Playing Dragon Warrior VII is like having sex - you DO IT!
Wow, been a while since our last gaming review? Well, Kayn-based gaming review, no less. Or more. Or SMORE, because I like smores. Mmm...
When I think of the words "old school," I think of Space Boy and mullets. Often these words are referred to gaming as well, whereas people yammer on about old NES games, SNES stuff, and even as far back as the Atari days.
Well, whatever it is, I like old school style gaming. My very first turn based RPG was Dragon Warrior, which was released back in '86 or so (when I was 6 years old) playing as the descendant of Edrick. The Edrick story continued until Dragon Warrior IV, where I believe the games started to branch away from that bloodline or something. That kinda disappointed me in a way, because the only real links to the original game was the fighting engine, some spell names, and gameplay. Which I suppose is a good thing, but I do like it when sequels link to original games like DW II and III did. But hey, whatever.
Dragon Warrior VII is um, well, an old school new game. It has old school DW style gameplay, with new school stuff and goo. Most American gamers who are huge DW fans have played the first 4 DWs, but missed out on VI and VII. Thanks Enix of Japan. Assholes. They give you four great games, leave you hanging since the NES days, until out of the blue they bring DW VII to the states. It's like warm water, hot water, COLD WATER, super hot water again. Bad, bad move.
(FYI, I finally did get to play DW VI, thanks to some clever translating groups, and I must say I was very impressed with that game. Enix really should have brought that game here, I felt it was up to par with Chrono Trigger, but to each his own.)
A lot of websites who have reviewed this game HATED it. I suppose I can see why. The game is LONG. It's terribly long. It's a chore to play. Anyone who is lacking patience wouldn't finish this game...unless they downloaded a walkthrough for reference purposes, like I did. :) I must say, if it weren't for that walkthrough, I probably would be only halfway through this game right now, frustrated as ever. How can a game get this long and tedious? Where in the development of this game did they decide to make it...a virtual NOVEL? Wait no...longer than that. Much longer. After I did finally defeat this game, I felt like I had accomplished a great feat of gaming-ness. Actual WEIGHT was lifted off my shoulders when this game was over. That's bizarre...
The jist of the game is this: You are Hero guy. Actually, wait...you're not. You are fisherman's son. Yeah, you're nobody. One day, you wake to see your father off as he sets sail to get fishys, and your good friend Keifer (who is a prince, of course), finds some thangs out about some hidden ruins that have been deemed 'forbidden' by the King, whom is King of this single lonesome island in this world. Well, Keifer's a little fucker, so you and him go exploring with Maribel, the local bitchy neighbor girl, and find some interesting thingys. Then the game really begins when you place your first shard on one of the altar things, and you get teleported to a new world.
It takes a long time for the game to start. It takes even longer to get to the first battle. It takes even LONGER to get far enough to get stronger. It takes a LOT longer to get anywhere significant, and it taked an eternity to finish the game. Finding the all the shards to start freeing lands from the grasp of the Demon Lord is a commitment. Ever want to commit to playing a game? Well, DW VII may just suit your fancy.
Probably my favorite part of this game is the enemy animations. Holy poop! Every single enemy (and there are HUNDREDS of them) are very, VERY well animated. This is something that kept me interested in playing. Akira T. (the Dragon Ball Z artist guy, HURRAY FOR DRAGON BALL Z!) did the character design and stuff, which I must say, this guy is the mayunn. Everything from that disgustingly cute slime guy to the meany demon lord is just...animated bliss. To animate every single hand drawn enemy MONSTAR like that must have been quite a chore. Props to Enix foe dat.
Another quirk, though a little dull, is the overhead graphics, where you walk around. Replacing the neato 2D standard graphics with the bulky 3D ones with crazy textures, Enix attempted to 'wow' the user with the spiffy new 3D overhead graphical fun! Since this game is on PSOne, and they had to make load times really, really short, the resolution of the graphics are very low (like around 320X200 or so, maybe even lower), plus the animations for the people, including your party, are also drab. Everything in that aspect looks very 16 bit...in some cases, DW VI has better graphical quirks than DW VII. Yeeouch.
Though the CG Sequences are few and far between, I have to comment on how HORRENDOUS they are. I've never seen worse CG in my LIFE. Final Fantasy VII destroys DW VII's CG. Hell, the CG I've seen in that old music video, "Color Teeveeeeee" from the 80s is better that this shit. They really should have left this out. Way out. Terrible, terrible, SUCK!
Musically, DWVII is good. Just good. Nothing spectacular. The main battle music isn't annoying, which is a tradition in DW games to keep the annoyingness away. You know, since you'll fight about 800 battles in this game. My only complaint is that the game uses the same music over...and over...all town music is the same. All castle music is the same. All cave music is the same. It kinda makes the game more boring...thus making it longer. And this game is really, really long.
Long, detailed, and long again. Should YOU play this game? Well...I don't know. Millions of Japanese gamers loved it. Then again, millions of Japanese also love Tenchi Muyo, which is probably the stupidest anime crap I've ever seen. They're weird, those Japanese*. But, in the long run, if you like challenges, love RPGs, have a load of spare time, and lack a social life of sorts, then I would pick DWVII up and start your LONG journey to kill bad guys. Once you start, you won't wanna stop, and this could mean a great deal of your precious time.
*Disclaimer: Pluh.com is not prejiduce against the Japanese. They bring many great things to the US, such as Dragon Ball Z and other cool thingys. Just some of their shit is really bizarre, that's all. Like, why does Mega Man have a girly voice, when he's a MAYUNN?! It doesn't work like that! STUPID!
|Gameplay||Pretty fun. LONG LONG LONG LONG LONG LONG LONG||3.5|
|Graphics||The battle animation alone make this game shine. Overhead graphics are stupid.||4|
|Music/Sound||Music is so-so. Sound is very 16/8 bit.||3.5|
|Replay Value||You can't get everything the first time you play it, that's foe sho'.||4|
|Originality||Dragon Warrior is definately Dragon Warrior. Or something.||3.5|
|Final Verdict: 3.7|