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VINE VOICEon 1 February 2003
Squaresoft have created an absorbing adventure that stands apart from other RPG's on PSX. The storyline is very impressive and engaging with plenty of twists & turns, nice cut scenes & flashbacks and a powerful cast of characters. Special praise needs to be lauded to Squaresoft for creating one of the grandest opening sequences ever on Playstation One. The intro is super long and requires you the gamer to get involved by controling the central protagonist of this tale Riskbreaker Ashley Riot, even before the game starts proper. This game has gorgeous graphics, top notch sound and some puzzle elements. Combat is 3-D action based as opposed to turnbased. The combat system for an RPG is quite innovative, you can target a specific body location rather than just simply scaling down the HP tally. You also have a wide selection of spells & Offensive and Defensive Battle Abilities. The latter are activated via a chain process. So if you perfect your timing you can string together a whole series of lethal attacks without enemy reply. Furthermore, each time you defeat a boss you gain extra magic, items and bonus increases of your stats. On the downside if you want to get very far in this game you need to train up your weapons & armour to specialise against different categories of of enemy such as undead, humans, beasts, evil etc. This can be a touch irksome as you have to keep on changing weapons/armour each time you meet a different class of enemy in order to specialise. Furthermore, this game has limited replay value despite new locations opening up 2nd time around; as you commence your 2nd game with the powerful weapons that you finished with first time around, this makes the game very easy. However, these are very minor drawbacks to what is an excellent title. Vagrant Story also benefits from a fine mapping feature, game manual feature and under the game menu Score you can observe how well you are doing , mission time taken, combat statistics, monsters encountered - this is another nice touch. If you like RPG's and have yet to sample this I would readily recommend this as you should not be disappointed with this rich and regal RPG.
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on 24 August 2000
Make no mistake this is a fantastic game. However this suffers from comparisons with FF series and Metal Gear Solid. It has to be said that Vagrant Story is sufficiently different from these and should not be compared to these games.
It basically is a Dungeons & Dragons game, with a mix of platform, action and RPG elements mixed in. For the most part it works. The only critism I can make is that they have slightly over-complicated certain elements of the battle system. However, the more you put into this aspect of the game, the more you get out of it. The game is not as big as FF, so creating new weapons and armour actually adds to the longevity of the game. New weapons/armour are created by mixing old ones together (like herbs in Resident Evil). Overall there is alot in this game that will appeal to alot of people. I think Squaresoft may have introduced a new genre in this game which joins adventure, platform,puzzle and RPG together in one game. With Playstation 2 on the horizon this may be the future for this type of game. A brilliant game, worth the money.
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on 25 August 2000
This game is seriously cool. The battle system, the "leveling" system, the settings and the storyline, it has little to no flaws. Except one. It'll depend what kind of mindset you have but the continual changing between weapons and forging may turn some people off whereas others might find it strangely... compelling/fulfilling? I just can't find the right word there. In any case, very very cool.
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on 3 November 2002
Vagrant Story is quite a surprising game when you first play it: the graphic style is very original, and the comics-like dialogs are as well. The fighting gameplay is excellent, with the chain combos et the selection of the part of your oponent's boby that you want to hit. The replay value is very good, since when you beat the game the first time, you unlock items that will allow you to explore areas previously innaccessible. But the real strength of this game is its scenario: deep, complex, serious, sometimes tragic, always incredibly interesting, dealing with subjects such as serious as, for instance, religion, etc...
There are loads of brilliants dialogs, sharp and full of implicite meaning, and, if you want to put a picture on the word "charisma", just think of Sydney Losstarot, the greatest video game character ever.
Buy it, you won't regret it, as long as you like "serious" video games with great scenarios.
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on 28 July 2000
In the past, RPGs have failed to appeal me (Final Fantasy VII, Granstream Saga) and I thought the same thing would happen with this.I first rented this from the video shop and I regreted doing so as I was travelling home thinking it wouldn't be good.I got home and put it in my PS, went to new game, WHOA! The cinematic quality of the cut-scenes overwhelmed me! The battle system was complex yet appealing and the graphics were out of sight! If you liked Final Fantasy 7 & 8 (which I didn't) then this will glue your arse to your seat, your hands to your controller and your eyes to the TV.If you don't, but enjoy adventure games, get it anyway!You'll love it!
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on 24 September 2005
I bought this game soon after its release, which was sometime in 2000. With the possible exceptions of Shadow Hearts, FFVII and Phantasy Star IV (ancient game for the Megadrive) this game has the best plot of any I've played. The characters develop well and are actually characters, not caricatures. You will not find a brooding black mage, dressed all in black eager to destroy the world in this game, nor a cute, happy white mage.
The score is excellent. I'm not one easily pleased by videogame music, the FF scores tend to be forgettable at best (excepting a few from FFVII), but the music in this game adds greatly to the medievil atmosphere.
Using the workshop system, you can combine armour and weaponry to create new items in this game. This can take a while, but patience will often be rewarded with an excellent weapon. Money doesn't exist in this game and items are found scattered about and from slain enemies.
The combat system is pretty good. You can link attacks together and (theoretically) hit an opponent an unlimited number of times. Each attack can be imbued with a special feature (such as poisoning the enemy). The gameplay is very good indeed, and the larger scale spells can be used to good effect.
However, the game is almost entirely linear. On a second playthrough, there is much more to explore and on the first playthrough there are a few optional areas, but it is largely mandatory. The combat system is good, but you may get bored fighting almost all the time. I did, but only after some considerable time.
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This game has classic written all over it, overall graphically it is a playstation classic, in the game play department it tries something new for the developer square (final fantasy fame), a real time battle and interactive gaming environment. However the first 5 hours are magic, sadly after that it kills off anyone but hardcore rpg gameplayers due to the difficulty level raising. However if you are after a challenging rpg,(and I mean challenging) with a mixture action and magic, this might be worth your cash.
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on 23 July 2000
Ok ... the game is not such an epic as the FF series, but what it lacks in flashy FMV's etc, it makes up in pure playability, strategy, action and option tweakability. The in-game engine is a joy to play with and the dark, slightly twisted storyline keeps up the interest. This game is definately one for those who like to stay up at night .... more coffee anyone ? I,m replaying it again now (even after finishing, ther is still so much to do)
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on 18 October 2011
This game has one of the better story lines of the jrpg genre, it's well written and keeps you going. (I won't include any spoilers)

