Review by Magus134

"Cant decide? Maybe this will help.. an in-depth reveiw..."

INTRODUCTION:
The legend of dragoon for me, was a good experience. Of all the things I loved about this game, Im not going to go off and start saying its the best thing around. That basically changes with different tastes. Im going to try my best to explain and detail this review so that you, can decide weather of not you think you should or shouldnt play it. Or just to see if you want to rent it first. what ever the case, Im going to continue this review. Of coarse there is always the good and bad, the weaknesses and strengths. And as I was leaning towards previously, thats exactly What Im going to do is lay it all out.

STORY:
The story as some would put it is ''generic'' and others would say ''cool''. well. Its Basically about a young man that lives in a little place called Neet. His name is dart. Then one day things change. And strangely things just get even bigger and bigger. From war to the ending of the world. and guess what, its up to you to decide if it all should end or not. The histories of all the species existing and even some that arent existing. yet. The creator Soa, the great divine tree, dragoons and dragons, and all that exist will unfold in a somewhat misunderstood history of the dragon campaign. Ending in the creators will. Lets have a round with fate.

I just loved the way the story went. All things that happened in the beginning played a big part. It just all adds up. It really does progress It doesnt just change and leave you confused. Its all connected to the characters, the events, and the history. I loved the story line. Not much bad here unlike some would insist on so badly bash it. Trust me its not bad. It actually does catch you.

CHARACTERS:
The love interest, the dark and lonely, the martial artist, the orphan, the gentle giant, the smart, to the not so bright, the faithful knight, to the royal one and dont forget the one thats all about the sunshine. All are a part of the story cant have one with out the other, its either all or none.

-The characters themselves:
Dart:The main character, he was raised in the poverty stricken small town of Neet. He has a inner hate towards the reason for his parents disappearing, and for the reason that his hometown is so destroyed. That reason, and hate is the black monster. What he knows now isnt what it seems. His weapon of choice is a sword.

Shana: Childhood friend that grew up with Dart. Dart claims she is like a ''little sister''. She is a sweet and lovable character. Her weapon of choice is the bow.

Rose: A mysterious woman that runs into dart early on when he was about to be smashed by a raging dragon called Freybrand. She has a dark personality, and a stern seriousness. Her weapon of choice is the whip.

Lavits: The one that fights for peace, he is a loyal and trustworthy. His weapon of choice is the spear.

Lambert: A man of royal blood. He is a friend to Lavits. He is respected by his people. He has a drive for knowledge, he has a real love for books. His weapon of choice is the spear.

Meru: A platinum haired lively and exuberant young one. She is the joyful character in the game. Clumsy at times though. She insists on joining everyone on the quest. Her weapon of choice is a big heavy hammer.

Haschel: A man that was trained in a monastery. A serious minded martial artist that trains with strict discipline and tact. Sometimes equipped with a strange humor. He is searching for something. His weapon of choice is the arts.

Kongol: The last of his kind the Gigantos. He is bruit in strength yet a very gentle person. He strives for peace and for all forms of life to be able to live together in harmony. His axe is his weapon of choice.

Lloyd:A platinum shadow. A mysterious character, with deeper motifs. who knows what he is thinking.

-Character Development:.
The characters are very memorable in this game. These characters all have development. Throughout the game you see them through the hard times, and watch them overcome their life fears and pains. This is a high point in this game. There actually is development. Not just for some but, for all. The characters arent just existing they are actually active in the story development. The all add a bit of a sense of why things are, and how things will continue to be. It only adds to this games beauty and drama.

GRAPHICS/EFFECTS/SOUND:

-In game effects:

The legend of dragoons Graphics are well done for a playstation game.The character designs are a bit rigid at times. But, as I said all around pretty good. The surroundings and environments are beautiful. Very smooth and nicely textured. It really animates the feeling the game is trying to state. Vibrant and lively. It actually keeps you interested. As you move it matches, its doesnt look weird or strange. Good movement.

-Battle effects:
In battle the effects are very much impressive. Magic spells are colorful and it moves perfectly with the sounds, and effects. The dragoon transformations are impressive

-Movie effects:
Very lustrous and beautiful. The animations are in sync with the movements. very nice.

-Voice acting:
Oh goodness. I enjoyed this so much. They werent annoying at all. In battle it actually helped me remember the addition sequences. Each hit, the characters voice comes in, It really helps with the timing. And during movies there were voice acting too. It matched really well. Some people find the female roles voices to be ''screechy'' but, I found it to be ok. This was a good point for the game.

-Music/sound:
The tracks are somewhat average. Although there are some that are pretty much had a good beat. Overall it matched the surroundings.

