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XBL: Blue Dragon Demo Up

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Posts

  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    I played the first bit of the demo for about half an hour, killed a boss and then turned it off. It seems like a fun game suffering from a poorly constructed demo so I am strongly considering picking it up. My main hang ups are the graphics and the plot though.

    I thought I could deal with the DQVII graphical style but I eventually drifted away from that as I couldn't really face it any more, these ones at least seem a little better as although they still suffer from the same style they don't seem quite as boring.

    As for the plot, that was the other thing which killed my interest in DQVII, so could anybody, without actually telling me anything of the plot, tell me whether it is strong (such as was present from the snes era up to the tenth Final Fantasy)? I play my RPGs for epic stories and I always feel ripped off if I don't get that.

    Err, nobody knows?

    Zombiemambo on
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  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Given that people are now playing the game I was hoping for a few more first impressions.

    Mojo_Jojo on
    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • BaronVonSnakPakBaronVonSnakPak Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    it has been out in japan for awhile. see if you can find any translated reviews.

    BaronVonSnakPak on
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  • SushisourceSushisource Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    it has been out in japan for awhile. see if you can find any translated reviews.

    Whoa, so they actually put it to release with the horrible framerate drops?

    Sushisource on
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  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    Given that people are now playing the game I was hoping for a few more first impressions.

    People are playing the demo?...

    Zombiemambo on
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  • BaronVonSnakPakBaronVonSnakPak Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    it has been out in japan for awhile. see if you can find any translated reviews.

    Whoa, so they actually put it to release with the horrible framerate drops?

    uh, i guess?

    to be honest, the framerate doesnt bother me that much, i dont know why.

    BaronVonSnakPak on
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  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    Given that people are now playing the game I was hoping for a few more first impressions.

    People are playing the demo?...
    And other people are playing the full game, why is this so hard for you? I'm aware that it isn't out in most places yet, I just wanted to see if anybody had any handy links and/or personal opinions based on the full game's plot.

    Mojo_Jojo on
    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • bruinbruin Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    There are a handful of English reviews out there, ranging from 8.5 to 9 - http://gamerankings.com/htmlpages4/927950.asp

    bruin on
  • projectmayhemprojectmayhem Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I was really pumped about this game, but as someone said before, I think FF12 has spoiled me when it comes to rpgs.

    I couldn't really see anything really wrong with the gamy, it just bored me.

    projectmayhem on
  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Maybe they'll grow on me, but the graphics don't do anything for me. Look too much like Dragon Ball Z for my taste.

    jclast on
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  • bruinbruin Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    jclast wrote: »
    Maybe they'll grow on me, but the graphics don't do anything for me. Look too much like Dragon Ball Z for my taste.

    Even if you're not into the character design (I don't hate it or love it personally), many of the environments look so, so good. Best use of depth of field I've seen in a game. Not quite up to Pixar quality like Sakaguchi wanted, but I think it's a beautiful game. One of the better on 360.

    bruin on
  • RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Yeah, the field of depth in some areas is fantastic. I just went to one village that was built into the side of a mountain wall and climbing up the various stairs and then looking down below was a lot of fun.

    Judging from the 5+ hours I've played of the Asian English version, the plot is nothing special. The enemy attacks the village of 3 teenagers, the teenagers get swept up into the action, they gain special powers, and then they set off to try to defeat the evil while helping people on the way. Very standard RPG plot. However, the characters are likeable, the cutscenes are sprinkled liberally throughout the game (what else would you expect from a 3DVD game), and the cutscenes range in quality from pretty to gorgeous. Some visual highlights include the evil purple clouds approaching, falling off of an airship, and various vehicles.

    Some more thoughts now that I've had a chance to play it longer:

    Dungeons and world map exploration can take a while (the last dungeon I played was a multi floor medical facility that took me about an hour and a half), but luckily save points are frequent enough. Plus in an emergency you can use the Warp ability that you get a couple hours in which allows you to teleport to any Warp point in the world that you've activated so far. Of course, the ability is disable in certain dungeons and story sequences, but it's useful nevertheless.

