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Change YoY: =   My Rating: 9.8 / 10

There are obviously certain games where nostalgia plays a huge factor in how I view them. Some games I loved as a child end up not holding up all that well for one reason or another when replayed years later. Fortunately, there are also certain games that I not only have an immense amount of nostalgia for, but which also hold up remarkably well when I play them today. The Legend of Dragoon is one of them. I practically replay it every few years, and every time it seems like I end up liking it even more than I did before.

Now, there are obviously some elements in the game that don't hold up to scrutiny anymore. First, this is obviously a PS1 game, so the 3D visuals haven't aged in the most graceful manner, though many of the pre-rendered backgrounds still look amazing. The voice acting is typical of its time, that is to say average at best and often just downright awful. Finally, the localization is unfortunately quite shoddy, the English language writing often coming off clumsy and unrefined, a clear sign that whoever were responsible for the translation likely weren't native English speakers. In fact, if there was one aspect of the game I wish I could improve or simply redo entirely, it would the localization, because the English language dialogue and narration leaves quite a lot to be desired. At least there aren't any mistakes that unintentionally change story details like in some other games of the era. With all that said, this is still my second favourite game ever, and nothing has changed that in over 20 years, and the reason is that everything else is excellent.

In some ways, the thing that makes The Legend of Dragoon stand out so much to me is difficult to explain. While I love the story, characters, battle system, and music, there's also an intangible element to my opinion about the game. A feeling that I haven't experienced with any other game I've played, an atmosphere and tone that is wholly unique to this particular game. It's the thing that makes me want to start a new playthrough every single time I talk about this game during these year-end events, which is exactly what I did last year.