|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Feel Plus||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: AQ Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 24, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
As far as the story goes, Blue Dragon Plus feels like more of an addendum to the events of the first game rather than a full-fledged sequel. The last game ended with the world splitting into different cubes, and while Blue Dragon Plus certainly acknowledges this, the actual storyline again revolves around a great evil, and begins with the re-appearance of supposedly-dead-bad-guy Nene. Although there are a few nice moments in the story, especially regarding the whole romance sub-plot between Kluke, Jiro, and Shu, the whole thing just felt a little flat and incomplete, especially when compared with the story in the first game.
One area where this title excels, however, is the graphics. Gameplay graphics are pretty standard fare and feature little sprite-based characters and nice 2-D environments. However, it is the cutscenes in this title that really take the graphics to the next level. These cutscenes are pre-rendered and I can confidently say that they are on par with the cinema scenes in the original Xbox 360 version. This is mightily impressive considering the DS's rather limited hardware, but what is even more surprising is the frequency of the cutscenes. In the first two hours of gameplay, I would estimate that I saw about ten 1-2 minute cutscenes, which is a darn good ratio, again considering the DS's hardware limitations.
The sound in Blue Dragon Plus is also very good, and I would say about 90% of the tunes are taken directly from the original title. However, the songs have been remastered and optimized for the DS's small speakers, and the good news is that you'll hear that annoying boss song a lot less. Sure, it's still there, but it won't play during every boss battle, which was a big complaint that players had for the first game.
Blue Dragon Plus was definitely an interesting game for me to review. When I first started playing it, I instantly hated it for changing the battle system, which was what sold me on the first title. However, once I was able to get past my resentment, I found myself enjoying this quaint little title. Though the size and scope aren't anywhere close to its console predecessor, Blue Dragon Plus provides a nice new chapter to the storyline, and if you enjoy RTS gameplay, you will probably like the battle system as well. However, if you are expecting another turn-based epic, well I am sad to say that Blue Dragon Plus is not the follow-up that you were looking for.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor