Review by wolverinefan
"Not as legendary as I thought it would be"
Legend of Dragoon is a much loved RPG for the original Playstation. The way it usually works is you're either a Final Fantasy 7 fan or a Legend of Dragoon fan. I had only played the first disc way back when and only now got into it. Is it as great as the fans say?
A young man seeks revenge against a monster that killed his family. Now throw in an older man, a princess and a slew of other clichéd characters and you get the cast. Despite a cast of clichés the game does something few RPG have been able to do. It creates a wonderful world but not only that it also creates a history for the world that really brings the entire game to life. The plot is complex, full of unexpected twists and they usually happen very early in the game which is rare. A few twists fall a bit flat but overall the plot kept me entertained even the second disc felt more like filler than anything else. After that though the game really came together in terms of the plot. Fans of the fantasy genre really should play this game solely for the story it has to tell.
I'm sure for it's time Legend of Dragoon had some amazing visuals. Don't get me wrong, the CGI is still drool worthy. Highly detailed and up to par with Squaresofts stuff. On the other hand the in game graphics drastically range from good to down right ugly. Some of the dungeon sections take a 2d approach and while a nice way to play, it looks down right hideous. Muddy textures and everything. Rest of the time the game is passable. In battle the enemies and character offer more detail than they do during the actual game. The heroes tend to look rather bad during normal game play moments.
Sound in the game is a mixed bag got Mr. we have some amazing sound effects ranging from gusts of wing to the ocean crashing into the rocks. Almost everything has a sound and it's rather nicely done. We even have voice work in this game which is rare as well. It isn't used a whole but when it is used it isn't half bad. I really dislike the music in this game. The battle theme really dragged for me and did nothing for the mood of the game. I don't think a single piece of music in this game was enjoyable for me.
Control in the game is very simple. As usual everything is menu based. Some attacks require timed presses or button mashing moments but otherwise it all works fine.
Like the most recent RPG trend this game doesn't offer a true world map. You select a dot and you're character moves there. Along the way he may or may not run into a random battle.
The world is large though and so are the towns. I found it really easy to get lost in this game. Oddly enough I found the dungeons to be lacking in size which never happens for me.
The battle system is usually one of the more important parts of a RPG. Sadly I was really bored to tears with this. So much so I actually fell asleep playing this game on a few different occasions.
It's not that it's a bad battle system. It's just very slow. It's your typical select attack or selects to use a Dragoon. However everything moves at a snail's pace so the battles really dragged on longer than they should have. Granted the battle system does require some times button presses. Think of a staler version of the Shadow Hearts battle system if you've played that series.
In typical RPG fashion you level up by gaining experience. You can buy new equipment for your guys. Just the normal stuff all around really. Hidden in the game though are bits of Stardust. You'll actually need to look for those.
The game itself is fairly average in length but it does offer enough side quests to keep any fan of the genre happy. The game for me though felt longer than it really was due to how slow it all moved for me.
It's not that Legend of Dragoon is a bad game because it isn't. The plot is one of the best around despite some minor clichés and even then it's a worthy tale to be told. Sadly the game play felt too slow for me and I really had to dock some points for that. I like my battles to move just a bit faster. Otherwise this is a fairly enjoyable game.
Story - 10/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 7/10
Control - 9/10
Game Play - 7/10
Replay Value - 6/10
Final Score - 8/10
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 08/30/07
Game Release: The Legend of Dragoon (US, 06/13/00)
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