Vagrant Story

 
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Product Description

Vagrant Story is one of those games that wows you at the start--a big "WOW!" in this case--but maintains only a tenuous hook in the long haul. In this mix of action/adventure and fantasy role-playing, players are cast as a Riskbreaker (think one-man army) named Ashley Riot, whose pursuit of a villainous cult leader takes him to the mysterious city of Lea Monde.

The highly stylized graphics in Vagrant Story are easily some of the best ever seen on the PlayStation, and give the game a gorgeous, distinctive look to match its somber tone. Cinematic story sequences blend in almost seamlessly with gameplay, which takes place in 3-D environments (viewed from a third-person perspective) that can be rotated to provide the best angle.

Vagrant Story features a rich battle system that's built on both strategy and quick reflexes. In addition to character statistics, weapons and armor have detailed numbers of their own and can be disassembled, assembled, or even combined to create new items. Hand/eye coordination factors heavily into combat, as Ashley develops offensive and defensive battle abilities that require perfectly timed button pushing in order to be used.

Unfortunately, it's all too easy to get bored with Vagrant Story. The painfully linear gameplay here doesn't rise above killing enemy after enemy in room after room, and (oh boy!) solving puzzles by manipulating boxes. If not for the wholly intriguing (but sparsely littered) plot, one would be strongly tempted just to leave Ashley to rot in the catacombs beneath Lea Monde. --Joe Hon

Pros:

  • Highly stylized graphics
  • Rich battle system
  • Intriguing plot
Cons:
  • Shallow, linear gameplay

Customer Reviews:

  • Bring your pillow ZZZZZZzzzzzzz.....
    I brought this game brand new back in 2000. I remember testing it out at Funcoland. At the time there was much talk about it and it seemed like an interesting game. Convinced, I picked it up and brought it home. I must say the novelty of this game wears off quickly. You play as a character named Ashly Riot who is set out to rescue his partner who is trapped at the hands of a madman named Sydney.

    The game is dark and very depressing. You stay in one basic dungeon for a majority of the game. It's 2009 and I pulled the game out to play it again. Unlike Final Fantasy 8 that came before it, this game has not aged well at all. The game isn't too beautiful artistically, and you feel as though the designers did not put much energy into the game. Not to mention that part of the team that did final Fantasy 8 worked on this project. It just seems as though the game was lazily created. The plot doesn't move you at all to continue the game, it's a basic hero fights villian and save the girl story.

    The turning points of the game are the fighting system which allows you to strike select areas on your enemies body. This at the time was new and innovative, but not verywell executed seeing as it makes little difference with the risk meter involved. The risk meter is a gauge that increases as you fight your oppenents. As the gauge fills up,your chance to hit goes way down. This really is a down point of the game as it is not necessary and makes the game more difficult that it needs to be.

    The overall game itself is pretty boring to say the least. The aptmosphere is again in a dark dungeon the entire game, which gets tiresome and becomes an eyesore. Mainly because you feel as though your in the same area the entire game. Vagrant Story could of had much potential, but its repetitive gameplay and aptmosphere leave this one bitting the dust. ...more info
  • Great Game
    I decided that I needed a classic RPG to quench my thirst for gaming recently. I have grown a bit freary of modern games and couldn't deny the mid-90's for their RPG prowess. So, i decided to go with the crown jewel; Squares PSX swan song of Vagrant Story. All i will say is, buy this game. Deepest battle system of its time (by about a decade). Basically it is Fallout 3's VATS. Leveling up is a chore to be enjoyed and customizing youre weapons is a big deal too. The graphics, story, gameplay and audio are all top notch. ...more info
  • Its a Game You May Want to Like, but Can't
    This is one of those games Square released that seems promising, but falls short in one or many of ways.

    The bulk of the game takes place in a dungeon. You guide Ashley through a series of rooms all while battling bats and cave-dwelling creatures you come across.

    The battles take place in a real time fashion; however, fights run on a chain system. When you attack an enemy, an exclamation point appears above Ashley's head as an indication to press another attack button to continue your onslaught. Ashley has a variety of weapons he can equip which changes the way he attacks his oppoenent.

    Instead of HP, Ashley has an "indicator" (starts out green to indicate full health) that determines his health. It is divided by his arms, body, etc. When the health of a part of his body is depleted, it is safe to say that that part of his body no longer functions until his health is restored. While the idea sounds cool, he is only character under the player's control. The game CAN be difficult.

    Exploration takes place in a dungeon. The player will reach a room where a spell is necessary to get through the door. Sometimes the spells are easy to locate, and other times the player must backtrack through many rooms to obtain the necessary spell.

    The graphics were among the best. The game had somewhat of a comic book feel to it--the character nicely animated and bore many details. The detail really brings a certain feel to the game and the dungeon, despite being a dungeon, actually looks quite nice.

    This is one of the few games I will say is completed for or less for its story and gratification, not fun. There isn't much fun to be had as there is a lot of backtracking and scouting to be done with little or no deviation. The spells do add to the game, but not much.

    Pros:
    -Graphics
    -Interesting Story
    -Intriguing Battle System
    -Interesting Villain
    -Chilling atmosphere

    Cons:
    -Too much backtracking
    -Entire game takes place in a dungeon
    -How Many bats must I fight?
    -Where do I have to go next?
    -I forgot which way I was going/came from

