The Xbox 360 finally came alive this year, offering more RPGs than any of the other new current generation consoles. Though still not extremely popular in Japan, the following games have helped to break ground and paved the way for the 360 to receive even more attention in 2008. For now, here's the best of 2007.
Eternal Sonata is a solid RPG for the Xbox 360. It is easily accessible to RPGamers of any age and even offers a second playthrough with more difficulty for those wishing to give the game a second pass. Featuring music from Frédéric Chopin himself along with Motoi Sakuraba, the game is musical throughout. Voice acting is top notch with wonderful dialogue. The graphics are quite impressive and set a new standard for artistic design.
But RPGs aren't all about visual and sound, it is also solid in the story department, offering a wide variety of characters. The gameplay is simple, yet fun. Lots of customization is possible due to the large number of party members. All in all, Eternal Sonata is an impressive title and the best Xbox 360 RPG of 2007.
It's not often that a role-playing game is able to make you feel as if your decisions matter, but Bioware's Mass Effect manages to do just that. With an incredible number of choices available to the player, a memorable sci-fi epic as its backdrop, and a solid FPS/RPG hybrid combat system backing it up, Mass Effect is one of the most enjoyable western RPGs in recent memory. And it's just part one of a trilogy, so there is much more to look forward to.
Blue Dragon was touted as the most anticipated game for 2007. With the trio of Hironobu Sakaguchi, Akira Toriyama, and Nobuo Uematsu at the helm, some people proclaimed the project an instant success. As the game was reviewed though, a lot of people found the title not entirely what they expected. The media quickly passed on the title and moved onto Mistwalker's next project.
Still, the game is hardly without merit. Those that stuck through the slow start found a game with a heartwarming story combined with a diverse, enjoyable battle system. While no one argues it was the trio's best work, Blue Dragon is a solid game that should be enjoyable to many.
by Mikel Tidwell, Adriaan den Ouden, Michael Cunningham