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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 3504 times)
douglie007
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« Reply #45 on: February 19, 2018, 04:02:03 AM »

So true, once you get the full army the game goes a bit smoother.
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MetalFRO
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« Reply #46 on: February 19, 2018, 09:12:44 AM »

Really?  The 2 subsequent battles I fought were easier, or at least, I felt they were easier.  Maybe that means I can power through and finish the game this week.
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singlebanana
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« Reply #47 on: February 19, 2018, 09:33:51 AM »

Really?  The 2 subsequent battles I fought were easier, or at least, I felt they were easier.  Maybe that means I can power through and finish the game this week.

Yeah once your Mages learn salamander, it becomes quite easy. I felt like chapters 5 and 6 went by very quickly.
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RFGen Co-Director; pinball, 2600 & NES nutjob, co-host of the RFGen Retro Community Playthrough and the RFGen Playcast. Listen/Download on iTunes and Podbean: www.rfgplaycast.com

Licensed NES set: complete!, 12 games remaining for SMS set, 12 for 7800, and 25 for 5200.
MetalFRO
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« Reply #48 on: February 19, 2018, 05:05:38 PM »

Really?  The 2 subsequent battles I fought were easier, or at least, I felt they were easier.  Maybe that means I can power through and finish the game this week.

Yeah once your Mages learn salamander, it becomes quite easy. I felt like chapters 5 and 6 went by very quickly.

Just searched for Vandal Hearts Salamander, and saw some images.  I'm loving the callback Konami obviously made there to their own Gradius and Salamander series Cheesy

I'll have to check my save when I get home, and see if my mages have that yet. I have both of them (Zorah and Eleni) leveled past 20, and have advanced twice.  I have been making extensive use of the Phase Shift and Roman Fire spells, but if Salamander is even better, I definitely want to have the advantage.
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singlebanana
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« Reply #49 on: February 19, 2018, 06:39:56 PM »

Really?  The 2 subsequent battles I fought were easier, or at least, I felt they were easier.  Maybe that means I can power through and finish the game this week.

Yeah once your Mages learn salamander, it becomes quite easy. I felt like chapters 5 and 6 went by very quickly.

Just searched for Vandal Hearts Salamander, and saw some images.  I'm loving the callback Konami obviously made there to their own Gradius and Salamander series Cheesy

I'll have to check my save when I get home, and see if my mages have that yet. I have both of them (Zorah and Eleni) leveled past 20, and have advanced twice.  I have been making extensive use of the Phase Shift and Roman Fire spells, but if Salamander is even better, I definitely want to have the advantage.

I listened to a podcast on the music for Vandal Hearts and Vandal Hearts 2 and they mentioned that in the second one you can get a sword that looks just like the gradius ship!
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RFGen Co-Director; pinball, 2600 & NES nutjob, co-host of the RFGen Retro Community Playthrough and the RFGen Playcast. Listen/Download on iTunes and Podbean: www.rfgplaycast.com

Licensed NES set: complete!, 12 games remaining for SMS set, 12 for 7800, and 25 for 5200.
MetalFRO
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« Reply #50 on: February 20, 2018, 09:02:00 PM »

Just finished Chapter V, and I now wield the Vandal Heart! Woohoo!
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MetalFRO
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« Reply #51 on: February 23, 2018, 12:49:15 AM »

I just finished the game! I will definitely need to track down the MP3 for the music that plays in menu screens where you can navigate to different locations - thatís been stuck in my head since I started playing this game. One thing I found frustrating at the end is that, for the last couple battles, I couldnít really use Ash, because too many enemies had so much range, and if you donít surround him to where heís immune from melee attacks, heíll be as easily susceptible to magic or distance attacks, and get taken out quickly. So in both the Xeno and Dolf fights, I basically had to have Ash Hang back until the end, when only a couple enemies were present, and he could maybe help a little bit with the main enemy. Heís supposed to be the champion, but he is too much of a target to risk it. Otherwise, I enjoyed this experience, and am glad to have played through the game.

Also, I didnít know anything about the keys and the Vandalier class for Ash until everyone started talking about it. I might have to look that up, and keep it in mind, should I ever choose to revisit this game.
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singlebanana
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« Reply #52 on: February 23, 2018, 08:27:25 AM »

Congrats on finishing the game FRO! 

In regards to Ash, I think you bring up an even bigger point in the game concerning gameplay and enemy AI.  I feel like the AI in this game focuses on two things: (1) understanding their movement and damage as a group and using this information to take out a single toon at a time, if they can; and (2) focusing on destroying Ash.  While this can be aggravating, I think it says a lot about the games design in terms of challenge and goals.  As you know, each battle has "conditions" and if those conditions are met, the side that attains that goal wins the battle.  I think it's great that the developers chose to focus on the enemy mobs securing their condition instead of mindlessly attacking as we see in many RPGs.  This not only ups the challenge, but makes the player consider his/her next move more. As a result, I would compare this RPG more to a chess match than an all out, overpowering brawl.

