Blue Dragon Reader Review

Having played through the Asian version of the game (Japanese voice acting, English text), I am happy to say that this game lives up to its pedigree. Quite simply this is the best Japanese console RPG to be released this year (yes it's even better than FFXII which is no small feat). The graphics are superb which is a given. Uematsu's music is great and should be familiar to Final Fantasy fans everywhere. The story whilst being traditional JRPG fare (little kids saving the world) is well executed with great character development and good dialogue. The Japanese voice acting is superb (not sure about the English voice acting off course) and the localization is good as well.

The combat system is where this game really shines though. Firstly there are no random battles (yay). Secondly there are a number of cool ways you can interact with enemies in the field. Thirdly the Shadow job system is not only well executed but extremely flexible, allowing you to mix and match a selection of skills to meet your strategy. Couple this with a play time of at least 35 hours and you have a must have Xbox 360 or for that matter general gaming purchase. Don't miss out on this title amid all the higher profile releases this spring :).

BTW I am not a 30 something Japanese dude, and my first experience with a Final Fantasy title was FFVII on the PS1. If you are a fan of JRPGs, then this is definitely worth a try despite what the Eurogamer review may say.

9 / 10

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