Review by lobodamainman

"Blue Grinder"

All the hype about this game, was it really worth it?

My frank answer is no. This game is really quite a grinder, and well it's just basically the same thing as all other turned based RPGs.

Graphics

The game is pretty good looking, not very much to say about it. It isn't as pretty as Gears of War, but it looks fine enough. I don't really like the character designs, but that's a personal preference and I won't fault it for that. The game seems to be more kid-orientated, so the designs are very reminiscent of a cartoon.

The battles animations are pretty simple, and once you've seen one you've seen them all. And since you'll pretty much be doing the same spells over and over again, you'll tire of them soon. At least I did. There are different levels of spells, and the only big difference I could tell about them is that the high level ones last a little longer and have a few more repetitions of the same animation, so you'll quickly be bored of them.

The accessories you equip are not reflected in-game, and since there aren't any weapons or armor, your characters will end up looking the same throughout the game.

Gameplay

The battle system is turned-based, much like final fantasy. The game is very simple, pretty much every battle is the same, other than the boss battles, and even then it's pretty much just a little variation of whatever spell you use. There isn't really a lot of strategy, and once you've found the right combination you just stick to it and rinse and repeat the same thing every battle.

And whenever you get into a battle, there's a loading screen of several seconds, and then when the battle ends there's another loading screen. Sure, loading is fast, around 2 to 3 seconds, but there are plenty of monsters, and the loading times will soon frustrate you. And even worse, the character's victory poses - you can't skip them, and there's only 1 per character. And after every battle there's a few seconds wasted thanks to it. All these add up - the loading times, the victory pose you don't really want to see after the hundredth time. In the end you'll just be wishing that you didn't have to waste so much time.

Character advancement is based on "Shadows" that each character equips, and you get a new skill every few shadow levels.

This might seem fun, but really it's not of much significance because at higher levels (above 10) it really takes a lot of grinding to level up your shadow. And many of the new skills are pretty much useless, and you'll be sticking to the few that actually work for you. Of course, you have multiple shadow classes that you can select, but once you've gotten one class really high level, it's pretty useless to swap class as the other shadow class level is low and your stats are tied to your shadow class level, and you die very easily.

Of course, you could rectify that by more grinding, which is the reason for this review's title.

You can find items/medals/gold by interacting with objects in the game, and by interacting I mean pressing A on them. You can do this to most objects in game. This may seem cool at first, but after a while, you'll probably stop doing it as it takes a lot of time and the extra 10 gold isn't really worth it. The animation of your character looking takes around a second, and then the pop up informing you what you found will take another second, and though it doesn't seem like much time, but when there are so many items, you will certainly not want to waste your time on pretty much useless items.

Music
The music is decent, but not to my particular liking... Nothing very fancy here, just normal music to go with the game. The boss battle track is nice, but there's only 1 so again, you'll soon tire of it.

Plot
As mentioned earlier, this game seems to be more kid-orientated, so the story is pretty simple. Some about some kids going about to save their village. The main character is in my opinion pretty cheesy though, forever repeating "I won't give up." I know they are trying to portray as a determined lad, but I feel they're overdoing it.

Final Note
I don't really think this is a very good RPG, I've played others that actually draw me in through their gameplay or story, but unfortunately, blue dragon isn't one of them. If you have lots of time to kill, then get this, because you'll certainly need a lot of time to complete it. For others with less time, I suggest you stay away from this game.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 06/07/07


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