Take the battle engine of Parasite Eve, the cinema and character style of Metal Gear Solid, a
dash of Tomb Raider block-based puzzles, mix them together, and what do you get? The answer
is Vagrant Story.
The plot is sometimes as elusive as an episode of "The X-Files," but this is more an observation
and less a criticism.
The story might me more interesting if the text in the comic book-like speech bubbles scrolled
faster, but the constant need to advance the text is a little distracting. The demo cinema that runs
before you begin a game is perfectly timed; I wish the same option existed for actual game play.
On the plus side, the cinemas are well directed in terms of camera movement.
Aside from the story, Vagrant Story has amazing lighting and texturing effects that really add to
the whole graphical experience which would otherwise be quite dull.
I really don't like the battle circle concept. It seems like a forced attempt at incorporating some
bizarre derivative of role playing action when every other aspect of the game wants to be part of
the adventure genre.
The circle really justs makes you press more buttons than you need to, and having to turn the
battle mode on and off is just plain poor design.
The battles are also monotonous; how many times to I have to hear a bat screech as it falls to its
death. Gee, I didn't know God always allows one last screech for drama's sake, even after
you've been casually killed by a blade ten times your body size.
The game has a fairly complex battle system for an adventure game, but I wish that complexity
was realized sooner in the game. The progression does not feel as natural as, say, Crystalis.
At any rate, Vagrant Story may still interest you as it did me. If you're a sucker for visual stories
and character drama, this game is worth a look despite its flaws.