Preview: Tactics Ogre - The Knight of Lodis (GBA)
  Tactics Ogre - The Knight of Lodis Return to one of the original tactical RPG series as the newest game in the long-running Ogre Battle series is released.

Character list

Catacomb battle

Attack range

Fight it out!

Conversation atop a tower

Platform: GBA
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Atlus
Rated Teen (13+): Violence

    From the first difficult-to-find release on the Super NES to its most recent (in North America, at least) N64 release, the Ogre Battle series has provided players with some of the deepest tactical RPGs around. Filled with huge intense battles and a strong focus on strategy, the Ogre Battle games have gathered a large and dedicated fan following. It comes as no surprise, then, that the newest game in the series, Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis is one of the most anticipated games for the Game Boy Advance.

    Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis is the fifth installment of the series, but resembles Tactics Ogre more than any other Ogre Battle game. The game will follow the story of the Lodis knight, a Galcian. Surprisingly enough, Galcia was an enemy in the previous games, so the control over the Lodis knight marks a change in the series.

    The influence of Tactics Ogre is immediately evident by the isometric maps and story-driven battles. The largest maps will be 32 tiles squared and support up to eight units per side. Terrain will have various heights which could positively or negatively affect characters. Players will be reminded of the graphical styles of both Tactics Ogre and Ogre Battle 64, with the tiles resembling those in the former game, and the sounds and effects resembling those in the latter.

    Also returning from the previous games is the training mode, which now has multiplayer components added to reduce tedium, and terrain compatibilty. The terrain compatibilty will give statistical bonuses based on conditions on the map. These conditions can be anything from the character's elemental alignment to the weather. Eventually, characters will receive spells that can change the conditions on the map. Terrain height and direction will factor into a character's battle power as well.

    The experience system will factor into a character's battle effectiveness. Characters will advance in class as they participate in battles, and will even change classes when enough experience has been gained. Both honorable and dishonorable character classes exist, but balancing these opposing forces is left up to the player. Regardless of which paths a player eventually chooses, however, advancing classes is a necessity to collect higher-level spells and attacks.

Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis will return players to the world of Tactics Ogre once again and explore an entrancing storyline while waging war. The game currently has a release date of May 7th in North America. For more information about Knight of Lodis, check out RPGamer's continuing coverage.

by Justin Weiss

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