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A Trip Down Memory's Game - The Legend of Dragoon
The Legend of Dragoon
This week we’ll take a look at a game that was an actual Christmas gift I received as a child with a PS2. The Legend of Dragoon is the subject of this Trip Down Memory’s Game.
The Legend of Dragoon received overall positive reviews and was praised for its graphics and cinematics, which as a product of Sony that comes as no surprise, but it failed in having an original hook that was strong enough to set it apart from its RPG brethren on the PSX library. Personally though, I loved it, I thought it was interesting; the cinematic cutscenes were good enough that I almost forgot it was a PSX game I was playing, and the story feels more logical than most other RPGs since instead of one ultimate antagonist as your goal, you instead go after three or four main ones as you go through the story, which somehow feels more realistic.
The plot puts you in the role of the character Dart, a swordsman who is travelling, searching for a creature responsible for the destruction of his birthplace of Neet when he was a child. As he is heading back to his hometown, Seles; he is attacked by a giant dragon and is saved by a mysterious woman named rose, after he realizes that the dragon was sent by the opposing nation of Sandora, he runs off to help Neet during the dragon assault. From that point you are sent through a series of quests that oppose the evils of Sandora. Along the way Dart will discover the power of the Dragoon Spirits and join forces with nine other characters that can also awaken Dragoon Spirits as well.
Gameplay is reminiscent of a lot of other JRPG titles in that you travel by way of a set of two types of maps (Not the best idea in my opinion) and a battle screen which operates around the use of a system called “Additions”, which are combos selected pre-battle in the menu screen and input during the battle by hitting the correct buttons at the correct moments, with the buttons being determined by the color of the marker at the time of input. The more you use a combo the more you can level it up, allowing for more damage and also increases how much the recharge the Dragoon gauge as you attack. The Dragoon mode is basically a transformed state unlocked for each character as the story progresses and allows for enhanced elemental damage native to each character. Elements work as they normally would (Fire<Water, Water<Lightning, Etc.). Also when players choose to transform all their characters at once, the character who initiated the transformation will have the setting changed to accommodate to the element they pertain to (Fire will change the setting to a fiery background for example.), this doesn’t just affect your enemies, but also your allies as the Dragoon that is weak to Fire damage will find himself weakened if the Fire Dragoon initiates a group transformation.
All in All, the game is by no means perfect; the battle system is a bit choppy and require accuracy, the Dragoon System could have been improved on; but it holds up well regardless. Also there is truth to the claim that this game borrows from other games in the genres, the maps and battle systems alone reminded me of Chrono Cross, but that doesn’t make it bad and for what it is it holds up. In my opinion anyways.