Final Fantasy Tactics
I should mention, I'm playing the remastered PSP version of this game on my PS Vita called Final Fantasy Tactics War of the Lions. Just another reason to love my PS Vita. It plays so many classic Playstation games.
Despite the difficulty curve that I ran into, Final Fantasy Tactics is a good game. All the underlying systems are solid. I can see how it's been a huge influence on all the tactical RPGs that have followed it. And the story is great. It's a conflict on a grand scale, but the main character is right in the thick of it. It seems like Tactics delivers on the grand scale conflict in a way that Final Fantasy XII failed to do.
In some ways the game is starting to show it's age. It has unskippable story sequences which suck if you have to retry the same battle multiple times.... which you will have to do. And the reason you will is because this game has permadeath for it's characters. If you character falls in battle and you don't revive them before that battle is over they are gone forever. These characters that you've poured hours and hours of effort into are just gone. So, you'll reset to your last save and try the battle again. And again. Until you can perfectly execute it without losing a single unit.
I don't like this at all. It's my single biggest complaint about the game. My time is precious to me these days and if I'm just banging my head against a wall without making progress I get frustrated. I have been able to consistently win battles one my first try, but I typically lose a character or two. Then I have to redo the battle over and over until I get it perfect. It feels like a waste of time.
Despite the really cool underlying systems, the steep difficulty curve and permadeath combine to make Final Fantasy Tactics a very frustrating game for me.
I've seen so many people say that this is their favorite Final Fantasy. It might very well have been mine too if I discovered it in my teens when I had all the free time in the world. But I feel like I'm ready to give up on the game. I'd rather play a tactical RPG without permadeath. I hate it as a mechanic. It's punishing and not fun at all.
I haven't completely written Final Fantasy Tactics off, but I'm very close to it. Next time the game frustrates me I'm going to be done with it.