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A Next-Gen Remake Or Reboot We All Want: Vagrant Story

JRPG fans from yesteryear have had to face some harsh truths.

The turn-based mechanics are dead and will not return in big-budget AAA productions. Not ever again. You can still find them in bite-size downloadable titles but that's about it.

Therefore, if you're hoping for the continuation of franchises like The Legend of Dragoon, Suikoden, Legend of Legaia, Xenosaga, etc., just give it up. You wouldn't want a reboot or remake of any of these titles because you'd probably hate what the designers do to it. Same goes for any sequel they'd attempt.

But wait, what about Vagrant Story? True, it was partially turn-based but it was also a hybrid, akin to the likes of Parasite Eve. Furthermore, it boasted a setting and style that I think would be very popular today; it would be similar to maybe Demon's Souls. The story was excellent in Vagrant Story, too, and if you wanted to implement a bigger world (a common trend these days, you could). I mean, take a look at some gameplay and tell me that couldn't be beautifully updated.

You could maintain the awesome feel and tone, you could keep the depth (which was significant), and you could expand on the core concepts. Of course, we'd still want the combat system to remain a turn-based/real-time hybrid, which developers today might scoff at. But it works in strategy/action titles like XCOM, right? Maybe it's a little different because there's only one hero and no party to command in Vagrant Story, but not everything has to be running in real-time. I say, make it happen. A reboot, remake or true sequel for the next generation, Square Enix.

Related Game(s): Vagrant Story

Tags: vagrant story, vagrant story sequel, vagrant story remake

7/18/2013 10:08:40 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (28 posts)

darxed
Thursday, July 18, 2013 @ 10:24:24 PM
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Totally agree with you Ben, I'd love me some updated Vagrant Story goodness...

I remember seeing this game without much attention before seeing the SquareSoft logo. Those were the days that I'd buy anything the company produced... And not once did I felt let down.

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ethird1
Thursday, July 18, 2013 @ 10:24:29 PM
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If you have not played this, get it right now from the PSN Network. It is truly an awesome game.

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ZenChichiri
Thursday, July 18, 2013 @ 10:45:05 PM
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I completely agree with this. I want to play as Ashley in the sequel because of what happens to him at the end. I don't know if I should say that in case somebody hasn't played it ;P

Anyways I think if Square were to make this Ashley would come back with sunglasses and they would call it "Ashley Returns: Vagrant Story 1-2", because simply calling it part 2 would be way too mainstream.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, July 18, 2013 @ 10:50:42 PM

I never finished it so thanks for the no-spoiler.

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EndZero
Thursday, July 18, 2013 @ 10:50:40 PM
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... the only JRPG I ever played *runs*

I liked it though!

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cLoudou
Thursday, July 18, 2013 @ 10:52:51 PM
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Sadly, I've never played but I'd gladly take a remake/reboot.

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Zemus101
Friday, July 19, 2013 @ 2:10:08 AM

In the same boat. I'd buy a remake/sequel just to support endeavors like this.

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Remo Williams
Thursday, July 18, 2013 @ 10:53:29 PM
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I'm actually playing through this on my Vita for the first time as we speak and I'm very surprised the game isn't brought up more often. The graphics are some of the best I've seen for the PS1, the storyline is very well done, and the atmosphere is superb. If only that damn Risk meter wouldn't rise so quickly...

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, July 18, 2013 @ 10:56:36 PM
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It's so sad that creative combat has to give way to lamebrain button spamming. Either way it's kind of odd to me that nobody ever considers resurrecting old, rich properties like these that have a built-in fan base.

When was the last time we got a rich story like Square games of old? They just get more vapid instead, i.e. the world is ending in 13 days, use a goddess to fulfill God's wishes! Blargh.

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Ultima
Thursday, July 18, 2013 @ 11:24:31 PM
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A remake of Vagrant Story would be boss. The combat could go full real-time, or fake real time like Crisis Core. There are definite improvements that could be made to the combat without dumbing it down. I think it could also do with some streamlining and difficulty tweaking (I remember my first run through of the game, I spent a huge block of time - about 15 hours - running scared because I had no items to heal poison and poison was incurable for me) and definitely more save points.

Hell, even if they made it "easier", it would still be brutally hard, especially if you wanted to get Damascus versions of all the best weapons... I never did get the last boss' sword that drops from that ONE rare enemy that you can only find in some hard ass dungeon when you're low on life. >:|

However, the item management system would need a TOTAL overhaul. Easily the worst thing about an otherwise magnificent game.

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Temjin001
Thursday, July 18, 2013 @ 11:29:46 PM
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Vagrant Story is pretty cool, even if dungeon crawls aren't really my thing.
In a way. Vagrant Story reminds me of Demon's Souls, but turn-based. They both got down to weapon specifics like blunt, piercing, slashing etc.

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xenris
Thursday, July 18, 2013 @ 11:47:40 PM
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I would like a remastered HD version of this game for sure. I want to get the original on the PSN but I just haven't had the time and I don't want to buy it and have it just sit there >.<

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KungFuKitten
Thursday, July 18, 2013 @ 11:52:05 PM
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It doesn't have to be a remake....a high quality rip-off will do me just fine. Final Fantasy has dropped the RPG ball so badly...I may never play another FF again. I purposely put Hope in my trio with no gear or skills just so he could get owned by a mushroom head thing...I hated him that much...

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broox9
Friday, July 19, 2013 @ 12:14:35 AM
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Never Played Vagrant Story, what made it stand out among the other legendary old school (J)RPG's?

btw ....could a brotha get some Star Ocean or Chrono Cross though (wait chrono cross is squeenix.... crap)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, July 19, 2013 @ 10:23:54 AM

So is Star Ocean now too.

