JRPG Classic ‘Blue Dragon’ Now Backwards Compatible For Xbox One

Another classic Xbox 360 Japanese role-playing game has received backwards compatibility support for the Xbox One. Dragonball Z creator Akira Toriyama’s and Final Fantasy‘s Hironobu Sakaguchi’s work on Blue Dragon can now be played on the current-generation console.

Lost Odyssey was made available on the Xbox One at the end of September, as previously covered by Inquisitr. Blue Dragon has the same unfortunate restriction in that it is not available to purchase from the Xbox Store. Instead, those interested in playing the JRPG will need the actual physical disks. All three of them.

Microsoft added support for multi-disk Xbox 360 games back in May with the release of Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director’s Cut. Unfortunately, neither Lost Odyssey nor Blue Dragon has received digital versions to purchase yet.

For now, those interested in either game will likely have to look to third-party sellers on Amazon and eBay. There’s also the chance a copy could be spotted in the used games section at GameStop or independent game stores that specialize in used games.

The story of Blue Dragon follows Shu, Kluke, and Jiro who first try to defend their base against mysterious purple clouds that portend disaster. They discover these clouds and the disasters are caused by the evil Nene. The three gain the ability to transform their shadows into powerful creatures, such as the game’s namesake, strong enough to defeat Nene and his army of robots.

Like most JRPGs, Blue Dragon features a semi-open over-world to explore with the chance to run into random encounters. Additionally, the combat encounters are turn-based with the Shadow creatures – dragon, phoenix, bat, minotaur, and sabretooth tiger – featured as the big hook. Shadows can be assigned a character class and take on the attributes and abilities of that class. Classes can be changed, but the abilities learned from other classes can be retained. This allows players to setup hybrid characters with abilities from more than one class.

Blue Dragon was originally released in 2006 as part of Microsoft’s push into the Japanese market with the Xbox 360. While that effort ultimately failed, a handful of classic exclusives were released. Akira Toriyama’s art style is a can’t miss, and the game received a 79 aggregate review score from Metacritic.

Reviews praised Blue Dragon for the art style and light-hearted approach to the story along with a strategic combat system. The main hits against the game were that developer Mistwalker’s efforts were largely compared against the long-established Final Fantasy series and marked down because it did not bring enough new concepts to separate itself.

Combat in Blue Dragon for Xbox One and Xbox 360.
[Image by Mistwalker / Microsoft]

As the Inquisitr previously reported, Xbox One manages backward compatibility by emulating the entire Xbox 360 operating system. This allows Xbox 360 games to run on the Xbox One without any special coding or other workarounds. The major hurdles remaining are the licensing agreements with development studios and publishers to allow the games to be played on the Xbox One and listed for sale on the Xbox Store for the console.

Following that, testing to make sure the game runs correctly on the Xbox One appears to be a time-consuming task. Microsoft has to test each game from beginning to end to ensure the emulator runs the title correctly. This can take hundreds of hours depending on the title.

Additionally, Microsoft uses an Xbox Uservoice group to gauge interest in which titles to add to the Xbox One backward compatibility library. Users can suggest and vote up which games they would like to see supported.

What do you think of Blue Dragon being added to the Xbox One library of backwards compatible titles? Sound off in the comments below.

[Image via Mistwalker/Microsoft]