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Platform

Nintendo DS

 

Genre

Strategy RPG

 

Publisher

Ignition Entertainment

 

Developer

Feel Plus & Brownie Brown

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

February 24, 2009

 

 

- Over 30 hours of game play in a small package

- Around a full hour of full motion video cut scenes

- Game play graphics that feel like its bigger cousin on the console

 

 

- Some AI issues may frustrate you

- In-game music is a little dated

- Some controls issues at times

 

 

Review: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates (DS)

Review: Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (DS)

Review: Final Fantasy XII (PS2)

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Blue Dragon Plus

Score: 8 / 10

 

blue-dragon-plus-1.jpg (44728 bytes) blue-dragon-plus-2.jpg (19305 bytes) blue-dragon-plus-3.jpg (27427 bytes)

 

When I first heard about this title coming out on the DS Iíll admit I was a little shocked. After all, the game that this is technically a sequel to (Blue Dragon on the Xbox 360) comes to us from Mistwalker studios that are backed financially by Microsoft. Since they donít have a portable gaming device to speak of (Iím not counting the Zune as a gaming platform) I guess it makes sense that they make some money on the market even if itís on a device that belongs to one of their competitors.

 

If you love the universe first seen on the Xbox 360, this game will make you feel right at home. Taking place after the events in the console version, you might find yourself a little lost as to what is going on if you didnít play the earlier full version. Itís not that you canít enjoy this title; you just might find yourself a little confused.

 

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If youíve played either Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings or Heroes of Mana then you are going to feel right at home. Combat will occur as soon as your characters touch enemies and can also happen automatically. The combat and shadow fights all occur in the real time and you can opt to use just the stylus as the sole control mechanism if you wish.

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On the plus side, the animation for the special effects is very reminiscent of what you would have found on the 360 and itís truly amazing how much full motion video is packed on this single cart. There is around an hour of video that actually spans both screens. The quality is very high and the music is top notch. When you are actually playing the game, however, the music reverts to a rather early 90ís MIDI like sound and although it was created by Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu itís still not quite what I was expecting.

 

In addition to the single player mode, the game also features a Legion vs. Legion mode that will allow you to play against someone else. I wasnít able to test out this feature, as it requires two game cards. However, I never once felt lonely controlling 16 humans and Mecha Robos in my battles.

 

Itís not quite as strong as what you might find in some of the Final Fantasy versions on the DS, but this is still a strong title for the portable system that could and worthy of your consideration. If you are a fan of the original on the 360 there is no question you should pick this up. If youíre new to this universe, it might just convince you to try out the first Blue Dragon. Besides, a new one is on the way!

 

Syd Bolton

June 16, 2009

 

Syd Bolton is the Curator of the Personal Computer Museum (www.pcmuseum.ca) and has been playing games since the days of the Coleco Telstar.

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