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Dragon Valor – Second Opinion

Erin Bell's picture

Based on Brad's review and my own experiences with this game, I'm not at all surprised that Dragon Valor has gone so long without a second review being written for it. Why did I even bother? Well, let's just say that I got the game very cheap and, since genealogy is a hobby of mine, I was slightly interested in the fact that the game had a family tree in it that followed four generations of Dragon Valors.

The Dragon Valors are supposedly a hereditary line of semi-divine humans who are capable of wielding magic swords and slaying dragons. Yet the execution of this idea, as Brad alluded to, is shaky at best because there is very little fleshing out of each successive member of the family line. I was constantly confused during the game and found myself struggling to understand what exactly made the Dragon Valors so important. Killing dragons isn't exactly central to the game's confusing plot, which actually wanders away from dragons half way through to focus on something else entirely.

There is also very little continuity among this particular family; each new warrior barely seems to know where he came from, and as a result the player is forced to endure multiple variations of the same moment of self-discovery when the character realizes that he is indeed a Dragon Valor because he killed a dragon that he has just happened to come across while in the midst of a totally non-related adventure.

Brad was bang on when he commented that everything about Dragon Valor is about as clichd as they come. The game has a decidedly "been there, done that" feel to it, from the sliding spiky blocks and lever puzzles to the zombies enemies that can be chopped in half and still go after the player by dragging their top halves along the ground.

The levels, too, are painfully predictable. I quickly learned to ignore extraneous passages in the dungeons because I would inevitably have to keep going and obtain a key before doubling back and taking the secondary route.

Brad covered the nice range of special moves that are ultimately rendered pointless by the game's sluggishness and the fact that most enemies are so easily felled. Personally, my repetitive button-mashing move of choice was X-X-R1, which produced an impressive downward leaping stab. There, let it be said that I actually disagreed with Brad on at least one point.

Though Brad and I seem to share all of the same disappointments with Dragon Valor, I will also add the fact that except for a decently challenging final boss, there is no perceivable learning curve to the game. The levels are all more or less at the same difficulty level, which is "easy" save for a few spots that are rendered difficult by stupid control quirks (especially the depth perception issues while jumping) or other unfairness. The same batch of enemies crop up in every single one of the five chapters without any stat adjustments or even so much as a palette-swapped skin to give the illusion of being something different.

I did in fact ultimately finish Dragon Valor; it took longer than it could have because I had to break my sessions with it into small chunks to avoid brain atrophy and left hand strain from constantly holding down the dash button (Brad was absolutely right about this). I'm not necessarily against action games that are on the easy side, but the sheer monotony and repetitiveness of Dragon Valor makes it a wholly undesirable experience. Rating: 3.5/10

Category Tags
Platform(s): PlayStation  
Developer(s): Namco  
Publisher: Namco Bandai  
Genre(s): Adventure/Explore  
ESRB Rating: Teen (13+)  
Articles: Game Reviews  

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