Thursday, 29 September 2016

Dragoneers Aria

Here's a game that I doubt all that many people have heard of but one that I've, at time of writing, just finished playing.  It was released in 2007 as a PSP and while it isn't the worst RPG you could ever play it sure is pretty fucking bad.

In this game you play as typical JRPG girly man Valen (who's name is different if you put the voices in Japanese) as he goes on a quest to save the world from an evil black dragon.  On the way he meets a bunch of other characters which include a girl in a mini skirt, a loli and an elf who fills the role of grumpy magical ass wipe.  From there you fight through a typical JRPG plot that is so cliche if that if I tried to go into any more detail on it I'd probably fall asleep at my keyboard.

Falling asleep during play seems to be the main feature of this game because when you aren't suffering through the badly acted and predictable story scenes you're contending with it's incredibly slow turn based combat.  It's one of those games where you put all the commands in for each character before a turn starts, which is fine, but then the animations that play for each command feel like they are being fed to you through power point and on top of that they sometimes have to load which makes combat an absolute chore.  The interesting thing about the combat though is that all the characters have a shared mana bar which builds up as you hit things with normal attacks and then any spell you cast comes from that shared pool which makes strategizing each long boring turn at least a little bit interesting.

The game also has a magic system similar to Final Fantasy 7 where you slot your equipment with Mater...I mean Lusces and each spell levels up individually.  The problem is, the other type of skills that you get, the dragon skills, are just generally better in every way and all the magic outside of the heal and physical buff are useless.  There's also a crafting system which I never used because all the gear you get from shops is good enough to bash stuff around the head with and you have to go so far out of your way for materials it's almost never worth it.

One feature that sounded interesting was the games "Dragoneer Mode" where you can team up with 2 to 4 people via the wireless LAN to raid dragon nests for items and experience however in combat you only control your one character rather than an entire team.  However I never got to try this feature because I have more chance of finding an alchemical formula to turn my shit to pure gold than find another person who owns this game.

Not a terrible game but extremely mediocre and filled with useless features and game play mechanics you'll never use.

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