Reviewed by Jimmy | 12.02.05

Do you feel like you've been missing out on the old school 40-50hr turn based role-playing action for your PSP?! Well, cry no more because Ban Dai has a healthily dose of classic RPG action in its latest, The Legend of Heroes. Read our review to see if this is an instant classic, or just another clone.

The Game
Do you like to read? That should be the first question before you go out a purchase The Legend of Heroes: A Tear of Vermillion. Even look at the name, it's a doozy, and so is the amount of text in the game which brings us back to the good old Final Fantasy days. If you are like me, you will start out reading until four or five hours into the game, and then start skipping through the text. It's not that the story isn't bad, it's the standard missing sibling, destroyed village, mentor passes, and young boy turned 18 and wants to adventure. - Insert - Avin, Eimelle, Bardus, Bellius, and Octum. It's that the text seems to be on the screen a little too much and the drama didn't pull me in because of its predictable nature. Although, I am sure some gamers appreciate the art of expected misused translation of English literature in The Legend of Heroes. Legend is an RPG after all, I should have expected an abundance of text.

Top Down
The Legend of Heroes plays with classic top down view point with a turn-based combat system. If you like old school traditional Japanese RPG's then LOH is likely to put a smile on your face. I myself prefer turn-based combat to real time any day, because I find it involves more strategy and tactics then just pressing a button fast. It's really a personal preference, but it could be the determine factor in picking up Legends of Heroes or not. The controls are simple to grasp and work out nicely on the PSP and makes Legends of Heroes accessible to all types of gamers.

The other aspects of Legend goes down a predictable route right down to the one sided combat. This is a game you've probably already played way back on the SNES. The Legend of Heroes has its moments of boss battles, little cute animals, and tear dropping heartfelt story. You will be going boss to boss, town to town hearing about everyone else's problems and eventually solving your own. If you are new to the whole traditional J-RPG then Legend of Heroes will probably fill your heart with delight. It's a tough balance on a portable device, but seems to be reinvented nicely for the overall. Hopefully this wont be the end from Ban Dai and other developers.


The Legend of Heroes: A Tear of Vermillion is overall a smooth expereince with everything you like about old school RPG games, that's if you like them. There aren't too many areas where you can criticize the gameplay because it's a throwback to the olden versions of the role-playing genre. Well, maybe the unnecessary pets! Sure they are cute, but really didn't add anything to the game. In the end Legends is very accessible and runs like a virtual story book in ways, there is lots to enjoy in you have the patience.

Graphics & Sound
For the most part the graphics look phenomenal in Legends of Heroes with its combination of excellent 3D work, drawn art and 2D items. The 2D portions would be the most negative point to the graphics and it's mainly because the game is stunning in 3D. The lighting effects and environments, along with the characters are excellent, although more variety in the combat animations and environments would have been a plus. They also do a great job of convening depth which can be tricky with the top down view.

The audio section of the game is done with that classic orchestrated RPG feeling. The music is very tasteful and it fits mood of the game perfectly. The other audio effects are pretty standard and dull because of the games nature. The overall presentation in Legends of Heroes is above par, although it won't dazzle onlookers like Burnout, but it will be admired by anyone who watches it in action.

If you have been waiting for a traditional Japanese styled role playing game then you are the right place. Although since The Legend of Heroes doesn't break the mold on RPGs, it is your only option on Sony's PSP. Legend isn't bad, its just predictable recycled material that fits into a nice storybook adventure. Die-Hard fans might find a few pieces missing, but casual RPG enthusiasts will find The Legend of Heroes: A Tear of Vermillion an applauded attempt.

The Good:Old School RPG, Turn Based Combat, Excellent Graphics and Musical Score

The Bad:Too Much Text, Predictable, Unbalanced Combat

Gameplay: 8, Graphics/Sound: 8, Innovation: 5, Mojo: 7. Final: 7 / 10


  • Classic RPG game play featuring an epic storyline with over 100 characters
  • Some of the most beautiful crafted 3D environments available on the PSP.
  • More than 50 hours of game play
  • Unique pet system - use your furry friends to help you on your journey!
  • From the legendary Nihon Falcom; the creators of the "Ys," "Brandish" and "Sorcerian series

The Legend of Heroes: A Tear of Vermillion

Ban Dai
Nov 2005