Dragon Warrior VII
By Charlie Goodrich Sunday, 27 Jun 2004

I have played and beaten every Dragon Warrior game that has come to the USA ever since the first one way back in the 80’s. I have always found them fun and challenging. In fact, the first Dragon Warrior helped me learn how to read. My mom was getting annoyed that I kept yelling for her to come read something for me. So she got the great idea to play with me and teach me to read using Dragon Warrior. But Dragon Warrior VII was one of the worst RPGs I have ever played. I can’t believe I am writing this about a Dragon Warrior game, but it is true.

First off the story is not that great. You must save the world from a lot of things that have already happened in previous Dragon Warrior games and other RPGs. One village is turned to stone so you have to save the townspeople. Nearly every village has something wrong with it that you have to fix and it takes away from the main quest. The main quest has you trying to defeat the Dark Lord who is trying to destroy the world. Creative, no?

The characters also suck. There is nothing original about any of them. The main character is the son of a fisherman, next we have his best friend, one is the mayor’s daughter who can cast spells, and one is an old knight. Enix is lucky that it’s hard to prove a videogame guilty of plagiarism. Well done, Enix. All of the characters are also far too nice. You interact with many characters who have tried to kill an entire town or bandits that have stolen riches from hundreds of people, and after fighting them you get the opportunity to decide their fate. The game gives you a choice of what to do. You can say either, “kill them”, or “Let them go, they have learned their lesson”, but even if you pick “kill them”, the other characters will say no and you have to accept that they have changed their ways. Now I am a very optimistic person but this is far too happy and positive. If someone uses genocide, you don’t slap them on the wrist and let them go thinking they will have learned not to do this again.

There isn’t much to say about the graphics, so I’ll say all that I need to. I am not about graphics, but for God’s sakes, it’s not 1992. At least make the backgrounds and dungeons less blocking and more creative. It doesn’t have to be a direct port. It looks like every other Dragon Warrior and every Final Fantasy up to FFV. That’s all.

The combat system is also nothing new and innovative. It looks the same as every other Dragon Warrior in that you can’t see your characters and the monsters are looking right at you. You spend a lot of time battling monsters in this game. You have to level up constantly, not that that’s a bad thing, but when one battle take so long to complete you get annoyed. There is a job system that is necessary to learn if you want to beat this game. But it takes a long time before you master a job and only the best jobs can be learned after mastering five or seven certain jobs.

The only good thing About Dragon Warrior VII is the challenge it offers the player. It’s an old school RPG where leveling up is part of the game, but in this game it’s a boring, endless task that will make all who play cry and curl up into the fetal position. It took my 120 hours to beat this pile and I urge everyone to stay away. I gave up on the story after 90 hours, hated the characters the entire time, wandered through dungeons that all felt the same and found myself questioning life while I leveled up and completed a job for five hours at a time.

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