Fat Bottomed Girls

Was going to post something entirely different today, but a Shocking Twist happened in the current TT Mafia game and I had to do a reread + summary earlier than I had planned. Maybe tomorrow.

It’s weird, but ever since I picked up Ogre Battle 64 on the Virtual Console last summer I’ve been jonesing to play the game a lot more. I mean, I’ve always known it was a good game, ever since it came out, but I went something like seven years without thinking about the game once. Ever since my roommate let me play his copy in… hrm… spring 2008, I guess… I’ve found that my mind keeps drifting back to it during the down times in between other obsessions. Alixsar did his LP, and I did an emulated playthrough, and then it came out on Virtual Console and I did a playthrough on that, and now there’s an SA LP starting up…

I think it’s because Ogre Battle is one of those weird offshoot games that I can’t quite believe hasn’t become a full genre yet. How is it that we have approximately 47 billion Final Fantasy Tactics clones, but Ogre Battle and its sequel stand virtually alone in its squad-based, real-time approach to tactical RPGs? I can think of so much more that could be done with this kind of game, and I’m not even that creative. As much as I love the Fire Emblem and FFT games, Ogre Battle has an entirely different appeal — there’s nothing quite like tinkering with your characters and units, trying to get everything set precisely to your satisfaction.

Ogre Battle 64 is also notable for having one of the most laughably broken final sequences ever. Even a lawful party going for a perfect game is perfectly capable of absolutely demolishing anything the endgame can throw at you. Ogre Battle 64’s end sequence isn’t about challenging enemies, it’s about seeing just how completely you can incinerate the hapless opposing forces. I love it.

Now, I won’t say Ogre Battle 64 is a perfect game… it’s got a lot of balance issues, weird oversights, and questionable design decisions, and the story is the kind of nonsense which perfectly encapsulates the state of both JRPG writing and JRPG localization at the turn of the century. But it’s so unique — such a singular kind of game — that I find myself returning to it just the same.


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