Like Monster Rancher, Dragonseeds generates dragons for you to raise, train, and fight for supremacy. In an RPG-like setting, you create up to 16 large lizards with options to purchase weapons, rest, collect trophies, and even engage in "unsanctioned" rogue fights to sharpen your skills. If you skip the developmental stages, you can create random dragons with different attributes by using memory-card data from other PlayStation games.
The graphics are sharp and the fight animations are well rendered; the game also has a pleasing but unintrusive soundtrack. The controls are smooth, while gameplay is intuitive and well explained onscreen. Dragonseeds' detailed story lines and vast options guarantee long-term gameplay for those interested in this genre.
- Be sure to train in both attacks and counters, or you'll set your dragon up for a fall.
- String together positive phrases for a chance at a stronger dragon creation.
Dragonseeds is a great example of a bad monster-breeding game. Just like any other breeding title, you must raise your monsters to be better fighters. The battle system is completely random and consists of you trying to guess what the other creature will do. There is absolutely no skill in this, and having a strong monster increases your odds of doing more damage at best. There are only a handful of minigames to strengthen your creature, and it's very frustrating to spend hours building up your monster only to leave victory in the hands of total luck. There is no story to speak of and the battle mechanics are very weak and lack depth. The graphics are subpar as are the character designs. The game is also very small and limited in scope, with only the one town and nothing to do in it but buy items, play one of two minigames, and fight. It seems like there could've been so much more to Dragonseeds, which would've made for a potentially interesting title. A better battle system would have gone such a long way in salvaging an otherwise lackluster game. As it is, it's too simplistic and wouldn't even be compelling enough for a younger audience. Overall it just doesn't feel very well thought out, and it isn't fun at all--just a quick fix to try and cash in on the new raise-your-own-whatever craze.
I enjoy exploring Dragonseeds' complicated inner workings and experimenting with the bizarre dragon types. Too bad the rock-paper-scissor-type fights make for some terribly repetitive fights. And the Vs. Memory Card Battle, which could've been an excellent feature (because it generates dragons from any saved game file, like Monster Rancher did with CDs), is useless because you can't use your creations in other modes.
A monster-raising game can be fun, if the gameplay is implemented properly. Dragonseeds has some cool points, like plenty of weapons and items to use and a deep evolution system. This could've been a really addicting game. I almost saw myself playing it long beyond this review period. But the weak guessing-game combat system kills what little excitement was here. Plus, the CPU is suspiciously good at guessing.
The more I play games like this, the less I like them. That's not Dragon Seeds' fault though. You have to be into the whole Tamagotchi-type thing to really appreciate raising a creature from birth...but I'm not. So in other words, this game isn't going to convert you into a creature-loving kind of person if you're not already. If the battles made more sense and the dialogue was of higher quality, I may have liked the game a bit more.