I heard many good things about this RPG because it has Rieko Kodama as the producer who works with the Phantasy Star series, Kazuya Niinou from Etrian Odyssey and the music composer of the first Ys game Yuuzou Koshiro.
7th Dragon tells of (as the name may suggest) dragons that have descended upon the world, growing poisonous plants known as "Waro-Waro". Your party members wake up three years later after the attack on Kazan and it is up to you, one of many aspiring "Huntman" heroes, to defeat every one of them. Simple. Along the way there are plenty of side quests that affects what events you come across during the story telling.
Upon starting the game, you create your character by choosing a class out of seven and giving him/her a name. You then create your own guild, create three more characters to join you and spread out the skill points. Have to commend Sega for letting the player enter names using the touchscreen instead of the usual d-pad and button combination!
The general flow of the game and difficulty level feels very similar to Atlus' Etrian Odyssey. Battles occur randomly (which I don't really like), are turn based and requires a bit of good planning to win. The good news is there are items to lower the encounter rates slightly. Tougher enemies are visible and join the battle you're in if you take too many turns. And last but not least, new equipment becomes available as you sell material to the shops which is a nice touch from EO rather than waiting until you've beaten the next boss.
Few things that make 7D different is that quests is that they only become available once you come across the right NPC instead of having a bunch of them ready for you after a certain amount of time like most RPGs. Initially dungeon maps are also filled with the deadly Waro-Waro Flowers that suck away your HP as you plough through them so you have the optional objective of clearing out the dragons to make it easier traversing the dungeons. Exploring and knowing shortcuts is pretty much essential if you're going to make it through with enough HP left to fight the dragon boss and they're not easy to spot.
However, I don't see why it doesn't make use of the touch screen during battles because it's so tedious to cycle through the commands. There's also no quest log to keep track of quests and their details. The maximum number of quests you can undertake simultaneously is three but, it would still be handy to have such a log. On the bright side, it does remember the last command you used for each battle and you can hold down the A button to whizz through the weaker fights.
The 2D artwork is very clean and the Chibi character art is cute. During battles, you'll see them appearing briefly to perform the commands you've given them livening the usually static first person battle screens. Outside of battles, you run around in a 3D world which is fairly well modelled although the textures feel a little bland at times.
7th Dragon appears to be a fun classic style dungeon crawler but with random encounters, a traditional battle system, a thin storyline and pretty much no character development, it's just not my kind of game.
Time Played 13 hours (UC)
- Create your own party.
- Skill points for choosing your own skill set.
- Cute and clean looking presentation.
- Can speed through battles by holding the A button.
- Random battles.
- Thin storyline with little character development.
- Tedious interface - Have to cycle through commands in battle.
- Doesn't keep track of quest details.
- Saving is very awkward.