When I first saw the title of this game, I determined that it had to be a newbie game and ignored it for an entire year. This was a mistake, because it turns out that Final Dragon Legacy is definitely in the top 10 for me for 2011. If you like games (heavily) inspired by Dragon Quest, you'll like this.
The introduction sequence gives the impression that FDL will be a game of resource conservation, not unlike Bliss, one of Camdog's earlier games. At first, this put me off. However, after learning that it was actually an introduction sequence akin to Lufia & the Fortress of Doom's, I stuck with it and pushed on to the true beginning of the story. This game is a well-designed, colorful, funny, and very faithful Dragon Quest tribute. It requires some minimal grinding to get started, then becomes all about exploration and questing.
The difficulty level is a bit high and might put less seasoned gamers off, but it isn't ever frustrating once you get past the first area. I was bummed that I ran in to a text box crash in the town of Chatham that effectively ended my run with the game, as everything leading up to it had been great. Even the music choices, though they contain default engine music, are well-made. (I hate the sound effects, but what can you do.)
If you're looking for a traditional RPG for the OHR this year that isn't quite as huge as Spellshard, look no further than Final Dragon Legacy.
Rating: 8.5 Free Throws out of 10
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