One of the most exciting games amidst Square Enix's huge slate of releases over the next six months is Tactics Ogre: Reborn, an enhanced version of the PSP version of Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, the classic Super Famicom strategy RPG. And given Square Enix's recent retro visual style in HD-2D, many were disappointed this rerelease wasn't coming with the new visual style.
But in an interview with IGN at the Tokyo Game Show, Reborn's producer Hiroaki Kato revealed that HD-2D was never considered for the rerelease — even if 3D visuals were indeed on the table.
- Further reading - Talking Point: What On Earth Is Going On With Square Enix?
Kato, who was also the project manager on the PSP release of the game, states that he thinks HD-2D is "really cool" and that "...it's a really interesting and kind of new graphical interface to display things with", but the team never thought about using it for Tactics Ogre: Reborn:
"No, we didn't think about making it HD-2D. We kind of played with the idea of making it 3D, but what we were really thinking about was, “What are the major parts about this game that are really appealing to everybody?” And in the 2D original, it was really well-done pixel art, so we realized that we couldn't have a Tactics Ogre game without this really high-quality, awesome-looking 2D pixel art. So to bring that sort of resolution and that sort of fidelity to new hardware and new technology was a lot of effort. But yeah, I think we did it."
Upon its official reveal, screenshots revealed Tactics Ogre: Reborn's smoothed-out pixel and "high-definition backgrounds", which many were critical of at the time of the game's announcement. Especially in a year where Square Enix has rereleased another Super Famicom game, remade in HD-2D — Live A Live. Of course, both of these games are produced by different teams (and Tactics Ogre has seen a Western release before), but the Ogre Battle series has also been relatively dormant for the past decade, so some feel short-changed.
In the same interview, Kato reveals that the success of Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age helped get Tactics Ogre: Reborn off the ground: "...we were able to use that know-how. We were able to bring it into the making of this new game, and kind of create a new play style for our games."
Kato also acknowledges the release of Triangle Strategy earlier in the year and says that both this and Tactics Ogre: Reborn releasing in the same year is a "good thing":
"For a long time, there were no new tactics RPGs, so now suddenly, we have both Tactics Ogre and we have Triangle Strategy, and what this has done is allow both core users of this kind of genre to get their feet wet with it again, and for new users as well to learn what a tactics game is about."
The DioField Chronicle, another strategy RPG with a few twists, was also released last week. So it really does feel like the SRPG has made a big comeback in 2022. And we're happy about it!
- Further reading - Review: The DioField Chronicle - A Solid Tactical RPG That Falls Short Of Its Ambitions
Tactics Ogre: Reborn is out on 11th November on the Switch. You can check out the full interview with IGN in the link below.
Would you have liked to have seen the game in HD-2D? Or are you happy with the new visual style? Let us know!
I really like how they made a conscious choice not to go with HD-2D with this one, since the original PSP version looked fine as it was and this ensures that it's going to look and also run good on Switch. The HD-2D treatment is now always needed, and should Chrono Trigger on Switch ever happen I hope they would take this approach with that one, as well.
Happy they don't take that approach, would mix in my head with triangle strategy... like this better
I think the HD-2D is nice but it’s good not to overdo it. If too many games were in this style it might oversaturate the market and people might get fed up with it. That said I can’t wait for Octopath Traveller II
This looks really good! I missed the original when it came out all those years ago.
I haven't read the interview, nor will I, but I'm willing to bet IGN brought up HD-2D, cos these guys will complain about just about anything and everything. Imagine putting time and effort into a game and then having someone with no experience in game development ask, "But why isn't it in HD-2D?"
I think I would've preferred HD-2D but this looks nice regardless.
I think either would have been fine, honestly. As a big fan of the Ogre series of games, I'm struggling to get excited about this re-re-release. I have a PS1 copy and the PSP collector's edition, so I'd much rather see ANY of the other games get remade, especially Person of Lordly Caliber or the Neo Geo game.
I'm honestly not that wowed by HD-2D. Too much bloom and the characters don't seem like they belong to the world. I like what I see here more.
@DiamondJim My thought exactly. I love the HD-2D look, but it doesn't mean I want every game homogenized to look that way. I'm so excited for this release.
I love HD-2D, but I'm glad they chose to go with what already worked for this one. Not every game needs to be in HD-2D.
I’m glad they didn’t. I like hd-2d a lot, but it doesn’t have to go everywhere. It seems to go where it needs to. Like dragon quest!
