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Nov 15 2012
By: tross88 PlayStation MVP 3979 posts
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Just started playing The Legend of Dragoon.

22 replies 582 views Edited Nov 15, 2012

I find I often enjoy cult classics, and I've heard a lot about this jrpg, so I decided to purchase the psn download of it a while back.  I only get one chance to share my first impressions of a game, so I decided I'd take the opportunity to do so. Yesterday I decided to start playing it on the side(it's not the only game I'm currently playing right now).  As of now, I'm about 3 hours in, and have recently escaped the Hellena prison, and am currently in the limestone cave.  So far, this game seems fairly average for a jrpg of the time in terms of story, setting, visuals, random encounters, etc.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, mind you.  The addition system seems to be the one thing that sets it apart so far.  Pulling off a successful combo is really satisfying.  For some reason Shana doesn't have any addition skills, so she's pretty much dead weight, but Dart and Lavitz are both dealing reasonable damage.  It's not an overly difficult jrpg so far, and getting the timing down for addition skills isn't as difficult as it seemed at first(it was actually pretty easy to get down).  I'm enjoying this game so far.  I'm not sure if I'd call it mindblowing, but it's alright.  I'm not that far into it though.  

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Re: Just started playing The Legend of Dragoon.

Nov 15, 2012

Everyone has their own way of looking at certain games. When most gamers built up their love for The Legend of Dragoon, this was at a point twelve years ago when we hadn't yet encountered many of the later gaming nuances that would evolve RPG gaming for better or worse.

 

The Legend of Dragoon had quite a bit to like at the time. The combo system reminded me of Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. The characters and plot had sort of a Final Fantasy VII thing going on. Though not everyone would name this as the greatest RPG of all-time, it had a certain way about that it that compelled many to play through it and take a liking enough to stick it in their memory binder.


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Re: Just started playing The Legend of Dragoon.

Nov 16, 2012

I really liked the settings in Legend of Dragoon. It has some very memorable cities and locations. The battle system was fun but a little in left-field for my personal taste. I think you'll enjoy the rest of the game!

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Re: Just started playing The Legend of Dragoon.

Nov 16, 2012

I managed to play quite a bit more of the game today.  I just reached Lohan, after defeating Graham and the dragon Feybrand.  The Dragoon system combined with the addition system helps set this particular rpg apart, though I can see some similarities to FFVIII's battle system.  The guard system is a little different too, since it not only reduces damage taken in that turn, but also allows a party member to regain some of his or her hp.  For the most part though, it appears to be a fairly traditional jrpg, but it's more than just a sum of its parts.  It doesn't matter that it's not the most original jrpg, because so far, it does everything right. 

 

Well, there is one thing that annoys me, and that's Shana.  It's not her personality, but the fact that she's dead weight that frustrates me.  She still hasn't learned any addition skills, and now she's the only one who doesn't have the power to transform into a dragoon.  On top of that, she's constantly running off on her own, injuring herself, or succumbing to some kind of ailment that didn't affect the others, yet she insists on accompanying the others, and is convinced that she's a capable enough fighter to be an asset to them.  Wasn't she supposed to be special or something?  Seles was burned to the ground because of her, and Dart had to go rescue her.  Heck, she's the reason the party is in Lohan now, rather than heading back to aid the soldiers in the Seventh Fortress or whatever it's called.

 

Anyways, I might as well change the subject.  I do agree that the cities are interesting.  The architecture in Lohan is particularly fascinating.  Buildings have multiple entrances, and there are sections that can only be reached from one entrance in particular, which can be located on the roof.  I got a lecture from some guy about how the roof is public domain, but that I shouldn't run on it, or else I would make a lot of noise.  Of course I made sure to run over his place, every time I passed it.:smileyvery-happy:  You'd think the roof would be seen as a safety hazard, even though it's relatively flat.  People could fall off, especially children, so you think the builders would put in some railings for good measure, but no.  The streets don't seem to be much safer.  Dart and Shana almost got trampled by an elephant carrying a caravan of goods.  I guess Lohan is a fitting name for the town, since the locals seem to drive like Lindsay Lohan.:smileytongue:  I decided to stop for the night after exploring the first part of Lohan.  I went south, and there's a whole other area that looks even more confusing.:smileysurprised:  I figured I would explore that part another time.

