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7th Dragon III Code: VFD

Score: 92%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: RPG

Graphics & Sound:

7th Dragon III Code: VFD is the third game in the 7th Dragon series. The first game, 7th Dragon, was released for the DS back in 2009. In the years since then, the graphics have improved a bit and the story is still very strong. While they thought humanity was saved in the previous games, Armageddon was simply postponed.

Visually, 7th Dragon III Code: VFD is more impressive than the first two games in the series. There is only so much detail that you can put in and still have things readable on the 3DS screen, but they did a very good job of detailing as much as possible. While you donít get to create your own characters from scratch, there is a decent variety of characters available. At the beginning, there are eight total characters, including male and female, that you can choose from. Each of those has two styles and three color choices for each style, so it feels like a large amount of characters. You can make any characters any class that you want. As you get further in the game, you will unlock eight more characters and more classes as well. In the game, your enemies and the other NPCs are also pretty varied. They did a good job coming up with some weird and interesting enemies. When I got to the first True Dragon that I was to fight (which is actually the Third True Dragon), I was quite impressed! Nyala is absolutely beautiful, in a terrifying way.

Usually I find that I want to be able to play portable games without having to hear the sound. This makes it so that I donít have to drag around headphones. 7th Dragon III Code: VFD has a decent soundtrack and background sounds, but you donít need to listen to it. You can play the game perfectly fine on mute since there is on-screen text for everything. If you do leave the sounds on, the game is all in Japanese.


Gameplay:

When you start out 7th Dragon III Code: VFD, youíll find out that you are in Tokyo in the year 2100. Dragons were encountered in the past, but things have been quiet since 2020. Of course, people are still getting sick from the dragon sickness, so obviously things arenít perfect. Thereís a great new game out that everyone wants to play and you decide to go play it too. To get in, you join up with a girl named Nio. She wants to be a navigator, so she needs fighters to join her. The game is quite realistic. When you beat it, you find out that it was more than just a game, it was really to test out people and find new dragon hunters and you are the first one to show promise. As a result, you now have a new job working for Nodens Enterprises. Well, really you wonít get paid, youíll have to earn your money fighting and earn DZ as well from the dragons you beat. You are just altruistic enough that you want to work hard to save the human race.

To stop the final 7th dragon that they know is coming, Nodens Enterprises, led by president Allie Nodens and lead researcher Julietta, needs to finish the Dragon Chronicle. The problem is that they need samples of the first 6 true dragons to complete the chronicle and they only have one sample at the present time. ISDF (Earthís Defense Force) also has a sample, and while you are not a part of ISDF, you will find that working with them is beneficial to all involved. This means that you still have four samples to obtain. Since the true dragons no longer exist on Earth at the present time, getting a sample might be a bit difficult. Julietta has a fix though. He has developed a portal that can take you backwards and even forwards in time to specific places based on previous dragon data. This way, you can get the rest of the samples that you need to save the Earth. Thatís not too much to ask, huh? Basically, you are going to warp between different times and places on various errands. 7th Dragon III Code: VFD is a very long game, but itís quite a lot of fun so youíre really in no rush to get to the end.


Difficulty:

7th Dragon III Code: VFD gives you the option of Standard or Casual game and you can change between them at any time. Personally, I donít think you will need Casual unless you are trying to run through the story without doing any side quests. It can be a little bit difficult at the beginning of the game, simply because you need to practice with which classes work best with which other classes to get your teams made out right. You can have three people per team. Once I figured out which three worked best for my style of playing, the game was much easier. There will still be times when you get annihilated with one blow to all the characters at once (itís happened to me once), but that should be a sign that youíre pushing too far ahead and should just go back and level up on easier prey. If you do kill one of your party members in battle, you can revive them either with an item or at one of the healing save points. Just donít kill your whole party. Also, dead party members will still get battle experience. If you do kill all of your party members, you will get a Game Over. You can then choose to retry from the beginning of that battle or restore a previous game save.

A lot of times, especially in handheld games that I am continually putting down and picking back up hours later, I forget what I was supposed to be doing or where I was going. If you ever forget, you can open the System Menu and open up your Navi. It will tell you exactly what to do. You can do the same thing for Quests. There isnít much that you have to figure out on your own. You just have to go and do.

Enemy encounters in 7th Dragon III Code: VFD are random. You can see dragons on the map, but other lesser enemies canít be seen. You can tell by the bar in the top left when an encounter is eminent. It starts blue and slowly changes to red when enemies are near. If youíre looking to avoid enemies, the best thing you can do is change areas or talk to someone. The encounter bar resets when you do either of those things. If youíre looking to level up, just run around and the bar will fill up quickly. You recover your full health and SP when you level up. You also earn skill points after battles. Different enemies give different amounts of skill points and your skill points are earned for each character, so you donít have to divide them between your characters. Learning how to use your skill effectively is the key to winning battles!


Game Mechanics:

7th Dragon III Code: VFD is a turn-based RPG. This means that it is quite easy to get the hang of the controls. You basically select what you want and press (A) to choose that action. There are return points that will take you back to Tokyo in the present, so youíre not stuck in the past until you get your sample. This allows you to go back and upgrade your equipment and supplies. You can warp around Nodens Enterprises with the (R) button, which is much more convenient than finding the elevator, which I almost never use. A good thing to remember is that blue save points only save, but green ones heal you and recover your SP. You have three save files you can use. The mini-map at the bottom shows you where you are and has icons on it at the things you might want. Maps are filled in as you walk around. You can use both the D-pad and the stick to move around.

I am about 30 hours into 7th Dragon III Code: VFD and I am still enjoying it greatly. This is one of those RPGs that is very long, but definitely worth the playtime. You find yourself getting sucked into the story very easily. While there arenít many side quests, I have taken on every one of them, just because theyíre interesting. Plus, you might find out new information while on a quest. If youíre looking for a great RPG with a very intriguing story that takes you into the past and the future, check out 7th Dragon III Code: VFD today!


-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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