Should you make a mistake anyway and accidentally hit a party member with a badly-aimed fire spell though, there's also the new CHARIOT system. This feature makes it possible to rewind as far back as 50 moves, effectively resetting the chess pieces and allowing you to take a new approach to a battle. It's most useful when combat is going badly, as it basically automates the save/load process inherent to this genre. In a game like Tactics Ogre where characters can die permanently, the CHARIOT system is particularly useful given the suicidal tendencies of the guest characters, who will more often than not be cut down because they decided it was a good idea to rush into the middle of a pack of enemies. As certain guest characters need to survive in order to be recruited, the CHARIOT system saves a lot of frustration. The system isn't mandatory, however. It's perfectly possible to play through Tactics Ogre without even using the CHARIOT system once, which will likely be a point of pride among dedicated fans.
Perhaps the crowning achievement is the story. The original game was well ahead of its time in the way it offered players radically different paths to victory; and once again, the remake expands upon those ideas. When the "World" system is unlocked following the game's conclusion, it becomes possible to revisit past decisions and take a different route. Given the complexity of the story--it's a workout just to keep up with all of the factions--the ability to explore the different paths without having to start a whole new game is a welcome addition. It effectively doubles the playtime that Tactics Ogre offers, as different branches offer different missions and different allies, which makes for a vastly different experience.
And this is a story worth exploring. Denam, Catiua and Vyce are all well-defined characters with their own motivations, and there are a multitude of side characters who can become allies or enemies depending on your actions. There are no definitive "good" and "evil" choices; instead, they are mostly there to make you decide whether the ends justify the means. It's remarkable how mature the story is given that Tactics Ogre is actually a fifteen year old RPG. The complex tale of war, rebellion, jealousy and betrayal matches almost anything on the market today.
Regrettably, the "multiplayer" mode is really just a tease. Downloading an AI-controlled version of another player's party is all well and good, but it hardly approaches the suite of options available in War of Lions. Given that it's been done before, it would seem natural to have full-on competitive and cooperative modes for those looking to squeeze every last ounce of enjoyment from this game. It's not a crucial omission, but it is a disappointing one. Really though, the world would be a happier place if all remakes were as well thought out as Tactics Ogre. It dramatically improves on the original by fixing many of the original's flaws and building what was already great, all while adding numerous subtle flourishes to the presentation. Obviously, a complete graphical overhaul would have been more than welcome, but the enhanced spell effects and the fully-voiced story sequences do more than enough to make it feel at home on the PSP.
With its well-balanced party customization and superior story combined with new and interesting features like the CHARIOT system, Tactics Ogre is the best tactical RPG available on the PSP today. Don't let the lack of a flashy, modern presentation turn you off; anyone who loves wading into deep, lovingly-crafted RPGs are truly in for a treat.