The graphics are getting very very dated now, which is hardly surprising, and I'm ashamed to say this did diminish my enjoyment of this title, when games that look as beautiful as FF XIII and Eternal Sonata abound then PS1 games start to look and feel far too old. The sometimes awkward camera angles are a bit of a let down too.

The gameplay is interesting, it has an original combat system that is part live action and part turn based, this is a good thing and is a pleasant change from standing in a line waiting to get hit. What is a bit annoying is the management of equipment and items, there are too many button presses and menu screens for every occasion but this is a regular feature of the older genre of games.

This is a real classic game and a great example of a sadly outdated golden age of jrpg's, if you are a story gamer then you'll love it for that but if you're a graphics and action junky you might find yourself wishing for more. I enjoyed it in the context of an ancient game, many wouldn't.
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VINE VOICEon 11 December 2004
This is, without doubt, one of the best games I have ever brought for the Playstation. If you havn't played it yet and are into RPG's then I suggest that you don't stop at anything to purchase a copy. I've been playing the game since it was first released and have still to achieve all the possible objectives in the game.
I won't go into a description of the game itself (plenty of other reviews do this) but trust me when I say, if you've got the money then purchase this game.
N.B. If you do buy this game then to watch the whole intro for the storyline don't press any keys on the main menu and after a short while the first part of the intro will play and the second part of the intro is accessed by selecting New Game.
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