    If you must try the game out, I recommend renting it first. If you're a die hard Square fanatic, love games with a dark feel, or love dungeon crawlers, you will like it. ...more info
  • Eh
    I dont know about this one. I didn't really enjoy it too much. The beginnings got to catch me for me to continue and it just wasn't doing it for me....more info
  • Difficult
    I never got to far playing this game. Up to the first save and after that I'm stuck and can't proceed in the game. So I really didn't like this game....more info
  • Piece of gaming Trash
    There are some items that you buy that you feel that you wasted your money on. I've been playing the Final Fantasy games since I was 7 and I pretty much know what a good RPG game should be. In this game you assume the position of Asley, a bum with no plot of a convincible life. The story makes you feel that you're playing this to see the CG movies or fight. The enemies in this aren't even that cool and the animation is choppy. You just see the same attack move every time. Even in FF8 you got used to the characters in about 12 hours but, man, the characters are ... you just love to hate!! I would recommend Final Fantasy 7 and 8, Dragon Warrior, Teletubbies over this game. I feel like I wasted my money off of a Final Fantasy RPG stereotypical clone. If you want a good RPG or gaming experience, do not buy this unless you want to feel the great feeling that you've wasted your wallet's hide again and again for sapless RPGs....more info
  • What is this???
    awful. Absolutely awful. I am 13 and spent 2 months allowace on this .... the game looks great and the characters move smoothly, until you find out there are about 40 different character animations. This means that ashley does the same thing while attacking. He attempts to stab a 40 foot tall golem with a sledgehammer. Pathetic excuse of a story: play for two hours having no Idea what you're doing, and some nameless character comes up and tells you what happened. ultra repetitive gameplay: run in a dungeon and kill stuff. wwwwweeee. 'nuff said there. The programmers decided to leave out character customization. Want to be a mage? too bad, computer says to be a fighter. don't bother. I have more fun in math class....more info
  • Great game, but not for everybody
    Vagrant story can best be described as a dungeon crawler. You assume the role of Asley Riot who must go after Syndey some guy from a cult that is obsessed about the destruction of the world. LET me be straight with you other gamers, this game is by no means necessary like Metal gear solid. You explore a variety of areas and must change your weapons every so often. The battle system is easy but it will take time getting used to this style of game. By no means necessary are you going to be able to get far the first time in this game. Instead explore and get used to the chain attacks. The chain attacks are what is going be best remembered about vagrant story. For a game this is by far one of the most challenging games this year. If you feel up to par give it a rental. Nothing more. If you enjoy the first time consider yourself lucky. For others try something with a little more variety. Such as Chrono Cross or something on the lines of Legend of Dragoon. This is by no means a bad game judging by my review. I'am just saying that is a good game. But by no means for everybody....more info
  • A most extravagant game...
    A most impressive game Vagrant Story has proven to be. I have been a strict FF fan, but this game had completely blown me away. It's gothic atmosphere and most intelligent dialogue keeps one eager to see where this doorway leads to. The battle system is also unique, and strategies vary from different opponents, which allow you to keep on your toes. The battle system is very realistic and quite impressive compared to the constant boxes in the FF series. (Not that I have anything against it.) I have also fallen for the soundtrack. It's absolutely stunning and fits perfectly with the enviroment and characters of Vagrant Story. Never have I been so satisfied with a game as this one. And the replay value is also another thing to consider. Some areas you are unable to access on the first play, but on the second play, it enables you to enter those areas which were unavailable during the first play. It's as much fun on the second play as it is the first. Seeing such characters act through their amazing and twisted tale has the same impact on me as it did when I began the game. The characters are so well developed yet leaving enough room for your imagination to wander. Each character has a different trait that allows them to boldly stand out and take equal parts of the spotlight as this outstanding story unfolds. It's hard not to become attached to the characters... This game is most definitely worth playing again and again, for it is one of the most amazing games I have ever gone through. The only thing that disappointed me, was that it had to end....more info
  • please excuse my traditionalism...
    this is undoubtedly one of the best games for PSX yet. every intricacy, every mystery, everything short of the game bespeaks of something wonderful. yet what i am about to suggest may seem contrary to the above depiction. this review will be passively helpful at best for most gamers. for those few of you who share some sentiments as myself, beware: this game represents the most complete and utter deviation from traditional RPGs ever. i managed to play for a few hours without buying a copy, and i am all the much more glad about it. between Phantasy Star III and FFVIII (the first and as of yet last RPGs i have played), there as followed a logical pattern among the myriad games i have played. all that i truly have to offer is the following: if you appreciate the turn-based and command-entry oriented systems of more traditional RPGs, play this game before you buy it. if, however, you find yourself appealed to the action/RPG genre which is currently emerging with great rapidity, then this is the game for you....more info
  • One of the PlayStation's Best!
    Vagrant Story comes to us from the same group of people who brought us the strategy masterpiece Final Fantasy Tactics. And like Tactics and many of Square's other games, Vagrant Story shines with a great story and superb gameplay.

    Before I get started in bringing out this game's high points, let me bring to light its aspects that some players might view as shortcomings. First, know that this game is complete dungeon-crawling with no towns to purchase equipment from and no people to converse freely with. But unlike some games of this type, where the only real fun thing to do is to find a rare item or encounter a boss, I found Vagrant Story's 3-D landscapes fun to explore, and the battle system makes any enemy encounter fun and worthwhile. Also, to help break the monotony, there is the occasional challenging block puzzle to solve, in which a player moves various blocks in order to reach a certain door or treasure chest, and the cinematic cutscenes that advance the story provide entertaining intermissions. Another thing to know is that it will take a few hours to get into this game, the reason being that until you learn "Chain Abilities," the battles seem awkward and tedious.

    Speaking of battles, Vagrant Story features a fun, yet in-depth battle system. To start, each enemy has an enemy class. They can be beast, human, dragon, undead, phantom, or evil. Each time you attack an enemy with one of your several weapons, that weapon will grow better against that enemy's class, while growing weaker against a different enemy class. For example: if you often attack wolves with your crossbow, sooner or later your crossbow will go up a point against beasts, while decreasing a point against undead. Also, there are six element affinities in which a weapon can accumulate strength, and each element is strong against another. Water extinguishes fire, air disturbs water, earth blocks air, fire melts earth, and light and dark cancel each other. So, since bats are air-based, a weapon regularly employed against these flying mammals will gradually accumulate strength in earth, making it a better weapon to use against air enemies.

