Review by DarkGhaleon

"If it wren't for the translation....."

I don’t know what everyone’s huge problem with this game is. It has an amazing story, great graphics, and the music is very good. I have to admit, the translation in this game did suck, but it really didn’t take that much away from the game, and there is no reason that you should dislike the game for just that reason. I thought that this game was excellent in just about every category of RPG’s, but it did have a few flaws.

Graphics: 10/10

The graphics in this game were just flat out amazing. The FMV’s in this game were the best I have ever seen in a game, save Final Fantasy VIII, and they weren’t overused as I have seen in so many other RPG’s. Though it is not hard to see the inspiration for the design of the characters in this game (the main character, Dart, looks a lot like Cloud Strife, and his sweetheart Shana looks a lot Rinoa and Tifa, etc, etc, etc….), they are beautifully done and are very detailed, using the same super-deformed design that Final Fantasy VII used. The backgrounds in fights and dungeons are also very well done. The only flaw in the graphics of this game are the graphics on the overworld map. They are some of the worst that I have seen in an RPG in recent memory. It’s really blocky and dull. And another thing, although many of the dragoon spells are beautiful, they can become annoying after you see them about 50 times. Other than those two little facts, the graphics were excellent.

Sound: 8/10

Though there was nothing particularly special about the sound in this game, it was still very good. Though the music in the battles is pretty decent, although it can become very redundant after you get in so many random battles. One good thing is that the music in random battles changes about halfway through the game. The background music in the dungeons and on the overworld map is good, but nothing memorable. The music in this game really shines in boss fights. They use different music in almost every boss fight you get into, and it is almost always good. The music they used in the final battle was absolutely amazing. The opening score is also very good. Like I said, nothing special, but it has its moments, though few and far between.

Storyline: 10/10

The storyline in this game was great. It had so many twists and turns I didn’t know what to think. You play a young adult named Dart who is returning to his hometown. You are coming back from a journey to find the Black Monster, a monster that killed everyone in the village you were born in, including your parents. When you return from your journey you find that your hometown of Seles has been burnt to the ground, and that your childhood friend, Shana, has been taken away to a prison by the empire. The story takes off from there. The only problem with the storyline was that the game could have been reduced from four discs to three. The entire second disc was basically pointless. I know a lot of people say that the game was a big cliché, and their may be some merit to that, but very little in this game was predictable, so it didn’t really bother me at all. Let me reiterate it didn’t bother me at all, but I am sure that it could bother some people. Be warned. This game has more really surprising twists than any other game that I have ever played, and that was what made the story so good in my mind. There were so many twists at one point in the game, really didn’t know what to think. This is the first game to have done that to me, ever. This game may also be a little to linear for some people, because they make little dotted lines on the map to places you can go, and do not let you venture anywhere else. This may bother the more non-linear gamers out there, but I was fine with it. The biggest problem that I had with this story was that the character development was terrible. This was mostly a product of the pathetic translation. I couldn’t believe how bad the mood was killed in a few scenes that had the potential to be incredibly emotional moments, but alas, the translation was the lowest point of the entire game, by far. But, that being said, this story may not match up to those of the Lunar’s or Final Fantasy’s of the world, but I still think that it was great.

Gameplay: 10/10

The gameplay in this game is probably the best that I have ever seen. The battle system revolves around an ‘additions’ system in which you have to do timed button presses, which range from 1 to 7 presses. This system can become very fun and challenging when you get further into the game with more and more complex additions. Later in the game you have the option of changing into a dragoon, beings that can manipulate dragons. You have two options as a dragoon. One is to use a dragoon addition, which do slightly more damage than regular additions or you can use dragoon magic, which does a considerable amount of damage. I actually found myself getting into random battles because of how fun and addicting this system is. The only complaint I had was that you did not have more additions to work with, which would have made this game even more fun. The gameplay in this game was even better than that of Final Fantasy VII, which I hold in the highest regard. As far as gameplay goes, this game is unmatched.

Overall: 9/10

Though this game did have its flaws, I found it very hard to put down the controller when playing this game. This game would have to be one of the most fun that I have played since Lunar: SSS, and this game even passes that one up in the gameplay department. The only thing that really prevented this game from becoming an epic was the fact that the translation was so bad that I actually found myself laughing at how dumb the characters sounded in this game at times. That’s how bad it really was. But besides that this game was amazing. This probably would have to be the best game that I have seen Sony put out to date.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/27/00, Updated 10/27/00

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