More Reviews
REVIEWS Pillars of Eternity Review
Obsidian Entertainment creates a retro Infinity Engine RPG funded by Kickstarter. Is it as good as previous Infinity Engine games, or does the novelty quickly wear off?

Game of Thrones: Episode 3 - "Th Review
Either you win or you die... or you just stay the same.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Final Fantasy: Record Keeper Preview
The official Final Fantasy 2D sprite-based demake I never knew I wanted.

LATEST FEATURES 9 of the Best Indies at PAX East 2015
Indie gallery alert! We're featuring the likes of Titan Souls, Pollen, NOCT, and We Happy Few.

Evolve's New Behemoth Is Terrifying
Behemoth is bigger than your average Evolve monster, but he sure knows how to roll quickly.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Top 50 Pokémon of All Time
Can you believe there are now six generations of Pokémon? Six!! That's a crazy amount of different creatures to collect. But which are the cream of the crop? Don't worry, Magikarp isn't actually one of them.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP shandog137
The perils of the Hype Train…
By shandog137
Posted on 03/09/15
The recent release of Evolve and The Order 1886 really got me to thinking about the disparity between the perspective of sales-driven publishers and the quality-driven purchases of consumers. The “Hype Train” is nothing new, but the way it is utilized has been creating far more...

Vandal Hearts Review

Mark_Cooke By:
Mark_Cooke
06/04/04
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE  
PLAYERS 1- 1 
PUBLISHER Konami 
DEVELOPER  
RELEASE DATE  
M Contains Animated Blood and Gore, Animated Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Not really a RPG, but still a hell of a lot of fun

Vandal Hearts is definitely one of the sleeper hits of the year. No one expected it to be a great game, as it wasn't hyped up before its release. But Konami put something into the game that usually helps: fun and addictive gameplay.

Vandal Hearts claims to be an RPG, but it really isn't. Actually, it's a strategy game with RPG elements and a story intertwined. Unlike Command and Conquer, where you can have hundreds of "units" at a time, in Vandal Hearts you usually have around 7. But rather than having units with identical abilities, each of your characters have different skills, spells, and strengths that set them apart. They advance in levels, again making Vandal Hearts look like an RPG, but all it really does is add more spells and raise endurance.

For every ten levels you advance, you can choose a path of study for your character. For example, when your archer reaches level 10, you can either have him become a Bowman (a more skilled archer) or a Hawknight (a flying, spear-wielding character). Since your characters can be different every time you play, Vandal Hearts has some unprecedented replay value.

During the actual strategic part of the game, you navigate bitmapped characters throughout a polygon map. The maps range anywhere from really small to quite big - it can take up to 20 minutes to get from one side to another. The landscapes are varied with mountains and valleys. The textures that are slathered on the polygons look great, and the bitmapped characters and enemies fit in like a charm. The spells don't look quite as good as Final Fantasy 7, but they are still really cool. Vandal Hearts did receive a rating of Mature, and there is really only one reason for it. When you kill an enemy, even if you just poke it with your finger, an artery-busting spray of blood is released. Although it may be a little gratuitous, it sure does look neat.

The game is turn-based and you navigate each character individually. Because of the vastly different maps and buildings that would block your view of the action, you can rotate the camera around 360 degrees, as well as switch from a blimp view to a side view (and everything in-between). The camera is really intuitive, not hindering the game at all. Before you decide to start moving your characters and spewing some blood, you might want to observe the landscape and plan out your attack. Because you can see the whole map from the beginning, having an actual plan can be extremely helpful. I can attest that blindly running around attempting to kill things doesn't work as well as you'd think.

The music is an orchestral score that will definitely get you pumped up into killing the baddies. The sound is equally as good; squishy blood sounds and the clashes of metal upon metal are all superbly done. The sounds that accompany the spells also follow suit, and you won't be disappointed by leaving the sound turned up LOUD.

This game is so ridiculously addictive, you'll soon find yourself taking time off from work to play it. Its combination of a good story, great control, and strategic play set it apart from all the other games on the market today.

A- Revolution report card
  • + Fun as hell
  • + Great graphics
  • + Rich Sound
  • - Not Revolutionary, but quite cool

More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Vandal Hearts


More On GameRevolution