Vagrant Story: The Official Strategy Guide Paperback – Jun 1 2000
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The guide begins by introducing us to the cast. Here you'll come to see that much of the guide is written in such a charming matter. Not only is it very conversational but it even has a bit of wit to it without getting sidetracked. What may actually be a bit of a pain that the paragraphs are pretty much jumbled together. Unlike later guides by Piggyback this one doesn't really have a line break between paragraphs. You'll quickly get used to this and it'll cease to be a problem, however (especially in the walkthrough). The guide then goes into all the basics of the game in and of itself. The battle system and what everything means. There's a bit more depth here than the bradygames guide, giving you more into on things such as RISK or Damage Points and Phantom Points. It's all good stuff, but the best part doesn't come until after the walkthrough.
The walkthrough itself is very good. Each area begins with the maps. Every room on each map is labeled (1-1, 1-2, 2-1, 2-2 etc.) and when that happens just look for the room in the corresponding text and it'll tell you what to do. The maps aren't as detailed or as colorful as the Bradygames guide, but you'll make due as it points out all items and doors etc. It'll also call out all the bosses, detailing what strategies work. While there are times when the Bradygames guide most certainly offers better boss strategies, Piggyback certainly doesn't do a bad job by any means. Always getting you prepared well enough. This guide doesn't mess around in helping you prepare for anything Vagrant Story has to offer. Much like the Brady guide as well, the maps always assume you're facing north. So keep that in mind.
For the most part the walkthrough is incredibly helpful, but what is more helpful is all the stuff that comes beyond that. Bradygames really dropped the ball in helping people master Vagrant Story. It missed out on helping players learn everything they could about combining weapons and making the best weapon they could possibly make. Piggyback delivers on this in some pretty big ways. Not only do they have texts that perfectly describes how to get every affinity and class ranking to 100%, but they also provide charts so that you ALWAYS know what you're getting when you combine any two weapons. Likewise, they actually have a complete items, weapons and armor lists. Again, something the brady guide was lacking.
It doesn't stop there, however. The Brady guide also missed out on really telling you how combining weapons affects class, affinity and the like. This guide does. It tells you everything you need to know. There's nothing left out. For those who want to really master and learn Vagrant Story this is definitely the guide you should be looking for. It does the same thing with armor. Charts detailing everything. Just for all the weapon combinations and tips for getting the ultimate weapon alone is reason enough to own the PIggyback Interactive guide to Vagrant Story.
The guide also gets into the clear game area, giving more detail than Brady as well. Though not always by much. The strategies for the bonus bosses are no where near as good and neither are the descriptions of some of the dungeons. At the very least this guide is leading you to believe that Sydney drops his sword. And this one also even has a complete monster list that misses no enemy whatsoever. And it'll tell you their class and what affinity they're strong against and weak against and then give a little strategy for it. Everything about this guide is just that much more detailed.
With all this info it's also nice that there's an index provided. Although that's not as helpful as it sounds. Piggyback always has an index, but in this case what I really wish they'd done with it is actually put the names of the areas detailed in the walkthrough. Sometimes when flipping back to the weapons chart I get lost in all the details and have to go flipping through the guide to find where I am in the game. The index takes you to areas like each boss encounter or an enemies listing in the monster appendix but it doesn't actually take you to any major area of the walkthrough.
There aren't a lot of complaints. There is the occasional typo that pops up (in particular the fact that the guide spelled it as "Finaal Boss" annoyed me) but nothing too drastically big. At least none of the info is wrong. Some of the detail here an be intimidating, really because there's so much. This guide was made with the veteran and beginner in mind, and it shows.
One thing that is of note, however, is that being that this is before Piggyback Interactive began releasing guides in the state it covers the PAL version of the game as opposed to the NTSC version. In some guides by Piggyback this has made a huge difference (those who imported their Final Fantasy X guide from Piggyback certainly know what I'm talking about). Here the biggest difference I saw was that HP listings for some enemies differed from the American guide. Some enemies appear to have less HP. At the time of this writing I don't know if one guide is inaccurate or not or if this is just how the guides vary. That being said, this is hardly that big a deal. What's more important is that most of the info here is correct.
If you do find yourself in need of a guide for Vagrant Story this would be a much better guide to pursue. It's not perfect, but it's certainly more helpful than the alternative. The downside is that because you'll more than likely have to import it (or purchase from a seller who imported it) the asking price is considerably higher than most guides. Particularly from American sellers. You might be better off going to the UK side of Amazon in that case. Either way, the guide is pretty expensive going for around thirty or so dollars quite easily. And unless you're a collector that's a hefty price to ask for a guide to a game that has been out for so long and where all the info is probably readily online as a result. Nevertheless it is a good guide. Probably the best Vagrant Story Guide you'll be able to find.