Before Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, there was… Final Fantasy Tactics. Before that, though, there was Vandal Hearts. While there had been RPGs that mixed strategy elements before Vandal Hearts, there were none of this style. Well, not on this end of the Pacific.
Since then, the SRPG has gained popularity and has defined its own genre — almost to the point of cliche. Vandal Hearts isn’t the deepest example of the genre, nor is it particularly challenging (I remember beating the game during a rental period, but I did have more time on my hands then), but it was well produced and enjoyable. Unlike many such games, it was expertly paced and it did not drag on for too long — which is my biggest beef with the likes of Tactics Ogre: Knights of Lodis.
I’ve been meaning to replay Vandal Hearts for a long time.