Also, the fact that the levels of the mobs in this game are not set, but instead, based on the level of your main character, Ash, keeps the game really challenging as well. You can exploit this feature by slow leveling Ash if you wish, but that kind of defeats the purpose and challenge of the game. I think that this game is unique in that with a lot of RPGs, the main character is typically your strongest, most robust force.  Here, Ash is susceptible to being taken out and has to rely on his allies to conquer each battlefield.  I like this idea in that it is more realistic and gives the other characters a sense of importance in terms of the story.  However, I can say that while Ash not be the strongest character in the game, this can all be changed by going through the process of attaining Vandalier status.  In the final battles, I had no issue with Ash leading the charge.
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RFGen Co-Director; pinball, 2600 & NES nutjob, co-host of the RFGen Retro Community Playthrough and the RFGen Playcast. Listen/Download on iTunes and Podbean: www.rfgplaycast.com

Licensed NES set: complete!, 12 games remaining for SMS set, 12 for 7800, and 25 for 5200.
Disposed Hero
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« Reply #53 on: February 26, 2018, 01:50:08 PM »

I finished Vandal Hearts over the weekend!  I really enjoyed it overall.  I didn't go for the Vandalier class upgrade, but I will keep it in mind if I play this one again.  Just a few random thoughts:

I mentioned earlier that I had no regrets with making Clint a guardsman, but that began to change later on.  Clint was among the best in my party in terms of strength and defense, but his lack of mobility unfortunately kept him out of the fight most of the time.  While Grog and Dolan as Swordsmen may not have been as strong, at least I could keep them on the frontlines and get some use out of them.  Unless one of them fared better as a Guardsman and could actually get around the map, I'd probably make them all Swordsmen if I were to ever do another playthrough.

I felt like this game was easier than other SRPGs I've played.  I don't really mind though, it's nice to play a comparatively more leisurely game sometimes.  Although I had a little trouble with a few fights here and there, I never felt like I was in any danger of losing the final battles.  I remember both Shining Force games being significantly more difficult, for better or worse.

Also wanted to add that I was making liberal use of the Phase Shift and Salamander spells.  Way overpowered, but very satisfying to use.  Honestly, having two mages with those spells is probably what made the game feel more on the easy side.

Great game!  I'm glad to finally knock it off the ol' backlog!  Despite the issues some may have with the other games in the series, I'm still very interested in checking them out some time.  I also have to say that I think Vandal Hearts has reignited my love for SRPGs, as I feel like I'm chomping at the bit to play a Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics game now, which I haven't played one of those in probably over a decade.
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GrayGhost81
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« Reply #54 on: March 03, 2018, 09:23:06 AM »

Steven, we mentioned the desire to play similar games to Vandal Hearts on the recording.

Do you have any other recommendations? I know there are tons on PSP and DS and I would love to tackle one on a handheld (though another console title would be great).

How does FF Tactics compare to this game?
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Disposed Hero
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« Reply #55 on: March 03, 2018, 12:28:43 PM »

Other than some of the more obvious choices, the only game that jumps out at me is Jeanne d'Arc for PSP.  I've heard good things about that one.  Maybe a Front Mission game?

It's probably been nearly 20 years since I've played FFT, so my memory is pretty fuzzy.  It's definitely more complicated in terms of party customization.  Not only can you mix and match party members how you see fit, you can also change most characters' class/job to whatever you want.  As is customary with FF's job system, you can also take it a step further and carry over certain abilities from one class to another, allowing for a ton of customization.

FFT also has permadeath, but it's a bit more lenient than something like Fire Emblem.  If I remember correctly, if a character gets incapacitated, you have three turns to revive them or else they're gone for good.  I think this applies to enemies as well...

There may be other differences, but I think FFT and Vandal Hearts are fairly similar other than those two major aspects.  I've only dabbled with Tactics Ogre a long time ago, but I also think it is very similar to FFT.

I hope that helps.  It's been ages since I've played any of these games.
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MetalFRO
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« Reply #56 on: March 03, 2018, 11:09:37 PM »

Other than some of the more obvious choices, the only game that jumps out at me is Jeanne d'Arc for PSP.  I've heard good things about that one.  Maybe a Front Mission game?

It's probably been nearly 20 years since I've played FFT, so my memory is pretty fuzzy.  It's definitely more complicated in terms of party customization.  Not only can you mix and match party members how you see fit, you can also change most characters' class/job to whatever you want.  As is customary with FF's job system, you can also take it a step further and carry over certain abilities from one class to another, allowing for a ton of customization.

FFT also has permadeath, but it's a bit more lenient than something like Fire Emblem.  If I remember correctly, if a character gets incapacitated, you have three turns to revive them or else they're gone for good.  I think this applies to enemies as well...

There may be other differences, but I think FFT and Vandal Hearts are fairly similar other than those two major aspects.  I've only dabbled with Tactics Ogre a long time ago, but I also think it is very similar to FFT.

I hope that helps.  It's been ages since I've played any of these games.

I will second Jeanne díArc - I love the PSP, could take it to work and play on lunch breaks, and also need a good excuse to jump that game further forward in the backlog Grin
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