Monday, November 04, 2002

Playstation - Legend of Dragoon review

Legend of Dragoon (revised three times)


Legend of Dragoon is anamazingly long RPG spanning four CDs from Sony Interactive on the PSOne.. A dragoon is another word for "Dragon Rider" The game is really close to Final Fantasy except that it has a lock on system that allows you to hit at the precise moment when you need too. Some people just love this game. I see enough fan sites that say that this game is really amazing or is suppose to be. What do I believe. One part of me tells me that those sites are over exaggerating. The other part of me tells me that this is the few other RPGS that really are this epic. This is not the same story as Panzer Dragoon Saga for the Sega Saturn, which was much different much because Panzer Dragoon is a rail shooter. The game has 55 hours of game play from what I heard from the Internet. he English translation in this game is still quite good. The game spans 4 discs so it's describe every milk and cranny conversation between characters. So I won't try too.

Enough with the prelude, actually I have nothing against this title. The graphics are good. Some of the detail in this game comes from talented artists. SCEA took a lot of time to make this title write. They really didn't have any experience prior in making a 4 cd game. But after all it turned out okay.

As the story goes the earth was overthrown by darkness until Creator Sol dropped a seed into the ground. This seed grew into a strong tree called the Divine Tree. The divine tree grew fruits which feed animals of the forest and the world only became partially darkness. Their were 107 fruits that grew on that tree each representing a species. The last and final fruit had the most power and controlled the other fruits (species) until it had complete power over all of them. The Wiggles created dragons they enslaved to keep order of the other fruit. Humans went to war with the wiggles and they fought until they won. After the humans gained control of the dragon spirits, they could control 7 dragons, the largest and strongest species that the earth knows. Humans are both good and evil 10,000 years after the war, and have been using the dragoons as a weapon of mass destruction to weaver war and peace, depending on the time. This game takes play of a world war between two very powerful kingdoms. Basil at the moment is the loosing side.

Dart's town is destroyed by the Divine Dragon which he later controls. The divine dragoon is let loose to destroy villages. He is 50 feet tall. One of this close friends, Shana, taken from the village to be held prisoner with the Sandona Empire. The intro video shows the black knights destroying the village. Dart's town is just the end result in a cold war between the Sandona Empire and the Basil. Sandona isn't' really an empire, it's just somewhat bigger then Basil. Basil is ruled by King Albert, a playable character in the game. Sandona is controlled by Frugal, an evil emperor controller of the black knights.

Dart, so far in disc one, joins forces with Lavitz, a escaped prisoner who is on the side of good. He is a knight of a fallen fellowship of knights. Much like a crusade. He is the only survivor and returns to Basil. Dart and Lavitz team up in the Prison to find Shana. The three heroes return to Basil to meet the King. The King joins forces with the three heroes. But he isn't playable until the end of disc one. King Albert is just is a contributing part of the story at this moment. By the end of the disc Lavitz is killed by the Dragon Buster by Lloyd by attempting to save king Albert.

The game is about collecting items so you have a strong enough armor rating to survive the massive hits enemies through at you. Sometimes bosses like Lloyd are impossible to beat even as a dragoon (a highly armored transformation of characters in battle) so the best way is to defend rather then attack. Other parts are questions that need to be asked to move the story. These questions are accidental before one can see the next scene. While some questions you can be asked and get them wrong. But you can return to that one person ask answer them again. Some once you are wrong on your answers the game ends and you start at the last save point in the game. Dialog is a key element in this game.

