I had no previous knowledge going in and I just loved it from the Brave Story Journal on. Meeting these characters again and having them enter the story in an organic way one by one it was like catching up with old friends after so many years! FFT is by far my favourite game ever, I've spent thousands upon thousands hours in the original and in 1.3, I can never truly move on from it but this was the freshest experience of playing FFT I've had in so long, so thank you again!
As for the battles/gameplay itself, I thought it was pretty well balanced. I only ran into two tough spots, Sephiroth and then the final battle of Chapter 1 against the Dorfman. Sephiroth I was feeling was impossible until I realized you just had to damage him a bit to get the other allies to show up, after that it wasn't bad. Poison is so massively helpful against bosses in this game, he was no exception.
I had the most trouble against the first iteration of Ganon in Besrodio's. It took forever to find a starting set up that let me get things going, but once I reconfigured my team and put Item on more people to just bum rush him [and got lucky with Mustadio Paralyzing and the like!] I was able to get it done. The MVPs were Poison from Ranger Snake and Cross Slash Immobilize stopping his Move HP Up. Once I took out his cronies things were smooth sailing.
Only to move on to the next round! I tried it with the same set up and got trounced after Worker 8 showed up. So I reconfigured the team and managed to win after only 1 or 2 attempts, but it was a long hard slog! I couldn't believe when he revived that last time, I was ready to be done with him! Mustadio was largely useless for most of the battle, he would just fly back and forth following Ganon without getting close. Finally he unleashed 'Dispose' in what I think might have been scripted moves as they were key moments in the battle and I can't understand why he wasn't using it earlier if that wasn't the case.
I was also quite surprised that I could bring an extra party member in the final battle - I only had one extra member, a level 8 Chocobo, but it actually ended up being really helpful as I let Cloud ride it, thinking I'd use it to keep him Immobilizing Ganon, but instead it had him Blade Beaming him as Cloud [and everyone else!] was near death for most of the battle.
The MVPs of the final battle I'd say were Invigorate on Dante/Cloud for keeping people popping back up. Gunk Shot on Snake for nailing a couple Oil's on Ganon, and Asura wielding Dante hitting a few 100+ damage attacks capitalizing on Oil. Agrias was largely useless except as a damage sink/distraction, I put Monk secondary on her and she just Chakra'd like crazy, she dealt a total of 0 damage to Ganon. Link was dead most of the time but did hit a few Ice Arrows, no Slow though. Ramza was support with White Magic/Guts, a few Shells, Regens, a Yell here and there, some Wishing/Encouraging. I like Ramza in this support role, it fits his character. Snake was an item bot when not Gunking. I was really hoping I could revive Zelda too and have her be a Guest but she was Teta'd.
I'll post my final team in a second post, levels were 14-16 on the main Five and 8 for both Agrias/Chocobro. Gotta say I loved the new movesets and the diversity in each party member! Maybe I'll make a second post and give some general thoughts on each character too just to avoid this one being so massive.
I loved the side stuff with Alma, when Lavian/Alicia/Rad showed up I thought it was so cool. The old gang still kicking around and taking care of eachother. Loved all the new item types as well, can't wait to see more in the weapon/armor department as things progress! Okay, I just remembered my job interview tomorrow and got all stressed so I'm going to wrap this up and make a second character post but they key thing is;
Thank you to everybody involved in this and those continuing to work on it! It was a real wonderful experience and I'm stoked to see it develop. Kudos especially for taking the wacky premise of these five coming together and blending there worlds into something that feels like a true FFT sequel! Thank you!