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RF Generation Message Board | Gaming | Community Playthroughs (Moderators: techwizard, singlebanana, wildbil52, GrayGhost81, Disposed Hero, MetalFRO) | February 2018 Playthrough - Vandal Hearts 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: February 2018 Playthrough - Vandal Hearts  (Read 4193 times)
zophar53
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« Reply #30 on: February 12, 2018, 05:20:39 PM »

I was too young to appreciate the story when I first played Vandal Hearts. It was too heavy with the politics initially and I kind of forgot about it right after I heard it, but I still appreciated that each character had their own backstory and subplot. It reminded me of Lunar in that way. I also remember being disappointed that there was no overworld map to move between battles. This may have been the first game I played that had all the out-of-battle moments take place in menus. That said, it streamlined things (at least in my mind) that ended up working for me.

I love the violence in this game! I like how every hit you score feels heavy and significant, with sound effects to match. And the blood fountains when you kill someone are so comically absurd that they still make me literally laugh out loud. The game definitely gets pretty difficult. This was also the first game I'd ever played with permadeath, so there were times when I restarted a battle because I refused to give up a character who I was fond of or was one of my heavy hitters. I really liked the Guardsman class. It does significantly reduce your mobility but those characters become such tanks that it was worth it in the later battles.

I'd forgotten about the alternate ending. I don't remember if I ever got it, but I have a vague memory of going back at some point with a guide to get all the keys.

I also agree about the music. The tunes themselves aren't especially memorable, but the melodies are impressive and epic. One of the vg music podcasts I listen to did an episode on Vandal Hearts music once and I was reminded how great they were. While the graphics of this game haven't aged well, the music is still great with their orchestration.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 05:23:32 PM by zophar53 » Logged

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« Reply #31 on: February 12, 2018, 05:47:09 PM »

I was too young to appreciate the story when I first played Vandal Hearts. It was too heavy with the politics initially and I kind of forgot about it right after I heard it, but I still appreciated that each character had their own backstory and subplot. It reminded me of Lunar in that way. I also remember being disappointed that there was no overworld map to move between battles. This may have been the first game I played that had all the out-of-battle moments take place in menus. That said, it streamlined things (at least in my mind) that ended up working for me.

I love the violence in this game! I like how every hit you score feels heavy and significant, with sound effects to match. And the blood fountains when you kill someone are so comically absurd that they still make me literally laugh out loud. The game definitely gets pretty difficult. This was also the first game I'd ever played with permadeath, so there were times when I restarted a battle because I refused to give up a character who I was fond of or was one of my heavy hitters. I really liked the Guardsman class. It does significantly reduce your mobility but those characters become such tanks that it was worth it in the later battles.

I'd forgotten about the alternate ending. I don't remember if I ever got it, but I have a vague memory of going back at some point with a guide to get all the keys.

I also agree about the music. The tunes themselves aren't especially memorable, but the melodies are impressive and epic. One of the vg music podcasts I listen to did an episode on Vandal Hearts music once and I was reminded how great they were. While the graphics of this game haven't aged well, the music is still great with their orchestration.

Totally agree about the violence, and the feeling that each hit/strike is impactful.  It does help give weight to the battles, which is good, because that's the bulk of the experience.  Also, re: permadeath, where/when does that factor in?  Each battle I finish, if I have characters that have to retreat, they're always back for the next battle.
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singlebanana
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« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2018, 07:09:49 PM »

@zophar53 Yeah, no characters actually die in this game, they just "fall back" and can't attack or get experience. I think you might be getting it mixed up with something else. Also please let me know the name of that podcast with the Vandal Hearts music. I would love to listen to that before we do our show. Thanks
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Licensed NES set: complete!, 12 games remaining for SMS set, 12 for 7800, and 25 for 5200.
zophar53
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« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2018, 10:13:03 PM »

Huh. Really??? I could've sworn some characters could die for good.....that's gonna bug me now...

Sure thing. It was VGEmpire episode 89, and it actually showcases music from both Vandal Hearts and its sequel. I didn't like the sequel because instead of having the player and computer AI take their battle turns one after the other, both you and the AI take your turns at the same time. It bugged the hell out of me because I would go to attack an enemy and, without fail, the AI would move that character at the same time so my character would attack an empty space. Supposedly you could figure out how to cheese it, but it made me so mad I didn't bother to learn how to game the AI.
http://www.vgmpire.com/20...vandal-hearts-validation/
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MetalFRO
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« Reply #34 on: February 13, 2018, 09:47:32 AM »

Huh. Really??? I could've sworn some characters could die for good.....that's gonna bug me now...

Sure thing. It was VGEmpire episode 89, and it actually showcases music from both Vandal Hearts and its sequel. I didn't like the sequel because instead of having the player and computer AI take their battle turns one after the other, both you and the AI take your turns at the same time. It bugged the hell out of me because I would go to attack an enemy and, without fail, the AI would move that character at the same time so my character would attack an empty space. Supposedly you could figure out how to cheese it, but it made me so mad I didn't bother to learn how to game the AI.
http://www.vgmpire.com/20...vandal-hearts-validation/

That AI issue with the sequel sounds...bad.  Sort of defeats the purpose of a turn-based system.  I get stuff like the ATB in some Final Fantasy games, and that makes sense, but in a strategy/tactics game, each move you make has to be planned out and executed properly.  That's one thing I like about Vandal Hearts - if I move a character next to an enemy, and go to attack, but I'm not seeing what I need to see, or I can't move in far enough to be effective, you can backtrack and cancel out of that series of moves.  As long as you don't attack or push an object, you always have the ability to cancel and start from square one (pun intended) and work through what you're going to do.  As a total newb to the genre, I really appreciate that aspect, and it's made easing into the genre a better experience for me.
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singlebanana
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« Reply #35 on: February 13, 2018, 10:11:46 AM »

@zophar53 -  Thanks for the link man!  I'm going to give this a listen today.  I'm really disappointed hearing about the AI in Vandal Hearts II.  I was really looking forward to playing that game at some point down the road, but may have to watch a few videos to see if it is indeed something that I would enjoy. 

