Dragoneer's Aria Review
Dragoneer's Aria box art
System: PSP Review Rating Legend
Dev: Hitmaker 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: NIS 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Jan.27, 2007 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Only 10 mana can be saved and brought into battle at one time. If the enemy is particularly strong, that can be precious little to kill them off. In fact, this restriction can get you and your party killed. Even if you manage to escape a battle, the monsters can hunt you down later. Although you can see how powerful the monsters are when you first encounter them, you can't tell what they are so you won't know what abilities to use. It's virtually impossible to avoid battles, and you can't take them by surprise, even though they have no trouble doing that to you.

Dragoneer's Aria screenshot

You can replenish your mana in battle, but that leads to a lot of blocking and general avoidance which drags the battles out far too long. A mana boost attribute will allow two characters to increase their energy points from 50 to 300 with a special attack. As long as the other characters keep the energy meter high, you'll be able to survive. But you shouldn't have to be forced to using one main strategy for all the difficult battles. There should not be a limit on the mana so that we can just go in and kick some butt, especially if we've earned it. That would speed things up and make it a more interesting game.

In the Field category of skills, you'll appreciate the ability to speed things up by being able to run across the map. I can't even imagine how boring this game would be without this feature. The only map is the one in your party menu, and it's about as generic as can be. All of the menus look drab and generic. Even the game graphics don't have much in the way of excitement. The colors are subdued, and the monsters and environments take on the appearance of origami (folded paper) - except that origami actually has the appearance of three dimensions. You'll encounter the same monsters in different skins, sometimes nothing more than just a different shade of green. The anime-inspired characters don't look terrible, but they could be from any RPG released in the past decade. Elves, magicians, dwarfs, spirits, dragons, and the typical scantily clad chick with a personality disorder are all on tap. The voiceacting is weak, but I wouldn't expect anything more. Musically the game holds up better. There is a variety of themes from single instruments to fully orchestrated themes. But I don't buy an RPG for the soundtrack. And neither should you.

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They say the show's not over until the fat lady sings, but Dragoneer's Aria should be the first song in the plump gal's repertoire. It's over before it begins.

By Cole Smith
CCC Senior Writer

Features:

  • Sweeping, epic story of love and adventure!
  • Dragon skills add more exciting options to fight.
  • Addictive gameplay experience. Eye catching, full of life characters
  • Massive access to customization and crafting
  • Distinguished character design
  • Ad hoc multiplayer network mode, called Dragoneer Mode (2 to 4 players) lets you team up with your friends and fight against a dragon.


  • Rating out of 5
    Rating Description

    2.7

    Graphics
    Drab looking environments. Characters and object suffer from too much geometry.

    3.2

    Control
    The control system works well, but so many situations are out of your hand.

    3.4

    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    Good soundtrack, bad to worse voiceovers.

    2.0

    Play Value
    Even the multiplayer mode isn't enough to make you want to go back.

    2.8

    Overall Rating - Average
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

    Screenshots / Images
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