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October 28, 2003
Breath of Fire: Dragon's Quarter - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
21/11/2003THQCapcom1$99.95

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Wonderful ghost effects!
Finally, the Breath of Fire series is about to be unleashed on PS2 owners in PAL territories. After first appearing on the Super Nintendo way back in the early 1990's this fifth game in the series was released in America way back in February 2003, and only now makes its way to PAL territories. Still, given the lack of RPG's on the Playstation 2 this game is more then welcome. Better still, this game looks like it will be another excellent game in the series. As has always been a strong point of the Breath of Fire series the story will go a long way to making this game enjoyable.

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Wonderful ghost effects!
Breath of Fire: Dragon's Quarter is an epic quest of magical proportions. You live in another time … another place … devoid of all light sources. You are now part of the underground world. Foil your menacing enemies to reach your ultimate mission. Only you can discover the way out of the labyrinth-like dungeon that envelops you and your friends. Escape your underground captors and you’ll reach the world of the living. Well the plot may not be the most detailed ever, but at least you character has a purpose to fighting through the vast levels.

Of course no RPG would be complete without a suitable amount of challenges, battles, mysticism and healing potions, all of which are evident in this game. The battles in this game combine both a real-time and turn-based battle system. As with other Japanese RPG's (as opposed to Western developed titles) the game uses HP's (Hitpoints for Health) and AP's (Attack Points). Breath of Fire: Dragon's Quarter allows you to use three strengths of attack which are mapped to the square, circle and X buttons, the more powerful requiring more AP points (the AP points are used up during movement and attacks during battles). Apparently it will also be possible to map different attacks to each button to suit your style.

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Jap version, PAL identical.
One of the neat additions to this title will be the ability to play through the game several times, and each time confront a different set of scenarios. As you become more experienced you can then re-use the character from the beginning with this additional experience, with the game altering the levels accordingly. Exactly how well this works remains to be seen, but it's promising nonetheless. Given that the game takes about 10-12 hours to complete the ability to replay the game with different setting should add some longevity. Also nice is that the enemies won't re-spawn through the game, which has become a major annoyance these days I believe.

Click To  Enlarge Image
Wonderful ghost effects!
Graphically, Breath of Fire: Dragon's Quarter is very striking thanks to the wonderful cel-shaded graphics which aren't too dissimilar to Sony's Dark Cloud 2. The animation is equally impressive with some wonderful visual effects, particularly for the magic during the battles. While the sound effects and voices are somewhat average the music will make this game an aural treat thanks to Hitoshi Sakamoto and Yasunori Mitsuda, two of the greatest music composers from Japan.

For fans of RPG titles this game is a certain purchase late this year. Once again the developers have taken the series in a new direction, but this game looks just as, if not more impressive, then previous titles in the series.