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The Legend of Dragoon it's better than I was led to believe

Jul 12, 2012 at 11:18:24 AM
Zing (23)
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(Daniel Corban) < Kratos >
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I've owned The Legend of Dragoon for many years, but did not try it until last week. The reviews for this game are rather divisive. Most reviews are at each of the extreme ends of the spectrum. I have been clearing out games I will never play, so I decided to finally play this game to see if it is worth keeping.

Based on what I have read, I was expecting a hum-drum experience filled with constant random encounters, slow progression, boring story, and tedious battles. Instead, I find a surprisinging great game! It fits my gaming taste in RPGs almost perfectly. I have been playing for 10 hours so far, at the point where all four of my characters are now dragoons, and I am enjoying every minute of it.

The random encounter system is actually rather well implemented. There is an on-screen indicator showing the increasing likelihood of an encounter. I find that the encouter rate is actually rather low. Also, from the first moment of the game, you have access to "charm potions", which appear to cut the encounter rate in half if you are in a hurry to get somewhere.

The progression of the game is at a nice pace. Not too fast, but not too slow. The game is 100% linear, but that's just fine with me. It manages to be linear without the "running from cutscene to cutscene" feeling you get with modern games. I have yet to feel like the game was wasting my time, or that I was doing something that was not progressing the story. If you read reviews, a common complaint is that the story doesn't really get interesting until disc three. Well, if I am currently at the "boring" part and having a blast, then disc three must be mind-blowing. The story, while using many standard RPG elements, has kept me interested the whole time.

The random battles are relatively easy. I am not sure if I am over-leveled because I never run from battles, but random battles barely give any experience anyway. The boss battles are where you tend to gain levels. The random battles are where you practice your combat skills (raising "addition" and dragoon levels). I do find that morphing into the dragoon during a random battle is rarely worth the trouble. That's fine. I'd rather it be an option than required. The boss battles, however, have always been tough, and dragoon form there helps immensely.

I find the battles and "addition" system very interesting and fun. I can't help but think that the people who give this combat system a poor review are just frustrated because they are poor at it. It does require accurate timing to maximize your attacks, so if you frequently make mistakes, it can significantly lengthen the battles.

The pre-rendered background graphics are amazing. By far, some of the best I have seen. The same can't be said for the character models, though they get the job done. The sound effects fit well. The music, while definitely not the standard RPG fare, really grows on you as you play. There are only two different combat tracks (plus one for boss battles), but I still find myself bobbing my head along to the music in every battle.

Overall, I find this to be an excellent game, right up there with the other great PlayStation RPGs.

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Edited: 07/12/2012 at 11:23 AM by Zing

Jul 13, 2012 at 1:40:22 AM
zigzagzarf (2)

(Deez Nutz) < Gran Tourist >
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I had a friend talk me into trying that game about a year ago...great game amazed I missed it so long

Jul 13, 2012 at 2:32:47 AM
Zing (23)
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(Daniel Corban) < Kratos >
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I played for another few hours tonight, and the battles were much more difficult in this part. I actually had a game over!

Shana is so weak. I'm trying to tough it out with her, but she only deals 20 damage at best, and her Dragoon powers are almost useless.

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Jul 13, 2012 at 9:28:07 AM
Razorblade1812 (0)
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(Tobias ) < Cloud >
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I used to play the demo of this game, back when I was young. Even though I really don't like RPGs.

It's such a shame that this game never became popular over here in Europe and Australia (Only to be outsold by those craptastic common Take-Two titles that doomed this game (Along with Team Buddies and Vib-Ribbon) into absolute obscurity and turned the game into a valuable collector's item ever since), but became popular in America and Japan and sold very well over there (It's the same thing with Castlevania SOTN, Megaman, Twisted Metal and Vigilante 8).

Jul 13, 2012 at 2:34:54 PM
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(Sjoerd Rutten) < Alucard >
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you make it sound like a must play Zing.. I have this in two versions (normal and press kit) and it's always been on my to-do list.. might take it off and actually play it!

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Jul 13, 2012 at 2:42:55 PM
Guyra (3)
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< Chrono Crosser >
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Certainly sounds like a game I'll have to play. I'll keep the title in mind so I can grab it somewhere one of the following months.

Jul 13, 2012 at 5:06:50 PM
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< Fox Hunter >
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I doubt I will be able to snag a physical copy, it's a real rarity in the UK But I definatly intend to get it off the US PS Store as soon as I have completed a few games on my list.

