The Legend of Dragoon
|a game by
|Sony Computer Entertainment
|8/10, based on 3 reviews
|8.1/10 - 28 votes
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|RPGs, Best Portable Games, Console Games, Games Like Kingdom Hearts
Not content to merely have built the world's leading consoles, Sony has thrown its hat into the RPG developers' ring with their ambitious new project titled The Legend of Dragoon.
Featuring a cast of nine playable characters, Dragoon immerses you in a world where mankind's very existence is threatened by numerous factors, ranging from civil war to the return of a mysterious race of beings that threatens to unleash a devastating evil force on the populace. The story focuses on Dart, the young hero on a quest for revenge who ends up pursuing loftier goals as he learns of his role in ensuring the future of humanity.
Yes, we know--it's certainly not the most inspired story line. But Dragoon has plenty of other intriguing elements to capture the fancy of RPGers. Take the battle system, for example. Fighting centers on "Additional" attacks, which require you to nail a series of carefully timed button presses to trigger a powerful finishing blow (see sidebar). Precision is a must, as the slightest misstep will throw off an attack. Adding to the challenge is the fact that enemies will occasionally counterattack, which requires a quick reaction in order to avoid being blown back. And then there are the Dragoon attacks: Throughout the game, your party members gain the ability to harness the power of dragon spirits. Build up enough special points during battles and you'll be given the choice to transform; you'll then have to pull off a different series of timed button presses to pummel your foes with furious power.
As a Dragoon, you'll also have access to a range of magic attacks, which vary greatly depending on the character.
When you're not fighting, you'll be treated to a gorgeous world composed of CG backgrounds that rival those found in Square's Final Fantasy series. Details abound, including nifty visual effects like dancing flames, running water and billowing fog.
Spanning four discs and promising some 80 hours of gameplay. Dragoon may be yet another premier RPG for the PlayStation. But does Sony have what it takes to rival the likes of Squaresoft? From what we've seen so far, Dragoon holds plenty of promise--but we'll know for sure when we get our hands on the reviewable version next month.
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The Legend of Dragoon is a beloved Playstation JRPG, released in 2000 in North America. The game follows a young man named Dart, whose village is destroyed by soldiers who kidnap his best friend, Shana. After rescuing Shana, Dart finds out that he is a ‘Dragoon’-or a human who can use magic to control a Dragon. Dart teams up with Shana, and other formidable warriors, to defeat the evil magical forces threatening his kingdom.
The game features an engrossing epic narrative, which is at ease exploring both personal relationships and complex mythology. The dialogue feels natural and expressive, largely avoiding the infodumps that can bedevil fantasy media. Although much of the game deals with war and death, The Legend also has a healthy dose of humour, helping it avoid tipping into pretension or becoming too heavy. The game features over thirty hours of gameplay and was so ambitious at the time of release that it had to be shipped on four separate discs.
The Legend features a turn-based combat system, complete with a variety of attacks, magical modes, items, and other strategies. Completing an attack successfully also requires correctly hitting the targets on the screen. This combat style is perfect for players who like to strategize and plan attacks, while being dynamic enough to keep players’ attention. The game also features many areas where stealth is needed to avoid unnecessary attacks. Although the fighting is well-designed, the designers are careful to ensure that it is exploration and narrative that really drives the game forward, rather than violence.
The Legend features some beautifully rendered backgrounds, which make Dart’s world feel vivacious and alive. The game’s score is also quite evocative and supports a lot of the game’s emotional beats.
As The Legend is an older title, its graphics now come off as rather antiquated. In addition, there are long loading times when the players move between different areas, and especially after battle scenes. However, these are minor mechanical quibbles, which players will grow used to after returning to the game.
There’s a reason The Legend of Dragoon is still being discussed twenty years on. The game features a winning story, well-designed combat, and a lovable cast-providing a great experience for any classic JRPG fan.
The Legend of Dragoon can be played on PS1. A playthrough is available here., while more information about the game can be accessed here.
- Compelling cast
- Engaging turn-based combat
- Intricate, absorbing narrative
- Graphics+loading time can’t compete with new games
Released back in December in Japan, SCEPs four-disc RPG The Legend of Dragoon heads to the U.S. via SCEA in June. Forty minutes of well-crafted CG movies advance the story in what Sony estimates to be an 8o-hour game. The game features an "Additional" system, which allows you to attack multiple times in one sequence and can be used in both human and Dragoon forms (each character can use Dragoon magic).