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Saigas [Posts: 158] Logged
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  • [October 10, 2009, 05:51:23 AM]
Vandal Hearts (The overlooked classic)
« on: October 10, 2009, 05:51:23 AM »
Though the fact is that there are many of us here at FFH who have lived in the realm of Turn-based Strategy RPGs for awhile now, I find myself continuously surprised by the incredible amount of people who have never played (or even know about) Konami's classic Playstation SRPG "Vandal Hearts."

For those of you who have never before played the game, let me be the one to tell you - "You should play it."

Now, don't get me wrong.  I wouldn't classify this game as epic. In fact, I wouldn't even really say it is as good as FFT as far as SRPGs go. But it is certainly good enough to hold its own.

While it doesn't really have the quality of FFT as far as graphics goes, it makes up for it by providing you with a great story. Not as great as FFT's, but it's still really good.  Additionally, whereas FFT is chock full of "Generic Random Name Characters" and a few "Unique Player Characters" that have at least some relevance to the overall plot, Vandal Hearts has a large group of fairly well-developed characters, all with names and back stories, and almost every single one of them actively playing an important role in the progression of the plot.

The plot, however, IS rather short, and VERY linear. The armaments from beginning to end are almost entirely shop-purchased, enemies have equipment you can NEVER obtain, there are NO random battles, and there is really only one sidequest in the entire game, which is actually a 'hidden' quest that must be accomplished "as you go" throughout the main story. The shortness of the game is also amplified by the fact that the level of the final villain is not only preset, it is also less than 50. This is largely due to the fact that the lack of random battles completely prevents power-leveling (unless you use the only known cheating method), which is a plus to those of us who enjoy the challenge.

Now, on another positive note - where FFT limited the number of PCs in battle to 5 (or 4 + up to 2 Guests), Vandal Hearts starts you off with only 3 members in your party, but every ally you gain as you progress through the story is an active member in each future battle. By the time you have acquired your final ally, you stand strong as a party of no less than 12. This is, of course, balanced by the fact that the enemy groups you fight increase in quantity/quality as your party does.

There is, however, a downside to this party set up and that is the "Vandal Hearts" Class System, which leaves much to be desired. The classes are very linear, and provide very little for the player to be creative or imaginative with. The large number of characters you possess in battle makes up for this somewhat, but not entirely.

Aside from what I listed, I can't really describe much more about this game without giving up story spoilers. But I will say this much. I would like those who read this topic to give this game a shot. As far as SRPGs go, it is definitely an overlooked classic.

Thanks for your time. ^_^

P.S. - If nothing else, this game has one of the best Ocarina songs I've ever heard. It's title is "Vicissitudes of Fortune". It isn't very long, and is rather repetitive, but I'm certain you will no doubt hear the power in its notes. Look it up sometime on Google or Youtube.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 06:34:19 PM by Saigas »
Vanya [Posts: 3937] Logged
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  • [October 10, 2009, 07:27:29 AM]
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2009, 07:27:29 AM »
One of my favorites.
Never got into part 2.
Always wanted to do a FFT hack based on it.
Luminar Logged
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  • [October 10, 2009, 09:26:55 AM]
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2009, 09:26:55 AM »
loved Vandal Hearts, the second one was alright compared to the first, the battle with clive was one of my favorites, ash's paragon and vandal attack animation is preety sick.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 11:00:00 PM by Luminar »
Kaijyuu [Posts: 1245] Logged
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  • [October 10, 2009, 01:59:06 PM]
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2009, 01:59:06 PM »
I played up to chapter 5-ish (right after the town gets slaughtered and you're sent to get the sword). I was extremely bored.


There are two things the game had going for it:
- Graphical style was pretty awesome. Most everything was exaggerated to the point of ridiculousness (my archer has a tank-thing that shoots arrows?), but that's part of the appeal.
- Map design. Far and above the design of FFT's maps. Lots of strategy to be had in abusing the terrain. Too bad there's nothing else resembling strategy in the entire rest of the game.

I found the story to be blah, the battles to be far too long, and the moveset of my characters painfully dull. Maybe I'm spoiled by FFT, but I don't think any character's movelist should be limited to "attack" and "item" for the entire freaking game, and that's exactly what 7 of the 12 characters had.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 11:00:00 PM by Kaijyuu »
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SolidSnakeDog Logged
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  • [October 10, 2009, 02:13:12 PM]
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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2009, 02:13:12 PM »
Years ago, My friend made me borrow this game so i can play it.
Not top quality,but good eneuf for me to beat that game :shock:  :lol: )
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 11:00:00 PM by SolidSnakeDog »
Saigas [Posts: 158] Logged
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  • [October 10, 2009, 06:43:18 PM]
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« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2009, 06:43:18 PM »
@Vanya: I also really want to see a FFT hack based on this game at some point.

@ Kaijyuu: Indeed it was a very limited game and many people couldn't quite sit through it long enough purely on account of the boredom. As far as having only Attack and Item goes, it does make things somewhat dull, but I found a certain appeal in the characters of the story not all having unique skills, or even special moves pertaining to their class. I may simply be weird that way, but only being able to Attack or utilize some magical characters made the game require much more thought in its battles, and that held a certain appeal for me. As for the story, I loved it.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 11:00:00 PM by Saigas »
Prinygod [Posts: 69] Logged
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  • [April 05, 2011, 04:32:13 AM]
Re: Vandal Hearts (The overlooked classic)
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2011, 04:32:13 AM »
i always loved Vandal hearts. The story was ok, and the battle system doesn't hold up that well, but the fights were awesome. Almost every fight was unique, whether you were fighting a giant bug that raised the whole level, fighting on clasping bridges, or farriering your unit on alternating elevators while archers rain down arrows. When i play though it i always try weird or different combination. One game i went 4 archers 3 dragoons 4 monks and Ash. Besides the archers, these classes are generally considered to be inferior. (Yet it worked out well, just got to change your strategy)

Check out www.mamehub.info an online emulator that combines MAME and MESS

My youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/Prinygod?feature=mhee
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Pickle Girl Fanboy [Posts: 1482] Logged
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  • [April 05, 2011, 10:34:25 PM]
Re: Vandal Hearts (The overlooked classic)
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2011, 10:34:25 PM »
What's up with the necrobumping today?

And I played it a long time ago, and it was fun, but I think I lost it or something.
Prinygod [Posts: 69] Logged
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  • [April 06, 2011, 10:32:02 PM]
Re: Vandal Hearts (The overlooked classic)
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2011, 10:32:02 PM »
for me its because i was gone from the forums for a long time so i was looking at a lot of the posts that came after i left.

Check out www.mamehub.info an online emulator that combines MAME and MESS

My youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/Prinygod?feature=mhee
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