Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber
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Thank God for Atlus. if it weren't for them, we may never have seen Ogre Battle in any form on our fair shores. Now, with OB 64, N64 owners finally have a real strategy-RPG of their own (and it only took four years!). The makers of this deep, deep game went on to create such classics as Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics, and now, Vagrant Story. What more do you need? Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber hits shelves this fall.
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Too long we've waited for a true strategy RPG on the N64. Atlus has finally stepped up to the plate and localized Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber. Bringing this game to the U.S. was a no-brainer according to Gail Salamanca, product specialist at Atlus, "The only strategy/RPG on the N64...one of the biggest names in RPGs...yes, must do Ogre Battle 64."
Like the original, OB64's melees are played out automatically, although you can intervene and change which targets your troops focus on midbattle. It's not very fast-paced, because the point of this game is to deploy your troops across the terrain and then methodically outmaneuver and destroy your enemy. You've got to keep your men equipped and well rested for them to be effective in battle.
As Ogre Battle 64 begins, you play a new recruit thrust into the role of a commander in the government army as rebel forces are gathering to attempt to overthrow the monarchy. Predictably, our hero soon begins to question the royal family's motives, and general confusion ensues. While it may not be an original story, it doesn't diminsh the premise of this game.
For those of you who may have been overwhelmed with the complicated navigation and battle system in Ogre Battle on the SNES and PS, Ogre Battle 64 contains a full tutorial. Trust us, it helps. After playing through it, even Greg had a good idea of what to do in each part of the game. That in itself speaks volumes!
Currently the translation is looking pretty smooth and should satisfy discerning RPG fans once Atlus finishes polishing up the text. They aren't dumbing down the game for the coveted "E" rating either--the complicated plot and presence of a few choice expletives make that very clear.
It's only natural to be skeptical of the game's length and music, since it is on cartridge. Let's clear that up right now: OB64 will contain 40-plus hours of gameplay with a branching story line, and the music is on par with most SNES RPG fare. If any of you remember how good those games sounded, you should be very happy right now.
Nintendo 64-owning RPG fans finally have reason to celebrate. Atlus, publishers of the original Ogre Battle and its sequel, Tactics Ogre, have announced plans to localize and publish the third installment of the series, Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber, on the N64 this summer.
Despite its ridiculous title, OB64 actually looks extremely promising. The mammoth 320-Meg cart received rave reviews in Japan, and packs some of the best, most crisp visuals and sounds the N64 has seen to date. The game looks and plays similar to the original Ogre Battle (released on both the SNES and PlayStation here), with over 40 different scenarios, a ton of character classes and that dreaded Reputation meter.
We'll be back with a proper preview, but in the meantime, check out these screenshots courtesy of Atlus. The folks at Quest have created some of the best strategy games of all time, so if you're a fan of the genre, you'll definitely want to keep an eye on this one. It's going to be hot.
Ogre Battle certainly seems to be shaping up nicely, with a huge amount of variety in the game-playing details. For instance, attacks must be planned to take character alignment (position relative to the enemy) and element type (fire, earth, water and wind) into consideration for maximum effect. Terrain type affects movement and falls into three categories: grassy, class has a distinct, and appropriate, set of attacks (Dragon or Magician-types, for example, can't use items, so they conjure up attacks by summoning their dragons).
Character status after an attack is also indicated visually, rather than using a if poisoned, your chap will reel with purple blotches above his head, (purple seems to be the official colour of poison in Japan), or appear consumed in lightning when totally incapacitated.