Review by LAlpha

"Struggling to be epic"

Although Legend of Dragoon is a fine game, I realized that once you break it down into components it's easy to see that there are only a few innovative ideas in the entire thing.

MECHANICS: 8
I'll start with the much-acclaimed battle engine. It is rather interesting in concept - turn-based combat where each attack is played out in real time. Nevertheless, the real-time aspect is an illusion - only your attacks are in real time, you can neither dodge nor counter-attack, and for reality's sake the game actually employs a probability-based hit/miss system rather than entirely rely on the ''timed-inputs''.
Navigating menus and changing equipment is a chore, especially since the game suffers slowdown when you change windows. There is literally no way to organize your items (even more so because there are so many of them). I could barely equip my party logically, because of the maximum 255 items of equipment you can carry at any one time you only get to see five. The control is somewhat touchy, especially since walking is so intolerably slow and running requires an analog controller.

GRAPHICS: 9

While I realize that the prerendered graphics are groundbreaking, battle scenes can make you cringe at times. You can count the polygons on some of the larger enemies. Other than that, the graphics are great.

SOUND: 6

Since there is very little voice per se, this game was rather hard to rate in this area. Nevertheless, while in combat, the addition names yelled out by characters sound odd and even irritating, spoken components of spells are laughable, and screams sound stifled forced.

STORY: 7

This is not one of the best storylines. It doesn't even try to stand apart from its competition. The ideology that the game tries to advance so much is flawed to the core (''all conflict is insanity''), and it just doesn't seem either logical or realistic. Granted, the word ''realistic'' doesn't quite apply to fantasy RPGs, but the characters don't seem to be fully thought out and the events barely tie together.

Overall Legend of Dragoon is a long, if moderately involving game. A solid, standard RPG, nothing more, nothing less.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/26/00, Updated 06/26/00


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