Wednesday, November 15, 2000

Legend of Dragoon

Genre: Role Playing Game
Platform: Sony Playstation
Credits: Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Screenshots and images courtesy of Amazon.Com.

Legend of Dragoon Video Game
Legend of Dragoon Strategy Guides
Legend of Dragoon Toys
Legend of Dragoon Music (OST)
Legend of Dragoon Item Shop
Cover Description:
A peaceful beginning. The legend was born 10,000 years ago. A violent uprising. A civilization of flying creatures enslave the human race. A bloody war. In a bid for freedom, the humans harness the spiritual forces of Dragons and triumph. Tranquility and harmony exist between all. But the past and the future are about to collide...

Unveil a Fantasy of Magnificence. Deception. Magical Combat and Retribution.

The journey that seeks the past ends.
And the journey to discover today begins.
Unleash the spirit of the Dragoons.
And discover your destiny.

Final Fantasy it is not!!! >>> by skysenshi
When I first bought this game, I was very excited about the packaging and the intro, and that oh-so enchanting opening music.

That music still haunts me. That, and the mystical character named Rose. I swear, I can never remember the name of the main character (the guy in the red costume) because it doesn't seem clear what his status in the game is. Rose seems to dominate the game. The U.S. theme song is about her and her love story. The strongest weapon also belongs to her. Add these to the fact that, even though Rose is two levels lower than my lead character, she could still do damage more serious than twice his attacks!

Unfortunately this is not a game that you should have favorites in. A word of caution to those who love spoilers: Never get attached to any character in the game. You'll definitely regret it.

Too bad, the characters, besides the music and visuals, are probably the game's only saving grace. They have real-human personalities, with all the strengths and vulnerabilities that only humans can possess. The story fit them quite well, too. It's rather sad that Sony, the game's creator, was not able to handle character growth very well.

The visuals are nothing short of spectacular. The FMV sequences are probably what made the game stretch through four discs. Heaven knows, the game can be finished in one and a half day, if you don't have a regular 8-5 job. It was those sequences that made it worth finishing.

Now we go to the meat of the game: the battle system -- the very important aspect where Dragoon seems to have failed miserably. Legend of Dragoon obviously imitated the Final Fantasy style of Limit Breaking, except they called it Additions. It would have been good, except it falls short of being effective because you probably need four eyes or clearer than 20/20 vision to not get dizzy with all those rotating squares and flashing lights. You just can't shake the feeling of finding it tedious! To make it worse, you have to depend on these Additions to survive! The enemies here are not only literally blood-thirsty, you encounter them as often as you would in Final Fantasy V, where "Enemy-Away" items are not yet available.

Your inventory doesn't grow. It can only hold 32 items forever, no matter if you find new team mates, who probably should have extra pockets to spare. This would have been ok with me, except teleports are unheard of in this game! You would be spending half of the game going through places you've already been through at least three times! If, for instance you have to go to Place D coming from Place A, you have to go through Place B and Place C and you go through the same points (D, C, B) to get back to Place A. You have to go through all these routines with scarcely any save points or shops to support such stingy inventory system! I'm normally stingy enough with my items as it is, but this is ridiculous!

When I got to disc 4, I thought that in order for me to travel back to a place in disc 2, I'd use a teleport system. Well, I did. But the teleport system only lands in Place D, and I have to walk back from Place D to Place A, going through Place C and B all over again! If you haven't exploded with impatience (or the need to pee), that's probably because you're happy over how easy you can bully the enemies here. For heaven's sake, do you need to bully enemies from 2 discs ago? That is so pointless -- for obvious reasons!

The game isn't so bad, though. There is still the soundtrack, which got me spending again. At least, that is worth what I'm paying. As for the game itself, I liked the fact that I had Rose and Lavitz the Honorable Knight in my life, but I would rather have my playing fingers cut than go through its torturous "long walks" and tragedies all over again.

Do not ever mistake this game as a Final Fantasy equal. The only thing it has in common with Final Fantasy is the spectacular graphics, no more no less.

COMPLETION TIME: 46-47 hours
RATINGS: Gameplay 3; Battle 3; Story 10; Visuals 10; Characters 10; Sounds 10; Replay Value 1

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