Review by Dyne153

"How does it hold up? (reviewed 9/25/11)"

Dragon Force is a strategy/RPG that separates itself from the pack and hasn't really been copied since it's release. You start by choosing your kingdom and then trying to take over all the other kingdoms.

The game is very intuitive and can get addicting very quickly. Depending on which kingdom you choose, you will start at different areas on the map with varying commanders and troop types. This game works like an advanced rock, paper, scissors in that every troop type is good against some troops and bad against others. The instructions, or some type of guide, will be very helpful when going into battle to make sure that your troops aren't going to get slaughtered by an enemy they are weak against. This makes it so you have to have a well balanced group of generals together at a time. Battles can be 100 of your troops against 100 of the enemy troops at a time, which fills the screen and is pretty impressive for this generation of hardware. Battles take place with you choosing your formation and sending your troops against the enemy. You have control over how your troops move but no control over the troops individually. During battles you can have your commander use magic, but otherwise the commander remains stationary. Things start off simple enough at first because you have a small amount of generals with small amounts of troops and can't attack many enemy castles at a time. As you get further in the game, turns will start taking more time because of the number of battles that will take place. With that said, you have to have backup storage to save at any point besides in between rounds, so know ahead of time that rounds during the halfway point of the game can go over an hour. In between rounds you will be awarding generals larger troop capacity, turning captive generals into allies, searching for items, and fortifying castles. There's a lot to do in the game, but everything is pretty easy to understand as you go along.

The story obviously varies slightly based on which kingdom you choose but the goal for each character is the same, unite the nations. There is a brief beginning for each character and some storyline elements throughout the game, but this game really does put the action first. The cut-scenes are mostly just animation stills with spoken dialogue. What's here is just good for setting up the action.

The graphics are pretty good for this generation, especially considering how many troops will be on the screen at once. I liked the cartoon/anime style and there's definitely nothing here that should put anyone off.

Play time/Replayability
This game takes about 15-20 hours for each kingdom equalling 120 or more hours if you really get into it. It will take longer to play through the first time as you are getting the hang of things than any time after that. I think this game is worth replaying too because of the different strategies needed for each kingdom and the different points of view and side quests that come with it. The battles do get a little repetitive if you were to play back to back playthroughs, but this is a game worth going back to.

Final Recommendation
This game's so unique and just plain fun that I'd definitely recommend it to all but the least patient players. It's a harder game to find right now but worth tracking down for anyone with a Saturn.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 09/26/11

Game Release: Dragon Force (US, 11/30/96)

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