They mention the beautiful Pixelart and how they didn't want to change that... well they changed it and they made it worse... I will never understand why all those new "remasters" come with a mandatory smoothing filter...
I absolutely love HD-2D, but the pixel art in this game is so pretty that I am glad they went the route they did.
The Super NES original already look great and this remake just look even better, there's no need to make it HD-2D though a Chrono Trigger in that style would be nice so yeah Square Enix kept the HD-2D love coming.
Better this be able to be separated from Triangle Strategy at a glance so I’m happy with what we’re getting.
i am not a fan of hd-2d.. i am glad other's think the same way..
Game looks pretty cool. I like the HD 2D style, seems to get an unnecessary amount of hate.
@mikegamer It got hate cause it's the more popular way to remake something old to new again. The thing is not every game should get the HD-2D treatment but sprite based games like Chrono Trigger and Breath of Fire would look fantastic in HD-2D. Tactical games like Final Fantasy Tactics and Ogre Battle 64 don't need the HD-2D make over cause the original game on Super NES and N64 were already stunning to begin with. Garbage looking titles like Parasite Eve and Vagrant Story would be fantastic in HD-3D (the style Trials of Mana remake used) though.
I look forward to this game, even though I have it on PSP. I love the visuals. Not everything needs to be HD 2D.
I mean... It's a 2D game... in HD. I don't get why people are complaining that this game has a distinct art style, especially when the pixel art looks this good in the first place. I'm super excited for this, not everything needs to be the same.
@jojobar Yep, I hope they give us some visual options other than the awful smooth/smeared pixels look shown so far. Raw pixels all the way for me.
@MoebiusFactor man I'm happy that someone else thinks that way
I like this art style, and I’m not that bothered by the smoothing - it’s only doing what a CRT would have done to the original pixels. I don’t think they’ve gone overboard with the smoothing - it still looks a LOT better than the old mobile port of FFVI, for example (before the pixel remaster, that is).
@KayFiOS It’s a valid question. Instead of upping the fidelity they produce this blurry game. They didn’t improve the graphics because that would have increased development cost, and they know this is an extremely niche title that won’t sell very well.
I never played this one.
I played tactics ogre: the knight from Lodis on the gba, which I really liked.
Looking forward to trying the first ogre universe tactics game. . .
But man, I miss ogre battle 64: person of loudly caliber
I love HD-2D but not everything has to be that. I just wish the sprites weren’t smoothed out because it looks awful compared to the original and especially the snes. Hoping there’s a way to turn it off but it’s square enix so I don’t expect much..
@Krull Honestly, it's funny because I usually hate pixel smoothing, but for whatever reason I like the implementation here. I suppose it fits the painting look of the key art, and it helps that the HUD isn't affected, unlike when you filter an emulation and everything gets hit with the smoothing brush.
I'm honestly ok with the "smooth" look. At least it's not the weird clashing styles used for the Dragon Quest HD remasters and mostly looks the same.
Square-Enix, where the right hand never ever knows what the left hand is doing.
You can buy it on Wii U's Virtual Console for the moment, on the off-chance you own a Wii U.
They probably should have thought about it..and then did it.
Sure looks rather ugly 20 years later.
but they changed the pixel art
it'll be fantastic
Love this game. I am glad they are mostly leaving it alone graphically. I don’t really get the “outrage” over the graphics to be honest. They look nice. I mean I understand the argument of a “cheap filter”, but they still look great.
I have more mixed feelings about the idea of leveling each character individually. It will definitely give the game more variety, but it was nice to sub in a character on the PSP and not have to worry about them being under leveled.
All that said, I am always excited for a Matsuno game. I wish there were more!
@SmaggTheSmug The insane bloom isn't inherent to HD-2D, that's an Octopath / Triangle thing. DQ III has toned it down, and Live a Live toned it down even more.
Cool, every HD-2D game looks too samey. They should use 2D drawings instead of pixel art for remasters/remakes.
@Serpenterror Still think it's unsubstantiated hate
If you haven't played TO, I am jealous of you getting to play this for the first time.
@SteamEngenius That's the great thing about opinions...not having to agree with stupid ones like this.
That is fine. Game looked fine as it is. That said would still love to see more HD 2D because it did Triangle Strategy, Octopath Traveler, and Live a Live remake great favor. Can’t await until Octopath 2 drops.
As a few users above me have already said, its good that they didn't go the HD-2D route. I find HD-2D alright but its not something I want to see being used and done to death.
Hands down the best tactics game on any system.
Good. I am very over HD-2D.
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