I have a confession to make. In seventh grade, I spent about one hundred hours with Final Fantasy Tactics. Well…okay…so maybe it was closer to two hundred. You’d think that would have stunted my social growth, if only it weren’t so enriching. When you play Final Fantasy Tactics, you’re not just sitting in front of a videogame to while away the hours — it’s an experience akin to jumping into a Leo Tolstoy novel, with an exquisitely fleshed-out narrative and immensely deep gameplay in equal amounts. To call this game one of the crowning cultural achievements of the 1990s would be quite appropriate.

This is in no small part due to the genius of writer and game designer Yasumi Matsuno, who’s known for topsy turvy high fantasy plots laden with more politics and good old-fashioned drama than you can shake a game controller at. When Final Fantasy Tactics saw re-release on the PSP in 2007, its script became even better for the work of translators Joseph Reeder and Tom Slattery, who hail from Kajiya Productions and have had plenty of experience bringing Matsuno’s works to English audiences. I’m not sure how the script sounds in Japanese, but in English it sounds like Shakespeare. To some people Final Fantasy Tactics may be just a game, but I’ll always remember it as a cautionary tale on the effects of class struggle. Seriously, if you’re an English teacher, you can feel comfortable with your students writing essays on this. In fact, you should encourage it.

Let’s talk about music. Nobuo Uematsu may be the first composer to come to gamers’ minds when they hear the words “Final Fantasy,” but any time Hitoshi Sakimito is attached to a Matsuno project, you can count on real magic being made. Just listen (volume warning!) to one of the soaring military themes from Final Fantasy Tactics and you’ll hear what I mean.

Oh, yeah, did I mention there’s a game in addition to the immersive political drama and the awe-inspiring symphony? Final Fantasy Tactics‘ job system is still the de facto standard for letting players shape their characters; while the game is linear with a smattering of optional sidequests toward its conclusion, the fact that you can end up with a war party that feels entirely different each go-around does wonders for its replay value. The player’s constantly swimming in tons of options for new action and reaction abilities for his or her characters to take into its strategic grid-based battles, lending this one more depth than your average AAA title.

But you didn’t come here for a lecture on how great this game is, did you? Sorry about that — you came here to find out what you have to do for your chance to win a free copy of its iOS port. Square Enix hasn’t set a release date in stone yet, but that’s okay: if it’s still not live in the App Store by the time this contest ends, you’ll know whether you have to start scrounging for dough or whether you can rest easy, knowing we’ll gift a free copy to your US App Store account the moment it hits.

So, here’s what you need to do!*

A) Make sure you’re following iFanzine on Twitter.

B) Retweet this post as many times as possible all this week! (or share it on Facebook, via Google +1 etc). Bonus points for those of you who follow iFanzine on FaceBook too!

C) Let us know you’ve completed the above steps by dropping a quick message in the comments section below.

We know what you’re thinking: “Aww, so many people are going to enter this thing, my chances are gonna get buried. I’d have better luck with the Lotto than this!” Well, that’s why we’re doing things slightly different this time around. For every 300 Tweets this contest rakes in, iFanzine will give away one copy of Final Fantasy Tactics, up to 1200 Tweets. That’s right, we fully intend to break the 999 damage limit with this one and give away up to four copies. So make like a parakeet on a caffeine high and Tweet, Tweet, TWEET!



*Winners will be drawn at random one week from today and notified via Twitter and/or email. ***When commenting, please ensure you enter a valid email address. A US App Store account is required for this one as we’ll be ‘gifting’
Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions to the lucky winner(s).***