Ethos’ Relapse Part 4 – Blue Dragon

Blue_Dragon_LogoNow Riddles said Lost Odyssey did a very good job of emulating a traditional old-school RPG on a modern console, but I don’t fully agree. The battle system is more involved and more focused on magic, the presentation is a little experimental, and there’s not an overworld in the same way there is in so many traditional RPGs.

In fact, I’d say – for all things better and worse – my pick fits the description a lot more. Blue Dragon is almost element for element an experience you could find on your SNES. The plot and mood is paper thin, combat – although it can include more involvement than, say, FF1 – is very straightforward and mostly menu-based. And the job system, while a complete blast, is really just a barely expanded version of what I just saw with FFV.

That being said, however, if I’m able to take the game at only gameplay value it really is top-notch. The battle system is one of the most enjoyable of its turn-based family, and the menus are – in my opinion – slick and attractive. The battles are thankfully not entirely random, and while the job system is nothing revolutionary, it goes back to to raw addictive nature of the job system in FFV and the ability system in FFIX. It is a RPG for not only the traditionalist, but for those traditionalists who only like the raw niche mechanics of a genre that doesn’t misuse the term “traditional”.

Like Riddles, this week has reminded me why I love the genre that got me to love gaming while at the same time making me realize why it is such a niche genre. The reasons I love to play a RPG just aren’t widely shared and so won’t be largely catered to. Still, I’m glad to have relapses like this to spark the love I still have for leveling up and money-hoarding. But for now, bring on Mass Effect 2, bitches!

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