    Then there are the "Chain Abilities" that I mentioned before. At a point in the game, your character will learn a few "Chain Abilities." Afterwards, each battle you encounter will slowly bring him closer to learning another. Each "Chain Ability" has a certain effect, such as adding 10% additional damage to an attack or healing your character by 10% of the damage your attack inflicted. You assign each "Chain Ability" to a different button on your PlayStation controller, and you execute them after your initial attack by pressing the appropriate buttons in the proper rhythm. So, while attacking an enemy, a player can use his "Chain Abilities" to attack again, heal himself, and end off by poisoning the enemy. By pressing the appropriate buttons at the right time, the player can have a chain of more than 20 attacks in just one encounter with an enemy. This makes battles much quicker.

    Throughout the game, players will amass quite a collection of blades, grips, gems, armor, and shields, which can be combined to create different and better weapons, armor, and shields. Combine a blade with another blade to create a more powerful blade; snap on a grip that may make it even more powerful; place in a gem or two to improve its attack against certain enemy classes and elements; and behold! You have a unique, customized weapon, and you can even name it.

    With great gameplay, outstanding grpahics and animation, a fitting soundtrack, and a good, though complex story, Vagrant Story turns out to be one of Square's best titles and among my top ten favorites on the Playstation....more info

  • Best ingame graphics around...
    This game for starters is one of the best games for Playstation. I love the graphics, the rich textures add a lot to Lea Monde, and the speed of play is incredible. It is truly amazing that these guys are running the PS with a 66 or 75 mhz CPU and I not sure but I know that that is pretty incredible. The best part of this game is that it is fit all onto one little disk. But really that is a lot of space. Zelda:Ocarina of Time was fit onto that 64 Megabit cart and it is pretty awesome. Want to experience the Sixth Sense of Video games first hand? Buy this game. You will not be sorry. I find it not only challenging but incredibly addicting. This is one of the more interesting titles I have ever purchased. But one of the best also....more info
  • A challenging RPG worth your time!
    But what squaresoft game isn't? Vagrant story is a shining gem in the world of role playing games. And quite unique at that. Unlike almost all other RPGs, in Vagrant Story you don't rely on leveling up on experience points to become stronger. Instead you have to depend on gaining new break arts, battle abilities and magics. Of course you can up your HP and MP with potions and a cute little slot machine at the end of boss fights, but you can only raise these stats by a few points at a time. One of the cooler things about Vagrant Story is the ability given to you to make your own customized weapons. You can pick up swords, clubs, spears, daggers and other fun things off of defeated enemies and out of treasure chests. From there, you can find workshops (scattered throughout the game) and combine them, take them apart, attatch gems to them, repair them, and pretty much do whatever you see fit. Another neat thing about the weapon system is that the more you use a specific weapon against a certain class of enemy (ie undead), the more powerful your weapon becomes against it! So the more you use your favorite falchion, the stronger it gets! ^.^ Last but not least, one of the more enjoyable (and sometimes more frustrating) things about this game is that it's HARD. Alot of RPGs these days are oh-so too easy, and you find it a rarity that you're killed. Vagrant Story, my friends, is a different story (heh heh, PTP). I've died more in this game than in Final Fantasy VI, VII AND VIII put together and then some. You have to constantly watch your back, because one lucky blow from a dragon's tail and you're down for good. To wrap everything up, I LOVE THIS GAME! If you're a real hard-core RPG fan, (or not!) you'll really appreciate squaresoft's genius. My god, what will they think of next? Oh, a Final Fantasy Movie perhaps? Nah, that won't be happening anytime soon ^.~...more info
  • WOW What a game!
    This is an excellent game. Great graphics, well developed battle system. It might seem hard to learn when you start playing the game but before you know it youll be taking Ashley against dragons, phamtoms, undeads etc. I love the special effects when Ashley uses the break arts, magic, or drinks a potion. They are beautiful. I already finished the game once but Iam still playing it until I reach the level of Master Riskbreaker!For those of you who enjoy good graphics and special effects you got to buy this one! I also suggest that you buy the strategy guide. Hint, You MUST develope a weapon for each class of monster, i.e. dragon, phamtom, elementals etc. I dont want you to go through to what happened to me. I started playing the game using mostly the same weapon, I got away with it for some time (consuming most of my health and mana potions)until I came face to face with one dragon, there was no way I could harm him, I cast the spell of strength on me, prostasia (equip up) and nothing, I got stuck there. So I asked myself what is going on here? Thats when I decided to buy the strategy guide and oh boy! what a difference! without it I think I would not have been able to finish the game. But its a great game and Im still playing it! Go buy it now!...more info
  • Shame on Square Soft!
    I can't believe Square Soft put out a game with game play and a storyline as lame as Vagrant Story. The battle commands are unwieldy and time-consuming, and the dialog balloons are rather childish and distracting. Granted, some of the effects and characters are neat, but I have to say the best thing about this game was the opening sequence. After that, it's a disappointment for experienced gamers. I played the game for about three hours until I couldn't stand it anymore, thinking I would get used to it, but I just didn't like it....more info
  • Second Best Game for the PSX
    Vagrant Story is easily one of the best Playstation games ever made. In my opinion it is the second greatest game of all time, Xenogears being the best. The plot is clever and twisting, and it tempts you into playing more to see exactly who and what your character is while still trying to solve the underlying mystery of the game, which can be forgotten if you are not careful. It is obvious from the ending that there will be sequels. The only strange aspect of the game in my opinion is the name; it is titled Vagrant Story and is part of the Risbreaker Saga, but I think they may end up wishing they called it Riskbreaker Story and made it part of the Vagrant Saga. You'll see what I mean once you complete this spectacular game. Good Luck and Enjoy....more info
  • Jakes review
    This game is a must have for any FF.VII/VIII player. it plays as good as either game but you only control one player. This allows more control over the player with a greater choice of actions and monsters. Amazing graphics and gameplay. A Must Have!...more info
  • A Mixed Bag
    This game is a mixed bag, full of pros and cons. For example: Con: It's an extremely dark game that mainly consists of running around in a dungeon where the view makes it difficult to see what your character is doing. Pro: The music, the dark, and espionage filled storyline create a wonderful atmosphere of mystery and fear.. the battle system is excellent, but the puzzles are the boring cube-movin', lever pullin' type. It's not extremely long, so you're probably better off just renting it ... :)...more info
  • A wonderful game, but not for everyone.
    Rating says the game is good, but it's definitely not for everyone. Those who are used to the Final Fantasy series by Square will probably be disappointed by this game because, quite simply - they are of different genres. FF is a pure, solid, RPG game without a trace element of Action, Adventure, or Puzzle. Vagrant Story, on the other hand, is a combination of all 4 above genres - and the result is not only fun and entertaining, but exciting as well.

