Villains and Vigilantes is a (somewhat) dated, and yet relatively strong game system for playing super-heroic characters like you would find in an American comic book. It’s one of the premiere role-playing games of the 1980s -- no question about it, meaning that nostalgia and fondness for similarity could be the primary driving forces to its current success. If you are looking for the latest and greatest innovation in role-playing, then Villains and Vigilantes will not surprise you (though it does hold it’s own for innovation in it’s own right -- the game is still unique, even with its d20 influence imbedded in the rules).
If you are looking for a fantastic super-hero game to play, then V&V is a swell game indeed!
Characters are created using your own identity and specialized formulas, and the game is played with various random tables and rules for mundane items and traits. All in all, it’s a creative mixture of information that you can use to create your own random game world.
(Personally, I like the random factor over other point-based systems, because it’s much easier to choose one or two things, and then, add randomness for flavor later -- rather than pulling a concept from thin air. The one thing that some game designers seem to miss is this: most people are not creative -- but almost everyone likes to play a game. Randomness is the key to getting others to try new things, and V&V fills that niche rather nicely.)
Does all this mean that Villains and Vigilantes is for the silly, veteran game player -- not hardly! It only means that Villains and Vigilantes is a unique game with some interesting traits that will appeal to the number cruncher and the die-hard comic book fan.
I am rating it a 3 / 5, because honestly, it is not an entirely simple game to play (there will be a lot of tedious number-crunching and variable dice rolling involved), but it is a FUN game to play -- and that’s the primary purpose for playing any game. I don’t like to rate things a 3, because I think it is a cop-out normally, but it is a fair rating in this instance for all the factors involved.
Overall, you will not be disappointed to play Villains and Vigilantes, and the price is just right. (I would love to have a hard copy of this game -- maybe one is in the works?)
[3 of 5 Stars!]