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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Legend of Dragoon - Initial Thoughts

Purchase Date: July 2012
Purchase Price: $25

There is, of course, a lot to say about Legend of Dragoon, and at this point I'm guessing most of it has been said.  Coming around on the tail end of the PS1 lifespan, Legend of Dragoon was touted as and in many ways looked forward to as the definitive "Final Fantasy Killer."  This, of course was both a tall order and a curse on the way the game was received as I remember it.  The high stakes of those claims of course being amplified by the fact that we were right in the middle of the former series' strongest streak (at least from a popularity perspective) ever.

If anything ever could have done it though (Spoiler Alert:  It didn't) it very well could have been this game.  The odds stacked so high against it, its incredible that this game made a blip on the radar at all, but in the end I feel like commercial success or failure (and I don't really think it was either to be honest.  A lot of people played and loved this game, but it never became the franchise it deserved either) this game won its way into the hearts and minds of many.  In fact, when I first posted publicly that I had begun the Epic RPG Quest, the overwhelming majority of reaction I received was along the lines of "Man, Legend of Dragoon... great game."  A reaction that is, in my opinion, rightfully earned.

The thing is, everyone knows the Final Fantasies of this era are great, and everyone knows of the Chrono Crosses and (to a lesser extent) the Grandias, but this game was a total wild card.  We didn't know shit about it to begin with, aside from the fact that it had set some pretty damn high expectations of itself.  Everything about this game people were discovering anew, from the characters, to the fighting system, to the world and its history and nuances.  All of these things were built and portrayed admirably, and for that reason I think overall it won out the hearts of its players, and now is remembered as just a great game, rather than "the one that tried to dethrone the king," as it was initially touted.

I, admittedly, had never had a chance to play it.  It was always on my radar up until and after its release, however being of the poorer type of gamer, I always shied towards the bargain bin in favor of this beautiful and seemingly unobtainable gem.  Legend of Dragoon just wasn't popular enough for me to be able to borrow/steal the game disc by disc from my friends as I had other games, and there wasn't a franchise name for me to imprint in the minds of my family members time and time again in order to receive it as a gift on any appropriate occasion.  Therefore I was left to my own devices... and my own devices were to go without.

Therefore, this was always at the top of my list of games to acquire a new once my collecting had begun.  Earlier this year, Karl a friend of mine from back home, had come out to attend Comic-Con (as he does each year since I get free passes, and really, who can turn that up?).  The event having come and gone, we were left with a few days to spend in L.A. with plenty of time to fill.  I knew I had to bring him to gamedude, to show him their palate of nostalgia and kickstart the familiar conversations of the games we loved growing up.  While there I noticed they had a copy of Legend of Dragoon sitting on the shelf which hadn't been there in past visits.  Feeling a bit of divinity in this I was sure to swoop it up, even though at this point I hadn't yet considered collecting these games seriously.

Once again, the game sat on my shelf for a solid month, however I always had the intention of playing it, and began just that roughly 2 weeks ago.  I am currently into the second disc of the game, and will continue to update the blog with my thoughts and revelations as I continue to play (as will likely be the format of writing from here on out, just a random spattering of musings based on what I am playing with some overall breakdowns as the one included above when I begin a game.)  I do, of course, have some thoughts to share already, but I will spare you for another day.

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