Well here's a game that Australia got stiffed on because of some stupid reason. I imported it so I could get it when it was suppose to be released in Australia and now I'm ready to review it. It's the third game in the Blue Dragon series and has nothing to do with the god awful anime and manga series, which still confuses me on why it wasn't done by Akira Toriyama, but I'm getting off topic. Here's the review for a game Australia may never see, Blue Dragon:Awakened Shadow. People who hate JRPGs should just go read one of my other reviews.
The story of Blue Dragon:Awakened Shadow is based after the events of Blue Dragon and Blue Dragon Plus and starts with some Ancients waking up and releasing "it" and all of a sudden everyone loses their shadows and then You awakening from cryogenic sleep. You leave the lab and head to Neo Jibral and find out everybody has lost their shadows and you are the only one with a shadow. Now You are helping the characters from the previous Blue Dragon games to find out why they lost their shadows while trying to recover your memories.
The game is an Action RPG with a very simple control scheme that uses either touch and button controls, depending on preference. Combat is simple and it still retains the JRPG tradition of strategy to ensure victory, especially since leveling is more strenuous because of the Action RPG nature of the game. The game uses the shadow system of the previous games but you choose who has what shadow and can have up to 3 people in your party. Each shadow has it's own abilities and is the main thing you level. The game is quest based with a very small amount of side quests and the game is very short for the most part. There are 12 characters in the game to have in your party including Akira Toriyama's auteur character Torippo and even a Poo Snake and some of these characters are obtained through side quests. What lengthens the game is grinding, item creation and online multiplayer. Item creation is a simple system and on top of creating items, you can also power up your weapons and armor. What good about this system is that it doesn't matter what you power up because all the weapons and armor have the same stats, depending on rank and you can level up the ranks of items with certain items so you can just choose what you think looks good and just level it up to max. I unfortunately can't play it online since I don't have a Nintendo usb wifi connection so I can't hook up with people online so I can't say anything about the online multiplayer, just read a big boy review from one of the pros. 1 problem about the multiplayer is that some of the stuff in the single player requires items from multiplayer and this cripples it a bit for loners like me.
Is this game worth buying? Depends really. If you like Blue Dragon then yes, if not it won't exactly appeal to you and you will find better JRPGs on the DS. I personally like the game but it's not for everyone. Blue Dragon fans will like the game for the most part but those who aren't may or may not enjoy it. I honestly recommend if it's possible to rent the game and then make you decision. I regretfully give it a 3/5 because I'm a non bias reviewer and I like the game enough for a 4/5 but like I said, I'm non bias. If your a fan of Blue Dragon it's better then Blue Dragon Plus and you don't need to play it to enjoy the game but it helps.