    Breakdown-

    Graphics - Absolutely beautiful detail, high polygonal characters with lush backgrounds and well-designed dungeons. It's good to see that Square does really good work with graphics even without touching CGI FMV. Lots of little graphical tweaks (like accurate shadows, detailed faces) make this game beautiful to watch. Best of all, all of the cut scenes are presented using in-game graphics, with almost cinematic camera shots and techniques - it feels like you're watching a movie.

    Music/Sound - Great for atmospherics, but nothing too memorable for me other than the intro music (played alongside the only FMV sequence in the entire game). This is probably the poorest section of the game, especially given Square's reputation for hiring composers such as Nobuo Uematsu to do their wonderful orchestrated music.

    Storyline - Two thumbs up, the story progresses at a nice, even pace and there aren't any ridiculous twists and turns in the plotline that make it sound forced. The ending is one hell of a clincher...and definitely some of the clearer work that Square has done recently.

    Characters - Well developed, etc. etc. I like the characters. We get to know them relatively well, and any information that we don't receive isn't very important to begin with.

    System - This is where the game shines. The Parasite Eve style battle system, offence/defence chain abilities, and workshop ideas are all awesome. Plus, for the hardcore gamer, technicalities such as weapon vulnerability, elemental affinity, and monster type all play a role in effecting the damage you do.

    It's a great game. Buy it. But only if you're not one of those narrow minded people who thinks there is no Square outside of Final Fantasy....more info

  • Vagrant Story is not one to buy
    I give my props for coming up with an excellent villian.(Best one since Sephiroth) The battle is decent since you dont have to wait for a time bar to fill. The worst thing is unlike FF7, is that you stay in one city for the entire game. The graphics are not all that great either. If your one that likes games that you have to go to other cities this isnt for you. I am also very disapointed in the story line. The bosses were way to easy. And anyway the puzzles are kinda lame to.

    If you like games that have very easy enemies and like staying in one place this is for you....more info

  • Needs a few changes.
    This game is very fun and the battle system is one of the best I've ever seen. Good graphics although you won't be amazed by the area you are in. It takes place in a dark and stormy castle that seems more like a dungeon. You don't know whether you are running in circles or your eyes are deceiving you because it seems like you run through the same place at least five times a minute. I would expect them to Squaresoft to know better than to start you in such a gloomy set. I think you should wait for Chrono Cross rather than getting this game....more info
  • An excellent game with a few quirks.
    Graphic : Excellent, the best you can get with Playstation right now. Comparable to FF7 series and on. You can easily make out the character's faces and overall shape.

    Gameplay : Excellent, a little bit hard to get used to (if you play Parappa the Rapper, you will feel like home with the combo system). You have to press at certain pre-determined time in order to chain your attacks. The most innovative feature is RISK which basically measures how tired your hero has become, the higher the RISK, the worse the shape of your hero (i.e. receives more damage than usual, can't aim accurately, etc).

    Storyline : OK, but not great. Usual good vs. evil sort of thing.

    Control : Tight and precise. The movement resembles the smooth movement in MGS and Soul Reaver. You can jump, run and rotate the camera 360 degrees without any difficulty. It even allows you to get 1st person view if you press start, and you can see the detail of your enemies' faces if you stand close enough which is very cool.

    Weapon & Armor System : Cool. You can blend different types of weapons and armors in hope of better ones i.e. weapon A + weapon B -> weapon C, also you can also do weapon A + armor B -> ? So there is this little 'chemistry' in creating your ultimate weapon set. Each part of your body(head, right arm, left arm, body, legs) wears different armor sets and they all have their own statistics which will affect the result of attack on a particular body part. It's your decision when it comes to which body part is more important to be protected.

    Now the quirks :

    - Level up effect is RANDOM, if you drink a certain potion let's say for HP-up, it will be between +1 HP to +4 HP. Also, whenever you defeat a boss, you are presented with a roulette system for attribute level up (e.g. INT+1, INT+4, HP+4, MAG+1, etc). I don't think this is interesting at all considering all the hardwork you have done to attain those level-ups and be rewarded randomly. This reminds me of another great game Baldur's Gate which also exhibits this quirk, i.e. random bonus points for level up. This is the only reason I give it a four star because it's just plain annoying.

    - Most of your explorations are dungeon based (although the dungeon is beautifully made), I have to admit that it is an eyesore to be in dungeon most of the time. If you play a lot of Diablo, Soul Reaver, Duke Nukem and the sort of dungeon oriented games, I don't think this is a problem.

    Overall, a great game outside the sphere of FF series....more info

  • True RPG Fans, prepare to be disappointed
    The Characters in Vagrant Story are amazingly developed - Sydney(the villan) is probably one of the coolest bad guys since Sephiroth. But be Warned - You will spend the entire game following him around through the same dark and danky dungeon fighting extremly annoying little monsters. There is only one town, Lea Monde, and you only see it (and the light of day) a handful of times throughout the game. I was very thankful for Electronic Boutique's 10 day return policy - because after about 6 days I was ready to throw the CD's out the window. I respect it for it's interesting spiritual/political storyline ... but Vagrant Story hardly stands up to it's SQUARE predecessors, in summary - A waste of time and money....more info
  • Maybe the greatest video game of all?
    Amazing graphics, with easy to learn game play, and a story line seeming fit for a movie spectacular. Follow in the steps of a lonely warrior unsure of his past, searching everywhere for the answers while on the trail of an evil black magic wielding villian. Face off against dragons, golems, zombies, ghost's, and some of the most amazing monsters, and bad guys you have ever seen. A True classic, Not matched by any game of any genre. Finally a game that gets better and better, the more you play. one of those games you will never want to finish, and when you do youll want to do it again.

