vinchenzo's Blue Dragon (Xbox 360) review

Blue Dragon is a solid, classic RPG that is pure old-school.

The best compliment I can give BD (Blue Dragon) is just how simple and classic it is. If you've ever played an older Final Fantasy, you know the formula.

Pros

  • Simple, classic RPG mechanics.
  • Monsters are on-screen, not random encounters.
  • Field Barrier allows you to avoid fights, which is nice once in a while.

Cons
  • The Dragonball look just isn't cutting it.
  • Framerate drops for no reason.
  • Terrible story with ill-placed cutscenes.


Gameplay

As par the usual RPG, you'll have dungeons, towns, and an overworld map. The controls are simple, you run around and can inspect things, talk to people, and so on. Towns allow you to buy items, rest up and save. Dungeons host a variety of enemies, usually with a boss at the end and, in this game, doesn't always provide a challenge. The overworld map is where you travel locations one to another, and fight enemies as you might in dungeons. Combat itself is very simple. Your characters aren't restricted to a specific class, they can each follow your choice of options and eventually combine all those skills to make the ultimate fighter (of course this combining will happen later rather than sooner). Every battle your allies and enemies take turns, with abilities to Attack, Defend, Flee, use Items, use Magics, and a variety of other attacks. The shadows I spoke of are basically your class depictions, you can change them from say a Black Magic user, to a White Magic User, a Fighter, an Assassin, and everything in between and around. As you travel through the aforementioned dungeons and towns, you'll progress the dissapointing story.


Graphics/Sound

The artist from DBZ took part in BD, as you can see most obvious by the distinctive look. This is great and all, but he never strays far from his roots and it feels way too comparable. Some characters, like the Gorgon Giants might look stripped from the Dragonball series, but are still unique. Besides the art style, the graphics are crisp, clean, and colorful with questionable framerate drops. The sounds are basic, but the soundtrack reminds you very much of Final Fantasy VII (for good reason, it's the same guy who did that). My personal favorite is the boss music, which you should get a kick out of.


Value

For an everdropping price at $30 and lower, BD isn't the worst game you can buy. If you're strapped for cash, this clasic RPG will last your 50+ hours if you want to do everything, and it spans 3 discs. There are 3 or 4 downloadable content choices ranging from new items, to a new dungeon, to a new difficulty. Yet, with the slim choices of RPGs on 360, this is probably also one of the better options. Another recommendation would be Lost Odyssey and Eternal Sonata.

[This review was originally posted on GameSpot on the 30th of June, 2008.]
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