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Legend of Dragoon 2: The Time is Now

By Heath | March 28, 2010 at 12:20 am

Sony needs to strike while the iron is hot by releasing a sequel to one of the most polarizing RPGs on the original PlayStation, Legend of Dragoon.

This time last year, the PlayStation 3 and its lineup (or to some people, its lack of lineup) were punchlines of a good many jokes in the game world. A lot has changed since that time, and the PS3 has become much more of a force to be reckoned with in the marketplace. System-selling exclusives like Uncharted 2, God of War III, Yakuza 3, and Heavy Rain have been received very well by critics and general audience alike in the English-speaking world; the Japanese end of things has seen Final Fantasy XIII arrive as an exclusive, plus great sales of Ar Tonelico III, Yakuza 4, and several others. The PS3 version of End of Eternity (called Resonance of Fate abroad) has heftily outsold its Xbox 360 counterpart, and a few formerly 360-exclusive RPGs have ended up being released in updated versions for Sony’s console some time after their Xbox run (like Tales of Vesperia and Star Ocean IV).

Developed and published by Sony, Legend of Dragoon is something of a, well…legend in the RPG world. For some reason, it seems there just can’t be a discussion on must-make sequels without someone coming in and mentioning a hypothetical Legend of Dragoon 2. Often, he or she is not alone — far from it, in some cases. Remember the GIA? Back in the day, Andrew Vestal’s popular gaming website received 3 feedback emails from readers about its Final Fantasy X review, compared to 163 responses from impassioned gamers ready to discuss Legend of Dragoon. And the same kind of thing still goes on today. This game has a heck of a lot of fans out there who would be more than ready to shell out the bucks for a sequel.
Fore reference, the game was practically a million-seller in North America alone (just a few thousand shy), and had a great showing in Japan to boot. Legend of Dragoon was no cult game; it hit the big time.

It was released during that hot era of RPG growth in North America — you know, right in the middle of Final Fantasy‘s well-remembered PSX run (late 1999, specifically). 1997’s Final Fantasy VII, love it or hate it, kickstarted a movement of JRPGs becoming more popular, more accepted, and more marketable to the Western audience. Legend of Dragoon‘s release was right on the crest of that wave, hitting just after Final Fantasy VIII, and you can bet a whole heck of a lot of gamers have fond recollections and warm-fuzzy feelings for this decade-old RPG. With a million sales for an RPG in that era, it was most assuredly the first or second RPG for quite a few players. As we see with the sales figures of ports and remakes that come out all the time now, few things sell better than good old fashioned nostalgia.
True, it has scores of haters. But with a game this old, that can actually play into Sony’s hands. “Any press is good press,” it is often said, and even with games it can be surprisingly true. Even if haters are coming out and voicing opposition to the (hypothetical) sequel, that’s still a PS3-exclusive RPG being discussed. It might initially seem like a company would rather its game not be discussed at all than to have big flame wars going on about it, but that’s definitely not the case. If you’re a game maker, the more time your game spends on the minds and tongues (or “monitors and keyboards?”) of gamers, the better.
Sony is the process of a comeback plenty of analysts and gamers seemed to have thought impossible a year ago. Anyone who has been in a gang fight or breakdance battle (approximately 0% of the RPG Land demographic) will tell you that when about to begin the fray, you want as many of your friends with you as possible. Sony has finally got a competitive lineup rocking its PS3, and the announcement of a Legend of Dragoon sequel could add yet another key player to that.

-Heath Hindman
(Note: It should be said that I’m not personally cheering for any one side in the “console war.” I simply see a situation where, if I worked for Sony, I’d be bringing this up every chance I got, because I see a lot of potential.)

Topics: Editorials, Legend of Dragoon, Legend of Dragoon 2, Sony