    Magic functions basically identically to Final Fantasy V: magic comes in 6 levels and individual spells need to be purchased or found (aside from the basic Wind & Heal spell that you get when you gain your shadows).

    Charging up spells has different effects depending on the spell. Charging some spells increases the power whereas other spells charging results in a wider area of effect. Also the charge speed varies depending on the spell. Thankfully, you can check out the specific information for each spell in the encyclopedia that you get early on.

    The XP needed to rank up a Shadow = 2 times the current rank. So reaching Rank 2 costs 2XP (Rank 1 x 2), Rank 3 costs 4XP (6XP total), Rank 4 costs 6XP (12XP total), Rank 5 costs 8XP (20XP total), and so on. Since higher levels cost more XP, you have to decide if you want to have a highly specialized character who just focuses on a single class or if you want to create more of a jack of all trades sort of character.

    Stealing has a rather high rate of success on larger enemies which is very nice. Lots of items that can be used in combat so much that selecting item in combat gives you a submenu where you pick what type of item (Attack, Healing, Support, etc.).

    There are no weapons in the game (after you get your shadows, all attacking is done through them). However, each character has 4 slots to equip various accessories which give noticeable stat boosts. Also stats increase based on the type and rank of your currently equipped shadow.

    For people who are curious about the different shadows and haven't tried the demo they are:

    Sword Magic - Physical attacks with elements attached to them. Gets an Attack All enemies skill early on (less damage, but 0MP cost).
    White Magic - Healing magic. Gets an Item Effect up (+40% based on my testing) skill early on.
    Black Magic - Attack magic. Gets a Restore MP while walking skill early on.
    Support Magic - Buffs and debuffs. Haven't tried it yet.
    Barrier Magic - Defensive magic and traps (damages enemies when attacked)
    Assassin - Your basic Rogue class with stealing and useful non-combat abilities. So far, stealing and Negotiate are both very useful (Negotiate cuts store prices dramatically).
    Defender - Defensive warrior. Haven't tried it yet.
    Monk - Warrior who is able to charge up physical attacks for massive damage.
    Generalist - Has skills that increase the number of skill slots for equipping skills (up from the 3 slots you start with) plus gives the ability to equip extra accessories.

    5 and a half hours in and my characters are about LV10, have unlocked 2 additional shadow classes and have shadow ranks in the 8-12 range. If I had been focusing on just one shadow class a character, the ranks would be higher, but I'm still trying out different classes.

    All in all, the game continues to be very fun. It's very traditional in its setup (despite some innovations like monster infighting and field skills), but for a traditional JRPG, it's highly polished in both gameplay and presentation. If you enjoy Dragon Quest 8 and the old SNES RPGs like me, you'll probably love it.

    RainbowDespair on
  • AoiAoi Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Any issue with the frame rate?

    Aoi on
  • SushisourceSushisource Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Aoi wrote: »
    Any issue with the frame rate?
    Yeah, it drops pretty bad every once in a while.

    Sushisource on
    Some drugee on Kavinsky's 1986
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  • BalefuegoBalefuego Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    That sucks, because the game is fucking beautiful otherwise.

    Balefuego on
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  • EvangirEvangir Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I'm pretty sure he's referring to the demo. We're not sure how the retail version plays.

    Evangir on
    PSN/XBL/STEAM: Evangir - Starcraft 2: Bulwark.955 - Origin: Bulwark955 - Diablo 3: Bulwark#1478
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    edited July 2007

    All in all, the game continues to be very fun. It's very traditional in its setup (despite some innovations like monster infighting and field skills), but for a traditional JRPG, it's highly polished in both gameplay and presentation. If you enjoy Dragon Quest 8 and the old SNES RPGs like me, you'll probably love it.
    Thanks for the impressions. It sounds like my worries may have been founded then.

    Mojo_Jojo on
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  • AoiAoi Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Aoi wrote: »
    Any issue with the frame rate?
    Yeah, it drops pretty bad every once in a while.


