Name: Legend Of Dragoon (93.33% in 6 votes)
Release date: 2000
Reviewed by: Vinny
This game "Legend of Dragoon" is simply fantastic, spanning 4 CDs, it proves to be worth it, real-time tactical combat,.
The Legend of Dragoon unfolds across four CDs, and enables players to assume the role of Dart, a young hero whoÃ†s out to seek revenge for the destruction of his hometown. Dart's not alone, though; a small band of adventurers follows him on his quests. There's Shana, a young, agile warrior skilled with a bow and arrow; Rose, whose skills are best shown with her boomerang; and Lavitz, a knight who carries a spear like no other. There are a few other members, as well, but you'll get to know them as you play. Anyway, as Dart assembles his party members, his quest for revenge eventually unfolds into a multitude of tasks, from defending castles to attacking dragons, all the while discovering and developing his skills as a dragoon. Yeah, yeah, the setup sounds clichTd, but I promise you, there'll be enough twists in the plot to keep even the most jaded of role-players intrigued.
I'll admit that the story isnÃ†t the gameÃ†s strongest point... Hey, after SquaresoftÃ†s Vagrant Story, the bar for video game dialogue was raised dramatically. I'm not saying that Dragoon's dialogue is bad, but the translation seems a little funky, and there's toilet humor in there thatÃ†s just unnecessary. IÃ†m not going to be too critical--itÃ†s just that The Legend of Dragoon is a pretty serious game, and when you come across stuff like that, well, it detracts somewhat from the experience.
What Legend of Dragoon lacks in story, though (which, again, is little), it makes up in presentation. Legend of Dragoon has some of the finest rendered backgrounds ever seen in any PlayStation role-playing game... Every medieval environment imaginable appears in this game, from lush forest spreads to dark castle dungeons; it truly is an interactive work of art. IÃ†ll save the mechanics for the next paragraph, but it should be noted that the battle sequences are equally impressive, providing some awesome 3-D backgrounds decorated with beautiful spell effects and nasty monsters.
The battle engine itself is turn-based, and operates similarly to your basic Squaresoft title; its basic combat options are attack, guard, use item and escape. What separates Legend of DragoonÃ†s combat functions from other RPGs, however, is its attack setup. In this respect, the game operates similarly to Vagrant Story--a grid pinpoints the center of the target, and if timed correctly, certain buttons can activate combo attacks that deliver more damage.
During the first few hours of the game, the button-mashing gets a little redundant, but as you progress further into the game, Dart's party members will gain new fighting techniques (which means you have to master new button combos). It was a little annoying at first, but the button combos are pretty easy to pull off and master. Just be forewarned--as players get deeper into the game, the button combos get crazier and more difficult to pull off. The Ã¦standingÃ† menu options, however, are much more detailed, giving gamers quick reference to weapon/armor values and a decent amount of personal customization.
The world map works rather uniquely, as well. Using the shoulder buttons, players can cycle through three different setups... The first one is a flat view of the entire world, while the second plane provides a closer view of the world. The third map is a fully rotational, polygonal view of your current locale; the only setback is its lack of free movement. Unfortunately, map movement is set up on bubble tracks, on which bubbles represent accessible areas. It's different, but a little too linear for my taste.
The voices heard during the rendered movies and battle sequences of the U.S. version are a little less dramatic than the import version, but Legend of Dragoon features music that rivals even SquaresoftÃ†s efforts. I should mention that, although the music is up there with Square, itÃ†s all very MIDI-like, so donÃ†t expect the ultra-crisp CD sounds heard in games like Y's I & II or Dragon Slayer. Nonetheless, the musical score will set your heart racing on occasion...
In all, Dragoon will take even the expert RPG gamer a good 40 or 50 hours to complete the first time. Mind you, thatÃ†s not 40 hours of sheer boredom or trying to raise the perfect Chocobo specimen--itÃ†s 40 hours of battling baddies, AWESOME CG, building additions and getting your arse beat in general by the nearly invulnerable bosses of Endiness. To put it simply, you won't be disappointed...
Graphics - 5
Gameplay - 3
Music - 5
Sound - 5
Overall - 4.5 (4.5 / 5)
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