Blue Dragon Plus

Mistwalker's 2007 Xbox exclusive finds a new home and a new genre on the Nintendo DS.

Blue Dragon Plus picks up one year after the conclusion of Mistwalker's Xbox 360 exclusive: the nefarious Nene has been defeated, King Jibral has been reinstated into power and all's right with the world. That is, until a mysterious cube swarming with mecha appears. When the cube turns out to be quite literally an explosive threat to Neo Jibral, a resurrected Nene and army of tiny Destroys is the least of Shu and Co.'s worries.

Unlike the 2007 title, Blue Dragon Plus plays more like an SRPG than a traditional turn-based adventure. Using the stylus, players battle across innovative maps, using the D-Pad to navigate the battlefield and the shoulder buttons to turn the map in any direction. Each character, rendered beautifully in hand-drawn sprites has a selection of unique attacks, stat boosts, healing spells, and items at their disposal. The characters' trademark Dragon Souls are displayed in impressive 3D that pop up for some exciting cut-scenes in the midst of battle. While BDP is an absolute blast, not to mention a refreshing breath of fresh air, it isn't without its faults. Units are a bit difficult to select, and plenty of times I found myself casting the wrong spell or using the wrong skill when I meant to tap the icon right next to it.

Even though it's slightly hampered by some clunky presentation, Blue Dragon Plus is still intuitive, interesting, and has enough character and charm to set itself apart as an engaging SRPG.

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