The good thing about the gameplay is that it's a snap to pick up and understand. Soon you'll be mowing through hordes of identical soldiers like so much grass, racking up experience and finding new weapons. Outdoor missions let you mount Nowe's dragon at will, which can help speed up the massacre. Unfortunately, there's not much more to it. Each weapon has an amazingly small list of attack combos, and it's usually best to stick to the simplest, for efficiency's sake. The dragon bits are not much better, with fireballs and lock-on shots cribbed from Sega's dragon-riding cult-hit Panzer Dragoon, but little else. Despite the existence of multiple characters who can wield unique weapons like staves and axes, neither the on-foot or mid-air action has nearly enough variety or depth to last for the 25+ hour campaign. In fact, it started wearing thin after two.
Disappointingly, developer Cavia hasn't improved the technical aspects much, either. The on-foot camera is still a hassle, and the graphics aren't especially good for such a late PS2 release (the game does move smoothly, however.) On the bright side, the story, while less bizarre than before, is still compellingly dark, and the soundtrack and voices are both more than capable of supporting the tale.