Review by CortSether
"Legend of Legaia and FFVII blow this out of the water...I felt like I was watching an even more bland Fern Gully while playing this."
Where do I begin? Legend of Dragoon was released in the year 2000, apparently after 3 years in development. How is this so, may I ask? For a game that took 3 years to make, I would expect much much better, basically a completely different game. I bought this after looking at the artwork on the cover and the plot on the back thinking, "Wow. This might actually be a very interesting game." Little did I know, I was in for an entirely different experience...for the worse. For the flippin worse. From shoddy gameplay, easily forgettable sound, bland graphics, and a poorly executed plot, I just felt like I got ripped off ten dollars. Let's take a look at what Dragoon has to offer.
Story: You are a man named Dart. He wears red armour and is an incredibly skilled warrior. You are introduced to him after a long FMV showing knights in armour...talking. Yes talking. The reason for his quest is to go after the psychopathic madman Lloyd who wants to take over the world, while at the same time rescue his chlildhood pal. Throughout the journey you meet other characters, who have absolutely zero character development, and just kinda tick you off. Basically, it's just a save the world plot. Now there's nothing wrong with a save the world RPG. By all means, every RPG is save the world. However, Dragoon introduces the plot atrociously.
Characters: The characters are hardly interesting at all. I never cared for my characters, hoping that at least half of my party would die as part of the storyline so I could at least get rid of half of my annoying crew. None of the characters have a REAL reason to fight, except for maybe Dart, but his conflict in the game is so cliche that it fails to be the least bit interesting. There is a good amount of interactivity between the characters, but the dialogue is so boring that one starts to feel like he/she is listening to a 2nd grade grammar class. The only thing I give Dragoon is that the characters look pretty neat, but that's about it.
Graphics: Ok, I am not a graphics freak, but Dragoons graphics are very below average. Backgrounds are terribly bland and when in forests it is too hard to tell what's what. I would move along what I thought was a path and end up stuck because I was walking into a tree. There is a lot of shading done, but all of the colors are very bland and end up meshing together to create a big glop of...well, glop. During battle, the graphics get only a tad bit better, but that's about it. The only thing that makes it better is that you can actually tell what something is because the amount of objects occupying the screen is minimal. FMV's are very nice though. The visuals are great, but the actions are boring. I felt like I was watching Disney's Fern Gully on the Playstation.
Gameplay: The second most important part of any RPG, and most important in other types of games, was supposed to be "revolutionary." Let me be the 100th person to tell you that the battle system is duuulllll. Basically, there is a square that pops over your enemy, and a bigger square that starts out big and then rapidly closes in on the little square. When the big square meshes with the little square, you are supposed to hit your attack button in order for another square to pop up. The more successful times you do this, the longer your combo and the more damage you do. However, if you fail, which is very easy to do since the square moves so damn fast, you will be counterattacked and be dealt a good deal of damage. Magic is pretty lame as well. Your characters are able to turn into "dragoons" later on in the game. As the name suggests, it is a human/dragon creature that has powers and deals much greater damage. However, you can only use attack and not items while a dragoon, which makes battles unneccessarily harder. The game is four discs, which means it's a very long game with many different areas. The length of the game sounds appealing, but it is a gripe in the biggest way possible. For instance, let's say you are on disc 2, and you are required to or just want to go back to a part that you traveled through in disc one, you can't just go there. You must go through ALL of the long dungeons and towns you traveled through, which creates many random battles, and then you have to pop open your playstation, and insert the other disc. You'd think the makers of dragoon would have thought about this. Another thing is that you can only hold 32 items, which makes you worried the whole time on what you can pick up. Last thing, the word/text boxes move S-L-O-W-L-Y. I wanted to fall asleep after waiting for a box to pop up. And the characters talk forever...not something you want to sit through. I seriously wanted to crack this game and throw it out the window, the gameplay was so terrible. Leveling up takes a ridiculous amount of time as well, as enemies that take forever to beat give you very little experience. This isn't always a problem though. My favorite RPG is the original LEGEND OF LEGAIA, and it had long battles. However, the batlles were FUN because of a great frame rate, very cool attacks/effects/ good voice acting, and almost no load time. Oh my god, I just remembered the loading times as well. The loading times for this game are soooooooo long I dozed off a couple times only to be awakened by the music of a town/dungeon. Even during random encounters it takes at least 10 seconds for the screen to load.
Sound/Music: Sound and music fall horribly short. For one thing, the weapons don't even sound real, slashes from a character's sword sound like a broom sweeping up dust on a carpet. Voice acting is terrible as well. It's not cheesy, that would have been at least a bit funny. It's BORING...BLAH!!!! I felt like my head was going to pop from being submitted to the crud they were saying. Music is very unmemorable and sometimes don't even fit the mood. That's all I can say about the terrible sound and music.
Replayability: There is none! It's unbearable going through the first disc, and beating the game more than once serves no purpose, sure as heck not entertainment wise. The lack of sidequests and secrets make this game extemely linear and bland. Without giving any spoilers, I will say that the reward for beating this game is zero, zilch. It's pale, it's bucket. It's entirely unsatisfactory. I had to sit through this game watching nice looking/ crappy action & dialogue FMV's, for beating the final boss you get yet ANOTHER Looong nice looking/ crappy action & dialogue FMV.
Rent or buy: I tell you what I did. I bought it and then returned it as soon after I beat it. This is the ONLY game I have ever done this to, and I have played my fair share. Words of warning. Steer clear of this game.
Final Verdict: If you still play ps1 games, you are MUCH BETTER OFF playing the perfect Legend of Legaia or FFVII/Wild Arms 3/Xenogears. You'd do the world a favor by taking this game and smashing it into a trillion billion million pieces and sending it to the developers with a letter on how much this game blowed.
Reviewer's Rating: 0.5 - Unplayable
Originally Posted: 06/20/07
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