I got to the 2nd disc about 14 hours into the game. Lavitz was killed at the end of disc one What's odd about this rpg, and I don't mind it at all is that the game gains extra characters every town you go into. LIke Meru, she's a brat. The youngest in the party, acts like she's 15 or 16. She reflexes on most of Japan's pop culture, I never been to Japan so I won't know. Meru is both immature and comical at the same time! What is a game without a comical character. She very well could have the most personality in the game. She comes from the town. There is a bounty hunter called Mappie, he's an evil character, yet another character working for Lloyd. In the game he should of used the Dart's dragoon spirit when he stole it from him. There was only one big boss fight in The Valley of Zero Gravity. The first Vangine from 10,000 years ago awaken for the fact that he's smelled dragoon spirit. I barely was able to survive such a monster. His left arm kill much of my characters. So I uses Albert, Rose as my other choice instead of Shana. Hansel doesn't have any magic dragoon stuff so I can't get a huge hit without magic. Alert would be the most powerful of the three. I survived by using a lot of heath potion since keeping hit points high is a key factor in beating any boss. I keep having a feeling that there be more powerful ones. In the game there was a little sequence in the beginning of disc 2 in Flatz. It said that the Black Monster (the monster that destroyed Dart's village) could have been the most lethal of all the Vangine. But I'm more afraid of Lloyd since he has the lethal sword. Maybe I can beat him without turning into a dragoon which will be hard since I'm beating a million bucks that our arch enemy, Lloyd is a dragoon himself. Just a thought. The city of Flaninz compares well with the Final Fantasy VIII. The graphics are creative. This game is known most for it's creativeness, not for it's battle system. Since it's battle system is only average compared to other RPGS. Just as Lloyd gained access to the Basil, we know know there is a fake princess in the Kingdom of Fletz. Maybe Lloyd, the main villian, turned himself into a princess? Do you think that could be the case? He failed in taking over Basil, so then he moves onto another 3 kingdoms spanning 3 discs. So that means I have to save 3 more kingdoms? Fourteen hours may not seem a lot per disc, but I spend 4 to 5 hours a day on the game, that that is not every day.

Graphics - 9.5 - Sony's latest 3D engine went into Legend of Dragoon. For as long as I known Playstation, Sony was a publsiher for a lot of it's rpgs. But never before have I seen them attempt to make one ... Mixed with Prerendered and 3D models, the game is a little more then above average when it was released. The game has a lot of dungeons and mid-evil time villages. This game could be bigger then Diablo 2 or Final Fantasy VIII. By the end of the first disc, you get a cd jammed packed with detail as you go through the Garden Shrine in Disk one. That was full of great pre rendered particle effects. They almost looked high resolution on the PSone if it wasn't for the blocky pixel shades on the pillars, ground, trees. The castle by far was the best on disk one of the game. While it really gave the castle a dark feel, with it's green ooze like water flowing and appearing to flow continuously, and golden interior. The Castle wasn't all that big. This game looks a lot better on a projection TV then on a normal 25" The graphics are cleaner and the cinematic look dvd quality.

Control - 7.5 - The menu's a bit hard to navigate and the joystick at times is unresponsive. Or maybe that's because this Dart gets trapped in the prerendered backgrounds. The lock on system is sort of tricky. The easiest of Darts combos is the double slash. That just takes 2 quick hits of the A button on the duel shock controller. The game is straight forward at first. At the beginning of Legend of Dragoon their isn't any overly powerful enemies to fight. You can go back and continue fighting areas you once fought and level up. There is a dotted line on the world map. Follow the dotted line until the heroes get to a new area.

Sound - 7.0 - All the cut scenes are all spoken English. Soundtracks tried to be as good as Final Fantasy and came up short. I don't think the developing team had time to find much breath-taking music for this game. The end of disc one as comical in a way. You save the kingdom on the first disc so the war is technically over with both kings at piece. But then the other 3 discs or 30 hours are finding and defeating Lloyd. Get it you saved the world on disk one practically

Fun Factor - 9.0 - I had a lot of fun playing the scenes. Random battles are frustrating. But if that's the case then don't get into Role Playing. They are about fighting in random battles. But I wish the battle sequences didn't come at random, rather have the enemy present like the castle guards. That would make the game a little better. But traditionally RPGs haven't soon the location of random battles and kept them appearing at certain locations (90% of the time around key locations whether it be a boss or key) or by time (in many locations on the world map and questing places where you spend a lot of time doing anyway) Some people hate it, some people love it. I don't know myself. This is just another RPG of many that I'm played. As for enemy AI, there are both easy and hard battles spread out at random. I mean you have random creatures to fight on maps and questing, some are easy then others. Keep your Hit Points high through out the game and you should have no major issues. I have to experience all four discs to make a final conclusion to whether this game was truly the time it took me to get though the first disc.

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