Blue Dragon

Posted by staff | Posted in Role Playing | Posted on 28-10-2010

5

  • Innovative RPG gameplay features
  • Massive scope and engrossing environments
  • Stunning graphics
  • Dazzling character design and effects
  • Famed developer: Mistwalker is a creative company founded by Hironobu Sakaguchi, the original developer of Final Fantasy

Product Description
Product InformationFamed game producer Hironobu Sakaguchi of Mistwalker and developer Artoonpresent the highly anticipated Xbox 360™ exclusive Blue Dragon. Featuring thecharacter design of Akira Toriyama of Dragon Ball Z and music by Nobuo Uematsuof Final Fantasy Blue Dragon is an epic role-playing game that centers on ayoung boy named Shu and several of his friends.These unlikely heroes possess the power to control phantom shadows thatmirror the actions of their … More >>

Blue Dragon

Comments posted (5)

Blue Dragon brings back a lot of good memories of classic RPGs ive played over the years. While not groundbreaking in any way, Blue Dragon takes all the eastern rpg conventions to near-perfection.

This may come off as a kids game when you see the childlike characters and cartoony animation style, but for every time you see some cute animals dancing you hear someone yell “that bastard!” or you encounter some ridiculously challenging boss. even the hardcore RPGer will find a challenge in some of these bosses.

The music is always fitting and usually quite beautiful. when you have the composer of FF I-V would you expect any less? i gotta say though, the boss battle theme feels a bit out of place. the total cheezemetal wouldnt be as bad without the vocals, and i know Ian Gillan (Deep Purple) is capable of much better. the voice work was all done exceptionally well though, with the main character Shu being voiced by the same actor as Izzy from the original cast of digimon. very recognizeable voice. i hadnt seen that show in at leased 5 years and i knew who it was right away. thats kind of pointless info, but i thought it was cool.

The main thing that drew me toward this game was the job system. If you’ve played Final Fantasy V you’ll feel right at home with this job system. you select a class (sword master, black mage, ect) for each character. you can freely change class when not in battle, and as you grow in each class you learn the skills and abilities associated with that class. as your characters grow in level you can unlock new classes for them, although there are only 9 classes total, which i found a little disappointing; however, the job system is still my favorite aspect of the game. character growth and trying to balance the right mixes of classes for each is done better in this game than most others ive played. its simple yet very effective, like most aspects of this game.

Graphically, i think this game looks great. the world is full of unique and beautiful environments. from the characters to the environments and buildings, this is Akira Toriyama art all the way. this is one of the most cinematic games i have ever played. impressive pixar quality cutscenes and animations abound.

Blue Dragon plays out in the standard turn based style, however, there are no random encounters. you see your enemies walk around the areas as you explore. making contact with them will start the battle. when the battle starts you have a list of commands (attack, defend, spell, ect) and you choose one for each character. i feel a much stronger sense of strategy in this than any other game like this ive played. there is a list at the top of the screen showing you the next 4-10 turns. certain skills can be charged to increase power. the more you strengthen the attack, the more turns you have to wait for it to actualy happen. the charging is done with a mini game similar to the 3 click swing of golf games. little things like this add some extra depth to the combat.

the story itself doesnt shatter any conventions by any means. if you’ve played Japanese RPGs before you know the idea. evil being trying to overthrow the world/ragtag group of young heros set out to stop him and meet new friends along the way. its just that, like the gameplay, the characters and their underlying stories are done so well. i find myself actually caring what fate is in store for these characters. nearly everyone in this story has such a strong sense of charm and perseverance that you cant help but root for them.

The experience offered by Blue Dragon will make the seasoned RPG player remember exactly what got them into these games in the first place. For those who havent played one of the many Japanese RPGs over the last 20 years, this is one of the best places to start.
Rating: 5 / 5

My son and I have been playing this game together and have really been enjoying it. He’s almost 9, and yes, they say the word bastard a few times, but he’s so engrossed in the storyline that it hasn’t been an issue at all.

The game itself has been quite fun (we aren’t done yet, currently on disc 3). The only problem is that we are up to boss fights now, but our levels are suddenly not near high enough. So now we are just putzing around grinding levels. I have WoW for that =P It’s much more fun to follow a storyline than grind, especially in this game, so I wish they had planned out the leveling better.

Other than that no complaints.
Rating: 4 / 5

Blue Dragon is yet another highly anticipated XBOX360 title. Not completely for hype, however, but more because of the men behind the game. Hironobu Sakaguchi, Akira Toriyama and Nobuo Uematsu. Sakaguchi is, of course, the famed created of the never-ending Final Fantasy series, Akira Toriyama is a famous character designer for the Dragon Quest series as well as Dragon Ball and Nobuo Uematsu is the music composer for the Final Fantasy games and a contributor to several other games. The only man missing from this “dream team” is Yuji Horii, the producer for Dragon Quest. The last time these men teamed up we got what is arguably one of the greatest RPGs of all time: Chrono Trigger. So, of course, with a game like Chrono Trigger under your belt, as well as the Final Fantasy series, expectations for Blue Dragon are high. Do they live up? If you lower your expectations they do, but for the most part, this game is more of an introduction for those who aren’t familiar with Japanese RPGs.

