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In my humble opinion, one of the best Playstation games ever created. It's even Roguelike!

It all begins with a truly amazing introduction. It combines scenes from the game with beautiful anime drawings, and it's all synchronized with some of the best video game music I've ever heard. Ah yes, the music. All throughout the game, the music astounds me. It has little twists and turns and variations, plus some great harmony. It gets even better as the game progresses.

Which brings us to the actual gameplay. This game reminds me of Nethack; maybe that's why I like it so much. You set off to go to the mysterious Monster Tower in search of both valuable monster eggs and you long-lost father. Once you find a monster egg, you can either sell it for an assload of money, or hatch it to get yourself a new pet that will fight for you. Your hatched monster friends (now called familiars) will grow and level with experience, and can use all sorts of nifty magic. If you wish, you can have complete control over your familiar's actions.

Aside from your life as a monster hunter, you have a social life, too! As you start the game, you have a little shack of a house, the town you live in is rather podunk, and everybody hates you. However, with a bit of money, you can rebuild your house into a mansion and cover it with furnishings, you can build a temple and library and casino and more for your town, and you can gain respect of the townsfolk until you have an ungodly number of girlfriends (I believe the maximum is around eight).

So yeah, this game is amazing. You should buy it. If you don't have a PSX, I feel sorry for you, but you should emulate it. Yay!


FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY:
Download the Azure Dreams music I ripped from the CD!
www.exersite.com/aschmidt/azd.mp3

Here's an alternate view on the game. The general point of the game is to combine a dungeon-exploring type RPG with a town building simulator (like Sim City, sort of) and a dating simulator (these are common games in Japan, but they haven't really made an appearance in the US yet). Unfortunately, all three of these are only lightly touched on, and none of them go into any real depth. The RPG aspect of the game is probably the most complex, and it does require some strategy, but not nearly as much as other RPGs of this type. The town building simulator doesn't take any stategy at all; build what you want to build, when you have the money and the appropriate items.

With new buildings you can sometimes get new mini-games, which are surprisingly fun in of themselves. The dating simulator aspect could've been done much, much better. All it basically entails is choosing the correct answers in the branching conversations. This is the part of the game that really disappointed me, compared to the complexities of other dating simulators, this is downright laughable. This game can be a lot of fun, but it's really a lightened version of three different genres combined into one. I agree with the previous noder that the music for the game is very nice, but not Uematsu quality.

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