    Untouchable....more info

  • Okay for the players who don't like bright and cheery colors
    Vagrant Story is much more compicated then a game should be. The battle system is really complex and hard to figure out. But the storyline is awesome and the characters are wonderfully detailed. All in all it is a pretty good game, i guess....more info
  • Final Fantasy Who?
    First of all, I have to say that I am a BIG fan of the Final Fantasy frenchise, I especially find the SNES and PS1 games to be some of the best Rpg's period (if only we could erase FFX2 the world would be a better place) I will not go on detail about the story itself, but I have to tell you that I find this game to be superior in every way.

    As soon as I saw the cover of this game I fell in love with it. I didn't know what it was about, but I knew I had to have it.
    My first impresion was WOW! When I saw that intro, the movie like experiece gripped my soul, I thought... well, I'll be spending quite a few hours in front of my TV. As it turned out, I didn't, I found the game to be hard, beautiful, but hard. The fighting system was completelly different to anything I'd seen before, and I was not getting it.
    This was five years ago. Regardless of that, I kept starting it over and over again telling myself 'This time I'll finish it!'The story just grips you that much, and the characters personalities leave you wanting to know more. Sure enough, I became a pro in the 'arts' ,weapon affinities and such, and I finished my game... again and again, and again. In short, this is in my opinion one of the greatest RPG's, if not game, of all times. But it is a bit hard to get used to it, or even become good at it (unless I'm just an idiot...which is entirely possible) but once you get the flow of the fighting system, you will not be able to stop. So please do not cast it aside! just keep trying, and your reward will be gratifying. ...more info
  • Ashley Riot needs to be reprisal role on next gen systems!
    To avoid writing a 15 page in-depth review, I'll keep it super simple. If you like RPGs with and excellent story line, tons of weapon combinations, a fun & ground-breaking combat system, dark humor and programming that actually rewards you for playing through several times..... get this game. Don't have a PS1? PS2? Doggone it, Square! Let's have a Vagrant Story for PS3....more info
  • An amazing game that is certainly not for everyone
    Vagrant Story is the kind of game that is either love it or hate it. There really isn't too much in between. It features great characters and one of the greatest stories in any game released to date, but the amount of attention that must be paid to weapons and stats (along with some redundancy in battles) can really turn a lot of people off.

    Let me start with a bit of the story. In the game you play the role of Ashley Riot. A man who is entrusted with the duty of being a Riskbreaker (essentially a one man army) who is entrusted to enter the lost city of Lea Monde to try and figure out an assassination plot that he has been framed for. At the start of the game this is all you know. You know that Ashley went to Lea Monde and was never seen again. Three days after he left, they declared him the murderer. Now you have to find out what happened in the city of Lea Monde and uncover the truth. With a supporting cast of characters lead by the wonderfully evil Sidney Lostarrot, Vagrant Story weaves an amazing tale of lost pasts and hidden truths (with some black magic and whatnot thrown in). Be aware though, the story isn't all happy like you will be apt to find in the Final Fantasy series, it goes much deeper into human emotion and psyche.

    As for the gameplay, well, this is where it is either won or lost. Essentially the game is a dungeon crawler that has you wandering the dungeons of Lea Monde until you find a neccesary item to continue traversing through. There is a lot of backtracking but luckily half way through you learn a teleport ability that cuts down on that. You can think of it as similar to the backtracking in Resident Evil games for those familiar (find a locked door, need such and such key/item, find item/key elsewhere, go back and proceed).

    All the while you will be encountering various monsters of different classes. While it may not seem like much, monster class is critical to how effective you are at the game. You have the ability to craft your own weapons and armor, each one can have special affinities to different classes. Essentially this means you will want a weapon that is effective against each different enemy class. This is where all the in depth stat management comes in (as well as a lot of use of the EQUIP function....). Attacking enemies is done in real time and allows you to pretty much attack indefinately as long as your timing is good for chaining attacks together. On top of that you can target individual body parts on every monster to weaken different stats (legs = movement, head = intelligence, and so on and so forth). By doing this and inflicting enough damage to one body part you can effectively nullify your enemies strength. Although it can be apt to take quite a while.

    Graphically, the game is fairly bland even for PS1 standards. It is made almost with a sketch visual, where there are multiple lines to every section of the characters (similar to what you would see in preproduction sketch books). Although it does work extremely well and seems perfectly natural in the twisted reality that is Lea Monde. All scenes are done in the same graphics engine (no CG) and there is no voice acting so all words are said in speech bubbles. Again, odd, but it works.

    The game is definately quirky and is definately a bit of a niche game. It is pretty long and requires the player to really get in depth into what they are doing to truly appreciate all the work and the amazing world that has been imbedded into Vagrant Story. If you can do that, it is one of the most rewarding gaming experiences you can have. If not, then consider your self one of the masses, because that seems to be the general view of the game....more info
  • %__% My MY mY... this game --- WooopieeeWooopwoopWoOo....
    A GoTh iNJected, maTHEeMaticaLy MoRPpheiWooRFFY deCENT into fUn. Grin and chew... CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP....more info
  • Perfect? Not quite...
    This game is not perfect as the Famitsu review would lead you to believe. Famitsu has only given like 5 games a perfect score... this being one of them.

    The characters, design, music, story, atmosphere, and presentation are all top notch and beautiful. The story is sursprisingly mature and the characters are all memorable, especially that mystery man Sydney.
    So if all of those things are so good and put together, why did this game 'ultimately' fail when it was released? Because of its gameplay.

    The gameplay 'could have' been fun and classic but the makers decided to bog it down with a tremendously confusing, tedious, and unintuitive menu and weapon system.

    The base of this game, its weapon system, is beyond complicated. Each weapon can be either piercing, blunt, or edged like a edged sword or a blunt hammer. Then each weapon has about 20 'affinities' such as light, water, physical, undead, etc. Then throw in the fact that each weapon must be made from seperate parts such as a blade, a grip or hilt, plus 1-3 gems. Lost yet? You should be.

