Gears of Dragoon – Thoughts

Best girl? Best girl.

Best girl? Best girl.

This post seems strangely buggy with the spacing. It’s one problem after another for me it seems.

That was a pretty damn well made dungeon crawler and that says a lot considering I generally detest dungeon crawlers.

My plan was to actually play Corona FD after Ley line but I for some reason had an inexplicable urge to play a dungeon crawler so I ended up with Gears of Dragoon instead.

That was a great choice it seems as it was overall a fun experience. Typically I go for the lawful route just because but considering the only girl I liked in this game was Sheeta and she’s the heroine for the true route of chaotic route, for once I went for chaotic route therefore I can’t actually say much about lawful route. I sort of don’t feel like crawling through all of those dungeons again. Though I may go back at some later date I suppose.

It’s meant to have the same setting as Enbou no Felshis but… Frankly while I did play it, I don’t remember a single thing about it. This means that either I dropped it half way or it was so incredibly forgettable that I don’t recall a single thing. I’m betting on the former considering I still remember at least the vague details of stories I played years ago.

Alright, the story is generally your generic fantasy. The protagonist even starts off with amnesia of all things. The characters aren’t particularly likable but then Sheeta appeared and saved the day in that department. Well, let me clarify something. The female characters don’t particularly appeal to me. There are some pretty bro male characters which are fairly pleasant but that’s it.

Our protagonist only wishes to live peacefully with his (non blood related) “family” who picked him up but the world has other things in store for him. To begin with, he has a younger sister who suffers from a… well for simplifications sake, an illness that requires a tremendous amount of money to cure.

In order to earn that money, they travel to the “new world” Elysium with plenty of dangerous missions awaiting them to earn money with. Meeting new people and whatnot, things go relatively peacefully.

Then it’s revealed that there’s an evil cult which is the organization that Sheeta supposedly belongs to. The protagonist is a human who survived going through experimentation by the said cult. It’s also revealed that his younger sister is actually basically a weapon of mass destruction and they need to find a legendary treasure to actually cure her. Incidentally it’s the same treasure that can be used to revive the great and evil dragon which the cult obviously wants to do. Not long after the reveal, his elder brother figure died protecting him. From there on, everything came tumbling down and down.

This stupid eyeball.

This stupid eyeball.

This is around where the route split happens. Following the chaos route, after the death of his brother, authorities or rather, the organization in charge of fighting against that evil cult, began suspecting Sheeta to be related to the said cult, ultimately leading to an ambush by acquaintances he believed in and nearly losing his life, as well as the lives of his companions.

The chaotic route was generally pretty fun as it was a constant state of betrayal left and right for the protagonist, leaving him generally distrustful of everyone but his family. Around the middle bit our protagonist was a bit overly paranoid of other people, while is acceptable considering what happened to him, was also pretty annoying to watch as things really could’ve turned out better. I suppose his surroundings don’t quite help his situation though.

Thankfully through various lessons along the chaotic route, he calmed down and became a much more likable character. Well there was still plenty of rape here and there, since it’s chaotic. There’s always an excuse to rape the heroines after all (as long as the protagonist does it), the common one in this case being “to absorb their power and become stronger”.

Oh right, there’s also this guy:

He pissed me off the minute he showed up so when given the choice to kill him or not, I pressed kill with all my might. No shop accessibility? As if I give a damn, I’d rather suffer a bit more in the game than let him live and either way and that problem fixed itself afterwards anyway.

I later found out he’s responsible for most of the ntr scenes so… yep, I made a good decision there. (to be fair, you basically have to do it on purpose to get the ntr scenes) In any case at the end of the various terrible experiences he went through, he ultimately achieved his peaceful world which I wasn’t quite expecting. It was actually an all around happy end with Sheeta and mostly everyone coming out in one piece. They’re technically still wanted criminals but as described by others in the final battle, their powerlevels are basically on another dimension at that point. They’d probably have to organize an army to do anything against them.

Now for the gameplay. As mentioned, I generally don’t like dungeon crawlers since they’re often grindy and also often forces you to loop around in dungeons for a long while. It’s all the worse if encounters appear with every other step. In a relatively bad case, I had a dungeon crawler where I took a full 30 minutes to walk to the other side of the room.

That said, this dungeon crawler was handled pretty well in terms of difficulty. In a typical game, especially VN game and with the exception of the rare action game like the Baldr series and Duel Savior, as long as you properly play without doing retarded things it’s relatively easy unless you tweak the difficulty up yourself. At most, some high end bosses and the final boss might give you some trouble but nothing to leave you stuck for a long time. Speaking of which I still haven’t beaten the final boss in the Genius of Sappheiros expansion. Returning to the topic, The difficulty level was mostly just right, though probably on the harder end but that’s good enough to not make things lukewarm. If I had to name a complaint, it’d probably be when they chain consecutive battles.
In some of the cases it’s a big fuck you to the player considering there’s characters like this guy who basically regenerates 1/10 his hp in a turn leaving you with little choice but to consume special attacks to kill him or alternatively they simply have too much hp to slowly grind away at without running out of mp or getting wiped. Every other time they pull this I basically have to load and redo the entire battle with better preparations.

Another annoyance would be the character enforcement. It’s good that the characters automatically level to keep up with your levels but certain quests, particularly abundant in common route, force you to use certain characters. As I don’t feel like swapping gear every other time, they generally feel like a second rate replacement of whoever you used mainly. This basically stopped or rather didn’t matter after route split since at some points, I didn’t even have enough people to fill my party up.

On the bright side, I liked the variety of skills you could use and that you could freely reset your skill tree. There was also some nice features outside of combat, cooking food to have a pre-dungeon buff, fortification and inserting stones into your weapon/armor for various effects. Since everyone had their own skill tree, it provided plenty of different combinations to use.

Overall it was a largely enjoyable game. I don’t know how lawful route is but I liked chaotic route since it made things a tad bit more serious, showing that things aren’t necessarily all fun and games.

Next up is at last Daitoshokan…

I hope playing Daitoshokan will be a sufficient break because I’ll likely play the new Pastel Chime after that. Out of one grind hell and right into another, oh how fun.


4 thoughts on “Gears of Dragoon – Thoughts

    • Normal.

      I contemplated going easy in between but gave up afterwards. It does pretty much lean towards to being hard but I think that much difficulty is just right, it’s just that it makes things a lot more time consuming since you can’t quite always steamroll through all of the quests.

    • Depends on how much you bother with side quests, grinding and the likes but I’d estimate it to at least take 20 hours of gameplay to finish. Things speed up after the common route, at least it did for me.

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