to have been involved with producing the massive three volume Script Books
 

demi

(She/Her)
Played this on PSP last year and not going to turn down a reason to play it again. I'm most excited about being able to share this version on the couch with friends. I grew up sharing Final Fantasy Tactics playthroughs with friends a lot of the time - discussing story points and making character decisions together - so then when LUCT hit on the PSP and we all played it separately, I really wished for something like this. And it's cool that they're doing voice acting in this game... for the second time even, what with the Saturn port already having that treatment too.

As for the changes/systems, I am ambivalent about character vs. class growth, whatever works! But, I really truly hope they do something about that sham of a crafting system from LUCT. It was pretty tedious and mostly just a nuisance when recipes failed near the last step, after crafting up all the various tiers of ores and ingots and so on. Also the filtering really needs an option to be toggled.

Whatever happens, it'll just be great to have it on a big screen again.
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
SE put up a blog post that goes over some of the new stuff in this version:


The most exciting part (for me) is probably the new Tsubasa Masao art of the elemental deities and some lore about the pantheon that I was not previously aware of -- it's likely either brand new or at the very least has not been available in English. This is also notably the first time we've been able to see the Lightning and Ice goddesses. They were added in the PSP release, but since the character building intro was changed and personal elements were scrubbed from the game, there was no art for them.

Matsuno's been pretty active on twitter the last few weeks going over some of the mechanical changes and additions in this version. It's a pretty significant overhaul and in a lot of ways appears to be splitting the difference between the original game and the 2010 remake. Here are some of the most notable game design things that have come up:
  • As mentioned when the game was announced, individual levels are back. Matsuno confirmed that this includes individual, class-based stat growth like the SFC game. Differences in growth between classes seem less pronounced than the original, however. In the example Matsuno gave, the difference in VIT growth between a Knight and a Wizard was something like an average .5 points per level (2.75 vs 2.25 or something). The fixed growths in the original made for some very extreme stat variations, which I suspect they're trying to avoid this time, but I don't know how the math under the hood will work.
  • Your party has a level cap now, determined by your progress in the game.
  • EXP is awarded at the end of battle (PSP style) instead of per action (SFC style), so low level characters that have trouble contributing will still be able to grow. Things have been reworked so lower level characters should level faster the greater the difference in levels (Matsuno posted a video of a handful of Level 1 recruits gaining 23 levels in one battle alongside their level 50 allies).
  • Training mode from the SFC version is returning. It looks like instead of "Your Party Team A" vs "Your Party Team B", it might just be a voluntary battle against random enemies, but it's not clear. Some screens show battles against a "purple" team that take place on previously story-only maps.
  • You can also grant experience to units out of battle using consumable "EXP Charm" items.
It was also confirmed in an interview that the game wouldn't feature any new story events. This is, of course, tragic news for the already tragic Neutral route. Hopefully they did some other things to make the route feel a little less neglected, haha.

I haven't been this excited for a game in a while. November can't come soon enough.
 
Previews for this are out. Here's one video going over changes, and there are many more today if you search. I don't know anything about or endorse this channel, but this seemed like a decent brief overview by someone familiar with the PSP version with lots of footage and no annoying YouTube-isms other than the title.


I want it to sell a bajillion copies so Square-Enix demands an update of Ogre Battle. (Am I going to buy it at launch myself? No, absolutely not. There are too many games to play already.)
 
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