La Pucelle Tactics Is Probably a Great Tactics Game, but I Can’t Play It That Way

La Pucelle: Tactics

When I first got La Pucelle: Tactics, I played it like a console RPG. Basically, what I’m saying is that if I got stuck on a map, I would just grind until my characters were powerful enough to brute force my way through it.

So through that particular lens, I found La Pucelle: Tactics to be a bit simplistic, but solid. The story was interesting, the characters were compelling, and the tactics-style combat was easy enough that I never felt like the game was punishing me for not being a “tactics gamer.” But once I finished it, I didn’t really go back to it much after that.

But now I’m replaying it from scratch, and while it still offers the same things it always did, I’ve changed enough that I’m having a hard time with it. The story is still interesting, the characters are still compelling, and the combat system is still simple enough that I don’t feel punished for not being good at it. At the same time, I’m beginning to notice all the things I could do with the tactical aspects of the game. There are interesting uses for terrain, you have the ability to sway enemies to your side, and there’s a system for leveling up equipment and boosting stats far beyond their natural specs.

Unfortunately, I still don’t like strategy RPG games. That means I’m left with an unfortunate choice. Do I play La Pucelle: Tactics like it’s a traditional JRPG and grind until it becomes stupidly easy, which leaves me feeling like I’m missing out on all the really interesting things the game’s tactical combat offers? Or do I play it like a true tactics game and use wit and strategy to solve every map like a puzzle, only to get annoyed that I just spent half an hour replaying the same map twelve times?

La Pucelle: Tactics

In some ways, it’s actually a better game now, since I now see all the gameplay pieces I hadn’t previously noticed. On the other hand, my desire to play it has actually lessened. I want a game to give me a steady progression, and while the game doesn’t exactly punish me for not making full use of the tactical aspects, it does have the word “tactics” right in the title.

I’ve been told that many people consider La Pucelle: Tactics to be an “entry tutorial” to the Disgaea series, with a similar yet more simplistic gameplay style. Having never played any of the Disgaea games, I can’t confirm that, but if that sounds like something you want, La Pucelle: Tactics should probably be worth a try.

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