You play as Shu, and as the game begins you fight a Land Shark, a monster that’s been terrorizing the village of Talta. Shu and his friends Kluke and Jiro have a plan to get rid of the Land Shark by leading him into a trap. Not everything works out as perfectly planned however and before he knows it, Shu is waking up in some ruins alongside his friends. This is where your journey ultimately begins.

The reason it seems as though Blue Dragon is an introduction to Japanese RPGs is simple: Everything about it is simple and basic, and there’s really nothing too “deep” here. When I say simple and basic, I’m not kidding. The story is pretty basic. Mostly because you just don’t feel like it’s going anywhere. The characters don’t help either and neither does the writing. However, sometimes simplicity is key. Because of how simple the game is, the learning curve isn’t so steep here. And while the story and characters are nothing special, the gameplay elements are.

Akira Toriyama’s work here is obvious. The characters look like they were pulled straight out of Dragon Ball, the monsters look like they’re pulled straight out of Dragon Quest. The characters are obviously children, and a lot of the game is rather “cute” looking but the game is very beautiful looking. The cutscenes are great, and some of the voice acting is pretty good (albeit at times annoying).

Gameplay wise, Blue Dragon is like most of your traditional RPGs. There are no random battles, just enemies out on the field that you battle upon making contact with them. This means battling is largely optional. There are, of course, times when monsters are in your way and you’ll be forced to fight, but for the most part, there are no random encounters and that’s a blessing. In battle is rather simplistic. It’s a lot like battling in the NES installments of Final Fantasy and the Dragon Quest series. It’s entirely turn based. This means that there’s some time for strategy, and the game encourages it. You know when your enemies are going to attack and you can plan accordingly. Blue Dragon adds a little something to its field system though. The Attack Circle. Outside of battle you can make a circle to engage multiple groups of enemies at once. This helps to clear out areas faster, but the real gem of this is to get two enemies that hate each other into battle and watch as they attack each other before they attack you. In the long run, this really isn’t something you’ll do a lot. Blue Dragon is by no means a hard game.

A slight problem with the battle system however is framerate issues. Turn based battles are usually slow as it is, but here you’ll find they’re even slower and it isn’t because you have to spend time watching every action, it’s because the framerate dips and the game lags.

The abilities system is quite unique at least. You select a job, learn the abilities in that class and once you learn abilities you can mix and match them all you want. You can change jobs whenever you want as well. It’s a great and interesting system that allows for tons of customization. It also a great way to provide some strategy in the long run. This is because certain classes will have a direct effect on your stats. For example, a sword master gets a large boost to his attack and defense. Mages get a boost in magic abilities. The system is very similar to the job system found in Final Fantasy V

Blue Dragon isn’t a bad sounding game, but Nobuo Uematsu has certainly done better. For the most part, what you get in terms of music is actually pretty good, though you won’t find yourself humming most of it any time soon. As I said earlier, the voice acting isn’t so bad, but there are some moments when it can be pretty annoying.

Blue Dragon is by no means a bad game. It’s just a game that didn’t reach as high as it could. It sticks to simplicity and basics. Basic storyline and basic characters. Certainly that’s not always a bad thing, but in this day and age, no RPG can survive on gameplay alone. It needs a good story and good character development. Both of these things, Blue Dragon lacks.

Pros:

+Some nice visuals

+Simple gameplay elements

+Battles encourage strategy

+No Random Encounters

+Job system allows for a lot of customization

+Great cutscenes with some decent voice acting

Cons:

-The story is not interesting

-The characters are nothing special, either

-The game is far too easy for veterans of the genre

-Dips in frame rate in battle are annoying
Rating: 3 / 5

I loved the leveling system. How you can use the best skills from all the classes. Reminded me of Final Fantasy Tactics! The only issue I had with it was that I took a wrong turn and fought some harder guys in the beginning of the game and then the rest of the game seemed too easy. I never had to use any of my items except for boss battles.

This is a must have for anyone that’s into RPG’s.
Rating: 5 / 5

I have enjoyed playing this game. Like most RPG’s you can save anywhere in the open world areas but once you get into another type of area there can be long times between saves. It’s a pretty easy game I haven’t had to take time to level up in order to win battles. Money is easy to get in this game, so it makes it easier to buy things you need. If your looking for a nice simple RPG to play for a while or a starter game for younger players, this is a good one.
Rating: 5 / 5

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