Breath Of Fire: Dragon Quarter

Breath Of Fire: Dragon Quarter

What we liked:

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What we didn't like:

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DEVELOPER: Capcom   |   PUBLISHER: Capcom   |   RELEASE: 02/16/2003

Breath of Fire series has always revolved around three things, a dragon boy named Ryu, a flying girl named Nina, and a great story.

Well this game is no exception (except for the fact that you name the kid this time). The setting of BoF:DQ is a post-apocalyptic society that lives underground after a disaster occurred upon the surface world. You are a ranger, a government soldier assigned to protect the people from monsters. During a mission something happens (no spoilers) and you become the host for a powerful dragon, using your body as a womb for it’s resurrection-What is it telling you-wait-.listen—oh ok-.He wants me to stop wasting time and tell you about the game. Sure, why not?! I guess brevity can be a good thing-

Cel Shaded Bliss
Cel-shading is becoming more commonplace nowadays, separating from traditional 3-D models to bring you more fantasy, and less reality. Folks, I must say that when it comes to cel-shading, this game takes the whole damn cake! Designs, colors, physics, even lighting effects are superb and also retain the traditional BoF look with a twist (hell, the monsters facial and bodily expressions look so good, that you’ll feel that critical hit you dealt!) Environments are rich with detail and compliment the rustic theme of the game with almost every area seeming like you are the only human left on the Earth (a unique and encompassing feeling that I’ve rarely felt in RPG’s). Effects like magic and attacks are dazzling, and never really seemed to be overdone, everything fitted nicely with every action and occurrence. Basically, graphics were spectacular. Sound was also great, with powerful orchestrations ranging from blood-pumping battle music to mellow ambiences. Sound FX were great, slashing & shooting someone never sounded so good. And the vocals were great (mainly cause is was Japanese) with grunts, n’ groans, ’n shouting, n’ stuff. One drawback in the game was the fact that their wasn’t any voice acting. This is excusable due to the superb dialogue, but the game can get kinda slow with it being so quiet. Of course that is how the previous BoF’s played out, so I can’t complain. Two thumbs up for G&S!

Soak, Rinse, Repeat!
BoF:DQ has a very intricate gameplay system. The main focus of the game revolves around the D- Counter. It’s the meter that shows the growth of the dragon inside of you, and slowly rises the entire game. Every time you give in to your “dragonly pleasures”, the meter increases that much more, and if the counter reaches 100%-let’s just say that the dragon feels like moving out and the kid’s body is just an expenditure. On the field, once again you must use different characters for different situations (but not for puzzles this time). This game is heavily combat-oriented, and you’re about to see why-You are able to set traps and food to give you a tactical advantage before the battle ever starts. I must say that combat is top-notch in this game. AP determines movement, attacks, and some of Nina’s spell effects. Attacks include three levels of attack, the higher the level the more damage and AP consumption. You can also link with other attacks if you have AP to spare, which can result in special combos. Of course, if the monsters are moping the filthy earth up with your mop-top, you can bust a run to a door to escape, but if you are backed into a corner with no escape you can choose to escape at the cost of valuable zenny. One thing that I loved about this game is how damn hard this game is-and how the BoF team knows it! If you are about to die-with an ass load of experience and valuable equipment (And your dumbass used up all of those valuable save tokens to permanently save your game), you can choose to restart the whole game with a good chunk of your previous amount.

The only con in gameplay was the usage of items in combat. You can basically use every item in your pack without a loss of turn, much less any AP loss-weird, wild, stuff-After the battle (Final Fantasy victory tune plays)-thank you-you have a bonus amount of exp added if you use sufficient tactics, and a small amount of exp that you can distribute amongst the party after a battle. All right, all right-does everyone remember in the BoF’s where you could manage something? (fairy colony, town) Now there’s an ant colony, where you hire workers to do some digging, as well as manage shops. And it is imperative that you interact with the colony to stimulate the economy, to help pay the ants’ wages (if you play your cards right, you can make money off of the colony!) What? You thought they would work for free?! What union do you belong to?! Finally, when you beat the game your performance is graded by a decrease in your D-ratio, which gives you the ability to enter certain rooms that you couldn’t unlock with your previous ratio. Also every time you beat the game, certain scenarios are unlocked which will give you a deeper understanding of the game. Gameplay gets two thumbs WAY up!

Ring Of Fire Breath
Never have I enjoyed a RPG so much since Chrono Trigger. BoF Dragon Quarter is a masterpiece and is a must have for all hardcore role-players. Sure the story wasn’t Spielberg but it was still good, and with excellent gameplay, sound, and graphics, BoF: DQ will be a delight to many gamers. After playing this game, I don’t feel so bad about listening to the great destroyer in my head-maybe we ALL should give in to the dark side-(Axtuse does the Dr. Evil pinky) Highly Recommended!!

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