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Jul 13, 2012 at 5:12:18 PM
Guyra (3)
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< Chrono Crosser >
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Loads of copies on eBay, though they don't come cheap. There's even a promo copy there. ^^

Jul 13, 2012 at 5:28:01 PM
Zing (23)
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(Daniel Corban) < Kratos >
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The game has that Dragon Warrior feel where you go to a town, do some business there, fight some locals, then move on. The story is slow moving compared to modern games, but it is still very enjoyable even 11 hours in. I'm still on disc one, so either I am playing slowly or there is a lot of game here.

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Selling half my NES/SNES/PS1 collection (ending Dec 1):
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Jul 14, 2012 at 10:13:16 AM
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Xed (67)
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(Sjoerd Rutten) < Alucard >
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the game is definately not a common, but it's not too rare either
i'd say it's a 6/10 rarity, but the value is usually around 60 euro for a PAL copy

I also have the press kit which is incredibly rare imho

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"When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up" - C.S. Lewis

aka XtinctHeD and Dr. Retro

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Jul 16, 2012 at 1:48:31 PM
MetalJesusRocks (0)
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(Metal Jesus) < Baby Bandicoot >
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I was looking at my copy last night thinking "maybe I should finally give this game a go"...and then I see your post. I think I will finally give it a shot!

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Jul 16, 2012 at 2:32:13 PM
Zing (23)
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(Daniel Corban) < Kratos >
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I made it to disc two last night and the story is getting more interesting. I actually felt like disc one could have been a complete game itself. The final "boss" was pretty tough. It's as if disc two starts a whole new game.

I've discovered five of the six dragoon elements. I do have a sixth party member now, so I assume the sixth element will be discovered soon. The dragoon thing is pretty cool, but overkill for most of the random battles. The only problem I have is that, the whole benefit of the dragoon power is to use the opposite element against your enemy. However, you don't know what element your enemies will be until you are already in the battle, and then you can't switch! They really should have allowed at least a one-time switch of party members at the start of battle.

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Jul 25, 2012 at 5:11:15 PM
Zing (23)
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(Daniel Corban) < Kratos >
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This game just keeps impressing me. I can totally understand how someone could feel this was "their FF7". It has the same production value, and I feel even a little better. The story flows much more smoothly. The music has hooked me and it doesn't have that jarring feeling as in the first couple hours.

There is a part where a character smashes open a door with his fist. It's great.

I am also repeatedly impressed with the battle field graphics. Every battle is fought in an area that closely resembles the overworld area. You often see the exact same buildings and objects. It's great.

I had my second "game over" last night, mainly due to my lack of buying potions despite being in a town. I almost won the battle, thanks to Shana's dragoon healing spell. I had the enemy in the red before being wiped.

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Jul 25, 2012 at 5:59:14 PM
Guyra (3)
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< Chrono Crosser >
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Yeah, I need this game. xD

Jul 29, 2012 at 10:36:21 AM
Zing (23)
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(Daniel Corban) < Kratos >
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The game difficulty is starting to ramp up. I just completed the ghost ship part, and the battles were actually rather difficult and I tried to avoid them if I could. The boss battles now are also getting ridiculous. I had three "game overs" in my last boss battle before I was able to pull off a victory. I have been rotating through my characters, to build up their additions and spread the experience around, so everyone is level 18-20, but I wonder if this is making the game more difficult.

I guess I shouldn't complain, since it was a little too easy until disc two.

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Jul 30, 2012 at 1:12:16 PM
Zing (23)
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(Daniel Corban) < Kratos >
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I now have six (out of seven, I assume) dragoon spirits. The last battle was pretty nuts, and would have probably resulted in another wiped out party if it hadn't been for Dart's "special". It's odd that the manual makes no mention of the special abilities, and I don't recall reading anything in-game, either. You can use the special ability when everyone in your active party has maximum spirit. Once you have this, any of the characters can activate the special. The result is that the battlefield becomes enveloped in the element of that party member, apparently boosting damage from that element and reducing damage from the opposing element. This effect lasts until the initiating party member exhausts their spirit.

I was shrugging off these massive water spells until the special wore off. Then the water spell was hitting me for up to 500. I mentioned this before, but this factor would be a lot more interesting and strategic if you had the opportunity to swap party member at the start of the battle. As it is, you have to make a lucky guess as to when you will be in a large battle and of what element type you will be facing.

