Review: Dragon’s Crown

Introducing a new segment: Half-Assed Reviews! Since I generally suck at writing reviews, I figured I’d make that known from the get-go. Enjoy!

I’ve had the Vita for less than two weeks, and already it’s become my gaming toy of choice. What’s been difficult is gauging exactly how much time I’ve spent playing it, due to the absence of an app to track that. That was one of my favorite features of the 3DS, the ability to know exactly how much time you’ve spent playing, which games you’ve played the most, and how many times you’ve played each. It was interesting to see your own gaming trends in a nice graphical format.dragons_crown_raw

Anyway, even in the absence of a time-tracking app, it’s crystal clear that I’ve spent the bulk of my time playing Dragon’s Crown. This game is a side-scrolling beat-em-up button-masher with RPG elements and a simple yet engrossing storytelling. Quite a mouthful, eh? This is unlike any game I have personally played before, and I can tell you that it is a genre that I didn’t really know existed until now.

 

Basic Gameplay Run-Through

You pick your player and your character type, which is broken into classes of varying ability and difficulty. The classic RPG decision: do I want strength and defense, but no magic? Or high magical ability, but no defense? Maybe somewhere in the middle, with a focus on ranged attacks? Dragon’s Crown lets you create as many characters as you want (at least one for each class type), so you can experiment a bit with each until you find one that suits your chosen play style.

dragons-crown-screenshots-35-copy
Source

Upon starting a new character for the first time, you’re introduced to a quick and dirty tutorial section that takes no more than five minutes to complete. You’re given the ropes, and then you’re thrown into a journey. You can wander around the area, or teleport to each location as they open up using the Select button to view a horizontal map of the town. You obtain quests, then leave town and go to various levels and complete story quests, as well as a solid collection of sidequests.

Presentation

This is an Atlus game, which means it’s extremely Japanese. As such, the women have huge knockers and the guys are massively muscular. But what I was the most surprised to see was just how incredible the artwork is on this device. The level of detail in the panoramic environments is a real treat to look at too. Add to the mix high-quality narration, and you have a wonderful presentation. There’s not a single bad thing I can say about anything visually or audibly to th
is game.

Multiplayer Madness!

I’ve sunk a little over 9 hours into this game so far, and from what I can tell, the first few hours before you get to the “meat” of a playthrough is merely an introduction. Just last night a full-blown multiplayer mode opened up to me, and I got to experience for the first time the online insanity that is 4 player Dragon’s Crown. I was brought right back to Chuckie Cheese on my birthday, mashing buttons on the Simpsons Arcade game! It quickly goes from manageable to a complete zoo, and I love it.

Overall, pleasantly surprised and very excited with this game. I’ve been told Muramasa and Odin Sphere are extremely similar in gameplay style, and upon the retiring of Dragon’s Crown, I’ll be sure to check these other ones out.

Final Score: 3 Golden Louis Vuitton Chainsaws

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