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TEEN, Mild Animated Violence, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes
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In the tradition of Ogre Battle, Final Fantasy Tactics, and the Saturn's Shining Force III, Vanguard Bandits is an episodic fantasy game of tactics and strategy featuring nearly 60 missions and five unique endings. Players assume the role of Bastion, son of the hunted Kamorge, in a quest to win a holy war against the Imperial Army of the Junaris Empire led by the tyrant General Faulkner. Strategically arranged units battle on simulated 3D landscapes, with the camera switching to a true 3D rendition of mech-warriors in hand-to-hand combat.
Plot elements are advanced via anime-style cut scenes and the results of combat play out in 3D sequences. The world of Eptina, where mighty All-Terrain Armored Combatants (ATAC) wreak havoc, includes the Pharastia Kingdom (anti-Empire), the Junaris Empire, the Avalon Principality (nomadic state), the Nordilain Forest (pro-Empire), the Muspel Nations (neutral), the Duchy of Hibernia (nation-state), the Dionne-Lehve (mercenary forces), and the Southern Alliance (autonomic).
Vanguard Bandits role-playing centers on building up other characters' confidence in Bastion through post-event "interviews," as well as sporadically buying upgraded weapons, stones, magical amulets, and other goods with money earned during missions. ATAC and character skills include attack, support, and dormant groups, with dozens of variations under each, and six types of ATACs are available: regular, light and heavy infantry, cavalry, ninja soldier, and flight soldier. The colorful manual includes a Strategy Guide as well as comprehensive details on the combat, exploration, and role-playing aspects of Vanguard Bandits. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide