Revisiting Endiness and The Legend of Dragoon

Hello everyone, I will be subbing as the Fresh Look columnist for my wife Michelle for the near future. Following the nature of the column that she initiated, I will be taking a fresh look at new games or ones that I grew up playing that have been ported over to the PlayStation 4 or other modern platforms. Some of these may be newer, but are too old to do formal reviews on. I want to start with a title I mentioned throughout my previous columns, The Legend of Dragoon.

The Legend of Dragoon was recently ported to the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 as part of the classics catalog. There were a couple issues when The Legend of Dragoon launched such as game breaking soft locks. But they have since patched those issues and have implemented a trophy system. A lot of people, myself included, want either a remaster or a sequel. I wanted to take a fresh look at The Legend of Dragoon and see if it should be remastered.

For those who have not played, the title follows a mercenary named Dart as he pursues a creature called the Black Monster. Over time, the story develops into an end of the world situation that Dart and his friends have to fight. After playing into disc four of The Legend of Dragoon, I felt that my opinion would not change. For those who are too young to remember, some games came on multiple discs that you had to switch at certain points.

What made The Legend of Dragoon one of the first contemporary RPGs was its battle system. Each character minus the archer (Shana/Miranda) used a series of moves called additions. These additions were done by timed button presses during the combo. These ranged in difficulty from the one press combos like double slash (Dart) and Harpoon (Lavitz/Albert) to highly difficult combos such as Blossom Storm (Lavitz/Albert). At first I thought these would become annoying mechanics, but they never interfered with gameplay.

The story itself was nothing stellar and the language localization was not ideal, which was fairly common during the time. An example of this is Haschel’s addition called Flurry of Styx being later called Ferry of Styx. Also, moves that include the words rose, flower or blossom in their names seem to be used interchangeably. This would likely not be an issue during a remaster as localization has gotten so much better since the late 1990’s.

While not perfect, the story has heart and some interesting characters. The skeleton of this game is solid, and I think that is enough to warrant a new version. In general, I feel like the bar has been set so high that titles have to be perfect in order to warrant a remaster or sequel. However, I would argue that The Legend of Dragoon could have been much better had the technology at the time not hindered its playability.

With so many game-based animated series appearing on streaming services, it wouldn’t shock me to see one of The Legend of Dragoon. I feel that if given even a third of the treatment as its main rival Final Fantasy VII, The Legend of Dragoon would offer a fun experience for players. For anyone who has never tried the title, now is a great time to. The port was well developed and depending on what PS Plus tier you have, it may be free.

Join me in my next column where I plan to look at Football Manager 22.

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