A kick back to a CLASSIC

User Rating: 8 | Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment PS3
This seemingly simplistic RPG game, like its forebearers, hides a remarkably cunning, challenging and comfortable strategy game under its wing.

Having loved the original games, spotting this on PSN presented an irresistable urge for some retro gaming action. It continues the turn based strategy employed in earlier releases and does so in much the same way. This makes for a terrifically satisfying delve into the once loved and forgotten genre of strategy games.

The formula is beyond doubt almost identicle to the previous installments, this is by no means a bed thing, as this was the main laid back, loived element which drew me in initially.

I presume people interested in reading a review of this slightly obscure game have some level of experience of the original. However for those Vandal Hearts virgins i will explain. You control an ever expanding and changing party of characters within a set, 3d board game like environment, each turn you are granted the opportunity to perform an action with each character in the party, be it attack a foe, defenfd themself or a party member, cast magic (offensive or defensive) move or investigate ( in the search for money or items). the computer then in turn directs its players leading to a strategic, almost chess like game.

Strategy is foremost and very challenging as the game progresses, and you will be required to manage weapons load outs, attribute magic abilities and develop x and mp for each character.

The environments are very simple, providing little more than a fixed board on which the battles are played out, though this game does blatantly focus on gameplay over visual splendour.

The characters are forgettable, and the story weak and confused with no open world environment to speak of, also there are some very annoying voices attributed to the characters and their quips are cringeworthy to the most absolute level, but can be muted (thank god).

Yes this game has floors and a somewhat limited gameplay approach, but if you liked or loved (as i did) the original 2 games, you will find nothing more than the same great strategy gaming, a sorry miss on next gen consoles. Thank you Vandal Hearts for reminding us of a simpler time...