Vandal Hearts – Consumer Guide

According to ESRB, this game contains: Animated Blood & Gore, Animated Violence

Parents will want to skip this one—you neither want your kids witnessing the geysers of blood that erupt from your impaled enemies, nor the sight of you laughing uproariously every time it happens. The violence is redeemed somewhat by the sobriety of the story, but the plot points are a little subtle for young kids and even some preteens anyway.

Casual gamers will enjoy this if theyre looking for a story and tactical challenge, but might be turned off by the late 1990's graphics.

Console RPG fans should have no problem figuring out the gameplay and will appreciate the conventions of the story. Vandal Hearts was my first strategy game after a youth (okay, a young adulthood) spent on simpler fare like Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy, and once I got the hang of it, I played it through five times. At $15-$20 these days, that makes it worth your blood, sweat, and tears.

Fans of Final Fantasy Tactics will not find the same deep customization and job system here, but will definitely find this an easy quick fix for their magic-and-melodrama cravings.