    The full version, not the demo. See, in my time with the 360 I've definitely noticed that demos running from the hard drive often times don't run as well as they do on final disk version, which is odd I know. So since he's played the real version, I'm wondering if there were any frame issues since I've read several import reviews and none mention anything about them.

    Aoi on
  • RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I haven't noticed any frame rate drops, but then again, that's not the sort of thing that I tend to notice unless it's severe. I have noticed some tearing with the visuals (I think that's the correct term; you know the stuff that turning on the V-Synch options in PC games usually fixes) while exploring dungeons. In any case, it's a turn based RPG, not a fast paced action game so it doesn't bother me much.

    RainbowDespair on
  • MisterGrokMisterGrok Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I can't stand the character design. Otherwise, I would be really into this game. Is there a way to put paperbags over the heads of all the characters?

    I'm reminded of FF9, another game where it was a lot of fun to play but I just couldn't get into it because the character design was shit.

    MisterGrok on
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  • BalefuegoBalefuego Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I haven't noticed any frame rate drops, but then again, that's not the sort of thing that I tend to notice unless it's severe. I have noticed some tearing with the visuals (I think that's the correct term; you know the stuff that turning on the V-Synch options in PC games usually fixes) while exploring dungeons. In any case, it's a turn based RPG, not a fast paced action game so it doesn't bother me much.

    The framerate drops in the demo are bad enough that it would be impossible not to notice, so it's good news that it seems it dosent have the same problem (or at least not nearly as bad) in the retail version

    Balefuego on
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  • Tapeworm711Tapeworm711 Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Yoshitaka Amano (character designer of FF9) is an AMAZING artist. http://www.amanosworld.com/

    The only issue with Akira's work is alot of the characters look like other characters he has designed. Yoshitaka doesnt have that same problem.

    As far as blue Dragon is concered, I love RPGs , but as much as I reallly want to love this game, it just may be a bit to slow as far as combat is concered for me to enjoy.

    Tapeworm711 on
  • BlackjackBlackjack Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    The only issue with Akira's work is alot of the characters look like other characters he has designed. Yoshitaka doesnt have that same problem.

    O_o

    Blackjack on
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  • RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Balefuego wrote: »
    I haven't noticed any frame rate drops, but then again, that's not the sort of thing that I tend to notice unless it's severe. I have noticed some tearing with the visuals (I think that's the correct term; you know the stuff that turning on the V-Synch options in PC games usually fixes) while exploring dungeons. In any case, it's a turn based RPG, not a fast paced action game so it doesn't bother me much.

    The framerate drops in the demo are bad enough that it would be impossible not to notice, so it's good news that it seems it dosent have the same problem (or at least not nearly as bad) in the retail version

    I went back and tried the demo again and I believe the demo has slightly longer load times & slightly more visual glitches than the actual game. Then again, it might just be the area shown in the demo (I haven't reached that point). Oh and after you brought it up, I did notice some moments when the frame rate dropped, usually outside on the world map. I don't think it's a big deal personally.

    I was afraid the combat would be too slow as well, but now that I've gotten used to the system (knowing when to charge and when to skip it), it's not an issue. It's not nearly as fast as SMT: Nocturne, but it's nowhere near as slow as FF9 either. From exploration to combat takes about 5 seconds, half of which is loading, the other half is the camera pan to show the enemies. Regular attacks are quick, spells aren't too flashy, and the cutscene summons can be skipped. Plus the game is good about letting you pick when you want to fight and when you want to avoid combat which helps eliminate tedium.

    I will admit that many of Akira Toriyama's hero designs look similar, but what a lot of people seem to overlook is that he also does the monster designs. I'm very impressed with the monster designs I've seen in Blue Dragon so far: they're similar in style to the monsters in the Dragon Quest series (which is understandable since he was also the character designer there), but unlike the Dragon Quest series, they couldn't just take monsters from older games and reuse them. The bosses are plenty impressive and even enemies that would normally be mundane in other games like wolves & skeletons have flair to them that renders them memorable. Also whereas many RPGs take themselves too seriously, there's a lightness about his designs that I find refreshing.

