Review by Jam

"Square who? Final Fantasy what?"

Anybody who's anybody(I'm out) knows that Square is the leader when it comes to RPGs, PlayStation or otherwise. Creators of such classics like Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, and Secret Of Mana(all on SNES, hmmm...), these are timeless classics no one will forget. People who usually step up to take Square on usually get smacked down by superior graphics, storyline, and gameplay. However, out of nowhere, SCEA decides to try it's hand....ladies and gentlemen, we may have a contender on our hands.

Gameplay - It's your classic turn-based goodness, with a dash of originality thrown in. The Addition System lets you chain together attacks for big damage(and SP), and it only help that they look cool. You need to press the X Button right when the two squares(heh) meet in the center of the screen in order to go to the next hit. Some Additions are supremely fast and hard to master, but the victory goes to those who train. Or something. Also something new in the mix is the ability to turn into a Dragoon, a super-powered being that's associated with a certain element(from Fire, Water, Earth, Wind, Darkness, Light, and Thunder). The Dragoon Addition is similar to the Addition, but the execution is different. You'll see a cool looking sphere with a ball of light at the top. By pressing the X Button once again, the ball will begin to rotate. Your job, should you choose to accept it(and you'd better, if you want to beat this monster), is to press the X Button each time the ball passes over the top marker. If done correctly, your character will perform a series of crushing attacks ending with a blast of power from the character's element. The Systems work out awesomely and add a much needed breath of air(or is that fire?) to the standard RPG warfare. Also, spells can only be used in Dragoon form, save for some Items that cause damage. It's all good and it works well.

Graphics - This is, controller down, one of the most beautiful games on the PlayStation(only Vagrant Story, by the aforementioned Square, is better looking). The character models are highly detailed, even more so in Dragoon form. Additions and spells look awesome, with blinding flashes of light, explosions, and the like. The pre-rendered enviroments are beautiful and a marvel to wander around. Every now and then you'll get a CG cutscreen, and while these are few and far between('cept for on the 3rd disc) they are extremely worth it. Hell, you'll even want to record these just so you can watch them over and over! Highlights include the Dragon Campaign(sweeeet) and the Divine Dragon(Square ain't got nothing on this guy). Even in-game cutscreens, of which there are plenty, are awesome, even on the system as old as the PlayStation. This is even better than some Dreamcast games!

Sound / Music - While there aren't any voices(except for in CG cutscreens), the music is very well done, but it's not as good as Square done in the past. But there's certainly nothing to scoff at here, and I would definately buy this game's soundtrack(if only I could find one).

Rent or Buy - So, everything's good, right? No, not all is well in Dragoonland. The only blotch is the translation, which can be, at times, just plain stupid. I noticed several typos and punctuation errors, and while it didn't detract too much, it did annoy me. But this isn't any reason to pass up and a great game, especially if you're a Square fan. So fly, don't run, down to your local retailer and pick this game up. Unleash your destiny, and all that mystic gibberish.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 07/02/00, Updated 07/02/00

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