Blue Dragon - updated impressions

Another feature demonstrated during our demo was the strategy of the monster encounter. Battles in Blue Dragon are classic turn-based affairs (this is a throwback to Sakaguchi's work on the Final Fantasy series, after all), but can be manipulated preeminently from the overworld map. You can use items such as bombs, for example, to paralyze enemies and then attack them from behind. That advantage will carry over to the actual fight once it has loaded. Protective bubbles and invisibility are two other possible power-ups.

Finally, we got a look at one of the game's cities. Here, both the smaller details and the larger picture impressed us. Sakaguchi zoomed his camera in on a gorgeous fountain, with sparklingly realistic water created by Ensemble Studios (Halo Wars ), and then pulled it out. And out. And out. It took several seconds before we caught a glimpse of the edges of the town and the entire thing was bustling with citizens going about their daily business. Imagine translating all of their individual dialogue into English and the wait 'til August suddenly seems pretty reasonable.

Headherefor an in-depth look at the full Japanese version of Blue Dragon orhere for the import review. For the latest details on Hironobu Sakaguchi and his company Mistwalker's other hotly anticipated RPG, Lost Odyssey, continue readinghere.

Charlie Barratt
I enjoy sunshine, the company of kittens and turning frowns upside down. I am also a fan of sarcasm. Let's be friends!