    Anyway, I'm up to about the 10 hour mark. I must say that the Underwater Cave dungeon had absolutely stunning visuals: some of the best I've ever seen in a videogame. The difficulty has ramped up nicely: although it's nowhere near Shin Megami Tensei "afraid you're going to die in every random encounter" levels, enemies have started to put up a fight now and boss encounters are keeping me on my toes. I can see this game having a good deal of replay value for me between the unlockable harder difficulty levels and the large amount of strategy available in both character development and actual combat.

    So far, I only have 2 achievements out of around 40-50. From the look of things, most of the achievements are aimed at late game play: stuff like maxing out character LVs, acquiring optional ultimate equipment, defeating hidden bosses, mastering all of the shadow classes, getting a ton of gold, etc.

    I like how there's a good amount of variety in enemy party setups. Sometimes you'll face one or two enemies and other times, you'll face half a dozen. If you combine enemy parties with the enemy fight ability, things can get quite epic (one of the achievements is to start a fight with 10 enemies). Also like in Dragon Quest, the monsters have a good deal of variety in their attack behavior.

    Earthbound lovers rejoice! Noticeably weaker enemies than you tend to run away from you while you're exploring. Also there's apparently a field skill that lets you automatically defeat any group of enemies that is noticeably beneath you.

    One of the coolest things I've managed to do in the game so far: in one dungeon filled with undead, there are some scavenger wolves that run away from you (they first show up much earlier in the game so you're much more powerful than them at this point). One of the field skills I had at this point was a skill that makes enemies chase you. I used the skill to lure the wolves towards me and then led them towards some skeleton warriors. Mayhem assumed. Dogs love bones after all. ;)

    RainbowDespair on
  • bruinbruin Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    RainbowDespair, I don't have anything to say except :^: and thanks for the impressions. Can't wait for this to hit the US.

    bruin on
  • EvangirEvangir Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I knew this day would come... *sigh*

    I've always been able to talk myself out of spending 200+ hours collecting every little knick-knack in every RPG I play. I grinded in FFX for hours before talking myself out of completing all of the Ultimate weapons, killing all the bosses in the Monster Arena, and getting everyone's stats to 255...

    But now comes a stupidly long RPG with large numbers of late-game collectibles... and achievements.

    I'm fucked.

    Evangir on
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  • RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    It really is a fantastic game. I haven't been this addicted to a JRPG since Dragon Quest 8 came out nearly 2 years ago. The game has enough innovation to feel fresh while still being traditional enough to feel like an old friend. I mean, when my biggest problem with the game is that it has short loading times instead of no loading times, I know I'm looking at something special. There is no doubt in my mind that this is destined to become one of the RPG greats that people look back at with the kind of affection that people from my generation look back at games like Chrono Trigger & Final Fantasy VI.

    EDIT: Evangir, I'm not sure if this game is an OC RPGers dream come true or worst nightmare. There are treasure chests scattered and hidden all over the place and locked areas and chests that can't be opened immediately. Just about every intersting looking piece of scenery in towns, dungeons, and the world map can be searched with varying results: sometimes you get nothing or a piddlying amount of gold, other times you get some free XP or a useful item or even a small permanent stat boost. There are medals to be found that can be used to purchase Stat Boosting potions and free Shadow Ranks. Then you throw in the multiple difficulty levels and the achievements, many of which look like they would take a substantial amount of time to achieve and well, I'm glad that I decided early on to not worry if I miss some secrets here and there. Trying to 100% this game could only result in complete and utter insanity.

    RainbowDespair on
  • BalefuegoBalefuego Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Evangir wrote: »
    I knew this day would come... *sigh*

    I've always been able to talk myself out of spending 200+ hours collecting every little knick-knack in every RPG I play. I grinded in FFX for hours before talking myself out of completing all of the Ultimate weapons, killing all the bosses in the Monster Arena, and getting everyone's stats to 255...