A weird thing happened in my last play session. Dart and Rose travel through an extremely short cave together with a couple villagers. They don't talk to each other and there is no significant event inside. Yet, when you arrive at the next town, several of the characters act like something romantic happened inside. Rose even acknowledges that there was a moment together. Even weirder is that the little kid who traveled with them starts asking about sex, directly asking if what they did was sex! I don't know if something was cut from the USA version of the game, or this is just due to poor translation.

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Selling half my NES/SNES/PS1 collection (ending Dec 1):
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Oct 2, 2012 at 2:33:10 PM
Zing (23)
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(Daniel Corban) < Kratos >
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I've reached disc four and have yet to find a dull moment.

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Edited: 10/02/2012 at 02:33 PM by Zing

Oct 8, 2012 at 5:52:05 PM
Auronn (0)
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(Stijn Nachtergaele) < Jersey Devil >
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Wow, I love to read through this topic. Keep us updated please. I have a PAL hard copy of the game and really love it. The game is so underrated. The story has a major turn on disc 1, so I find it strange people say that is the boring part.
I never completed the game, still have to find time for that . But please, keep on entertaining us with your experiences!

Found the game a couple of years ago for 35 euro, found it a good price a 'buy now' prices where around 80 euro. It's in great shape. Had to have this game as I remembered it from renting it when I was still a little boy . I'm an amateur collector and it's the game I love the most.


Edited: 10/08/2012 at 05:54 PM by Auronn

Apr 11, 2013 at 1:25:27 PM
Zing (23)
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(Daniel Corban) < Kratos >
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Overall, an amazing game. One of the best, if not the best, RPGs I have had the pleasure of playing. The story moved along well and was rather solid and coherent until the very end section on the Moon. It kind of lost me there at times, but I may attribute that to taking a few months off when I reached the inn there.

I must say that the ending FMV was rather odd. Maybe it made more sense in Japanese. What mainly threw me off is that the voices didn't seem to match the in-game voices, and the characters even looked a little different, so I initially didn't even know who was on-screen. The post-ending sequence was rather cool, though.

I won the final battle with Dart, Albert, and Haschel. I would have preferred Meru or Kongol, but Meru was about three levels below everyone else, and Kongol had no addition or dragoon levels. I assumed Kongol would eventually get a dragoon spirit, so I was waiting for that to happen before using him in the party.

The game took me 48 hours to complete, the longest game I have ever played. I have played games that felt much longer, though (Breath of Fire, Lufia). This game didn't drag at all. There was actually 48 hours of plot and activity throughout the game. I never had the sense of filler. I may actually restart the game today, but without the intent of completion, just to relive the first few hours.

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Selling half my NES/SNES/PS1 collection (ending Dec 1):
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Apr 17, 2013 at 8:20:23 AM
Mr Sega (4)
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(Mr Sega) < Chrono Crosser >
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Hey! Like everyone else i've had this game for a couple of years and have never touched it.
Might do soon after reading this thread.
I have the PAL 4 disc Promo version from what I remember, its like Black and silver (I hate it as would rather have normal version), although this is rarer.

Jul 17, 2013 at 1:37:08 PM
Zing (23)
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(Daniel Corban) < Kratos >
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I'll just mention that I did immediately restart the game and play through the first three hours again. It's that good.

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Selling half my NES/SNES/PS1 collection (ending Dec 1):
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Sep 14, 2013 at 9:00:24 PM
HayaoMiyazaki (1)
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< Jersey Devil >
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This game is highly under-rated. Enough said. Let's be honest. . . it get's thrown under the rug as soon as someone mentions FFVII. In my opinion, it's one of the best RPG's out there. Unique combat system, a diverse cast of characters that you can control, and a story-line that is pretty captivating to say the least. Before I go full fanboy, anyone who hasn't played this yet, should definitely give this a try ASAP!

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Oct 6, 2013 at 3:53:06 PM
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(Lachlan Jackett) < Bandicoot >
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I remember hiring this game from my local video store when I was 9 or 10, every weekend for 2 months, loved it so much, such a shame it kinda slipped under the radar, glad it's been found again!

Oct 6, 2013 at 4:35:34 PM
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Vivi-gamer (5)
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< Fox Hunter >
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I started playing this then the next day someone mentioned a vital spoiler - Needless to say I spoiled his day in return... So people because of that I will not be playing Legend of Dragoon for a year or so >

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May 26, 2014 at 8:15:42 AM
Zing (23)
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(Daniel Corban) < Kratos >
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I don't even recall anything in the game that I would think could be a critical spoiler.

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Selling half my NES/SNES/PS1 collection (ending Dec 1):
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