Game of the Month August, 2003:
Azure Dreams

System: Game Boy Developer: Konami
I recently removed the Game Boy Color version of Azure Dreams from my Top 100, because I felt I didn't need both it and the Playstation version on there, especially since the latter is superior. Therefore, I decided to make the GBC version "Game of the Month" before this fine RPG fades completely into obscurity. I'll admit right up front that I've never really been impressed with the RPGs of the Game Boy. Many of them were just too slow, basic, and repetitive. But Azure Dreams is a horse of a different color. Based loosely on the Playstation game of the same name, your goal is to reach the top of a 30-floor tower in which the floors, items, and monsters inside are generated randomly. But it isn't easy because there are a lot of setbacks to overcome.

Hey, Kou! Look up!

And yet another eggplant enemy in a videogame. The first and foremost issue of the game's challenge is that each time you exit the tower, you start over at experience level 1. However, the monsters (called "Familiars") that you catch in the tower will retain their levels, so you'll have them do most of the fighting for you. You being the game with one monster (Kewne) and you can find many more in the tower, if you are lucky enough to happen upon their eggs. The game is similar to Pokemon in this respect, but the resemblances end there. Each time you go up a floor of the tower, the layout of the floor, and the items that appear on it are generated randomly, so you never quite experience the same exact thing twice. The higher you ascend the tower, the stronger the monsters become, making it difficult to survive. If Kou, your hero character, loses all of his hit points, he is sent out of the tower. If you manage to escape the tower (via a Wind Crystal) before you're killed, you can keep all the items and money that you had found.

Unfortunately, the GBC Azure Dreams doesn't have the town-building and women-dating aspect of the Playstation original version. It does, however, have a 99-floor Tower basement which did not exist on the PSX version, and many new monsters to catch and fight. This version even has a true final end boss. My biggest gripe with this version is that you can't keep as many monsters as I would have liked. I wish there was room to keep at least one of each kind, but you can only store up to 20 out of a possible 116. However, GBC Azure Dreams is still quite fun and addicting because you never know what you're going to find, and the challenge of reaching the top (and bottom) of the tower is hard to resist. It also has a very quick pace, some nice GBC graphics, and really good music (especially in the lower levels of the basement).

Spirals on floors making me dizzy....@_@

Although the Playstation version is superior to this one, it's not without worth. Azure Dreams is my favorite Game Boy RPG that I've played thus far.

Azure Dreams Links

  • My Azure Dreams Review - A complete review of this fantastic game.
  • Azure Dreams Monster Shrine - My shrine with pictures of all the game's familiars, character profile pictures, and more.



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