Review by Deepthroat

"All I expected and more!"

I was first introduced to this game when PSM had a cover feature of it. It contained an interview with the creator, and a two-page preview. As I eagerly awaited its release, I got my dad to buy it for me, saving me $50+. As I awaited my dad to come home from work, bringing it to my home, where I would spend the next 48 straight hours (okay, an exaguration) I looked at some reviews, and was totally shocked. Some people were giving it fives and sevens! Someone said that the plot wasn't something you'd find outside of an episode of Power Rangers. Well, rest asured, that is totally wrong. The plot is great, the combat system rules, although it takes a bit of getting used to (more on that later) and even though I'm not a sucker for pretty visuals, (I'll be the first to admit good graphics does NOT make a good game) the graphics totally rock.

The backstory of the game is that 11,000 years ago, the Winglies, a highly advanced race, put all humans under slavery. 1,000 years later, The humans were lead to victory by harnesing the spiritual forces of Dragons, thus becoming ''Dragoons'' (no, they are not warriors on horseback). I won't go any more into the storyline, you'll have to buy the game yourself (no, Sony is NOT paying me)

Well, anyway, the combat system is a bit unique. Despite what most people say, I find the additionals system to be a bit more involving than the Gunblade system in FF8. As you attack, two squares appear, one on the enemy, the other spiraling towards it. You have to press the X button just as those squares intersect. If you do, you'll unleash another attack. At first, all the additionals require only one additional button press, but as you gain new additionals every few levels, it requires anywhere from two to six button presses, which forces you to practice to get a hold of the timing. Fortunately, there's a tutorial early on in the game, which allows you to get more practice with them. It's a shame you can't do this from a regular tutorial menu like you could in FF8. The other innovative thing is the ''Dragoon'' system. When your characters aquire a Dragoon spirit, a color coded stone that has the spirit of a dragon, you can transform into a Dragoon. Each Dragoon has its own element (the Red-Eyed Dragoon has fire, the Dark Dragoon as Darkness, the Jade Dragoon has wind, the Silver-White Dragoon has light, etc.) In battle, your characters aquire soul points (SP) by doing additionals (or just attacks) and once you get 100, you can transform into a Dragoon. For each 100 SP, you can preform 1 Dragoon action, such as casting a Dragoon Spell, or doing a Dragoon additional. For each Dragoon level (which are seperate from Character Levels)you get 100 more maximum SP, thus allowing you to stay in Dragoon form longer.

Speaking of elements, the elemental engine in this is a bit different. Most RPGs have a rock-paper-scissors effect, but LoD has an opposites effect. Every creature (and character) has an element, either fire, water, wind, earth, light, darkness, or lightning (except for those who have a ''Non-elemental'' element) and when hit by an attack of the opposing element, you take double damage, but while being hit with an attack of the same element, you take half damage.

About the story; it's great, my only gripe is that it has too many cliches that are now ridden in RPGs, i.e., the quasi-romantic tension between the hero and heroine, the evil emperor, a character di...oops, a bit of spoilers there. :)

Graphics--10
I'm not a sucker for graphics, so I'll just say, this has one of the best visuals on the PS.

Gameplay--9
The only reason it's getting a 9 is because Shana can't use additionals.

Sound--10
Swords clashing, dragons roaring, fireballs exploding, it's all here, it's all good.

Story--9
Too many cliches for a 10, but it still has one of the best stories I've seen in an RPG.

Fun Factor--10
This is a great game, go out and get it NOOOW! Fun for hours...80 hours or more!!!

In short terms...GET THIS GAME!


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/23/00, Updated 06/23/00


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