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Spot the Chest

  • Muninn
  • 07/16/2012 11:19 PM
Vagabond is an RPGMaker VX Ace game created by Zeuzio. The game is currently available only as a demo, which seems to cover 30-40% of what will be in the final game.

Foo (temporary name), a young member of the Adventurer's Guild, wanders far from his/her (select whichever is appropriate) homeland, ending up in the distant land of Granti. In Granti, Foo encounters Bar, a slime that takes a liking to him/her and joins the travels. Foo also encounters one of the seven Sages of Granti, who claims that Granti is currently menaced by seven powerful monsters who terrorize each of the lands biomes. Only Foo and Bar can save Granti from the impending doom that faces it.

Story: An excuse plot, through and through
If there is any kind of development that happens to the plot of Vagabond past the point where the player learns that they must defeat seven monsters that menace the land they've just entered, it does not appear in the demo. Enter Zone, Find Monster, Slay Monster, Repeat.

Presentation: Nothing Spectacular, but no problems
Graphics have a lot of RTP, from what I saw. Music was alright. I felt that the movement speed of the main character in the game was a little too fast for comfort, except in the swamp region where it seemed that the move speed was even faster for some reason.
My biggest complaint would be that there seems to be a half-second delay in any given cutscene between when you tell the text to advance and when it actually does.

Gameplay: Quite Good
There is no "Attack" command in Vagabond. If you have no MP or TP on your turn and don't want to use an item, you can select "Guard", a 0-cost command that restores a little bit of health and 5 TP. I rather liked this system, since I often found myself wondering whether or not to attack with low-TP attacks, Guard until I had enough for a High-TP attack, or use an attack that required the harder-to-replentish MP.

While there are "Levels" that grant extra abilities to the main character and stat increases to the monster companion, advancement is mostly achieved through finding and equipping Tomes (grant stat changes and extra abilities) or Relics (grant special properties or resistances). I thought at first that the game had given too many slots for the player to equip things, but around the time I reached the swamp (Zone 3) I found that the amount of slots was just about right for giving me enough abilities to battle, but not so many that I could equip everything that I might find useful.
There are also stat-increasing items, but the effect of each individual item is negligible. This is okay, though, because maps in Vagabond are overflowing with treasure chests: Some in the open, some hidden away, some protected by monsters. I'd imagine that the ease players have in playing this game will directly correlate to how good they are at noticing chests hidden in with the scenery.
The final advancement method is your companion, who starts out as a weak slime, but can then transform into one of three other monsters, and will continue to evolve into stronger monster variants as the game progresses. Unfortunately, when examining the coloured flames to see which one represents which monster upgrade, the response is set by default to "Yes, I want this one", so half the time I ended up getting an upgrade without ever learning what my other options were.

Difficulty in the game is at a good point, possibly. The beginning, where your slime is weak and will get killed frequently, is somewhat tough, though the difficulty significantly lessens once you receive the first transformation, as well as later when you find the Shapeshifters whom you can defeat for extra abilities and bonuses. The difficulty picks up really high at the end of the third Zone, the Swamp, which is also the end of the demo. (It should be noted, though, that I did not find the swamp Shapeshifter, was avoiding any battles that didn't reward me with a chest or a new path, and didn't use the "Synth" option to purchase additional stat boosts with my accumulated gold; so I'd assume that the boss would be easier for people who did one or more of those things).

Final Verdict: A game of Interest
Though the story was nothing spectacular, the means of advancing in power in this game managed to catch my interest, and battles were usually suitably engaging with their variety of options. While less than half of the map is currently available, even the demo version of Vagabond is something well worth trying out.


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Yay! A review!

Thanks Muninn, I enjoyed the read. :3
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