Review by CXKid
"My favorite RPG period"
This game is probably my favorite PSX game. True, this game is cliche in many respects but after Final Fantasies 7 and 8, this was a godsend. Anyway a little background info before I start reviewing this game. It was released by Sony Computer Entertainment in 2000 after being 3 years in the making with a productions staff of over 100 members. Anyway review time.
The story goes something like this, 11,000 years ago Winglies enslaved the human race but Emperor Diaz came along with the Dragons and Dragoons to stop them and thus began the Dragon Campaign. When the Dragon Campaign ended everything was peaceful but now history is repeating itself to some extent. After that the storyline follows what I call a "Spiral Storyline" which is common in RPGs basically something happens, which spirals outward into something bigger, which spirals outward into something bigger, etc. It's a surprisingly good storyline once you get into it. The only reason I don't give the story 10/10 is for the cliche involvement of dragons and an ancient war.
The graphics are nothing fantastic but they don't get in the way of game play and the characters are well animated. Add to that some few and far between cut scenes with graphics rivaling those on 360 and these graphics are pretty good. The enemy designs aren't exactly imaginative but they look nice and even a little intimidating sometimes, of course it is strange that in this game a Dragonfly looks like Satan's little brother.
This is probably the game's weakest aspect. The music is unmemorable and unremarkable but doesn't get isn't annoying. It sets the atmosphere of the areas particularly the music on the ghost ship, which is slow and creepy, it fits very well.
The sound is quite good as well, with sword strikes and flames sounding almost realistic and painful. The only real problem I can think of with the sound effects is that in some scenes characters draw their weapons but it always makes the same sound, whether it's a sword or a hammer, it's the same sound.
Oh and lest we forget the voice clips. In battle and a select few cut scenes (the ones mentioned earlier that have good graphics) there are voice clips. In cut scenes it's usually something like someone telling the story of the Dragon Campaign. And in battle its slight grunts of exertion as they attack and, if you complete a combo successfully, the name of the combo you just did. These can get annoying but usually they're too awesome to be irritating, oftentimes I find myself saying the names of characters' combos with them.
The game play can be broken down into three parts, over world, area and combat. But first, this takes the complete opposite approach as Final Fantasy, rather than cramming in as much side-content as possible to cover up how bad the main story is Legend of Dragoon limits the side-quests to a small carnival portion and a few other minor things you'll probably ignore and instead focuses on making the main story as enjoyable as possible.
The over world is large enough for it to be believable that there is many different countries and being on a fixed track to different areas helps you not get lost as you can in some games(Where'd I leave my airship?). Random battles aren't nearly as common on the world map as they are in areas and in fact you may find yourself wondering if there even are random battles on the world map. And as in most RPGs you can save on the world map. And yeah, you can switch around your party any time you want except really illogical times like mid-battle (cough, cough FFX) but you'll generally just find one awesome party and stick with that unless the game forces you to do otherwise.
In areas random battles are much more common, except in a select few areas where combat is initiated by coming in contact with enemies. Most of the areas are designed very well with the path to where you need to go being quite obvious. You can find chests but their contents are usually useless or ridiculously useful (i.e. either a crap item or better equipment). The puzzles are limited and usually the answers are blatantly shoved in your face, the only difficult puzzle I've found is the optional chest on the ghost ship and that's because you get limited tries on a three-number combination of four numbers told to you by ghosts.
And now my favorite part of every game, the combat! I like the combat in this game because it doesn't have my major pet peeve in almost every game, the feeling of not making any progress because I've been killing the same two or three enemies five times a minute for several hours. In Legend of Dragoon you move to a new area every hour or so and each area has two to five different enemies so you actually feel like you're making progress. And, unlike most RPGs, attack items are actually effective in this game, and sometimes it's necessary to use them, most attack items damage either a single enemy or the entire enemy party and when you use them you have to mash X to determine the multiplier for the damage starting at 100% and going up 2% every time you press X. Of course who could forget the core part of this game, the Additionals system. Now, you might hear some people complain that it requires too much precision; I can honestly say that it does not; I've played flash games more unforgiving than the Additionals system. It works something like this, if you're more than half a second too slow or half a second to fast the game doesn't let you continue the combo, once you know the rhythms of the attacks most of them are easy, okay yes some of the later ones are difficult but they're the later additions they're supposed to be difficult to compensate for their massive damage!
The menus are easily navigated the additions are responsive and moving around is simple. Not much else to say.
This game has easily 40+ hours of game play so once you play it you might want to play it again in a year or so for the combat or some of the more hilarious lines.
Frustration Factor 4/10
The most frustrating part of the game is the frequency of random encounters and the Addition system and those aren't all that frustrating to me but for other people maybe they are.
Fun Factor 9/10
This game is very fun once you get into it. Some of the dialogue is quite funny and the combat is highly enjoyable.
Verdict 79% rounded to 8/10 for GameFAQs scoring
I sentence this game to be remade to the EXTREME! (10 points to anyone who got that)
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/26/10
Game Release: The Legend of Dragoon (US, 06/11/00)
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