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Preview: The Vagrant (PC)By Gabriel PVJ Jones At 06.07.2018 20:46

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Much like Vanillaware's library, The Vagrant shows a distinct fondness for gorgeous scenery, hack 'n' slash action, and… barely-covered flesh. Apparently, Vivian decided to forego the bikini armour and just wear a bikini. This is a reflection of the design philosophy that governs this game. Rather than dwell on the subtleties and attempt to explain the lore of the protagonist's questionable attire, the developer decided that it wanted something pleasant to look at. Simple, to the point, and all intentions are crystal clear.

The game itself is a no-nonsense adventure, one that fills the screen with all manner of fiends, so that the heroine can quickly slice them to pieces. Occasional pit-stops for storytelling and world-building break up the monotony. Also, there is plenty of equipment and abilities to obtain. As action RPG tradition dictates, progress is best measured in raw numbers. Still, an adequate level of the player's attention is required, if they want Vivian to succeed. Her enemies can be pretty dangerous at first, so it pays to learn their patterns and "tells." In a fight, every grunt or quip predicates an action, making ears just as important as eyes.

Although she identifies as a mere sellsword, Vivian is actually a Runewarden. Essentially, she has a technique for every situation. Whether she needs to rain dozens of blows upon a hapless enemy, dash through a crowd with a punishing slice, or swat troublesome demons out of the air, her impressive skillset allows for full control. Although she's invincible while performing these powerful moves, they will exhaust her rage meter, so spamming is out of the question. Be sure to take every possible detour while exploring, because there's sure to be skill-teaching tablet hidden away. Abilities are learned through the exchange of mana. They can either raise Viv's stats or bequeath unique talents.

In an effort to stray from the doldrums that this genre tends to fall into, the common healing potion works on a cooldown system. While there's nothing stopping the mercenary from slamming potion after potion in quick succession, each successive drink is less effective than the last. What was once a full-heal two seconds ago will now only replenish a small portion of life. Naturally, the solution is to avoid taking a ton of damage, which gets to be easier as the game progresses. Indeed, The Vagrant is another one of those titles that suffers from reverse-difficulty.

Part of this affliction can be attributed to runes. These handy stones are affixed to weapons and armour, strengthening their stats or offering other properties. The right setup tends to revolve around boosting critical hit rate. There are also a few really useful skills Vivian can learn. One of them replenishes her rage meter whenever she takes damage, another restores a little health whenever she lands a critical hit. The skill that fills the rage meter upon a critical hit completes the trifecta.

Once the right combination of runes and abilities are acquired, it's all a matter of abusing the "Tornado Slash" skill as often as possible. As mentioned earlier, Vivian is invincible while performing skills and this one, in particular, can last for quite a long time. While rage is drained very quickly, the critical hit bonuses mitigate it. For longer battles, all the player has to do is pop open the occasional rage potion. Money isn't hard to come by, especially in the late game. Optional boss areas, known as rifts, will result in a ton of cash.

While there are multiple difficulty settings, they don't make too much of a difference. Enemies will hit harder, but there aren't any limitations on equipment or potion usage. In fact, there's a New Game+ mode, ensuring that most everything up to the final encounters isn't much of a threat. This can leave the game feeling a little one-dimensional. On the bright side, it does take quite a while before the exploits become apparent. The combat is delightfully crunchy and shows a solid understanding of mechanics and design.

It's also worth mentioning that this is quite cheap, even given its Early Access status. As in, it can be purchased for a small sum. Although it should be pointed out that price is never a factor when it comes to reviews; but it is indeed still a pretty good value. The presentation is very nice and there aren't any noticeable glitches. On average, a play-through will last 7 or 8 hours, making for a fine weekend getaway.

User Comments
#1 Insanoflex - on 06.07.2018 at 23:46

i like the boobs

#2 Dragon0085 - on 08.07.2018 at 02:32

How deep is the RPG aspect to this? 


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