Review by Blade
"A true masterpiece...play it any way you can"
I can’t believe how Working Designs can continue to amaze me. This is one of my favorite Saturn titles of all time, if not THE favorite. I picked this game up and started playing again after my Saturn was asleep for close to a year, and the game still was an absolute joy to play. Choose from seven different main generals and their kingdoms to command in an effort to conquer the land and defeat the all-powerful evil...yeah yeah so you’ve heard that storyline before, but believe me you have never played it through like you will in Dragon Force. And the story actually becomes very involving as the different generals unite together and discover new perils that await them. With a dozen different types of troops to load your army with, unique generals and officers each with their own personality and fighting skills, and a huge map to conquer, Dragon Force will keep you busy for hours...and that’s only playing it one time! And believe me, you will definitely want to play this one again and again.
Graphics 9: What can I say, I dig the 2D battles that Working Designs has given us. The animation is great, and with the possibility of pitting 2 armies of 100 troops each against each other, the action gets intense! The characters are big and colorful, and move very smoothly. Sure they may look cartoony, but that’s the style, and I like it damnit! Some nice anime cutscenes accompany the story too, always a plus (if done right of course).
Sound 10: Wow, the music here is simply epic. The tunes will seriously stick in the back of your head long after you’ve turned your system off (for eating or sleeping or other things needed to stay alive, not much else is a good reason to though with this game). Sound effects are also top notch, the clashing of swords and the cries of death are all very crisp.
Gameplay 10: This is where the meat and potatoes are. Never before have you played a game quite like this. You command your general and officers and their armies on the main map, directing them to either castles to protect or new fortresses to conquer. Take as many as 5 generals with you for each attempt at conquest, each holding as many as 100 troops in their armies. Troops consist of classes such as standard soldiers, samurais, archers, and mages, to the more elusive zombies and dragons. Battle for control of fortresses, or fight it out on the open plains as a frightened enemy tries to flee to his homeland. Once you encounter the enemy, battle ensues, where up to 5 generals on each side fight it out with their armies. When generals square off, the two huge opposing armies charge each other (or sit back and fire away if you’ve got archers or mages), while you control their formation and strategy from behind the frontlines. The armies go at it until one general is taken out, and the generals can join the action with their own unique (and sometimes very devastating) special attacks and abilities. If all troops on both sides are destroyed, the two generals go at it in a duel...very cool. And this continues until all of one side’s generals have been vanquished, or they flee in terror. Once you conquer rival kingdoms, you unite with their leaders and build your army to immense proportions. Wow I could go on and on, but do yourself a favor and just play it for yourself.
Story 8: Not the most original plot, but nevertheless it’s done so well that you will be sucked in. You will find yourself developing an attachment to your main general, and the story gets richer and richer as you gain more allies and approach the final conquest.
Replay 10: The game is so good, how can you not want to play it again. And with 7 different kingdoms to choose from, there are plenty of reasons to keep you going back for more. And believe me each time through will suck away a good chunk of your life, don’t expect to sit down and chug through in only a few hours, it will take far more effort than that. And every minute of it will be a pleasure.
Overall 10: A masterpiece...there is no other word for it. One of the most original titles ever, and one of the most enjoyable. No matter what it takes, you must find this game somewhere and give it the time that it deserves. Do yourself a favor; go play this epic and experience video gaming bliss.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/31/00, Updated 07/31/00
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