August 15, 2007 - Hironobu Sakaguchi, the man who gave us Final Fantasy, has once again had his vision brought to American audiences, only this time it comes to a Microsoft console exclusively. Sakaguchi isn't the only well-known designer to put his stamp on Blue Dragon, either. Akira Toriyama, known for his work with Dragon Ball, provided the character design. Nobuo Uematsu, whose previous credits include Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VIII, composed the music. But is this all-star cast enough to finally give Microsoft's Xbox 360 an answer to Final Fantasy? Unfortunately, it looks like the wait continues.
While Blue Dragon is by no means a bad game, it fails to reach the lofty expectations that have been placed on it. The pacing and story are unlikely to resonate with American audiences the way more adored RPGs do. And while the turn-based combat has an interesting skill system, it isn't enough to allow one to overlook the game's shortcomings. Still, as traditional and old-fashioned as Blue Dragon is, it is at the same time somewhat unique just because the Xbox and Xbox 360 libraries have been so thin in this genre. If you've been waiting and pining for a good JRPG on a Microsoft console, your prayers have been answered. Just don't expect a game on par with the classics.
When we say Blue Dragon is traditional, we mean it. The character design looks just like everything else Toriyama has done and the turn-based combat is the same style of action you've been playing for years. In fact, there is very little you can point to in Blue Dragon that hasn't been done multiple times over before. Shu, Jiro, and Kluke begin the tale as children who quickly become gifted with a magical power. Along the way, they're joined by a cat-like creature and a rogue-ish lady to do battle against a great evil. Very familiar, indeed.
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ESRB Content Descriptors: Alcohol Reference, Crude Humor, Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes
Features: 720p Support, Dolby Digital 5.1, Downloadable Content
Media Size: 3 DVD-ROM