When it comes to gaming subscription services, Sony has had a lot of trouble keeping up with Xbox’s offerings. However, the PlayStation team still drops the occasional gem via their PlayStation Plus subscription plan, and the service’s next update will include the release of one of PlayStation’s most painfully underrated RPG projects.
Recently, Sony announced the latest additions to the Extra and Premium levels of its PlayStation Plus service. The marquee games are beloved modern titles, such as Horizon Forbidden West and The Quarry, but the game that has everyone talking is tucked way down in the “PlayStation Premium | Classics” section: The Legend of Dragoon. For those who never heard of the game…well, have we got a story for you.
The Legend of Dragoon is a cult classic turn-based RPG developed by Japan Studio (the company behind Ape Escape and Gravity Rush) and published for the original PlayStation. The game stars the hero Dart and company as they try to prevent a world-ending dragon from being revived. The game’s calling card is its iconic armors, which turn party members into powerful, elemental Dragoons. Think Saint Seiya or Power Rangers mixed with Final Fantasy, and you should have the right idea.
Gameplay gimmicks aside, it’s Legend of Dragoon‘s compelling combination of stunning PS1 visuals and classic JRPG concepts that make it so memorable. It wasn’t a genre-defining game changer, but it was a truly exceptional example of a golden time for JRPGs that also happened to feature some fantastic combat mechanics that we really should have gotten more of in future installments or even other games.
It’s difficult to find a list of the best PlayStation games that doesn’t praise Legend of Dragoon, and for good reason. At the time of release, The Legend of Dragoon received mixed reviews because most critics at the time were comparing it to Final Fantasy. But as the years have gone by, gamers have come to appreciate The Legend of Dragoon for what it is, not for what it isn’t. Despite only receiving one entry, The Legend of Dragoon became a cult classic and an essential part of any retro gamer’s collection. The developers of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale even planned to turn Dart into a DLC character for the game until Sony pulled the plug. Such as it is, we really have nothing to show for the game to this day aside from our memories of it.
Unfortunately, even when playing games that are over two decades old, there’s a price to pay. The Legend of Dragoon is part of the Classics collection, it is only available with a Premium plan, which costs $17.99 a month (or less if you sign up for multiple months). Of course, that plan also provides access to classics such as Wild Arms 2, Harvest Moon: Back to Nature, and Destroy All Humans. If you only have a PlayStation Plus Extra account, you can’t play any of the above games. But, February’s new additions will include titles like Scarlet Nexus, Tekken 7, The Forgotten City, and Resident Evil 7.
On the bright side, The Legend of Dragoon is an amazing game, and its future placement in PlayStation Plus Premium is bound to convince many subscribers to increase their membership tier just so they can play it. Heck, The Legend of Dragoon might be a sign the company is planning to add even more cult classics. However, PlayStation Plus is a double-edged sword since, unless Sony adds The Legend of Dragoon to the PlayStation store, gamers can only play the game if they subscribe to PlayStation Plus Premium and only until Sony removes it from the library. That sadly seems to be the state of retro game releases at the moment.