I spent the weekend doing something that is rare for me. I sat in front of my TV and played my PS3. I also ran around playing on my Vita as well when I was at the gym and at the grocery store.
What was the momentous occasion that made me charge the Vita and update the PS3? Dragon’s Crown needed a review, on both systems.
Are you familiar with Dragon’s Crown? You might recall it stirring up the news and community a year ago when they revealed the racy designs of a few female characters. The Sorceress is massively well endowed, while the Amazon has a physique that body builders would kill for and somehow manages to almost wear less clothes than they do. The Wizard and Elf are modestly dressed and fit their archetypes well while the Fighter is a hulking mountain of a man with an itty bitty head and the Dwarf is shaped like a muscular and hairy brick. Some people took offense to these designs but I can help but chuckle, they almost seem to be parodies of their corresponding stereotypes.
The game plays like the traditional beat-en-up arcade game but also features elements within the game that will continually keep the player interested in dungeon after dungeon while the RPG and loot elements will make the grind and effort ever so worth all the work you put in. In overall gameplay, the genre itself, Dragon’s Crown stands alongside games like Castle Crashers and Final Fight.
As you travel across dungeons and fantasy environments, you will encounter treasure chests that can only be unlocked by your partner, Rannie the Thief. Now Rannie is actually also controlled by you by either maneuvering the hand cursor with your right thumbstick or by touching the door or chest that you want open. Rannie will make a quirky remark and open it up. He also will pick up any treasure that you miss as well. The treasure you find will be assigned a letter grade and then you will be asked to sell of appraise your spoils after your immediate journey comes to an end.
Each character controls differently and has a difficulty setting assigned to their play style. The Amazon and the Fighter are the easiest to manage while the Wizard and Sorceress are actually the most difficult. You can remake a character at any time, so if your choice isn’t up to your standards, you can always pick up the another character and give them a try. This is great because the game plays differently with each, so every character is like picking up a brand new game.
I know a lot of people expected this game to be CrossBuy, but unfortunately each version of the game is sold separately. With that being said, here is a nifty CrossSave feature that will allow those people who have picked up both versions of the game to upload their save files from one platform to the other. I’ll admit, I used this to farm trophies on both systems as well.
Dragon’s Crown features an amazing art style that makes almost every event look like it is straight out of a storybook while completing extra quests at the Adventurer’s Guild will unlock extra art and stories to check out in your free time. In fact, there is a lot of things that can be done outside of just working on the story or doing side quests. As you play through the game, you will recover the bones of guild members that perished in combat. Bringing these remains back to the temple will allow you to resurrect them and have up to 3 of them join you as AI controlled party members. The AI isn’t bad at all so it feels just like playing with other people.
Which brings me to one of the biggest surprises in the game. When you start, there is no multiplayer option that you can select. I was incredibly confused myself when I saw this. However, later in the game, you will actually unlock a feature that will allow you to not only play online in a drop in/drop out style, but you can also recover the remains of players you fight alongside to have them join you as AI party members when you need them. This is important because when you fight the last boss, you do it “alone” with only your party member to fight alongside you. Knowing they are leveled and strong certainly helps. Now, importantly, you can’t abuse having super high level characters to summon as a sort of cheat code. As you use them, their gear will wear down and once their gear breaks, they will become completely useless to you. So you have to play your cards smart.
I got the opportunity to play this game and make it through the primary story multiple times. There is a difficulty setting that actually functions like a continuation of the story and is actually pretty cool as well. The biggest thing is, it would be extremely easy to spend over 120 hours in this game and not see or do everything. This is one of the biggest “simple” games I have seen in awhile.
If you are a fan of the classic beat-em-up style and want to revel in a well put together game, you need to check this out! You know that though? Don’t take my word for it, check out what these outlets had to say about it as well.
Game Informer 8/10