Review by ozawayakuza
"An average RPG...."
First of all let me say that some games are hyped up way too much... this one being an example. Though a good game none the less (especially on a system with close to no RPGs) it's not as good as it was made out to be.
Story: 6/10. Let's start out with this. I won't reveal anything since it is a GAMEFAQs violation to do so. But... the story isn't that great. It seemed to be so cliche. I will say this, you play as Vyse a member of a ''robin-hood'' type pirate group along with your child hood friend Aika. You later on meet a character called Fina who will slowly work herself into the story. There are huge monsters who remind me of the weapons of FFVII or the Evangalions from the all too familiar anime.
Graphics: 7/10. For the 128-bit capabilities of the dreamcast I was severely disappointed! And on top of that there were no FMVs! That didn't sit too well with me. FFIX's graphics were way better than this. Now don't get me wrong. I am a 3D artist myself, and I understand that the hardest thing to on a game is to work with low polygon models. But with a game that spans 2 GD-ROMS supposedly 1.2 gigs each, I would have expected better than what they did! They could have used a few more polygons on the hands and could have made the textures on this game WAY better. Although the 3D environment was EXCELLENT! (which is why it got such a high score.) The weapons were MOSTLY (98% of them) well designed and the special effects of the special moves were EXTRAORDINARY! I just hope SoA2 will have a better texturing job on the characters.
Gameplay: 3/10. ARGHHH! The random battles were annoying! Especially when you're trying to get somewhere and you run into a battle every 2 seconds and then barely get any experience or gold. The only reason it got a 3 was for the ship battle that weren't challenging but fun, and the bosses which where fun to defeat and even more fun when they gave you so much exp. and gold.
Battle System: 8/10. I gave it such a high score because I just an old fan of the whole turn based system, but it was too cliche again! There was Magic like all the others, There was run, items yada yada but what struck me was the S. Moves *cough cough limit breaks cough cough* IT should've been more innovative since this was ultimately going to be compared to Grandia 2.
Replay value: 4/10. Chances are that if you didn't use a walkthrough the first time, you missed some discoveries of upgrades of some sort which would be fun to try to get them all the second time but with the random battle being too many you'll soon grow weary.
Sound/Music: 9/10. OK, I'll admit, I loved this music. It never got annoying or redundant like in MvC2, and the intro music was excellent. I would love to own the OST! There was one music clip that reminded me of a Fushigi Yuugi song, but other than that I had absolutely no problem! The reason it got a nine is because IMHO I don't think that any game has a perfect anything. I think they can all be fixed.
Conclusion: All in all it was a slightly tolerable RPG. My suggestion would be to rent it first or wait till it drops in price. But with it being one of the few TRUE rpg's for the DC, exclusive dreamcast owners will be content with this game.
Mathematical total (based on average): 6.1/10
My personal total (based on opinion): 7/10
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 08/02/01, Updated 08/04/01
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