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Review By: Jesse Mason
Developer:   Atlus
Publisher:   Atlus
# of Players:   1
Genre:   Strategy
ESRB:   Teen

The first few days I played Kartia, I was having a lot of fun. I was having a ball of a time with the "doll, shadow, and common" units (more on this later). The story seemed a little interesting. Then I realized I was being far too easy on the game. Frankl,y Kartia is a washed up Final Fantasy Tactics or Tactics Ogre, and the first real clone of "Tactics" subgenre.

Kartia plays almost exactly like a converge of the party battles of Final Fantasy Tactics and the huge army battles of Tactics Ogre. It achieves a nice medium. The gimmick lies in your non human units. The "phantoms" are split into three classes: doll, shadow, and common. In a rock, paper, scissors sort of way, each one is strong against one of the classes and weak against the other. Doll is strong against Shadow, which is strong against Common, which is strong against Doll. Doll is weak against Common, which is weak against Shadow, which is weak against Doll. It's a neat idea, and lends itself proudly to the gameplay.

But frankly, the gameplay pales when compared to the much superior Tactics Ogre and Final Fantasy Tactics. It just takes those complicated havens and simplifies the hell out of them. Rather than strategic planning and getting your plan pulled off right, most of the challenge lies in you versus more superior units. And with tactical strategy, you could win all of the battles with just the human characters because they are so powerful (I will now be blasted by people calling me contradictory, which if you look at the statements closer is not contradictory at all).

The story is a really Final Fantasy Tactics inspired (it even has religious elements, sloppily put in). It revolves around two lone warriors who eventually meet up (you get to play both paths that interlock) and Kartia, cards that do certain things (Ogre Battle feeling to it). It's a mess of uninteresting characters and mushy story telling. Very disapointing.

The age of clones has begun in the Tactics sub genre. Be ready cautious gamers.

Overall: 6.8
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