Summer Gaming Challenge #2 – The Legend of Dragoon

It took a while, but I finished the second game of my Summer Gaming Challenge!  The Legend of Dragoon was a pretty long game (sitting around 35 hours), so it doesn’t feel like I’ve made a lot of progress in my challenge, but beating a big RPG is a good accomplishment!  Beating this PS1 game also marks my first beat game for my Console Elimination Round this year… which is actually a little sad, since I was trying to work on that for six months, and this is the first game I beat.  But, I digress…

To me, The Legend of Dragoon was a bit of an unusual experience.  At first, I was excited to get into the game and world and even the interactive battle system, even with the awkward translation.  However, certain problems with the game really left me wanting more from the game in the end, and it was something that a new IP that wasn’t given enough attention could deliver.

No, no, this isn't a spoiler.

I honestly feel the story could have been so much more–it feels that many aspects of the plot were merely skimmed over, or just pushed aside entirely.  This probably was to save a bit of space on the 4 disc game, but many of the interesting side stories are just left to the wayside, and as such the plot doesn’t go in any kind of interesting direction.  Mostly I’m left a bit disappointed, and even a little annoyed that the game decided to wait until the very last dungeon to give most of the characters any development.

Then, there was the battle system.  While I’m still thankful that it was interactive, the way the system worked made it very predictable in the end.  I always knew that if the enemy were to counterattack on the Gust of Wind Dance, it’d be the second or third hit; that I somehow really sucked at Haschal’s combos; that most people’s magic kind of sucked.  After getting the hang of everything and everyone by the middle of Disc 2, the rest of the game battle wise felt like a slog.  I used the same two party members and strategy for the vast majority of the game, and it worked (except for the three or so battles where Dragoon powers are reduced).  It felt like just more wasted potential, but unlike the feelings I have for Legend of Legaia’s battle system, I still found it rewarding and fast-paced enough to not make it all too bad.

Everyone's just a little beat up.

Despite my complaining, though, I don’t find The Legend of Dragoon to be a bad game, not at all:  I find it to be more just unrefined, not getting enough time and attention to really shine.  This is one of those titles that absolutely begs a remake we’ll probably never see… having the game’s system revamped and given a fresh coat of paint would do wonders, but it’s a risk that I doubt any publisher would take.

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