Vandal Hearts 2
The big thing that differentiates Vandal Hearts II from all the Tactics-this orTactics-that before it is the two-unit simultaneous movement during combat. This unorthodox battle system has enemy characters moving at the same time as yours, so while still staying a turn-based game, it gives you a little more sense of being active and live (real-time, if you wish). It sounds good in premise, then sucks when you first try it out (you'll be swinging at empty spaces a lot while you're trying to anticipate what the CPU is going to do). It then becomes pretty darn cool again once you learn how the Al is going to act. When you do get the hang of things, you'll find this to be the deepest strategy-RPG yet. One thing's for certain--you'll need to use your noggin to win the fights...a lot more so than in other games of this type. If you're not a fan of noggin-usin', you won't enjoy VH II at all. Besides this neato style of combat, the game has an awesome soundtrack (one of the best I've ever listened to) and a deep story line with twists and turns (although the cutscenes and accompanying dialogue can really drag on at times). The new weapon/armor system will remind you of features found in more recent Final Fantasy games, which is a very good thing. It's yet another aspect of VH II that gives it a healthy dose of depth. Recommended.
Konami's latest sequel is a class above its predecessor; the simultaneous movement and weapons/char-acter development system makes this a complex game. The flow of combat will confuse most of you used to a more traditional tactics game, but it's rewarding once you use it to your advantage. With Square still holding back Front Mission, and Bandai's unlikely release of Super Robot Wars, you'll have to make do with VH2 as your tactics fix.
It took me a long time to get used to this sequel's chief innovation--it's simultaneous-movement system. Half the time I liked it (it does speed up the game), half the time I didn't, depending on whether I guessed my enemy's movement correctly. Otherwise, Vandal Hearts II is nearly as addicting and easy to get into as the original. The new weapon-skill system encourages experimentation. You practically need flow charts to follow the story, though.
As far as tactical RPGs go, Vandal Hearts is one of the best. The sequel adds a lot, including enemies that move when you do--and you have to anticipate those moves. Meaning that there's another level of strategy you have to devise before blindly positioning and attacking the enemy. The gameptay and the story line are a lot deeper than the first game. Graphically it's not that much different from the first Vandal Hearts. A solid title for RPG fans.
Download Vandal Hearts 2
Konami is working on a sequel to their popular strategy/RPG, Vandal-Hearts. VH II features the same style of play as the original, but with several key enhancements. Most notably, items and equipment will now level-up as they're used, and enemies will be able to make their moves at the same time as you. Vandal-Hearts II is due this November.