Excerpt: Dragons in games are generally there for you to slay, of course there are exceptions, such as Drakengard and Panzer Dragoon, where the scaly beasts are friendly. Getting to the point, we can now add Dragonner’s Aria From Hitmaker (crafters of the underrated Blade Dancer: Lineage of Light) to umm…both lists.
Conclusion: There’s so much to do, and so much depth in this game. Individual stats are raised independent of level, and can be affected by choices in armor and armor-junctioned spheres. Recipes are used to develop potions and new pieces of weaponry, so though you have money (as all monsters carry cash), you can fashion your upgrades on the fly. This is a game for those who love numbers, pieces, and parts. And it’s dubbed in Japanese or English, per your preference.
Excerpt: Looking at the PSP's library as a whole, the one thing that really stands out is the number of RPGs available. Although the genre had an incredibly rough start on the system, the quality has gone up along with the number of titles available. Dragoneer's Aria is the latest addition to the collection. There isn't anything about the game that causes it to stand out among the rest of the pack, though it manages to keep up with the genre's growing quality.
Excerpt: In ages past, the Holy Dragon was annihilated by the Black Dragon, but from his soul, six new dragons were born. Together with the Dragoons, these dragons have been charged with protecting the world. For centuries, all is peaceful, until the day of Dragoon Valen Kessler's graduation ceremony. The Black Dragon appears and destroys the capital city of Granadis. The Water Dragon appears to challenge the intruder but is slapped briskly aside.
Conclusion: Dragoneer's Aria is a flawed Japanese style role-playing title that simply can't compete with the rest of the genre. The loading times hurt the flow of the game, the Mana system is entirely not user friendly, and the presentation leaves one wanting. In the end I was utterly under whelmed by the game. There are many things that it does right but these nuggets of goodness are average at best when compared to its competition.
Excerpt: Amid the Final Fantasies and Dragon Quests there are a handful of lesser-known RPGs that flood the market in Japan. While most are a dime a dozen, every so often a few standout titles like the Shin Megami Tensei, or Persona, series appear among the rabble. Somewhere in that pile is Dragoneer’s Aria by Japanese developer Hitmaker.
Conclusion: Dragoneer's Aria is simply average in almost every way, there's no getting around it. Parts of the storyline can be entertaining, but only as much as the localization gave the characters a little pop. Otherwise, it's a purely paint-by-numbers game.
there’s one thing I can say about the PSP’s library (aside from it’s got plenty
of ports, remakes, sequels and compilations), it seems to have no shortage of
RPGs. There are three Legend of Heroes games, Monster Kingdom: Jewel
Summoner, Brave Story, not to mention the various Final Fantasy
remakes and sequels planned, among others. It’s almost ludicrous really.