Legend of the Dragoon User Review
Story: Overall the story is pretty solid. The game focuses on one chapter per disc of four discs, but that is simply how the game is organized. The game itself tells several stories at once, through lots of character text, dialogue, and the occasional CGI, or the silent in-game/battle cutscenes .There is a lot of focus on character development, and there are enough twists and turns in the plot to keep players guessing from time to time. It can become predictable at points, but this doesn’t occur too often, and overall the story is very simple to follow, capable of immersing many a gamer within.
Gameplay: The gameplay of Legend of the Dragoon is pretty linear, with few, albeit lengthy sidequests. The control scheme is straightforward and not overly complicated. In exploration and town visits, in-game prompts and talking to NPCs just takes the press of the X button. Triangle brings up a menu that organizes useful information regarding your items, equipment, character statistics, and attacks.
Random battles occur (some not so random as in the case of bosses and the like), usually as the player explores, or when on the world map that allow the player to earn experience points used to level up, or currency used to purchase better equipment ant items. The player can choose between the standard attack, defending, using items, or to run away. An interesting twist to the fighting mechanic is the Addition (combo) system. As a character does the initial attack, a blue square centers in the screen with another closing in on it. Pressing the X button with the right timing allows the player to add an additional hit to the combo, until a full combo is formed. Each character has several unlock-able Additions, which tend can be selected in the Triangle Menu outside of battle, and allows the player to change things up with some variety. Later in the game, the player can harness the power of a dragon, becoming a dragoon, which has its own unique Dragoon Addition, and several types of powerful dragon magic that can change the tide of a difficult battle. Even in long periods of farming for money or experience, battles rarely lose their fun quality.
Graphics: The graphics of Legend of the Dragoon, aren’t bad considering it is a PSone game, but they could have been much better. The World map screen is a bit drab, with not too much attention paid to details as much as color. The towns and other locales are better in this respect, and it can be seen that more work was put into it. Battlefields reflect the locale the player is in vibrant in color, but negatively from time to time seem more like textures pasted on a flat surface. In battle however, focus is mainly on the characters, enemies, and various visual effects, which certainly add a lot to the occasionally drab spaces. The Addition animations don’t look unrealistic, transformations and magical effects are great and cinematically entertaining. Where this game really shines graphically, is in its CGI cutscenes. Vibrant colors, great details, fantastic visual effects… all of them draw the player in greatly, enhanced by the audio tracks, and dialogue (if any).
Audio: The soundtrack is pretty well done; they add more to the moods and atmospheres of the game and its scenarios. Battle themes are energetic, town themes and vocal tracks bring these places life. There may be times when the players will find themselves simply listening to the music, or prolonging battles in order to continue listening (they may just keep an extra save file just to revisit some tracks). The music in Legend of the Dragoon is enjoyable, and entertaining throughout the entirety of the game. Voice acting isn’t bad either. It is sparse, because it is limited to the full CGI cutscenes and in-game battles (the latter essentially being the character’s shouting the names of their Addition or Dragoon Magic), but it is pleasing, and not too silly or underwhelming.
All in all, Legend of the Dragoon is a pretty solid game that is strong on a lot of points. It translates into a wholesome RPG experience that many a gamer would recommend to another. It doesn’t have much replay value (if any) but is definitely a game that is fun to come back to, away from the stress associated with the current generation of gaming. It seems outdated, but the experience has not faltered, and can still contend with the experiences of the RPGs of today.
This user review does not reflect the views of the PSX Extreme Staff.