Blue Dragon is a traditional turn-based Japanese role-playing game. You play as a young boy named Shu who journeys with his friends, using their magic to control powerful phantom shadows to save the world from an evil wizard.
Pro Improved framerate on Xbox One with backward compatibility from Xbox 360
The Xbox 360 version of Blue Dragon suffered from a fluctuating framerate and other performance issues like screen tearing. With backward compatibility on Xbox One, the framerate is much better, remaining at a steady 30 FPS save for a few rare exceptions.
Pro Cool anime art style
The characters in Blue Dragon all have a charming anime art style that sets them apart from most games. Their wide eyes, spiky hair and colorful clothes give them much more personality. You'll feel like you're playing through an anime series in a video game as your characters fight in battle and interact in cutscenes. Anime and manga artist Akira Toriyama from the Dragon Ball series designed the characters and monsters, giving them his trademark style.
Pro You get to control how you engage enemies in strategic ways
You'll find monsters out in the open instead of in random encounters, and you get to control how to fight them or avoid them with special skills. If you select nearby groups of enemies with a cursor, you can take them on one after the other for better rewards. If you sneak up on monsters, you can stun them and launch a surprise attack to deal more damage to them. Or if you're in a hurry, you can execute enemies and take them out of your way. You won't earn any experience points if you do this, but it's great for those times when you return to older areas and you don't want the hassle of weaker enemies slowing you down.
Pro Engaging classic turn-based system with unique magical phantoms that grow with you in combat
You take turns attacking with your party members, cast magic, defend, use items or change formation. Figuring out enemy weaknesses and exploiting them will give you an edge, giving you a real sense of accomplishment as you take quickly down monsters with the best elemental spells. Your magic comes from shadow-like phantoms you control that are like mini-summons. Your phantom retains all of the abilities you learn even as you switch jobs, like using healing magic even when you're no longer a white mage. You can pick and choose the skills you want to customize your phantom with, making them more powerful alongside you as you grow stronger.
Con Story has a slow start
Blue Dragon's story takes at least ten hours or so before really getting started. These first ten hours are mostly linear without much meaningful character development. The world opens up a lot more after that, but some players might not feel motivated enough to reach that point.
Con Repetitive story
Depending on how invested you become in the plot to save the world from the evil wizard antagonist, you may get bored with the game's story. It's your quest to travel from town to town, saving everyone from the evil spells in the air and an infestation of monsters. There are some plot twists here and there, but they're easy to spot ahead of time. Outside of that, it can get too easy to boil down the story to this repetitive cycle of saving various towns and finding out more about the evil wizard.