Best Games You’ve Never Played: Dragon Force Sega Saturn

24 April 2008 | retro gaming,retro review | Tags:

Dragon Force was one of the best games for the Sega Saturn. It was released in Japan as a Sega Ages Collection for Playstation 2, but unfortunately we are not that lucky here in the U.S. Dragon Force was translated and released by the now defunct Working Designs (great studio) and released for the Saturn in 1996. Dragon Force’s claim to fame were the epic battles with up to 200 troops onscreen with 7 different troop types (soldier, samurai, archer, mage, harpy, dragon, or zombie) but it was a tremendous strategy game with a ton of replay value (8 different Rulers to Choose from). The graphics were great for their time and there will full anime cutscenes that were very stylish. The orchestral music worked well with the theme and the epic battles with some (though little) real time interaction by the way of special moves and troop formations kept me interested through all the strategy elements. Nothing beat overwhelming an army with a swarm of 100 dragons. The game mixed RPG elements, Story, Battles, and Strategy elements perfectly for a very engaging 40-50 hour quest. The game won a ton of awards including best game of the year, but was not widely released in America. I was lucky enough to be a die-hard Sega fan at the time and pretty much got every new game that came out. Back then this was one of the best games in my collection.

Back then: 98%

Dragon Force holds up pretty darn well to this day. The biggest downer is the complete lack of voiceovers and a ton of text to read…but that was the name of the game back then… still it’s a burden now and makes the story less compelling than I remember. The anime sequences are still awesome and sprites and look of the game definitely hold up, though the animation doesn’t have as many frames as I would like. The most important thing is gameplay though…and the gameplay is still unique today and refreshing when compared to all of the Tactics Ogre and Final Fantasy Tactics style of strategy RPG warfare. I wish you could take more direct control of the General…but perhaps this was present in the Japan only Dragon Force 2. I’m sure us here in the US will never know, especially since it is one of the best games that was never played over here.

Verdict Now: 93%

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