Tactics Ogre: Reborn Review thumbnail

Tactics Ogre: Reborn Review

27 years later and still great

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a PS5 on ⚔️

Tactics Ogre: Reborn is also available for PS4 and Nintendo Switch

Tactics Ogre: Reborn is rated Teen by the ESRB

Tactics Ogre is a genre-defining SRPG that has certainly stood the test of time and it's now been Reborn for modern audiences.

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Tactics Ogre: Reborn screenshot 1
I'd hate to get on that guy's bad side

I remember playing tons of RPGs for PSP from remade masterpieces like Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection to niche gems like Riviera: The Promised Land. Specifically, I recall being very ill for many consecutive months around 2010 and these PSP RPGs really got me through a tough time. Anyway, although I rented Tactics Ogre for PS1 a decade or so prior, it wasn't until the PSP remake (subtitled Let Us Cling Together) released that I truly began to appreciate just how incredible this SRPG is. For starters, its art is absolutely gorgeous and still stands out all these years later but obviously, its gameplay is what makes it a tactician's dream game complete with plenty of challenge, hands-on party preparation, and clever battles that reward you for adapting to any situation that's thrown your way. v1d30chumz 44-210-77-106

While playing Tactics Ogre: Reborn, I was taken aback by how difficult it is. I guess modern games softened me because I really had to give it my all to complete some of the battles. I consider this a net positive because I love a challenge and what's the point of having a strategy game that doesn't make you strategize? However, there are some undeniable difficulty spikes that will throw many players for a loop; specifically, the battle near the beginning against Necromancer Nybeth but there are many others so be prepared. 😅

Tactics Ogre: Reborn screenshot 2
Can't we fight somewhere else? My socks are getting wet...

If you're a seasoned fan, you may be wondering: what's new in Tactics Ogre: Reborn? To start, a lot of elements have been streamlined such as simpler requirements for equipment, enhanced artificial intelligence, random encounters are replaced with training missions, crafting has guaranteed success, and TP is now merged with MP. There are also new aspects such as equipable charms, the ability to scout enemies before engaging them, additional skills, and newly introduced buff cards which frequently pop up during battle and apply enhancements whenever you stop on one. One aspect that I enjoy is the bonus objectives which offer more rewards after battle and are generally easy to accomplish. I'm sure that I'm missing some odds and ends but you get the general idea; a lot has changed.

With all of that in mind, I wish that there were options to toggle some of these additions and changes. For example, the buff cards are nifty and somewhat exciting at first but I eventually found them to crowd the battlefield and I would honestly rather play without them. To put it another way, they took away from the sense of immersion that I felt when I played the PSP version back in the day.

Now, one aspect that I thoroughly enjoy about Tactics Ogre: Reborn is setting up my party. Even though most modern games require very little effort in optimizing your party members before they head into battle, you can spend a substantial amount of time tinkering around here. Once you put a lot of thought into how your troops will complement each other's capabilities on your way to finally formulate a winning team, it simply feels awesome! On the downside, I wish that some menus were streamlined more as I found myself fumbling around a lot, especially when purchasing equipment from shops as it's tricky to tell what's actually worth buying or not.

Tactics Ogre: Reborn screenshot 3
Sir Leonar can go suck an egg

If you love grid-based SRPGs as much as I do then you owe it to yourself to play Tactics Ogre: Reborn. It may have laid much of the genre's foundation but it's impressive just how well it has held up over the years. It's still rather beautiful, too.

  • + Superb strategic gameplay that's as challenging and rewarding as ever
  • + Gorgeous art style has held up well
  • + Satisfying hands-on character progression
  • - Difficulty spikes can be downright brutal
  • - I wish certain new features were optional
  • - Some menus could use streamlining
8.5 out of 10
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