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Re: Just started playing The Legend of Dragoon.

Nov 16, 2012
I wish I had more time for games these days, I was tempted to start my own playthrough of LoD for a second there.
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Re: Just started playing The Legend of Dragoon.

Nov 18, 2012
I bought it last night quite enjoyable. It must have been something to behold 12 years ago. :smileyhappy:

I'm looking forward to playing it after I'm done with Rainbow Moon.
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Re: Just started playing The Legend of Dragoon.

Nov 20, 2012

tross88 wrote:

I managed to play quite a bit more of the game today.  I just reached Lohan, after defeating Graham and the dragon Feybrand.  The Dragoon system combined with the addition system helps set this particular rpg apart, though I can see some similarities to FFVIII's battle system.  The guard system is a little different too, since it not only reduces damage taken in that turn, but also allows a party member to regain some of his or her hp.  For the most part though, it appears to be a fairly traditional jrpg, but it's more than just a sum of its parts.  It doesn't matter that it's not the most original jrpg, because so far, it does everything right. 

 

Well, there is one thing that annoys me, and that's Shana.  It's not her personality, but the fact that she's dead weight that frustrates me.  She still hasn't learned any addition skills, and now she's the only one who doesn't have the power to transform into a dragoon.  On top of that, she's constantly running off on her own, injuring herself, or succumbing to some kind of ailment that didn't affect the others, yet she insists on accompanying the others, and is convinced that she's a capable enough fighter to be an asset to them.  Wasn't she supposed to be special or something?  Seles was burned to the ground because of her, and Dart had to go rescue her.  Heck, she's the reason the party is in Lohan now, rather than heading back to aid the soldiers in the Seventh Fortress or whatever it's called.

 

Anyways, I might as well change the subject.  I do agree that the cities are interesting.  The architecture in Lohan is particularly fascinating.  Buildings have multiple entrances, and there are sections that can only be reached from one entrance in particular, which can be located on the roof.  I got a lecture from some guy about how the roof is public domain, but that I shouldn't run on it, or else I would make a lot of noise.  Of course I made sure to run over his place, every time I passed it.:smileyvery-happy:  You'd think the roof would be seen as a safety hazard, even though it's relatively flat.  People could fall off, especially children, so you think the builders would put in some railings for good measure, but no.  The streets don't seem to be much safer.  Dart and Shana almost got trampled by an elephant carrying a caravan of goods.  I guess Lohan is a fitting name for the town, since the locals seem to drive like Lindsay Lohan.:smileytongue:  I decided to stop for the night after exploring the first part of Lohan.  I went south, and there's a whole other area that looks even more confusing.:smileysurprised:  I figured I would explore that part another time.


Yeah I had some similar complaints with Shana. But anytime a game has deadweight characters, I try to push them out of my mind so I can enjoy the rest of the game. Hahaha.

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Re: Just started playing The Legend of Dragoon.

Nov 20, 2012

Sir-Climhazzard wrote:

Yeah I had some similar complaints with Shana. But anytime a game has deadweight characters, I try to push them out of my mind so I can enjoy the rest of the game. Hahaha.


 

