Like Ben, I enjoyed growing up in the golden age of arcades and have many fond memories of days riding to my local 7-11 to play the latest cabinet, or many evenings spent trying to connive my dad into taking me to Chuck E. Cheese only to spend three hours there without touching the pizza. However, the good feeling of those golden years gone by don't really carry over to the current incarnation of Strider 2. Based on my memories of the original arcade release and the nearly flawless Genesis port of the first Strider, I was ready to put my money down sight unseen and trust in Capcom to produce something as solid and fun to play as the first game. However, I was quite disappointed.
When I first started playing The Legend of Dragoon, I told myself, "OK, when I write up my review, I won't focus on its similarity to Final Fantasy VII (FF7) like everyone else has." Well, here I am writing my review, and all I can think about is its similarity to FF7, and how stale and unoriginal the whole experience is.
According to the ESRB, this game contains: Animated Violence
I genuinely liked the game and believe it could have earned a higher rating had Sony created a more original set of characters, stronger storyline and lost many of the clearly Final Fantasy VII inspired themes.
Tech Romancer is in essence Shoji Kawamori's (famed mechanical designer of Macross) interactive tribute to the giant robot genre in anime. As Brad already mentioned, each of the 10 different selectable characters/robots represents different sub themes that have become all too familiar in the Japanese anime culture.
Capcom. Any gamer worth their salt will be familiar with the efforts of the company who practically defined fighting games with their breakthrough Street Fighter series and made fighters the force in gaming they are today. Capcom is known for their colorful characters and hand-drawn art which is intimately familiar to gamers across the world, and now Capcom strikes out in a bit of a departure from the norm to introduce an all-new, 3D cast of giant robots and pilots in place of the usual assortment of martial artists (Street Fighter), mythical monsters (Darkstalkers) or super heroes (Marvel Vs. Capcom).
According to ESRB, this game contains: Mild Animated Violence, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes
I never played any of the original Landers games, so I'll leave Ben to speak on the merits of this RPG as it pertains to its Landers lineage. What I can talk about is Time Stalkers as an RPG, and more specifically, a Dreamcast RPG. It's obvious that the Dreamcast needs RPGs, but it's really telling when even Sega can't get its hand on one that is really worthwhile.
Time Stalkers is a completely different game—a more traditional RPG rather than an Adventure/RPG. By using the word "traditional," I don't mean to imply that Time Stalkers doesn't try anything new. There are actually several interesting ideas and possibilities floating around in this game.