Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow

Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow

Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow

Should have stayed in bed.

Three games in, and Blue Dragon is starting to feel like a franchise that hasn't quite found its niche yet, perhaps because it spends most of its time trying to squeeze into someone else's. The original Xbox 360 game was an amalgam of every JRPG ever made, DS follow-up Blue Dragon Plus might as well have been called Heroes of Revenant Wings, and this one doesn't so much copy Dragon Quest IX as smack it around the head with an oar, steal its girlfriend and assume its identity. Unfortunately, it's not nearly as good a mimic as Tom Ripley.

You start the game as a self-created character, constructing your avatar from an array of enormous eyes and a modest selection of haircuts, all of which would require a substantial supply of VO5 to maintain in real life. You can't have short or blonde hair, but are more than welcome to choose a green Mohican - not that the 'do matters too much, as it's often obscured by whichever helmet you're currently wearing.

You wake in a mysterious and terribly garish environment having surprise, surprise lost your memory. Simultaneously, a mysterious light appears, stealing all the shadows in the world, thus removing the source of everyone's power, and leaving them helpless against the various monsters that roam the fields of this otherwise peaceful planet. Thankfully, your own is unaffected, and so it's up to you to recover all the other shadows while finding out who you are, why you're the only one still with a shadow, and why no-one ever stops to think the two events just might be connected.

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