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Official Strategy Guide

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by Working Designs

Ups: Excellent design and layout; high quality printing; beautiful color innards; handy ribbon bookmarks; funny to read. 

Downs:  What downs?

System Reqs:
For use with PSX version of Vanguard Bandits.

Check out our review of Vanguard Bandits for PlayStation.

01.jpg (3855 bytes)To even consider comparing the Vanguard Bandits strategy guide to all the other strategy guides that have come before it is to engage in a mismatch of epic proportions. The Vanguard Bandits strategy guide radiates dominance to such a degree that all the other strategy guides in the same room will develop inadequacy issues and sink into a trembling puddle of perpetual awe.

16.jpg (5935 bytes)The hard-backed, perfect bound, beautifully designed strategy guide of Vanguard Bandits is the first of its kind, and it is vastly superior in every way imaginable to the magazine style strategy guides that have been the industry standard. Rest assured that no matter how many times you flip back and forth through the hard bound strategy guide that not a single one of the glossy full color pages will be any worse for the wear. The three ribbon book marks installed in the binding make it easy to mark various charts or info that you might want to quickly reference in the heat of battle.

14.jpg (5766 bytes)The real test for any strategy guide is whether it enhanced the actual game. The answer here is a resounding yes. Vangaurd Bandits is a challenging game, downright hard until you get the hang of the tactics involved. With three major paths to take through the game and five total endings, it’ll be dang hard to find them all unless you know where to look. Because of the difficulty of Vanguard Bandits, many gamers will reach the so-called "bad ending" on their first try through. This is a great surprise ending, but it can also be quite disappointing after all your hours of hard work. The strategy guide easily directs you whichever you want to go. If you enjoy Vanguard Bandits as much as I did then you’ll want to see everything that the game has to offer. For me that wouldn’t have been possible without the strategy guide because I would have had to play for so much longer to actually stumble into the new branches, and because I might not have realized how big the game actually was.

25.jpg (4924 bytes)As if this all isn’t enough, and by all means it should be, the presentation is phenomenal. The strategy guide, while completely thorough and clear, is never boring or technical. It’s amusing, it’s funny, and it’s a blast to use. Before now, I don’t think I’ve ever used a strategy guide that actually qualified as entertainment in its own right . This masterpiece of a strategy guide runs $14.99, about the same price as the common magazine strategy guide, which is remarkable in and of itself. Do yourself a favor and score the game, score the best strategy guide ever, find a couch, put your ass in it, and call in sick for two weeks.

--Jeff Luther