SAT Dragon Force

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Welcome to Legendra! Eight kingdoms, eight kings (or queens), eight epic story plots to follow. “Dragon Force” doest nothing wrong and remains by far one of my all time favourite Saturn exclusives, in fact of of my all time favourite real-time strategy games, period. A shame the sequel was never released outside of Japan but it was incredible this one made it to America and even Europe! Enjoy some early gameplay with the Kigdom of Tristam and King(Queen!!!) Juton!

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  1. Released in 1996, Sega's classic Saturn strategy game differs from the Tactics Ogre style that dominated the scene for years with its focus on single large scale battle fought in real time, where unit types and battle formations are the key to victory. Such battles involve up to 200 soldiers fighting on screen in real time, which is reminiscent to the 1995 movie Braveheart. At the outset of the battle, the play must choose to Attack, Talk, or Retreat; the latter causes the army to lose the battle and some troops, making way for the opposing victors on the world map. Talk opens negotiations with the enemy, who may leave their castle or join the player's monarch, but if they refuse to negotiate, the battle starts with the player bereft of all troops. It's a tremendous advantage that the enemy almost always refuses to negotiate. Selecting Attack leads to each side choosing a general and particular company of troops to send into battle, then chooses a formation which determines the troops' arrangement. If both general's armies were depleted, they're given one last chance to retreat before they are thrust into a one-on-one battle. Should generals lose all HP, get captured, injured or (seldom) killed in action, it's game over. Eight different storylines exist in the game, one for each monarch in the world of Legendra. The Goldark and Reinhart campaigns however can only be accessed after completing the game because spoilers.

    It's a shame the 1998 sequel Dragon Force II: Kamisarishi Daichi ni for the Saturn wasn't released outside Japan, but a full English fan translation is now available to experience it. The game also received a PS2 remake in 2005, as part of the Sega Ages 2500 line. Given the Saturn version used 2D sprites on 3D, there's not much to enhance visually but it does look slightly better since everything seems filtered to look less pixellated. All of the story segments and character portraits were redrawn, but you can also choose the original Saturn ones if you desire. There's also a ton of voice acting and some slightly arranged music, in addition to a few new faces – the winged warrior Harseld and a duo of Japanese girls Ayame and Matsuri. Be warned that the PS2 Sega Ages version is only worth playing if one can bear the text-heavy Japanese menus, or if you've already played the English Saturn version enough to be comfortable. The Japanese Saturn release is dirt cheap if one doesn't mind the language barrier, but used copies of the North America Saturn version floats on exorbitant prices. Lastly in 2012, the PS2 Sega Ages version was the first title released on the Japanese PlayStation Network as just Dragon Force.

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