Vanguard Bandits
Earlier installments:
· Vanguard Bandits
Last seen in: 2000
Publisher: Human Entertainment

Vanguard Bandits

Vanguard Bandits

Anna Marie Neufeld says... Vanguard Bandits, protecting peace and candy for all, landed on the PlayStation in mid-2000, a few mere months before the release of the much-anticipated PS2. One of the final projects localized by Working Designs, it is chock-full of entertaining one-liners and somewhat aged witticisms, but that doesn't detract from the core of what makes VB a seriously awesome game: cool combat meshed with storyline choices that matter, and a three-branch storyline including five distinct endings. For those who were lucky enough to net a rare copy, it was very easy to invest upwards of 100 hours between the different paths.

Take control of the snivelling protagonist Bastion and his ragtag band of loyal troops and rebels just looking for a fight. Control their mechs, known as ATAC, and use each unit's AP judiciously to move, attack, and defend. Relationships between the various units are critical to moving between the various story paths, so both keeping everyone alive and talking to the right individuals between each combat mission involves careful micromanagement. With an isometric view, this TRPG doesn't really do anything to define or stretch the genre, but it does everything it reaches for right, between how combat works, to the depth of the story, to the slightly cheesy anime portraits. Though the combat overall both graphically and mechanically shows its age, the basic structure certainly stands the test of time. For those who can't muddle through things on their own, VB was also one of the first games to feature a hardcover strategy guide — thus, despite the fact these books would be more then ten years old, with gentle use they would still have stood the test of time.

For those lucky enough to be bilingual, the game is available on the Japanese PSN store, but as that was more then a year ago English fans shouldn't hold out much hope. To make matters worse, the likelihood of seeing another title in the series is pretty much nil. The developer Human Entertainment collapsed before the game even came to North America and with Working Designs also long-since defunct, there's no telling who would hold the rights to the series.

Can a new game happen?

Series Highlights

Pretty much nil

The one, the only

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