Conclusion: If you're a fan of RPG games then don't hesitate to pick this up and do yourself a favour and pick up the 1st Vandal Hearts for the Playstation 1 too, you'll be in for a treat. It's shocking that this series was never bigger and more popular than it is. Please leave a comment if you down vote my review!
Excerpt: The fanbase of the RPG genre is often split down the middle. Many prefer the “old school” turn-based style of gameplay while others tend to lean toward more modernized offerings (the Mass Effect series is a prime example). Hijinx and Konami have gone back to the old school well and brought back beloved favorite Vandal Hearts to Xbox Live Arcade.
Review: Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment (Microsoft Xbox 360)
10 February 2010
Excerpt: RPGs and I have a secret love affair. I can tolerate more time spent with a good RPG and a bottle of rum than I can with most of my relationships. That either says I love video games too much or am an alcoholic. I personally think it shows my love for rum. The one genre of game that is lacking on the Xbox Arcade is quality RPGs. Think about it though. Most RPGs are long and are very story heavy, and that kind of takes away from the whole concept of an Arcade.
Excerpt: The story itself is a prequel, with the events unfolding during the years immediately following the war between the Balastrade and the Urdu. As usual, players assume the role of a young man who has his entire life up heaved when an attack on his hometown forces him to flee with a couple of friends. From there, players embark on a step-by-step journey in order to transform from weak child into warrior badass along with five other pals that join your “pitiful little band.
Excerpt: It wasn't long ago that the strategy RPG was on the verge of death, choking on its clichéd plots and stale gameplay mechanics and desperately trying to cling onto survival. Noticing that the genre was in danger, strategy specialists Nippon Ichi gave it a firm slap on the back, filling it with life and promise once more. The ensuing Disgaea series offered team customisation, stylish anime character designs and an absurd level of depth.
Excerpt: There was excitement in the air when I started playing Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment a few days ago. The original Vandal Hearts , released many years ago for the PlayStation, was one hell of a fun experience in turn-based strategy. It wasn't TOO difficult, but challenged players by often giving them different objectives than the basic "you attack them, they attack you, try to win" goal.
Summary: Flames of Judgment is the first game to be released in the Vandal Hearts turn-based strategy role-playing game series for a full decade. Hijinx Studios has done a reasonably good job with this resurrection job for the Xbox Live Arcade (1,200 points) and PlayStation Network ($14.99), too, although there is only so much that the developer could do with such a dated concept.
Pros: Solid tactical RPG gaming, Involving story with realistic characters, Intuitive controls
Cons: Fairly easy and relatively short, Off-putting graphics, Character development system runs on rails