    But thats not all. Each weapon has damage points, kind of like health for weapons, and phantom points which inscrease special attacks. Throw in the fact that the longer you fight the more tired or excited your character gets, which leads you to miss more often and take more damage as the battle goes on.

    This game does have an awesome quick menu that can be used with the L2 button. This menu lets you do anything from find items to use magic with one push of a button. However, for some reason there is no weapon quick menu in a game almost totally based around your weapons! To change weapons, and you will often, you have to make about 5 clicks through slow menus which can take anywhere from 10 secs to a minute.

    This games difficult learning curve has turned away so many players without the patience to learn this games ridiculous systems. After all, hitting a boss for 1 damage, when he has 500 health, can be very frustrating, and i dont blame them.

    In the end, this game is both brilliant and ridiculous. It has been voted one of the greatest games of all time and for good reason. But it also failed on a commercial and gameplay level by not selling enough copies. And thats for a good reason too...
    ...more info
  • Best Game by Square for Playstation and PS2
    Of all the games Square has made for PS this tops them all. It has the best replay value of any game I have ever played and the story is better than that of all the new Final Fantasy games for Ps and the ones that will come out for PS2. The game has the cool idea of being able to make your own weaons and giving your weapons class points which make them more efective against certain monsters. If you are a RPG fan and have some patitence GET IT but dont waste your money on the Final Fantasy games (except for 7 that was okay)...more info
  • It's good to be a Vagrant
    Looks like Square finally stopped paying too much attention to how the game looks and has focused on the game's story. This game has the most well written story that I have ever seen in my decade of game-playing (which stems back to the Atari). The dialouge is beautifully written and seems to be genuine Old English scripting. The musicis kinda bad though. I really didn't care for it as it sounded more like etheral background music with no real melody line, just chording. The weapon and armor design is a nice touch too. You can make your own weapons and armor by combining blades and armor pieces to form stronger (or in many cases weaker) weapons. This coupled with a simple Risk system and battles become a lot of fun to try to master. This comes even more into play with bosses. The bosses in this game are very difficult, but their difficulty can be slashed if you have the right weapon to use against it. The game plays very much like the game Brandish (for those with SNES). You are Ashley Riot and arein a giant maze-like area and you hack and slash your way after the evil Sydney who has kidnapped the Duke's son. You travel from area to area gaining treasures and defeating bosses and that pretty much is it. I would get the game if I were a veteran RPGer who is waiting for a game with a strong story instead of a bunch of pretty pictures then get this game....more info
  • This game is HORRIBLE! Shame on you Square!
    Guys, do yourself and favor and DO NOT get this game.

    This is what you do....

    CONSTANTLY running around in a very large and tedious dungeon while pushing boxes, killing bats, solving little puzzles, etc! There is absolutely no fun in this game. You are in the SAME dungeon practically the whole game.

    How is this an rpg???? It ISNT!

    Wheres the exploration? Your in the same place all the time.

    Wheres the variety? Same monsters, same areas, same same same!

    The only good thing about this game is the cool scene at the beginning of the game, and thats it!

    Please Please, by all means do not buy this game. You will maybe play it for an hour or two and never play it again. Trust me...more info

  • Square has out-done itself this time!
    This is one of, if not the best, blend of many genres into one game ever. Theres action, RPG, strategy. The story line is deep, dark, and involved. The plot, though great, is quite confusing. It takes alot of time and patience to play this game succesfully, but I would whole heartedly say it is worth it. Plus it has great replay value, you'll atleast want to go through twice, more if your a perfectionist. All in all this is one of the best games I have ever played....more info
  • Too much makes this game too bad...
    Quite frankly this game doesn't live up to all the hype. I still can't believe how people say the graphics are so good since they are all completely dull dark and dreary, not to mention blockier than most SNES games I've played. The sound is nearly non existant. hardly any music in the game at all, just a plethora of drips squeaks squeals and puking noises. Gameplay isn't too bad, though it isn't exactly the most fluid I've ever played, and the objects in a room tend to get in your line of sight all too frequently, no matter how you swing the camera view. The battle system is a Parasite Eve clone thats been tuned up to the point of being almost too complicated to use. it takes practice for certain. The monsters are outrageously easy if you simply use hit and run tactics. the bosses on the other hand tend to be amazingly hard if you don't know what you are doing. Plot is relatively non existant in this game. the opening movie pretty much gives you the basic run of the game. the game tends to lead you around by the nose for the first hour or so and then you have a very limited number of option available for the duration of the game. Its just another dungeon crawl. I love Dungeons and Dragons but even that gets boring if you do nothing but one dungeon exploration after another and thats really all this game is. the true value of the game comes from being able to find a multitude of weapons and armor and then being able to make use of various workshops to combine those items into more powerful armaments. unfortunately this is tedious and time consuming, taking up more than 3/4 of the game. Overall they just took a rather bland game and tried to cram in all kinds of technical stuff, taking nearly every RPG option you could think of and trying to put it all in one game. If i wanted to spend all my time reworking weapons i'd have been a blacksmith in life....more info
  • Not for the weak of mind.
    This is a really fun game, but only if you have some time on your hands. I've been playing it for about 5 hours and I have only finished 15% of the map. It can be kind of frustrating for people who have no patience, or people who's I.Q. only has two syllables in it. Once you figure out the battle system, it comes along pretty well, and the fights are not really all that easy. If you have your doubts about it, try renting it. For most people a rental would be enough time to tell if this game is worth the money, but it isn't enough time to finish the game....more info
  • Better than the FF series!!
    This game is AWESOME! I am a serious RPG gamer, and I really think this game is way better than the Final Fantasies.(not to say the FF's aren't all masterpieces, mind you!) VS is the best game Square has ever made in my opinion.

