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Blue Dragon

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #8 in Xbox 360 Games

Posted

Pros: Great Graphics, Solid Battle System

Cons: A By the Books Adventure, Marumaro's Voice

The first game to come out of Mistwalker, a studio formed by Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. Featuring music by Nobuo Uematsu and art by Akira Toriyama, Blue Dragon was the first game since Chrono Trigger to feature this all star lineup. This game had some high expectations placed upon it.


Story

The world of Blue Dragon is full of Calamity, Purple Clouds have long signaled the coming of the Land Shark, bringing death and destruction with it. Shu and Jiro lost their parents to the Shark and set a trap for it. When the trap fails they eventually find themselves on a floating fortress and are confronted by Nene, an old man and his pet Deathroy who has sent the Landshark purely for his own amusement. The party is quickly defeated and dumped down a hole. Here a voice tells them to eat spheres of light, which grant them magic in the form of Shadows. These shadows give the party the power to fight Nene's forces and they escape from his fortress.

What follows is a fairly straight forward story with a few clever twists along the way. Characters develop reasonably well and the supporting cast is above average. The final boss is also a clever twist on the trope of an unknown enemy appearing right at the end, and it fits perfectly.


Gameplay

Blue Dragon is classic JRPG to it's core, playing almost exactly like a SNES RPG. Battles are turn based with no real time elements. Everything in battle is carried out by their Shadows, which amplify their power, granting them all of their abilities. Leveling up your party members and improving their Shadows is the core of character progression. Magic requires a charge time depending on how strong it is, giving some strategic depth to the combat. Monsters are visable in dungeons and on the overworld allowing you to pick and choose which battles are fought.


Graphics

Mistwalker and Artoon did an admirable job of adapting the graphics engine so that it closely matched the prerendered CG. Even by today's standards the game looks quite good. Akira Toriyama's art and designs transition well to full 3D giving the game an easily identifiable style. Screen tearing is common.


Audio

Nobuo Uematsu delivers a solid if unremarkable sound track that would fit right in with a classic Final Fantasy game. The boss battle music is catchy but completely out of place. The Voice cast is average at best, Marumaro will annoy you to no end. Dual Audio is not present.


Achievement Hunter Beware

Even after finishing the game I was shocked to have only gotten three Achievments through the entire adventure. Don't expect to rack up any sizeable amount just by rushing through the game.


Final Thoughts

Blue Dragon failed to live up to the lofty expectations placed upon it, but that doesn't stop it from being a solid RPG in it's own right. Nothing here is truly original, but that doesn't stop it from being a game worth playing.


Tech Specs

720p at 30fps with 2x Anti Aliasing and a lot of screen tearing
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Blue Dragon
Description:

Famed game producer Hironobu Sakaguchi of Mistwalker and developer Artoon present the highly anticipated Xbox 360™ exclusive Blue Dragon. Featuring the character design of Akira Toriyama of Dragon Ball Z and music by Nobuo Uematsu of Final Fantasy, Blue Dragon is an epic role-playing game that centers on a young boy named Shu and several of his friends. These unlikely heroes possess the power to control phantom shadows that mirror the actions of their masters, giving Shu and his comrades miraculous strength and magical powers. The warriors can create and develop their combat styles by utilizing different types of Shadow Change, including Sword, Assassin, and Power Magic. Shu and his friends must use the shadows as weapons and wield their skills to save their world from impending doom. Encountering various people on a planet where numerous ancient ruins remain, the characters and their shadows travel through a world full of mysteries and illusions, where the slightest touch can cause reactions of unparalleled magnitude. Key Features: Innovative RPG gameplay features: As their quest progresses, warriors can create original attack methods by utilizing several types of Shadow Change, including Sword, Assassin, and Power Magic. You can choose to focus the hero on certain areas of expertise. Shadows level up and gain new abilities associated with the job they are currently doing. Once gained, abilities are not lost and remain available to use when needed. Massive scope and engrossing environments: Shu and his companions battle their way through an immense world filled with vividly illustrated remnants of ancient civilizations long forgotten. Stunning graphics: Taking full advantage of the power of Xbox 360, Blue Dragon engages you in a world and characters that are brought to life with vibrant colors and detail, from Shu's wild hair to his martial arts-style garb, conveying the beautiful simplicity and sense of adventure found in this truly next-generation RPG. Dazzling character design and effects: Toriyama’s unique influence is evident in the design of the game’s anime style characters, as their actions are enhanced with next-gen blur effects. Additionally, the game’s algorithmic animation system adds heightened realism to character and creature movements. Famed developer: Mistwalker is a creative company founded by Hironobu Sakaguchi, the original developer of Final Fantasy. Operated by a handful of experts, the direction of new Mistwalker is influenced by Sakaguchi’s extensive industry experience. Artoon is a digital entertainment design, development, and production company with rich talent and experience. Centering on the design and development of original content, Artoon is mainly involved in the development of software through external cooperation, as well as the design and production of entertainment content in the mobile communication category.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingVideo Game
BrandMicrosoft
EAN0882224465038
FeatureInnovative 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
Item Height0.53 inches
Item Length7.5 inches
Item Width5.5 inches
LabelMicrosoft
ManufacturerMicrosoft
MPN0882224465038
NumberOfItems1
Package Height0.6 inches
Package Length7.4 inches
Package Weight0.4 pounds
Package Width5.3 inches
PackageQuantity1
PartNumber0882224465038
ProductGroupVideo Games
ProductTypeNameCONSOLE_VIDEO_GAMES
PublisherMicrosoft
SKUNAS-B000QW9D14
StudioMicrosoft
TitleBlue Dragon
UPC882224465038
UPCList - UPCListElement882224465038 882224476775
Item Weight0.35 pounds
CatalogNumberList - CatalogNumberListElementA7J00005 882224465038
IsAutographed0
IsMemorabilia0
ModelA7J-00005
Languages - Original LanguageEnglish
PlatformXbox 360
ReleaseDate2007-08-28
OperatingSystemXbox 360
HardwarePlatformXbox 360
IsAdultProduct0
NumberOfDiscs1
AudienceRatingPG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
RegionCode1
ESRBAgeRatingTeen
Genrerole_playing_games
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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