I never played the first Blue Dragon on Xbox 360 but I was interested in it because of how it looked and the genre of the game. It was similar to Final Fantasy but without the iconic name and history.
When I saw that the sequel was being released as aI just had to get my hands on it and see for myself how good Blue Dragon Plus was.
I have to say, I’m very impressed with what I’ve seen.
The story is set a year after the events on the first Blue Dragon, after Shu and his companions destroyed Nene. The world was split in two and formed a myriad of cubes from the depths of the planet releasing ‘The Shadow of Balaur’ who is a huge three headed Dragon.
Throughout the game, there are many FMV sequences that look mighty impressive on the established tiny handheld of the DS and the new Nintendo DSi and shows just what they can do.
The in-game graphics obviously aren’t as amazing, but still really nice, especially in the backgrounds. The characters can pixelate quite a bit and look distorted when the camera gets too close, but other than that, graphically, this is an impressive looking game.
You don’t have to have had played the last game to understand what’s going on in this as it explains it all at the beginning and it’s easy to follow.
On starting the game, you’re introduced to the main characters and a little bio appears telling you about that character and what their strengths and weaknesses are in fights and how best to use them which I found to be very helpful.
In the first game, it appears that only a couple of the characters had ‘souls’ inside them which allowed them to summon that ‘soul’ to perform magic. Each character has a unique soul, for example ‘Shu’ (who is the main character) has a dragon that appears to help fight the enemies.
The combat system is very easy to use and all the fights are in real time rather than the old style turned based systems which seem to be obsolete these days.
The interface is very simple to make fighting a lot easier. On the right on the touch screen are three icons. One to select all your characters, a ‘lasso’ type tool so you can draw a circle around the characters you want to use and the final one is to select single players.
Also if you’re finding it hard to select one of the characters, just press one of the shoulder buttons to rotate the camera around your troop so see from different angles — which comes in very handy during the fights.
When you select one of your characters, icons appear in the bottom left of the touch screen to show you what skills, magic, items that have to use. To use them, make sure you’re locked onto an enemy simply by directing your character to do so, select a skill and hit the green circle that appears and hey presto!! You’re beating the crap out of your enemy.
The fights themselves start off really easy to get you used to the combat system. When you do fight, they’re in missions so as long as you kill off the main threat, no matter how many enemies are left, the mission ends and you move on. This could be seen as an easy way out or a great idea depending on how hard you want to game to be. But with over 30 hours of gameplay, the fights will get harder as you move through the story.
Whether you played the first Blue Dragon or not, if you like your RPG titles then I would definitely recommend Blue Dragon Plus.
3 out of 5