DP's Legend of Dragoon Review +Discussion

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DP's Legend of Dragoon Review +Discussion

Post by DP on Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:16 am

So I beat LoD a while back, and I've been meaning to review it for a while now. I've got a lot of things I wanna say about it, and it's gonna be a long thread. And of course, SPOILERS ABOUND.

SERIOUSLY, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS.

A LOT.

Firstly, LoD has a completely generic inner story. By that, I mean the characters interact with one another in such a poor way for much of the story. The characters often feel straight out of high school with how they touch on the whole Dart/Shana love issue. Additionally, the plot never really surprised me; I often called big reveals whole discs before they were shown. I called that Rose was the Black Monster in disc 2 - it's the big reveal at the end of disc 3.

The backstory to the game, however, is excellent. It's so rich in details and I could delve into so much about it. I'm a man who loves world-building, and the world is so well crafted so that it feels like it's lived in and that it's BEEN lived in for centuries. The cities each have their own soul, as well, even if they don't offer up any real sidequests or anything to make you go back to them.

However, there were some points where I was pleasantly surprised by the plot, although in retrospect those times were also pretty obviously foreshadowed. Shana being the Moon Child and endgame Zieg actually being the Wingly leader are the most memorable ones I also called Lloyd not actually dying at the end of disc 3, and that he would ally with Dart and group as soon as I saw him, but then the Divine Dragon Spirit going to Dart kind of shocked me a little bit, for another example. All in all, the plot is quite generic, although it does take enough twists to keep it interesting. The characters are mostly good, as well.

My one major qualm is that there's no endgame. Disc 4 is quite short and it fooled me into thinking there would be an endgame to explore and possibly add some sidequests. Instead, you're stuck in the moon right before the boss fight for all eternity. It's a total dick move straight out of Fallout 3, but without the DLC to fix it.

Now onto gameplay. The gameplay is a somewhat unique twist on the JRPG genre, but most of it means nothing. There are types, but I've seen absolutely no difference in damage between type matchups. Dart is not hurt more by water, and he does just as much damage to a water enemy as to any other. It's just tacked on to make for a few more items to me. The game does have a good balance between leveling up and enemy strength. The enemies' defense goes up to counter higher attack strength, instead of just adding more health a la FF games. The only enemy that has insanely high health is the final boss, which has four phases and 40,000 health (nothing compared to, say, Barthandalas' several MILLION). While that fight dragged on way too long (40 minutes), it was still more bearable than most other JRPG games that I've played.

However, the fighting itself tends to be inconsistent. Many fights feel too hard and annoying, while others that SHOULD be hard are piss easy. Lloyd, the guy you're hunting for two fucking discs, is beaten in a short fight. Zieg, before the final boss fight, is also a joke. It seems that whenever I expected enthralling fights, every time I got disappointed.

One major talking point is the use or FMV sequences during the game as cutscenes. FMV was a big trend in the PS1 era, and LoD makes sure you know about it. Sometimes they add to the story and make certain things much more impactful, but other times they just feel tacked on. The spreading out of these cutscenes is very shoddy, though. It's used just enough in discs 1 and 2, but is WAY overused in disc 3 for some reason. Every half hour or so it seemed that there was another cutscene that was unneeded. It really ate up the disc space, and as such disc 3 was almost as short as 4. And while on the subject of FMV, the voice acting is pretty laughable at times. That's acceptable for PS1 era games, though. Oddly enough, they had a few times where they could've easily used FMV very effectively and opted not to. Lloyd's death is entirely an in-battle event, for example, and it perplexes me to this day why they didn't go for a better, more proper FMV ending.

All in all, LoD seems to be a very middling JRPG based on this description. There's nothing to do besides the story; there's no reason to grind for experience or money, as you can do everything without trouble by playing regularly, and even by avoiding enemies sometimes; the story isn't that great even if the backstory is; and the battling itself is much less tactical than other JRPGs. But, even though there's not much I particularly like about the game, there's something enthralling about it. I couldn't take my hands off the controller while playing LoD, and I don't know why. Perhaps the game just has a charm that I adored, that makes it so beloved a game to its cult audience, but I really can't put my finger on what it is.

Anyway, due to this unknown fun factor, my opinion is greatly positive. I'd probably have given it a passing score without this, but I've wanted to replay it ever since I beat it, and I'm still confused as to why. But it's a good feeling, and because of that I'd recommend it to anyone that wanted to shell out $7 for a 40 hour game.
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Re: DP's Legend of Dragoon Review +Discussion

Post by Helvetica Standard on Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:28 am

Spoiler:

I had that game when I was a kid, never understated it because I didn't speak english at that time so I exchange it for Crash Bandicoot 2 and 3. To this day I've somewhat a remorse of doing that, but Crash was way more straightforward than LoD for me back then. =P

Your review makes me want to play it again some day now that I'm more fluent on english. Thanks for the reminder. ouo!
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Re: DP's Legend of Dragoon Review +Discussion

Post by BigBox on Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:14 am

Firstly, I don't give two rats in a hat about his review. Secondly, I didn't read it. Thirdly, it has nothing to do with JonTron or The Completionist. Fourthly, I wasn't going to post this comment but I changed my mind. Fifthly, I had this game on PSOne.
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