    First off,no more random battles! All the enemies are visible on screen. Playing games like LoD and Chrono Cross I got so annoyed at seeing the screen fade into a battle.In VS,you see the enemy and whack the enemy.After beating a certain boss,you get the power to string attacks together using battle abilities. The battle abilities take time to master, but add so much to the over-all effectiveness of Ashley's strikes that they are definetly worth the effort. The same goes for the defense abilities. They allow you to limit the damage taken by foes' attacks.

    As you've probably already heard the graphics of this game are wonderful. The plot scenes blend in perfectly and don't make the game look like Roger Rabbit as did the CG sequences of FF8.

    Like everything, VS does have it's disadvantages. The dark rooms of Lea' Monde do get a bit tiresome. Also, the block puzzles are quite annoying. These things can be overlooked though. The superb plot and gameplay more than make up for bothersome little quirks like the two mentioned above.

    All in all VS is a legend in its on time,sure to transport the gamer playing it to the haunted halls of Lea' Monde and bring them back with a feeling of awe....more info

  • Better than those stupid Final Fantasy's
    Vagrant Story is a great game. The graphics are probably some of the best graphics on the psx today. The battleling system is very good, although it takes some time to learn how to use magic and chaining abilities, if your more of the sports game fan like i am. The dungeon that you spend the whole game in is not that bad. The thing is though, that all the rooms look basically the same, and it is sometimes hard to remember where you have and have not been. The game is challenging, and you will find yourself in some lengthy battles with certain bosses. I would recommend not using a gameshark at about the 8-12% complete point, because when you get to a certain room, numbers will just start appearing on the screen taking away from your 999 mp at rapid speed. all in all Vagrant Story isn't your normal RPG, and can even be liked by sports game fans like me, who think all other RPG's stink!...more info
  • Patience is a virtue...
    ...and you need it for this game. I absolutely loved it, but I know many people do not have the interest or patience for a long, difficult game. The story revolves around a Riskbreaker named Ashley Riot, send to the abandoned city of Lea Monde to track down a cultist, Sydney Losstarot. Most of the game takes place in Lea Monde, so make yourself at home there.

    Vagrant Story will probably take around 30 to 50 hours to beat on the first play, depending on how long you spend looking for weapon componants and spell scrolls. No, not gaining levels, this game is not level-based. You can only increase your stats, health, and magic with oh-so-rare potions and beating bosses. (I started the game with 250 health and finished with 280.) Most of the 30-50 hours is spend dungeon crawling and fighting with the occasional pause for plot scenes. Be warned, the battles in this game are HARD. Normal enemies can take a lot of effort to kill, especially if they gang up on you. And you WILL die at bosses until (and probably even after) you get the hang of the battle system. It's not complicated, just heavily based on timing your attacks. There is some emphasis on problem solving and puzzles, mostly block puzzles, but not as many as other games (ie, Soul Reaver). The graphics are a little bit blurry close up, but in general they are very fluid and well-done. The characters are given facial expressions and moving mouths when they speak, and the cut scenes (while not CG) are impressive.

    The best part of this game is definately the plot. Months after playing it, I'm still discussing the plot and characters. There are heavy religious and political themes (another thing some people have no interest or patience for), and some very good plot twists even for the minor characters. If you enjoy a good, dark story and an ending that's not ridden with sappy cliches, you will probably like Vagrant Story. On the more solid end of things, the battle system is a nice change from battle-screen combat (Final Fantasy games, for example). It's a bit like Secret of Mana in that you just run up and attack enemies. There is a variety of weapons and armour, so you can customize Ashley however you like.

    The bad points of this game would have to be how linear it is. There's basically only one major thing to do that's not required (beat the Iron Maiden), but you can't get there until you beat it at least once. It's pretty much a straight path from beginning to end with no side quests, secrets, or prolonged breaks from dungeon crawling. There are some time trials, and the challenge of building up your weapons and armour, but in general there isn't much to distract you or many secrets to discover. The plot makes up for it, in my opinion, but a few side-quests and extra development for the minor characters (Grissom, Samantha, etc) would have been nice.

    I'd give Vagrant Story about a four. Supurb plot, good battle system, nice graphics. But a major minus for the lack of extra things to do. If you like a good story and enjoy a challenge, this game is for you. If you're the kind of person who likes plow through games without much effort and has no patience for battles or appreciation for a wonderful plot, pass....more info

