The Legend of Dragoon
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.
Download The Legend of Dragoon
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).