Azure Dreams is a role playing game that was devloped and published by Konami for the PS1 and Game Boy Color. This is one of the first role playing games that I actually got for the PS1 and in my eyes its one of the best. The story is also quite good but the game is more based on action than a story. Azure Dreams was released back in 1998 and still looks quite good for a 2D role playing game and is definitely one of the best in my opinion. There isn't an awful lot of variety in the places you visit because the game is mainly set in one town that has a tower in which you visit. The tower however has over 100 floors which can be explored.
Azure Dreams is set in a fantasy world around a desert in a reasonable sized town called Monsbaiya. One stormy night a man named Guy goes into the tower but never returns home. Several years later his son Koh (your character) turns 15 and is finally allowed to enter the tower and decides to go in search of his father or what is left of his father. Koh must battle his way to the top of the tower in search for answers. Upon entering the tower he meets a monster called Kewne who travels with him and helps him on his search for answers.
Koh is a great character to play in the game and like most role playing games you will meet many other characters that you interact with but in Azure Dreams its not characters that will fight by your side. Azure Dreams offers gamers something different by letting them take a monster they have captured into the tower to fight with them. There are lots of different monsters that you can catch to fight with you but you can only take one at a time at first. Also you will meet many different types of enemies in the tower which start of fairly easy but as you go up floors in the tower the enemies become stronger and much harder to defeat. When fighting monsters you will notice the battles are more hack and slash which is quite rare for a PS1 game as most are turn based.
Monsters that you capture go to your home in town and can be accessed when you leave the tower or before you enter the tower. There you can choose who you want to accompany you in the tower and you can also put eggs you found in the tower to hatch them. Something else you will notice is that Koh can equip items. He can have a sword equipped or other weapons as well as armor and shields. Most can be found as you go through the tower as can healing items and other items as they are scattered throughout the floors. Koh has HP and MP and also stamina which lets you only move and attack a certain amount of times until you must get out before you are killed. There are also traps that will damage you or do other things like poison you. At the end of a floor there is always a way to go up or a way to skip some floor if you're lucky. You are also given the chance to leave which is always a good idea. If you die you are taken back home but you lose all your items.
Back in town you can store items at home. You can also upgrade the town to be better and fill up with new people. These people will grow to like you and respect you and let you improve their homes and businesses. Some even offer mini games. You also gain levels in the tower but when you leave or when you are killed your level starts back at one. Your monster also gain levels but some of them can keep their levels when you leave the tower which is great. There are tons of different enemies which include some crazy looking bosses on certain floors. I think the fact the game is based in one town and one tower and that's it is fantastic and to be perfectly honest it works really well. Azure Dreams definitely offers something new and exciting to role playing games.
Azure Dreams is one of the better 2D role playing games for the PS1 but the graphics overall are a little dated but this doesn't damage the game too much. The characters are one of the weakest because there are a lot that look far too similar to others but the main character does look quite good and interesting. Also there is a fair bit of variety in the monsters that you can acquire and most of them look really good and are detailed very well. The worst part of the graphics is the tower because every floor of the tower looks the same and the only difference being that the routes have changed and the exit is placed elsewhere. The town is a little weak at first but gets better when it gets bigger. Scenery isn't too shabby but nothing special. Overall the graphics are a little weak now but its still a top game.
Something that never really altered the game in anyway was the sound effects. They never really made an impact when I played the game back in 1998 and they still don't really make much difference to this day. The music isn't the best because there are only a couple of tracks to the game. Monsters make strange sounds which isn't important and the overall sound effects when you're in the tower are okay but nothing spectacular. Overall the sound effects to Azure Dreams are plain and simple and don't offer much at all.
DIFFICULTY & LONGEVITY
Both the longevity and difficulty of the game are varied but are both quite good in my eyes. The game is quite difficult to start with then it gets easier then further on it gets seriously hard. As you make your way up the tower the game becomes really hard because there are more monsters and they seem to be a lot tougher than earlier levels. Each floor in the tower can last as little as a minute but then some of the floors can last a whopping hour or so. Plus if you leave the tower you have to start from floor one again and work your way up and sometimes you wont even do as good as a previous go. I think this works to the games advantage and I really like the idea. The controls are simple and overall the game can last you a lifetime because of the variety and because it can get extremely hard later on.
- There are over 100 floors to explore in the tower which is good.
- Lots of monsters that you can use to help you in battle.
- Thousands of different items, weapons and armor that might come in handy.
- Its addictive, fun and has an interesting story.
- You and your monsters both level up in the game.
- You start from level one every time you leave the tower.
- The graphics are a little weak with the towers floors all looking the same.
- Sound effects are also a little weak in the game as is the music.
- The game can get very hard later as you gain levels in the tower.
- Some things in the game seem really pointless and daft.
Azure Dreams is definitely up there in my list of all time favourite role playing games for the PS1. There are lots of role playing games on the PS1 but you wont find any that are like this at all and it definitely has a lot to offer. Its not the best looking 2D role playing game but its certainly a lot of fun and it can also get you quite hooked at times. I also love the fact there are tons of monsters, tons of floors and millions of items that can be used or even sold to make cash for a better town. Azure Dreams is a unique role playing game that I think is worth owning.
If you love a good old classic role playing game then Azure Dreams is definitely up your street. Most role playing games back in the day are still better than role playing games that are released today. If you like games such as Suikoden, Final Fantasy, Wild Arms, Breath Of Fire, Grandia or even Tales Of Destiny then you will adore this because I would put it in that category of games. The game manual isn't the best but that's not too important anyway.
Azure Dreams cost me a reasonable price of just £10 but that was years ago and the price is a little higher now because its quite rare. The game is on Amazon for around £15 which does include postage and isn't too bad a price for a fantastic role playing game. I would recommend it and feel its worth every penny and will probably be worth even more in years to come.
Overall I would give Azure Dreams a solid 8/10 rating!
Review also on dooyoo under the username: simon020187!