Name: Vagrant Story (90.00% in 4 votes)
Company: SquareSoft Japan
Release date: 2000
Reviewed by: Linglan
The Weekly Famitsu has give VS a 40 out of 40 score. It is the 3rd game that have ever received such a high score. Let's see what the game have to offer to get this high score. (I consider this game Aventure not RPG because in game, you will never level up but skill level up.)
Again, I don't understand Jap so I can't tell you anything. But with some help from GameSpot's preview(hehehe), here is a quote from the preview. "... Now, the Valendia Knights of the Peace have reported a break-in at Duke Bardorba's gargantuan mansion, and the responsible party, Sydney Lostalot, frames Ashley for the subsequent deaths and hostage-takings. Sydney, the fiercely charismatic leader of the religious cult "Mellenkamp", is deadly charming. Exactly why he and his men have taken over the mansion is unknown. Ashley must now infiltrate the Duke's manor, free the hostages, and clear his name..." From the above story, I guess you know who you are playing. That's right, Ashley Riot. The game takes place in middle age Europe.
If you ever played Final Fantasy series, you will notice that there is one that is every similar to VS's graphic. That's Final Fantasy Tactic. Well, it is the same person who did FFT, so that's not a big surprise. I really like the engine and idea Square use in this game's graphic, Where the map is divided into many small blocks of room. So that the game creator can put more texture in every block, very smart. For those that don't understand what I am talking about, here is an example: In a bigger place, creator is only allow to use less detail or ugly texture because he need to fill the whole area, while in contrat to smaller place, like VS, creator can put more beautiful and detail texture in area because it is small. The characters are very detail also, thanks again to the engine and idea. Square didn't use any CGs(except intro) in any special events because the characters are so detail that there is no point of creating one. ^_^
Control is wierd from other type of Aventure games because you got Jump... take a bit of time to get use to it. Basiclly, it is Triangle for Inventory, O for Draw weapon & Attack, X for Action, Square for Jump. L1 & L2 to rotate the camera movement(you are allow to movement around freely but only from 60 degree angle). START for 3rd person perceptive(like Quake) but you are not allow to move your character in this mode. And SELECT for Zoom in and out. You only have 2 mode for zooming.
Again with old Square way, you are only allow to save at save point. Saving takes quit long, about 10 secs... So is managing your magic chest inventor. It will have to read your memory card first (5~10 sec), then after finish managing them, you will require to save it first otherwise it will leave unchange.
There is no level up, so the best way to stay alive is to find or enhance equipements. There is no shop for buying weapons, shield or armor, but in the game, there is a forge room which allows player to create their own... I should not say create... it should be say enhance, just like Parasite Eve where you enhance your equipments. You get equipments from treasure chests or monsters, you disassemble them and use the best parts to create better equipments. You are allow to do it as many time as you wish, except merging two equipments. It can only be done once, it can't not be disassemble so be careful when use this command. The game offers the magic chest where you can put thing in there, just like the one in Resident Evil.
If player use some type of weapon more often, then player will learn special weapon attack for that particular type of weapon(use small amount of HP). There is special commands for attack(drain HP or MP) and defend(only take half damage)and again, player use often the commands for attack or defend, the more commands will be availible to player.
It plays like Parasite Eve 2 where there is no Active Time Bar, so you will need to keep pressing O to know when is your turn. Depending on the weapon, player will have range to reach the enemy. A green globe will be show to see if the enemy is in range, just like Parasite Eve. After the initial attack, players can use special commands for attack to combo. Players allow to combo as many time as they wish only if they time their attack correctly. Example: after pressing O, you see the sword slash the enemy. At that moment, you need to press the special commands for attack, like O, Square or Triangle, depend on what commands you assign to those buttons. The every buttons' attack has different timing and higher the combo, the game will ask more precise timing. So is the defend command, but this time you are need to know when enemy is attacking, also you are only allow to use it once. Magic & special weapon attack are the same, no skill, just call out inventory and use them.
Does this game really deserve 40/40? Well, I am not sure. But checking those previous games that got 40/40, they are all action RPG... if you are action fans, then yes. If you don't like timing for attack or moving things around to solve puzzle, then this is not the game for you. For the story lovers, I think it offers very good storyline. Well, it is SquareSoft, can't be that bad. ~_~
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