COMBAT SYSTEM:
The system has its faults but, its a fresh new idea, that I think in time could develop into something more.

-About the system:
Random encounters are based on the little arrow above your character. Green means your safe. Yellow is raised awareness. And of coarse red means your risk of battle is high. Some find this system to be irritating. They complain about too many encounters. This may be true at times. I find the color gauge idea to be very useful. You can see when and where you are going to get into a fight. So if you need to heal you can stop before the gauge turns red and heal your party before battle. Also for those who dont want to many encounters there is an item to set the gauge back to green.

Now Im going to explain about additions. In battle instead of attacking like most other rpgs. There is a new idea. Instead of watching your characters do what you tell them to do, you go a step further. You play a part in how the attack goes. The way it works is your party member (there is three per party) has a set of arts around 6 on average. So if you select attack, a box turns up on the screen and your main purpose is to get the timing correct. Its like combinations. If you hit it off right you will complete the attack which does the most damage.

Another thing that additions are needed for is the usage of your dragoon transformations. ''SP'' or spirit points are gained while performing your arts. ''SP'' is used to turn into a dragoon. There is a gauge on screen that shows you how much spirit points you gained, and how much you need to reach the next level etc. If this bar is flashing this indicates that you have filled up all your dragoon levels. Each level indicates how long you can stay in dragoon form. For example one full bar level is one round. Dragoons also have their own personal addition style . Its basically a gauge type circle. The buttons you use here is the *X* button. You simply have to get the timing right. The speed gets higher as you progress. A perfect hit of coarse gets higher damage. Its is a bit different. But just as difficult to master, in my opinion I found regular additions easier to do.

In addition to the Legend of dragoons battle style there are a couple new things. Defending not only cuts the damage in half. It also gains back HP (hit points). This is a high advantage in battle. Also the usage of items. Items are also a type of magic source. You can choose from different elements, levels, and types of magic items to use. Most item-spells can use the ability to ''power up'' the damage by pressing the *x* button repeatedly for a limited amount of time. You are allowed to only carry 32 items. This is sadly a huge downfall to this system. Mainly because in some occasions you may need some of everything, and end up sacrificing certain items to survive. There are in fact many shops throughout this game, even in dungeons. Also there is an adequate amount of save points. These things help to ease this problem, in effect adding a little bit of balance.

Another thing hardly seen in most rpgs is the usage of in battle story text. In the legend of dragoon some boss fights have conversations in it, and pretty interesting scenes. It does capture the eye. Very cool twist there.

-Difficulty:
So in all. It depends. Battles can be fun if your party is the preferred level. The addition system for some will be easy and simple to master. Adding to the fun factor of game play. However, for others who have a harder time with it, may give in easier then most. Ending up in a ''I hate these stupid battles!'' Kind of mood. Also for most at times it may frustrate the mind a bit. That is probably the only gripe some people may have with the battle system. The bosses arent to tough on you, and at the same time not all are that easy.

GAMEPLAY:
well besides the battles. There is more you can do. Then just walk in circles.

-Star dust quest:
This is a major part of the game. Its no secret. so you will know about it early in the game. By searching in crevices, holes, closets, and other. You find shiny stones called star dust. It may seem pointless in the beginning. But, soon you will meet someone that is looking for all the stardust. This person will give you items for your stardust. And the cause for all this searching will touch your heart. It gives you something to look for in the towns you visit.

-Other quests:
There are other areas that you can find bosses to fight that are optional. Also monsters that are special.

CONTROLS:
This is the overall flow of the game controls.

-In game:
The controls are smooth overall. Its not hard to see where your at. And problems finding where you need to go isnt all that difficult.

The world map is based on a map with paths and points laid out. So no free traveling of terrain. Some are disappointed by this, others are eased by it. It does cut back a bit for exploration but, it also makes it a little easier to find you way.

-In battle:
Also very simple besides the addition usage (which some find hard) the timing is good, its turn based. Weather you or your enemy goes first, it all depends on your characters speed.

PLAYTIME/REPLAY VALUE:
I got about 45-50 hours to complete this game . Its the standard for rpgs not too long not too short but, basically just right. As for replay, if you fall in love with the story, yes there are things you could get that you may have missed like getting all the items, leveling up all your additions and dragoon levels to max. Doing all side quests. Things like that. You know how it is, sometimes you want to replay a game for some good memories. Just for the hell of it. You knows. Replay is always an option.

FINAL RECOMMENDATION:
so what do you think you should do? As with all games, my opinion is to rent it first. Even though it may be a good game in many ways, and I enjoyed it very much, personal tastes, and values do differ from person to person. This was a very interesting game, and very memorable. I hope this review helps you out.

My overall score:8/10 well done.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/20/04


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