When talk turns to classic strategy RPGs, most players immediately think of Tactics Ogre, Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics. These games could hold one’s interest for hours upon hours. Battles would be so intense and challenging that players needed to constantly find ways – no matter how small – to eke out an advantage that could be the difference between sweet victory or shameful defeat. Tomorrow, MonkeyPaw Games will revive the now-rare Vanguard Bandits on PSN and with it, resurrect the glory days of classic strategy RPGs.
Originally published as Epica Stella by Human Entertainment in Japan, Vanguard Bandits was released by legendary publisher Working Designs in North America. The PSone game was loaded with content: 60 different missions, three branching storylines, crazy plot twists and dialogue on the Ruin Branch, five endings and path-crossing narratives. Vanguard Bandits kept gamers glued to their screens for marathon gameplay sessions.
The game is played from an isometric camera view similar to most games within the SRPG genre. But the 3D battle animations were fresh additions to an already robust adventure. Every attack or defense action brings up a dramatic close-up of the fight, each complete with energizing music and charismatic dialogue. Working Designs included fan-friendly options, such as being able to bypass these sequences and speeding up the overall battle for players that like speed runs.