Yeah, I'm pretty sure most people stopped using her immediately after Rose joined the team.  But, you know what?  I'm rotating her in too.  Why?  I want to see how far I can take her, to find out if she ever ends up being useful.  Right now I'm back at Hellena Prison, and after seeing what she can do as a dragoon, I kind of get what she's all about.  Appearances can be deceiving, but she might as well be weilding a staff instead of a bow.  Her initial light power fully heals a single party member.  Shana's the typical healing type character.  The problem is, where a character like that would be useful in most jrpgs, that couldn't be further from the case in this one.  For one thing, in order to use that ability, she needs to transform into a dragoon, which requires her to charge up her sp.  The Legend of Dragoon also emphasizes the guard tactic, and as a result, enemies, especially bosses, can have exceptionally powerful attacks, that do a lot of damage if a character isn't guarding.  In order to gain sp, Shana has to leave herself open.  Moreover, as is common with healers, she has low hp, and terrible def, and doesn't deal very much in the way of dmg.  To make matters worse, she doesn't even have an addition skill, which not only means that she can't chain together attacks to increase dmg, but also that she can only gain 35 sp at a time, like a lvl 1 addition skill.  She also only has one power level to her dragoon attack.  To top it all off, unlike most healers, she doesn't have much in the way of mp, which is a must for a healer.  This girl has to be one of the worst designed jrpg characters from a gameplay perspective.

 

Anyways, I'm trying to keep her even with everyone else, but she has also been out of action quite a bit, which puts her behind the pack anyways.  It's like the devs wanted to make it as inconvenient as possible for people to use her.  Even the game doesn't seem to want her around.  Anyways, I want to increase her dragoon lvl, and I hope she'll gain more dragoon skills, as well as more mp.  I grind her on the side though.  I never use her in a boss fight of anykind, even if it's a sub-boss, since having her in the party pretty much renders those battles impossible.  Ugh.  That's why I decided I'm going to see exactly how useful she becomes, and I'll be sure to share my findings.  I'm pretty sure anyone who drops her right away is right to do so, but maybe putting in the time and effort to lvl her up is worth it in the end.  It probably won't be, but I'm making it my mission to find that out for sure.  Am I crazy?  Probably, but I think this is something that has to be done.  The world has to know if this character has any merits as a party member whatsoever. 

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Re: Just started playing The Legend of Dragoon.

Nov 20, 2012

When it comes to RPGs, I'm kind of obsessive-compulsive about leveling characters. I like to keep them all leveled up fairly equal to each other and keep them in line so that no one gets left behind. You can imagine how trying this was during my Pokemon phase. :smileywink:

 

Although I don't remember if Shana becomes this golden goose that you're looking to crack, I'm pretty sure she was utilized during boss battles. Even if a character is way behind I'll still use them in a boss battle to help them catch-up. The only character I'll never rotate out of battle (usually) is the lead character. In Dragoon's case that would be Dart. Otherwise if you don't have your leader(s) up to code then the supporting member(s) won't be of much use when you really need them to be.


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Re: Just started playing The Legend of Dragoon.

Nov 21, 2012

I'm like that too actually.  I like to have everyone at the same level if at all possible, unless there's a main character who can't be switched out, in which case he or she will be ahead in lvls, while everyone else will be equal.  If I'm given the choice, I rotate everyone out though.  Chrono ended up being at the same lvl as everyone else, since he was able to be rotated out when he came back.  I do make exceptions though.  I don't need all of my Pokemon to be at the same lvl, that would be a nightmare.  I do, however, have one or two pairs of Pokemon that I keep at the same lvl, which includes my starter Pokemon.  I don't actually play Pokemon though.  I did get Soul Silver for nostalgic reasons, but I doubt I'll venture beyond that at this point.  Games like FFIV drive me up the wall though, with characters coming and going over the course of the game.

 

The Legend of Dragoon obviously doesn't frustrate me nearly as much as FFIV.  Thankfully my lvl ocd doesn't extend to other lvls in a game, like a character's dragoon lvl.  For some reason it's only the base lvl that I happen to carefully balance out.  What does make things even more difficult with Shana is that she's already behind thanks to the game, so I have to grind her up just to get her up to the same lvl as everyone else, and it doesn't help that she's underpowered.  I'll get her back to the same lvl as everyone else before long though.  Though I don't use her in boss battles, I use her in every other battle to make up for it.  Also, she seems to gain some exp from boss battles anyways, despite being inactive, so I can rotate her out without too much concern.  Anyways, I'm just about to take on Fruegal.  I decided to save that excitement for tomorrow, since I have a day off. 

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