Kyle here, gaming aficionados.
This time, our "distinguished panel of experts" takes a look at Squaresoft's involved action-RPG Vagrant Story.

Here's a little primer on Kyle's RPG Roundtable Reviews rating scale:
0-1 is the lowest of the low. Basically, don't even touch the game's box.
1.5-4.5 is below average. You might still like it, though.
5 is absolutely average. Most games are a 5, so don't think this is bad. I mean it.
5.5-9.5 is above average. These are damn good scores, even a 5.5. Definitely pick it up.
10 is the ultimate. If you can't afford the game, consider selling body parts.
Vagrant Story
Laguna LoireErm... I'm finished with the game, and I still can't figure out what the heck was going on! I hate to complain and all, but I think that this was just a little over the top in the whole plot department. I kinda liked how there weren't many cut scenes, but every time there was, I lost track of what was going on. So really, it was way too complex for me.
I like 'em all, but this one's a 1.5.
AlfonsoEven if you ignore the obvious gap caused by my absence, Vagrant Story really offers little for the discerning player to enjoy, character-wise. Although blissfully little time is spent developing these fellows, there is enough to make one grow tired of them. A great deal of time is spent shadowing their real motives, but I wish they'd never been revealed!
I suppose these fellows deserve a 3.0.
GauGau like this game! Me like lot of battles - they not even random, so me know me always get in same fight over and over! There lot of monsters. Gau like monsters lots! Me no like boss fights so much, though - me think they too hard! Me no like 'quipment system, 'cause it too hard, but weapon look pretty, so me no mind!
Gau give this 6.5!
LacanI can't say enough bad about these graphics. There are basically no redeeming qualities here, and plenty of flaws. The characters are depicted with a ridiculous level of realism, to say nothing of the animation. Facial expressions are integrated and detailed, and even the usual PSX pixelation is reduced to almost unbearable levels. This is like... the 'anti-Pong.'
If I had to judge, I'd give it a 0.5.
NikkiThis music is totally non-radical, dudes! There is, like, no triumphant tunes on this entire OST. Man, about the only plus is that it is mega-quiet and totally ambient on most tracks. The fact is, this is bogus orchestral stuff from beginning to end, dudes. I guess I should have, like, expected it from the team that did Final Fantasy Tactics.
I'd crank the volume up to 2.0.
KyleWell... their opinions basically suck! Here's the catch:
If you take their scores and reverse 'em, you'll get a pretty accurate picture.
Like whiner-boy Lacan, he thought the graphics were a 0.5? Try 9.5 and you'd be closer to the mark, because these graphics are great! And that moron Laguna, he calls the plot a 2.0? I'd say more like an 8.0.
Now, for the real low-down on Vagrant Story, I'm your man. This is one of the few console RPG plots I've seen in a while that actually kept me guessing right up until the end. Telling more would spoil it, but suffice to say that things aren't how they appear. Part of the reason it's so surprising is because of the characters - even though they don't have many scenes, they get very well developed, and they're as complex as you'd expect from the makers of Final Fantasy Tactics. The gameplay is tough to call. It's fun to play... most of the time. This one needed to have a lot of encounters removed, and some of the bosses tweaked a little. It's a shame, because there was some real potential here. The graphics are the best on the Playstation, plain and simple. I haven't seen much to compete with this on the PS2, or even the Dreamcast, and the direction in the cut scenes is just awesome. Yeah, better than Metal Gear Solid. It's that good. The music is great, too, but most of it is pretty much ambient, and quiet, too, so it's hard to judge it.
Incidentally, some of the guys have some pretty strange taste in pants... like, not much in the seat section, if you get my drift. I just thought I should mention it, 'cause it is weird.
3B-wise, I'm sure not complaining! There aren't many games where the in-game graphics are enough to really show off the babes, but this is one of them. Too bad we don't get to see more of them. There's tons of blood in Vagrant Story - it's practically gushing, and it's realistic, too. And the beasts... wow. These are the coolest beasts in any RPG, or at least the coolest dragons. Yeah, better than CC and LoD, which is saying a lot.
In the end, too few cut scenes, too much equipment micro-management, weird pants, and some serious problems with the gameplay keep this sucker from being higher than it is, but it's still definitely worth playing.
Put together, it's about a 8.0!