Dragon Valor, released last year in Japan and coming to North America on the seventeenth of October, is an action-RPG containing some interesting features. Namco has tried their hardest to set this RPG apart from the competition, and they seem to have done it with such concepts as following generations of characters and full 3D battles against massive dragons. Loosely related to the coin-op Dragon Buster game, Dragon Valor contains platform elements as well as RPG elements, including jumping to avoid traps.
RPGs are not well known for their replay value, yet it is in this area that Dragon Valor first proves its uniqueness. When a chapter is cleared, the "Heir lineage" system kicks in, which allows the player to choose a wife out of the women who appeared in the chapter. The player's choice will determine which character the player will control in the next chapter. Depending on this choice, the next chapter will have different characters, a different appearance, and a different boss than the other choice would give. For example, in the first chapter, a character named Clovis is controlled. Based on the choice at the end of the first chapter, the main character of the second chapter will be either Koudel, a thief, or Aaron, a prince. These characters will each face a different dragon at the end of the level.
The dragon battles are another section where Dragon Valor stands apart from more traditional RPGs. Though a traditional set of magic and special attacks are used to battle the dragons, the battles take place on a circular platform in full 3D. The dragons are huge and powerful, attacking with jumping attacks, biting attacks, large fire projectiles, and other impressive attacks. The player will fight an almost Ocarina of Time-style battle, requiring dexterity and coordination.
Dragon Valor is due in about a week, and will prove to be an interesting buy to RPGamers ready for something a little different. Its platform features and action-RPG gameplay might not appeal to everyone, but it should be an interesting addition to the PlayStation RPG library.