    But now comes a stupidly long RPG with large numbers of late-game collectibles... and achievements.

    I'm fucked.

    The FFX Ultimate weapons were more frustrating than time consuming.. I got them all except for Wakka's (because fuck if I'm going to play that much Blitzball)

    Balefuego on
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  • LockeColeLockeCole Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I'm not sure if this game is an OC RPGers dream come true or worst nightmare

    Can it be both?

    I actually did get all the ultimate weapons in FFX, the lightning dodging sucked ass, but I actually had to enlist the aid of a younger sibling with better twitch reflexes to help with the chocobo racing.

    LockeCole on
  • BalefuegoBalefuego Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I don't get the people who whine about the lightning dodging. That was like the easiest one. The chocobo racing one did result in me smashing one of my PS2 controllers in frustration however.

    The butterfly chasing minigame was also fucking annoying as hell.

    Balefuego on
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  • EvangirEvangir Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Balefuego wrote: »
    I don't get the people who whine about the lightning dodging. That was like the easiest one. The chocobo racing one did result in me smashing one of my PS2 controllers in frustration however.

    The butterfly chasing minigame was also fucking annoying as hell.

    I did the chocobo race on my 4th try, but I just couldn't get the lightning dodge. My last attempt was a heart-breaking 180ish... I gave up around then (I was only using Auron, Yuna and Tidus by this point anyway).

    And RainbowDespair, thank you for the impressions, and for warning me of my impending doom. I imagine the only thing that will keep me from 100%ing Blue Dragon (Achieeeeeevemeeeeeeents!!!) will be Halo 3's release. Sorry Bioshock!

    Evangir on
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  • PolagoPolago Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I'm pretty sure this game has one of the best soundtracks in years.

    Polago on
  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    PolaGo wrote: »
    I'm pretty sure this game has one of the best soundtracks in years.

    A true masterpiece.

    It's a piece of something alright...

    Zombiemambo on
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  • RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Yeah, the music is great with the only truly questionable choice being the standard boss music. It's grown on me, but I can definitely see how people would hate that particular track.

    Oh and I ran into my first noticeable flaw with the game though it won't affect everyone. The past few days I've been playing on my parents' massive 46" HDTV since they've been out of town. However, today I had to head back to my apartment (needed to be there for a package delivery that required a signature) and I tried it out on my 15" SDTV. Now the game still looks gorgeous, although obviously nowhere near as sharp as it would look on a nice HDTV, but I did notice that some of the fonts are a bit small. Now the smallest font isn't as bad as the smallest font on Dead Rising and with my 360 hooked up through the component cables everything's still legible even on my small TV. However if you're running your XBox 360 on an SDTV and aren't using S-Video or component cables, the text size might prove problematic.

    RainbowDespair on
  • DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited July 2007
    I loved the demo. I mean, sure it was like 3AM on a saturday and I had been drinking, alot, but this game is exactly what the 360 needed, in my opinion. An RPG. Not some crazy new RPG with insane mechanics, never seen before combat systems, and new whatever. Just an RPG. Classic. Turn based. With an awesome soundtrack, polished graphics.


    Man, I can't wait.

    Unknown User on
  • AlgertmanAlgertman Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Zebra Poop Snake

    Algertman on
  • DjiemDjiem Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Algertman wrote: »
    Zebra Poop Snake

    I'm not sure if I should lime it, or red it.

    Djiem on
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Algertman wrote: »
    Zebra Poop Snake
    I really had hoped it was just my lack of a HD TV that was causing me to see one of the enemies named the Zebra Poo Snake.

    Mojo_Jojo on
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  • DjiemDjiem Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    Algertman wrote: »
    Zebra Poop Snake
    I really had hoped it was just my lack of a HD TV that was causing me to see one of the enemies named the Zebra Poo Snake.

    Holy shit, I thought he was just splurting out a random non-sequitur.

    Djiem on
  • BalefuegoBalefuego Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    There's a couple achievements for killing rare monsters with poo in thier name.

    Balefuego on
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