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Blue Dragon Plus

_ethos_ethos MemberFull Members
edited February 2009 in Staff Review Blogs
Saturday January 31st
5:00pm Eastern Standard Time
My girlfriend's house
I'm writing this blog post from my iPod so don't expect an epic -

So I had just started playing the original Blue Dragon when I was given the portable follow-up to review so let me say this first off: if you, like me, are one of the few people who actually really got into Blue Dragon then don't play the DS title until you beat the 360 one. Everything will be spoiled. And quickly. But that warning aside I'm trying to tackle this one as somebody who isn't lukewarm about strategy games. I did play, enjoy, and almost beat Revenant Wings so don't think I'm a hater.
Anyway, I'm just about two and a half hours in and I can say that it becomes pretty fun once the world opens up. The customization is as fun as Mac suggested in his impression. I don't particularly enjoy that the party splits up, but that's just a personal preference at the moment so I can't really knock the game for it.
Well I'll give more feelings about it when I'm not typing on an iPod. But I did alright! Maybe I'll write the review like this!

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Thurday February 5th
1:00pm Eastern Standard Time
Studio 2
Listening to some Porcupine Tree -

So I've put some more time into this sucker and it's growing on me while also making me slightly more aggravated with it.
First off, perhaps this is in the instruction manual I don't have, but the tutorial certainly didn't tell me that the game is secretly grid based. It makes SO much more sense when I'm directing the characters now. When my only RTS DS experience is Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, I'm not going to expect a grid especially because it doesn't seem to help the game in any way. Sure, some moves only work in a straight line, but a grid isn't required to pull that off.
Anyway, that's kinda dumb. But also, like I mentioned before, some events require that your party split up, and now my party is sectioned off into three different groups. At this point in the game, I just don't have enough characters to make strategic parties, and it's trial and error to see which characters to bring with which party.
Luckily, except for locked story-essential characters, you can move party members around, but it's more of annoying guesswork and shuffling than strategy at this point.

But onto the stuff I like.
Once you're past the non-stop cutscenes in the intro, you're brought into the overworld and there are a pleasant number of options. Each party (including some enemies) has a turn to take an action. These include a field move (like the original game), the ability to search your currently location for items, and the ability to fight a non-story battle to improve your level and job rank. This gives the game some proper breathing room and adds to the great feeling of customization that Mac accurately mentioned in his preview. But if you just take up all your moves just searching for items, some enemies will eventually move to you forcing you to partake in battle which helps to keep the pace of the game feel balanced.
I also think Blue Dragon Plus is doing a better job retaining the feel of the game its based on as opposed to Revenant Wings. But the abilities and options are changed enough to not feel like you're just re-playing a strategy version of Blue Dragon.
Anyway, I'm sounding very definitive for only about about 7 hours in (and that's with Ethan style of play; a lot of grinding), so don't draw too much from this post.
Anyway, I should probably get ready for headlines or something.

_e

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Monday February 9th
12:45pm Eastern Standard Time
Studio 2
Still listening to some Porcupine Tree -

So this game has become notably addictive. Although I can't tell if the entire game will take place in this one overworld since it keeps branching off and getting bigger, so it might not...
But every time I've said something about this game, it has a habit of tending to exactly the issue I'm talking or thinking about. too many cutscenes and no chance to take a breather? The overworld and menu screens are introduced. My party is spliting up into too many pieces? Here, gain the ability to equip multiple shadows. I'm still in the process of completing the 360 game, so I can't comment on the validity of the plot twists, but they would be spoilers anyway.
Anyway, I'm having more fun than I expected with this game, but there are definitely some issues I have, I'd just rather keep this blog focused on the positive.



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