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John McCarroll
E3: Konami Revives Vandal Hearts
This time for XBLA and PSN.
06.05.09 - 7:10 PM

Owners of the original PlayStation probably remember the Vandal Hearts games, solid tactical RPGs that were released in the heart of the system's lifecycle. After the release of the second title in 1999, we heard nary a peep from Konami about the franchise. Now, a little less than ten years later, Konami is handing the franchise to Santa Ana-based developer Hijinx Studios to create a full new title, Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment, for release on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network this winter.

A prequel to the original two titles, the title is meant to be accommodating to new players of the series. The battle system is a fairly standard SRPG battle system, and will not use the simultaneous turn system from Vandal Hearts II. Each character will be able to carry two sets of weapons, and will not be bound by class for which weapons they can wield. The streamlined character development is somewhat akin to the system seen in Final Fantasy II: based on what a character uses and their base statistics, their skills will level up. There is still an experience system with standard level ups, but a character's skill with a certain type of weapon or magic is based on their usage of it. Character chemistry plays a big part of battle, as well. Those characters who like each other will team up to gang up on an enemy, although Konami didn't expand on how the characters would gain their camaraderie.

Despite being a downloadable title, Konami is looking to make the title a full-fledged game that will take the average gamer about 15 hours to complete. Konami hasn't yet set a final release date or a price point for Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment.


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