That's a great point about the battle preparation and backtracking ability FRO!  We will definitely discuss this aspect in the Playcast.
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zophar53
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« Reply #36 on: February 13, 2018, 02:17:27 PM »

I'm with you two. With tactical RPGs like this I like to evaluate my options before committing to a move without having to guess what the AI will do. Some really liked this aspect of VH2. If you can get good at predicting the AI's moves it adds another layer of strategy to it. But the majority of people hated it just as much as I did. These games are hard enough without seeing your moves wasted.

It's interesting to note they made a 3rd Vandal Hearts game in 2010, Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment for PSN and XBLA. So there is another option to play more if you want to skip the sequel. But I haven't played it so I don't know if they went back to taking turns for the battles.

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singlebanana
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« Reply #37 on: February 13, 2018, 02:30:30 PM »

It's interesting to note they made a 3rd Vandal Hearts game in 2010, Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment for PSN and XBLA. So there is another option to play more if you want to skip the sequel. But I haven't played it so I don't know if they went back to taking turns for the battles.

Yeah, I heard about this 3rd installment today while listening to the podcast you recommended.  I heard that the artwork was really bad. And............OH MY..............HOLY COW!

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Licensed NES set: complete!, 12 games remaining for SMS set, 12 for 7800, and 25 for 5200.
GrayGhost81
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« Reply #38 on: February 13, 2018, 08:12:15 PM »

I really liked this game a lot. I'm not an expert in the genre but I've played enough tactical JRPGs that I can kind of tell what I like and don't like. Vandal Hearts has some real "quality of life" features that kept it from ever becoming frustrating. Namely, the ability to save in battle is a convenience I cannot speak highly enough of. I have to admit, I did some save scumming with it too.  

Rich didn't like the "always counter-attack" aspect of the battle system, but I'm used to it from Fire Emblem. Of course, it works to your advantage as well, and there were plenty of satisfying enemy suicides in my playthrough.

My strategy through most of the game was to either move the entire party in one huge mass (preferably up one side of the map if a narrow one) or to break into two groups that was a fifty-fifty mix of all the classes.

My favorite class was Mage/Sorceror/Enchanter (Eleni and Zohar) as they could combine to wipe out almost the entire map in a couple of turns. Phase Shift and Salamander spells were super satisfying throughout the game.

One thing I noticed is that the bosses were not really a big deal in this game. I'm not complaining at all, it's just that for the most part they were a unique sprite with slightly more HP than the common enemies.
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« Reply #39 on: February 14, 2018, 09:33:36 PM »

Okay, seriously, I just got my butt handed to me several times in a row in the battle inside the prison where you have to protect Clint, after Ash and his party storm in. How the &$@# am I supposed to accomplish that? Clint has the battlefield endurance of a paper bag, and you canít get down close enough to help him before the enemies in range to attack the lower level party have taken out 2, if not all 3 of Clintís team. I may have to consult a walkthrough, because I am not seeing a safe spot for Clint to hang out until I can reach him otherwise.
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« Reply #40 on: February 14, 2018, 09:53:13 PM »

I had a hard time with this one too. I moved Clint to the same corner the cavalry comes through and that's what finally worked. There will be one pesky mage who works his way around to that corner but you'll have thinned the ranks enough to deal with him. Make sure Clint has healing items too.

The jailer runs away and heals himself constantly, so be prepared to hit him with everything you've got once you've cornered him or you'll just be spinning your wheels.
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« Reply #41 on: February 14, 2018, 10:14:32 PM »

LOL, after I posted this, I switched up my approach based on a FAQ, and got through it Tongue
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singlebanana
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« Reply #42 on: February 15, 2018, 06:35:05 AM »

LOL, after I posted this, I switched up my approach based on a FAQ, and got through it Tongue

Nice! That was one of the tougher battles that I could not get out of without losing at least one toon.
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« Reply #43 on: February 18, 2018, 03:46:09 PM »

Just finished Chapter 4, yay! That battle at the end is tough, juggling a non-lethal objective and still needing to focus on combat. Iím digging the story more now, and I must say, I like the narrator. He reminds me of the guy who narrated the original Diablo.
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singlebanana
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« Reply #44 on: February 18, 2018, 08:48:20 PM »

Just finished Chapter 4, yay! That battle at the end is tough, juggling a non-lethal objective and still needing to focus on combat. Iím digging the story more now, and I must say, I like the narrator. He reminds me of the guy who narrated the original Diablo.

Oddly, the game gets much easier from there on out. 😉
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Licensed NES set: complete!, 12 games remaining for SMS set, 12 for 7800, and 25 for 5200.
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