Oh, to be young again. How we long for the days when we were training for graduation from Dragon School, sporting a mullet the size of Oklahoma, and still getting some of Grandma’s home cooking. Such is the life of Valen Kessler, the hero of NIS’ latest role-player Dragoneer’s Aria. It’s heading for your PSP sometime later this year, and we got our swashbuckling hands on a preview copy of the game and took it out for a spin.
For starters, Aria is an old-school, turn-based, so-deep-you-can-fall-in kind of RPG. Molded in the genre’s classic style, you’ll battle enemies, collect jewels and runes, hone skills, adapt weapons, and craft items (among other things) – all in the name of saving your town and destroying evil forces that are bent upon its destruction.
The outfit that’s about to present Valen with his diploma is the protectorate of benevolent elemental dragons – fire, wind, water, and so forth – whose health and well-being allow his world to exist. Unfortunately, a mysterious (and seriously evil) black dragon swoops in to destroy much of the town just before the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” are about to begin. Now, it appears that this nasty fellow is bent on taking care of the good dragons once and for all - this is where our ponytailed young hero comes into play.
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