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Vandal Hearts

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Released: 1997

Genre: RPG

Format reviewed: PlayStation

Publisher: Konami

Developer: KCE

Submitted by: David McMahon

Vandal Hearts was one of the first RPG titles to be released to the world of the 32 bit consoles and a decent attempt by KCE Tokyo to join the large collection in its history. It proved to be a popular title within gamers to gain a sequel in 2000.

Battles are taken place in a series of grids that are made up of squares and can be set within different heights. The game contains a wide variety of characters that join throughout your progress. Each one goes into one of seven classes : Swordsman, Armor, Archer, Hawknight, Monk, Mage and Cleric. Each have their own advantage that the others don't and the last three classes in the list are magic users.

Some of the stages do not require your mission to kill the enemy characters but will make your character help a close friend escape from large forces or saving a larger group from death. If you lose most of your team it doesn’t cause defeat, just less points and gold that you require while you progress through the levels. Some of the characters in the game are known as “Friendly” and if they are killed in a certain level they will return in the next.

Japan has a habit of keeping some of their RPG titles to themselves but I’m glad they decided to release this to the European market but only for the Playstation. The Sega Saturn version was only released in Japan, which I found unfortunate as the Panzer Dragoon collection was their only popular RPG title and could have done with a rival. In America the game created a cult within gamers, which probably gave Konami no hesitation to associate them with the sequel.