Review by Knightmare6

"United They Stand, Divided They Fall"

Dragon Force was quite possibly one of the best real-time strategy games out there for the late Sega Saturn! It combined elements of your typical role-playing games set in the sword-and-sorcery genre, from raging hordes of bandits, to the mysterious lone warriors, mercenary units, and evil kingdoms out to conquer the land.

The battle sequences were great, as the game allows you to see all the action of each troop fighting, as well as your commanders. The ability to manipulate the troops via orders was also a welcome touch, as it allowed you to change strategies when necessary. Commanders have their own special abilities, but otherwise are limited by staying at the edge of the battle, while the troops rush into combat.

Outside of the combat sequences, the storyline really comes into play, as you slowly work your character to conquer the continent of Legendra. Each ruler is playable, for a total of eight different stories. Despite the fact that you will retain many of the same characters, the storyline isn't the same and can vary, depending on what actions you take within the game. You literally do have to play this game multiple times to discover all the hidden side-plots!

This game had me going back for hours after I beat it, and took about 130 hours just to discover all the secrets with one character.

The graphics are great in the battle sequences and the story, which is comprised of text and images in color, until the end when they are black-and-white. The music is a decent score, nothing too grand and spectacular, but also nothing corny like MIDI music. The main problem I had with this game was the passage of time, when there was no battles or stories happening. You can only sit there watching your armies move for so long.

Also, what I did like about this, was the fact that the computer didn't single you out, but would also attack the other armies in the game aside from you, except for a few cases. Too often does the computer focus on the players, and this game provided a great relief, as it allowed you to take advantage of wounded foes who were defeated or just severely wounded by recent attacks.

The magical items featured in this game also helped to create an interesting element to combat, as they were given to commanders of armies, which could help turn the tide of battle if used properly.

The main drawing point of this game is the battle sequences and the variability it offers to the player, as no battle is the same. Back that up with a reason to battle, namely the story, and you've got yourself a great game for an underrated system! It's just a shame the sequel was never brought over to the U.S.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 07/15/03, Updated 07/15/03

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