Review by kevins drg

"When I first played this game I was blown away, but now..."

The Legend of Dragoon was my undisputed favorite game for a long time, but after I was exposed to more RPGs, I realized while still very good The Legend of Dragoon was not the holy
god like game I once proclaimed it was.

Background of Game
Now I usually don't put this into any of my reviews, but I thought it should be in this one. The back of the case reads
3 years in the making with a developmental team of over 100
members and that this is on four disks. This game does not have a four disk length by a long shot an the developmental
team must have had a group of very slow people because the graphics, dialogue, and everything else in this game shouldn't have taken three years to make. I just don't understand the waste of disk space here when you compare it to the 100 hour plus adventure of Dragon Warrior 7.

Story 7
Again I was much more impressed years ago and now I see all to clearly that the story is somewhat jumbled and in need of dialogue help. The skeleton story is this. The Divine Tree gave out its fruit of life 10,000 years ago. It gave ''birth'' to all races such as Dragons, Humans, Gigantos,
and Winglies. The humans are enslaved by the magic possessing winglies. This started a war between the two races. Humans called upon dragons and winglies called upon virages to aid them in battle. The humans were victorious and the world was at peace finally. You are the character Dart originally searching to free your friend Shana, but the story unravels into a complex, yet somewhat distorted tale of the end of the world and the domination of the human race once again.

Characters 9
I love most of the characters in the game and my personal favorite is the courageous serdian knight Lavitz whom unfortunately meets his doom far to early in the game. Shana is a useless fighter, but for some reason I always liked her. Kongol is the traditional overly muscular guy, but he has a sad side to his character with the murder of almost his entire race. Meru is a good fighter and a humorous ally. She has a big secret to her as well. Dart is the hero that follows the traditional hero role, only he doesn't know who he truly is. Albert is the king whom I detest because he retains all of Lavitz's abilities after his death. Haschel is the martial arts expert who is one of my most liked characters in the game. He has a bond with Dart that is very surprising. Rose is the mysterious woman who helps Dart in the beginning and shows up again later for a much larger role.

Music 4
Bad very very bad. The music in this game is only good in two areas. One is the song when you put the first disk in and the other is the battle music. The others bring this games musical level way down, the town and event themes are painfully bland and uninspired and since this game took three years to make, I would think someone would have noticed the incredibly weak level of music here. It is almost like a person sat at their desk and did all the music in one day with the same basic rhythm because it all sounds the same with its basic flutes and singular instrumentals. Also the music in some areas just doesn't seem to blend with the rest of the surrounding environment.

Voice Overs 9
I've read that people don't like the voice acting in this game and I think that they are wrong it is fantastic. Every character says the name of their attack if you complete it and there are the attack noises in speech which makes it more realistic. When they talk in the movies it blends very well into the movie and the actors who lend there voices fit
perfectly into the mood.

Graphics 7
Good, but not outstanding. The basic graphics to me were not
a far leap from Final Fantasy 7. Backgrounds are well crafted, but repetitious and the movies are great especially one in particular where you get to see a battle from the dragon campaign. When you walk around though things are glitchy and it looks as if attention should have been placed less on the trees and rocks in the back and more on your characters, the same problem occurs in battle.

Gameplay 8
The battle system is turn based with a catch. To keep your eyes fixated on the screen there is a group of squares that comes into each other when you attack, you must press X right when they center to land the hit and O if the squares are red signifying that the monster is trying to counter you. These squares become quicker for the higher level of attack. The Legend of Dragoon is an RPG so there were no control problems, but the battle system begins to get repetitive after a while.

Difficulty Average to Mildly Hard
I found that while this game didn't cripple you with difficulty it had its hard points. Some of the later boss battles seemed impossible and it took me several tries to beat the divine dragon spirit. The additions(attacks)also presented me with a problem with their difficulty towards the end with most of the characters especially my hated Albert. Dart's Madness Hero stumped me for a while, but like many of the other additions you just need to find your rhythm of button pressing.

Overall 7
The story has been surpassed by newer games and the graphics have been made obsolete, however this game is most definitely a classic in my mind and for anyone who hasn't played it I suggest you do. If you want to get it then you won't have any trouble because it was re released as a greatest hits on PS1 and it is cheap and not at all rare. You can find it new still at video game stores and if you can't get it there Ebay will certainly have it.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 10/09/03

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