  • A Masterpiece in every sense of the word
    When I first heard that Vagrant Story was reputed to be "Medieval Gear Solid", I wasn't impressed, as I didn't care for Metal Gear Solid. However, after hearing some more about Vagrant's storyline, and its similarities to Parasite Eve (my favorite PS game ever), I tried it out. Result? I have a New Favorite PS Game. Gameplay-wise, Vagrant Story is a mixed bag: it's too action-oriented for RPG purists, and too RPG-ish for action purists. To me, it combines the best features of RPGs and action-adventure games, resulting in one of the most innovative, challenging, and gripping games I've ever been lucky enough to experience. Using manga/comic-style voice bubbles was a stroke of genius -- too often voice translation RUINS games. It's hard to believe the fading PS can produce such incredible graphics. When the Wyvern came crashing through the ceiling at the game's beginning, my heart lept. The "hero", Ashley Riot, is one of the most intriguing characters ever. I was unsure until deep into the convoluted, immersive plot if Ashley's intent were for good or ill. The story is fantastic, the characters memorable, the soundtrack and sound effects atmospheric perfection, and even the dialogue is amazing. And the battle system....ah, the battle system. It's a masterful blend of strategy and reflex. First you must choose the correct weapon with the correct affinity -- doing this is half the challenge. For example, you'd want to use a weapon with fire-based affinity against, say, a water elemental, AND you'd want to make sure your weapon has a high Phantom class ranking (an elemental is considered a Phantom class creature), in order to have a maximum chance of inflicting a maximum amount of damage. Then, timing becomes precise as you could allegedly Chain attacks together until the end of time, although a Risk factor (which simulates tiredness during battle) makes this highly unlikely. Ashley also has defense abilities that could, in theory, render him impervious...with the right decisions and perfect timing (and Risk allowing). How's that for a twist? Add to that various spells, both offensive and defensive, and Ashley is a force to be reckoned with. Add to THAT his determined nature and hazy memory, and you have an unprecedentedly heroic character. As you wander the dungeons beneath the city of Lea Monde in pursuit of the mysterious Sydney Losstarot, Ashley will encounter dozens of creatures: bats to dragons, zombies to minotaurs, ogres to elementals, and enemy human soldiers, many of which are Ashley's match, physically and/or magically. A battle I fought against a particular dragon lasted almost thirty minutes! But Vagrant Story has more to it than a shining battle system. The story is told through seamless cutscenes that are a Square trademark, bearing you along with revelation upon revelation. And if that's not enough, after playing through the game, you gain access to new areas, foes, and weapons -- talk about replayability! Vagrant Story is one of those games that demands a lot of time to experience fully, and rewards without question. It has as much depth as any game I've ever played, both in terms of gameplay and story (plus I love the fact you can name your various weapons -- watch out for the Brain Flayer!). Any gamer who is looking for a fresh challenge coupled with a riveting, twist-packed plot and fabulous characters should look no further than the genre-bending Vagrant Story -- a definite highlight in the outstanding PS library....more info
  • Just terrible
    Just a terrible game. If you enjoy pushing boxes around for hours, by all means buy it. The gameplay consists of alternatly pushing boxes, jumping on boxes, and killing 35,000 bats and other generic monsters. Interspersed are story sequences that move the story very, very slowly. I played for about 6 hours and just couldn't take it anymore. I would literally rather be at my job, where I can at least earn money, than play this game....more info
  • It's an ok RPG
    I bought this game about 3 months ago with very high expectations and excitement for the game I loved the grphics and storyline I saw.But after playing the game for about 3 days I got bored. I personally think the game is to slow moving and the storyline just drags on and on with no change in it. The charachter Ash seems to stay in a dungeon which I think should have been more designed for exploring and attrbute building than being a main storyline area.The weapon and magic sytem design is way to complicated to be any fun to use esp. if you are a first time rpg'er and you play this game.So all in all I personally think I wasted my money and time with this game but thats my own opinion and I will stick with my FF games and other rpgs....more info
  • I like it, I like it a lot
    As far as I know, Squaresoft has yet to come out with a bad game. When I bought this game I didn't really know what to expect. I knew it had a different fighting system, but that can mean lots of things. I have trouble putting the controller down when I play this game. It is extremely fun. The story line is good, the graphics are great, and the battle system isn't incredibly complex. I highly recommend this game to any hardcore gamer....more info
  • An excellent action/RPG game
    Vagrant story is a great action/RPG gam made by none other than Squaresoft. This games come with great story line, graphics, time challenges, and combat system. The compelling storyline brings this epic of pure evil, and the one man who can stop it to life. Amidst a horrible, cloudy past, Ashley Riot must overcome several dungeons. After seeing his family brutally murdered, he often is reminded of his past in painful flashbacks that feed his anger, and make him remember his skill in the killing arts. You will guide Ashley through all of his battles, and with the awesome equipment system, you can make you're weapons more powerful then the entire army of darkness. As Ashley Riot, you will see flash backs of his son and wife murdered, you will struggle to keep up with the menace Sydney, and the devious Romeo, who is supposedly a servant of God. The ending of this game will only make beg for a sequal. You must resque Callo Merlose, you're assistanty, who was abducted, but is secretly helping you all the while. The awesome battle system is more then words can say. Each weapon has a specific range, and you can attack one enimy at a time with in that range, or, hit them with magic. The power of you're weapons depends on how good you are at combining weapons. If you think you only attack one and that's it, you're wrong. you can do unlimmited attacks in one try with chain attacks, and they enimy won't be able to counter them. My highest, personally, was 23 chains. Can you beat me? And don't worry, there are defensive chains also! And I can't forget Break Arts, which have a lot of power, and can kill most enimies in a single blow. This game should not be overlooked, It is a classic full to the bone. If you like games tht professionals rates BETTER then the Final Fantasy series, you'll like this. DON'T MISS IT!...more info
  • If you like complex action-fighting systems....?
    Vagrant Story is a quickie action fantasy game that allows you to play as Ashley Riot, a warrior that has lost his memory and gradually gains it back, along with certain abilities, during the game. While the story idea was good and the game moves reasonably fast for expert players, Vagrant Story turns out to be a dissappointment.

    Vagrant Story combines a somewhat complex fighting system with an environment meant for exploring. The player controls only Ashley throughout the game and spends most of his/her time exploring rooms for more powerful weapons, potions, and keys to other doors. After about three hours of exploring and fighting, I began to forget that there was a plot to the game.

    I also began to get frustrated with the fighting system that changes whenever you fight a creature. As the game is designed, you have multiple weapons, each with a different blade and hilt, which can be dissassembled, combined, assembled, etc., to form new and more powerful weapons. Great! But! Depending on what you use the weapon against (Dragons, Undead, Humans, Beasts, etc.), the weapon will raise in attack ability towards whatever you just attacked, but will lower in other areas. This requires that you keep multiple weapons on hand for combat with different creatures in order to have a good weapon at any moment and that you keep track of them. Another added idea was Chain idea, where you can designate three buttons on the control pad to certain abilities and, by pressing them at the appropriate time, have these certain abilities added to an attack. I won't even go into the Risk explanation of the game, which was added in to make is somewhat realistic with getting tired during a battle.

    If you enjoy a game where it requires you to keep track of your weapons and their abilities, this is a great game for you and offers different endings and options dependant upon how you play the game. Otherwise, like me, you will probably find yourself wondering why you are wasting your time with repetitive attacks on creatures for hours on end and end up losing the idea of the plot.

    The total time to complete the game is approx. 8-24 hours and there are no FMVs throughout. Game is on one disc but comes with a bonus disc with the demos of Legend of Mana, Threads of Fate, Chrono Cross, Front Mission 3, SaGa Frontier, Chocobo's Dungeon 2, and Chocobo Racing on it....more info