The Blue Dragon series first appeared on the XBox360 a couple of years ago. It received a luke-warm reception to say the least, but thankfully this DS version is an excellent game in it's own right.
Blue Dragon is back with it's next installment - Awakened Shadow. This time around Blue Dragon is a real-time rpg. It runs on a 3d engine and looks very slick indeed. The level of detail in the visuals is astounding. The DS's full potential has definitely been realised with this title.
The storyline is a stand-alone script. So it won't matter if you're new to the Blue Dragon series. The Japanese translation is decent, and the script flows well. The Blue Dragon world consists of multiple cubes, situated within a central habitat. At the start of the game the player wakes up on one of these cubes, and it's up to the player to figure out who he/she is. - It's your basic 'amnesia' type storyline.
Nothing too original here, and yet it's gripping enough to keep your interest. To Western eyes the visuals will be very familiar. The artist who worked on Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow, also worked on titles such as 'Chrono Trigger' and 'Dragon Ball Z'. So the anime/manga style of the graphics here will probably appeal to most.
The gameplay itself is a part of the game's design that has clearly had a lot of time and effort put into it. It's a 3d system that runs in real-time. You can use the stylus or the buttons for movement and/or combat. Furthermore, it's possible to assign hotkeys for defence and attack moves. So after some practice you will be controlling the on-screen action with ease.
Altogether there's about 40 hours of game- time if you just stick to the story quest. That number goes up to at least 60 if you play all the side-quests. Excellent value for money in anyone's book I'm sure. In- short, this is a very decent back-to-basics Japanese style rpg. There's nothing original here, but that's not really important when you consider how expertly crafted this game is.
Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow is a game that looks great, plays well and has a more than generous amount of content.
Games like this don't come along too often. It loses a star because of how predictable the story is, but maybe that's just me picking holes. Solid entertainment at a reasonable price. Recommended.
I got this game a bit late, a shame you can't play multi mode solo to receive the exclusive chest rewards. It is quite tough and lots of back tracking for its but I played co-op local inbetween most dungeons with my bro so it was quite fun.
This game is truly excellent. I'll admit, it does help to have a friend or two playing with you sometimes, but the single player value in this game is still great as it contains 25-30 hours of story gameplay, and unlockable challenges after you've completed the story.
For those of you who like to move freely when you've encountered monsters in battle, this is the game for you, not Dragon Quest IX, although i did enjoy that game to some extent.
You can create and customize your characters appearance, voice and fighting style to the way that you like it. During the game, you can even unlock new hairstyles, and colours, and new fighting styles too!
As i was saying before, having friends to play with can have it's advantages, because you can work together during battle, but when you're out of battle, you can sneakily attack each other when your friend is not expecting it, which can be fairly amusing! Also, you can obtain items in multiplayer mode that you cannot find in single player! Which is very exciting, and you can brag to yours friends when you obtain an item with an 'S' Rank.
I've been waiting for a game like this to come out on the DS, so i'm glad it has. It's similar to Final fantasy crystal chronicles, but i think it's better. The music is great aswell! It's produced by the same composer as the final fantasy games. Enough said.