Review by Fizzgig

"College be Damned! I will finish this game!"

Dragon Warrior 7, an amazing old-school RPG that brings back all of the great qualities that a great RPG should have. Actually, this is about as close to ''old-school'' as you can get without playing an old RPG, and I mean that in a good way. This game reminds me what makes a great RPG great. It isn't graphics, sound, or even a good story, it's gameplay. Those previous attributes that I listed are not a bad thing they just make a great RPG just that much better, but without fun gameplay you are left with a beautiful piece of crap.

GRAPHICS - 7

To make a point clear before I go farther I must point out that I gave the game this score not as a comparison to 3-D, graphic obsessed, works of art like Final Fantasy X, but as an observation of what the creators of Dragon Warrior 7 were trying to achieve in their old-school masterpiece. After clearing this up I must say that while the graphics are impressive for an old-school RPG, it is not without its flaws. I suppose I should start with the negative observations and then work my way to the more positive observations. Even though the character models are rather well done and quite detailed they are very, very limited. What I mean by this is that characters are only animated to walk and that is really it. There is absolutely no emotion or special actions that a character can do. A clear example of this is that when a townsperson is asleep (or dead for that matter) there model is just turned on its side it just looks plain silly. There are other blatant examples, but I think you get my point. To anyone who says that an old-school RPG can't have varied character movement is far from the truth, play Final Fantasy 6 and you will know what I mean. The only other mild grip I might have is the fact that you can not see your characters in a battle which kinda sucks. I am well aware that all Dragon Warrior games have been this way, but it still mildly bothers me. To get to some more positive comments about the graphics I must say that design of the towns and dungeons and so on are quite simple, but there is a certain beauty in its simplicity. Another very commendable aspect of the graphics is the very impressive design of the monsters. I must say I am a big fan of the Akira Toriyama's (the monster designer) style of art. In general the graphics in this game are above average when it comes to old-school RPG's. Note that I said ''old-school'', because old-school can not be fairly compared to new-school RPG's like FF X.

SOUND - 5

Hmmmmm.........I just do not understand how a RPG can not have amazing music, I thought that was a rule. With stupid jokes aside, I must say the music in general was quite a disappointment. Not only did the music not live up to most RPG's, at times it was just flat out bad and annoying. Not only is the music crappy it is also very repetitive, there only seems to be a handful of songs in this game and some of them just plain suck (I wonder if I have made my point clear yet, hmmmm.......). I sort of ran out of things to say about the music..........hmmmmm.....lets just say that it is below average. Since this is a old-school RPG there really isn't much to expect when it comes to sound effects with the exception of your basic ''clicks'', ''beeps'', ''booms'', and other basic noises which this game clearly has plenty of. In summary all I can say is that you will not be buying the soundtrack to this game any time soon.

GAMEPLAY - 10

When it comes to old-school, it doesn't get much better. If you became a fan of RPG's back in the days of the NES or SNES, this game will do a great job of revamping you love of the genre. I will start by examining the battle system, which just reeks of old-school beauty. It plays like most RPG's in the fact that it is basically a turn-based battle where the strongest team wins. You fight it out using spells, skills, items, and other tactics you might have to crush your foe. Something that makes the battle system much more interesting is the inclusion of a job system. This basically means that you can assign and change your characters job to various things such as a mage, fighter, thief, jester, and many others (54 in all I believe) and through constant combat they will learn various skills that they will keep even when you change their job to something else. This system gives you the ability to customize your character but still leaves them with a feeling of individuality. There isn't much else to say about the battle system with the exception that it feels just like a good RPG should. Moving on to the other aspects of the game there is not much else to say. The out world map and all the other features of the game are what you would expect in a great old-school RPG and then some. One little added plus to this game is the fact that there is little to no loading time, which is great because there is very little lag in the game and everything moves at a brisk fast pace.

STORY - 8

Most of the score would have to be attributed to the fact this game tries to break the mold a bit when it comes to the well known tired clichés you see in so many RPG's today. Granted, the game focuses on a young boy that leaves his town on a adventure, but at least it isn't to avenge his dead family, village, girlfriend, or something. Actually the game has a somewhat light hearted feel to it since you are trying to return the world to its previous glory by going back in time to solve the various problems that towns have had, it kinda has a Quantum Leap feel to it. There is more to then just that, but I will not ruin it for you. Actually I can't ruin it for you considering I have yet to beat this game, which is something I will discuss in the next paragraph. In general the story of this game is pretty good even though after awhile it seems to take a backseat to the general flow of the gameplay.

REPLAY - ?

This is really hard topic to cover considering I have yet to beat this game. Normally I would never consider reviewing a game I have yet to beat, but I have already spent over 80 hrs. on this game and I must say that I have pretty good idea what this game is like. Yes, I said 80 hours and I have yet to beat this game. This game is insanely long, at times it seems like this game is never going to end, but at no times did the game get boring so you do not have to worry about that. After saying that I must point out that you better have a lot of free time or no life if you ever intend to finish this game. When it comes to replay this game has the potential considering it has bonus dungeons, special items, mini-games, and a bunch of other reasons to keep playing long after it is finished. Personally, I really do not intend to play for another hundred hours just so I can say that I mastered all the jobs. I can't honestly give this game a replay score since I have yet to beat it, but it seems like a lot of people have spent a good chunk of their time on this game so I will let that speak for itself.

CHALLENGE

Let me just start by saying that this game is pretty difficult and it really surprised me how hard some of the bosses were in this game, but it quickly reminded me of how RPG's use to be. I have become adjusted to the watered down fights that modern day RPG's are full of. I had to spend time fighting around at times just so I could attempt to fight a boss and even then it was a struggle where I would have to use intense amount of strategy to win. The challenge in this game may be high but it is very rewarding when you actually accomplish something.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you are in the market for a long, game that will kill a LOT of time and if you are a fan of old-school RPG's then this is easily the game for you. If you are a fan of modern RPG's then I suggest that you may want skip over this game since it may not be your cup-o-tea. If you do intend to buy this you may want to hurry considering that this game will probably become very difficult to find in a few months. To wrap it up, this game was made for old-school, hardcore RPG fans, plain and simple.

OVERALL SCORE - 9

ALSO RECOMMENDED:

Final Fantasy 6 (SNES)
Dragon Warrior 3 (GBC)
Phantasy Star 4 (GEN)


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/22/02, Updated 01/22/02


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