Meta-Review: Dragon Force for PS2
Radiant Silvergun and Panzer Dragoon Saga aren’t the only Saturn games that command a high premium on eBay. Dragon Force was one of the best RPGs on Sega’s 32-bit system.
Fortunately, Sega is re-releasing Dragon Force on the PS2 with enhanced graphics and sound (without butchering it like many of their other updates). The remake features large 100 vs. 100 army battles and has 20 more playable characters — 50% more scenarios and over 20 new tunes compared to the original Saturn version. Due to the massive amount of content, Dragon Force is the first Sega Ages title released on a DVD-ROM.
This new version was delayed enough in Japan, and the possibility of a US release is looking grim. And since this is a RPG with Japanese voice actors, this will be a challege if you’re not fluent.
Working Designs was apparently interested in publishing the US version, much like they did with the Saturn version, but they have recently closed their doors.
“The story and premise remain the same. Selecting initially from six characters, your goal is to lead your armies to take over the continent of Legendra. You move along with enemies on a realtime world map, and when you come into contact with an enemy, your forces enter into battles featuring a couple of hundred sprites fighting it out. When not fighting, you’re responsible for managing your country, castle and generals…
As the battle begins you select a formation for your massive army, which can reach up to a hundred warriors. Once the formation is set you can’t directly control each troop. Instead you shout commands like move forward, retreat or pincer attack. If you want to be active you can shout more commands or utilize your general’s special attacks. Or you can sit back and watch your army slash through fifty dragon sprites. Either way there’s something satisfying in watching two sprite armies duel to the death.”
“Screenshots in the magazine reveal a mix of new and old. Battles still take place from a side view, with characters displayed as sprites that look a little blurry the closer they get to the screen…. Overall, Dragon Force on the PS2 looks similar to what it looked like on the Saturn — a great relief…
What you’re really buying when you get Dragon Force is a classic game that blends fast action and the strategy RPG genre. If you haven’t played this game before go out and get it. If you have played it, I’m sure your copy is on order.”