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Ultima
Friday, July 19, 2013 @ 10:48:10 AM

I'll tackle this one.

First of all, it had graphics that was thought impossible. Vagrant Story was probably the best damn looking PSX game.

The character designs were great, the main character's ass-less chaps notwithstanding.

The plot and characters were all fantastic. If you liked Final Fantasy Tactics, it's in that vein, but on a smaller scale.

Gameplay is where the game is king, though it's not for everybody: The game is an overly-elaborate dungeon crawl. Lots of spells and abilities to learn, TONs of weapons to find, equip, and customize, and the game had a very skillful combo system that was incredibly deep and rewarding.

The game had two drawbacks. The item management system was total garbage - your inventory was far too small for the number of weapons and weapon parts you needed to do anything, and excess had to be stored in treasure chests in special weaponsmith rooms that were few and far apart. It was also cumbersome as hell to work with. You could customize your weapons in these smiths, but because of small personal inventory, once you got far in the game you had to keep shunting stuff back and forth from your personal store to the treasure store, which got old REAL fast.

The other issue is that the game is brutally hard, especially at first. It can also be really confusing with all the stats and attributes you have to keep track of - weapons have like 11 different traits that affect how much damage they inflict, for example, and that's not counting the fact that each type of weapon (I think there were 8 or 9 types) has its own range and combo timing.

In other words, the game has a STEEP learning curve. But it can be oh so worth it.

Oh, and Vagrant Story was the first and only PSX game to get all 10s from Famitsu, if that means anything.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, July 19, 2013 @ 11:27:10 AM

Vagrant Story was not "brutally hard." If it was, I never would've played it.

And while I do remember going back and forth with items a lot, I also remember that only a small percentage of the treasure I found was worth holding on to, anyway. This made it much easier.

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Ultima
Friday, July 19, 2013 @ 7:27:44 PM

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say, it -could- be brutally hard if you played it wrong. It was very much like Final Fantasy Tactics in that regard. I remember when I fought the fire elemental boss (before it became a regular enemy), and it took FOREVER to kill because my affinity and weapon selection was off or something - I was doing 1-2HP per hit and my combos were doing 0 damage thanks to Risk. Not to mention the aforementioned long stretch of time where I was deathly afraid of poison due to having run out of items (and getting those items required ENORMOUS backtracking to acquire) and no means to cure it at the time.

Obviously, thinks got easier once I had built up a weapon that had affinity to everything and thus could wreck everything, plus had better combos that could due big damage even with high Risk. BUt that was a good 30+ hours in.

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gamer4lifexxx
Friday, July 19, 2013 @ 4:11:16 AM
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Never heard of the game but not all game reboots or remakes are bad... Tomb Raider reboot was really good and on my short list of game of the year..the Resident Evil 1 remake on Gamecube was amazing.. DMC Deveil May Cry was pretty fun..... quite a few remakes/reboots are good.

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Solid Fantasy
Friday, July 19, 2013 @ 6:46:57 AM
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I never played Vagrant Story and don't know much about it. All I remember is seeing a picture of it on the back of an old PS1 JRPG. Might have one of the FFs- not sure. The art work seemed to so out worldly and too mature to me at the time. Just look at the title picture for this article. Now I kinda want to go back and play it.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, July 19, 2013 @ 10:24:37 AM
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The hair was so crazy.

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gumbi
Friday, July 19, 2013 @ 10:43:03 AM
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Hmm... Now we all know SCE did Legend of Dragoon right?

And by today's gaming standards it would be an insanely strange idea to make a full scale traditional JRPG with turn based battle mechanics right?

But wait! Didn't I just read an article about SCE posted right here on PSXE? "SCE Japan Studio: 'Insane People With Strange Ideas'"

Hey SCE, I got one for ya ;)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, July 19, 2013 @ 12:27:39 PM

good point

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Vivi_Gamer
Friday, July 19, 2013 @ 11:49:33 AM
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I'm sorry, but I just never got into Vagrant Story. Precisely for the same reason as Final Fantasy XII - Which is fitting because apparently they're set within the same world. But the reason is because it is dull.

It has a great ingame cinematic intro which really had me engaged. But when the gameplay begun it instantly became tedious. The battle system which to be described to anyone this gen it is sort of like VAT's in Fallout 3. But that isn't to bad really. The problem is the gameplay is incredibly slow! Due to the animation each battle seems to take far longer than it ever should.

I confess I never completed Vagrant Story but from what I saw of it the environments were uninspiring. I was playing for many hours hoping to escape the bland looking dungeon. I eventually escaped a cave and was walking in a town, I was ever so hopeful. Only to be forced back into another underground dungeon cavern. That is where I simply had no motivation to play the game. I wish I could have done that with Final Fantasy XII but being a Final Fantasy there were principles at hand so I had to put up with 80 hours of tedious boredom.

Is there room for improvement in a reboot. Yes. But looking at all the other titles based within the Ivalice world, I cannot see them overcoming the problems. Final Fantasy XII is a solid statement in my eye there doesn't need to be any more evidence.

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DrRockso87
Friday, July 19, 2013 @ 1:12:51 PM
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Only if Yasumi Matsuno is involved please!!

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trumpetmon65
Friday, July 19, 2013 @ 3:58:04 PM
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An hd update would be awesome. This is one of the most overlooked games ever. Amazing story and game play. Think I'll pay it.

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apdgat
Monday, July 22, 2013 @ 12:15:22 AM
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I still remember the music in the "factory"... great game, great OST.

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westeed
Friday, December 27, 2013 @ 5:00:08 PM
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Am I the only one who found an antidote spell five minutes into the game?

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