Blue Dragon [import] review

Microsoft's role-playing flame has set 360 alight in Japan


  • Fun and involving story
  • Throwback to old-school RPGs
  • Breathtaking score


  • Turn-based battles showing age
  • Story isn't very deep
  • Doesn't try anything new

Here we are, then - the first proper Japanese RPG to hit 360. While we’ve had Enchanted Arms (neat and quirky, but hardly an epic, and so obviously an early stab at 360 role-playing) and some other small-fry Japanese outings that will never reach these shores, Blue Dragon is the first aiming to be in a similar league to Final Fantasy: a gargantuan game world, enough cut-scenes to spend an entire afternoon watching and grand boss fights that arrive on an almost hourly schedule. Oh, and it’s 1080p-enabled, which helps to explain why it’s a game that needs three whole discs.

In terms of the big-name renown involved in Blue Dragon’s making, and how much weight it’ll carry for long-serving adventure fans, the developers involved can boast the original Sonic the Hedgehog and the creation of Final Fantasy on their resumes, the soundtrack has been composed by Nobuo Uematsu, responsible for most of the amazing music that’s gone down in the Final Fantasy games over the years and the characters have been designed by artist Akira Toriyama, responsible for the Dragon Ball Z characters, and those of million-selling outing, Dragon Quest VIII for PS2.

If the aim was to capture the hearts of RPG players not interested in 360, this is about as great and tempting a setup as you could possibly want. Has it all paid off? Mostly, yes, and especially in Japan, where it’s become the fastest-selling 360 title to date. It’s got plenty of color and slick ideas that have clearly been toiled over in a manner that such an epic game demands. The problem (well, it’s not really a problem...) is that it’s still just an RPG, and any of you out there who’ve long been turned off by turn-based battles and other perennial features will see no great revolution here. But you may be intrigued, so don’t stop reading just yet…

More Info

GenreRole Playing
DescriptionWe'll gladly check out any new RPG from the father of Final Fantasy, and this is his first since leaving Square.
PlatformXbox 360