This tactical RPG is definitely worth getting if you're a fan of Fire Emblem or Valkyria Chronicles.

User Rating: 8 | Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment PS3
I remember back when they said that this would be released in the Fall that I was really excited about it. The look and gameplay reminded me a lot of games like Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy Tactics. My assumptions were correct, as this game was very similar, but still manages to have an enjoyable story and likable characters.

GAMEPLAY - As I said, this is a tactical RPG. If you've played one of the games I mentioned, you shouldn't need much of an explanation here. But for everyone else, this is a game where you move your soldiers around the field eliminating enemies in order to complete an objective. Your characters' skills level up when you use them a lot, so for example if you want to make a good archer you're going to want to use your bow a lot. These also work defensively, as with the case of a skill like melee defense or ranged defense. As it's probably evident, these skills go up depending on the more damage your character takes in a certain way. Other than that there isn't a lot to know about the gameplay. Like many games of its kind, you will usually have shops between levels in order to purchase supplies. Also, there are usually chests or other hidden items on the battlefield which can provide a great reward if you take the time to seek them out. Overall this is actually really fun, especially for a PSN game. - 9/10

STORY - I've only gotten past the first act so far, but I can tell you that the story has already had some interesting twists to it. In the interests of getting people to play this, I won't say much here other than that you're going to have a fun time with the characters and story presented here. - 8.5/10

GRAPHICS - The graphics are a little on the different side, but at the same time they look pretty cool. I only have a couple complaints here. For one, whenever you're on the battlefield, you don't just see off into the distance or even have the map surrounded by a barrier such as trees or mountains. Instead, the battlefield looks like a chunk of the Earth was just taken and raised up into the sky specifically for this battle. It's not a huge complaint, but when you notice this, and believe me it is noticeable, you realize the fact that you're playing a game and not being totally immersed by the whole experience. Also I saw a cutscene between the first and second acts that was...well, different. If you get this game you'll see what I mean, but it was kind of hard to follow what was going on and who was speaking. Otherwise the graphics are fine. - 8/10

SOUND - I think the sounds from this game shine through in both the voice-acting and the ambient noises. For instance, between battles you'll usually be in camp, and you'll hear the crackling sounds of a fire in the background. There are just cool little tid-bits like that worth mentioning. The voice-acting, although seemingly aimed more at kids than teens as this game seems to be, is done pretty well, and you can figure out a lot about each character just by listening to them talk. There isn't much music, and I really hate the opening song when you load up the game. Otherwise though, no real complaints. - 7.5/10

LENGTH/REPLAY VALUE - Considering this game is a PSN game, it actually has a fair bit of depth to it. The first act was only a tutorial and 3 or 4 levels, but that still isn't too bad. It's pretty fun, and I'm hoping it goes on for awhile. Plus there's apparently two different endings, which could support some replay value. - 8/10

BOTTOM LINE - I'm pretty happy with my purchase of this game. I would say it's one of the best PSN games I've gotten thus far. I realize it's not going to be as long or as fun ultimately as I had with Fire Emblem on the gamecube, but this still shows a lot of promise. Considering that's really the only series I miss that Nintendo has but the PS3 doesn't, this provides a nice substitute. And if you're not too into Anime stuff, don't let that turn you off here. I played games like this and Fire Emblem and hate 98% of Anime. Just my personal opinion, but seriously...if you want a fun and up-to-date tactical RPG, look no further. - 8/10