Following the major announcement of its next blockbuster Dragon Quest VIII, Enix came forward with the announcement of yet another PlayStation 2 title. This time however, it was neither an RPG nor a graphical adventure. Drag-on Dragoon is an action RPG featuring as you might have guessed ...dragons.
The game takes place in a long forgotten past where dragons were still seen flying in the sky. In this world two great forces, the Empire and the Allied Powers have long fought for world domination. At the beginning of Drag-on Dragoon, the Empire's power has grown to fearsome proportions, as it prepares to invade the castle where the Allies have hidden away the Goddess. The fate of the deeply shaken world now rests on the shoulders of one man: Kaim, a 24-year old prince who has not only lost his kingdom, but also the ability to speak. During an attack of the Empire's most powerful weapon the Black Dragon, the small kingdom of Kaim's parents is devasted, his younger sister has to bear the "Mark of the Goddess" and his parents are killed. Now he has to save his sister, revenge the murder of his parents and above all save his world from peril. On his quest for revenge Kaim will be riding on the Red Dragon. He will also receive support from Leonard, an excellent short-range fighter. The third character which has been revealed so far is Fliae, the 19-year old sister of Kaim who was been bearing the "Mark of the Goddess" for five years. Since she is forced to live a life without any kind of freedom, she has entirely given up hope. Having lost all affection to life, she doesn't even feel to give any kind of relief to anyone, not even to her brother.
For the game's CG intro movie Enix hired Sasaharagumi. The Tokyo-based company has already worked for industry heavyweights like Square and Capcom and looking at Drag-on Dragoon's impressive introductionary FMV it shows.
Gameplay-wise, the game gives you the freedom to freely explore the ancient world on the back of your dragon. Nonetheless, players always need to be on their guard, as enemies lurk everywhere, be it on the ground or in the skies above. Hence Drag-on Dragoon offers three different battle modes: You can either fight air battles high in the sky, mid-air battles during which you strike at enemy forces on the ground from above and last but not least hand-to-hand ground combat. To ensure you are not out powered by the hordes of enemies, your dragon and the various weapons can be upgraded in Panzer Dragoon RPG-fashion.
Cavia's tale of a tragic hero and mighty dragons seems to have the potential to become another addition to the PlayStation 2's growing list of recommendable action RPGs. Enix has yet to comment whether this well polished action RPG which will be available in Japan sometime this spring, will see the light of a stateside release.
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