Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Review: Dragon's Crown

Dragon's Crown
Beat 'em up RPG
PS Vita, PS3
PS Vita: AU$44.95 PS3: AU$59.95
This game's been on the review block for a while but I have had other, better games get in he way... you heard me! So... how good is Dragon's Crown? Well...

For those who haven't read the reviews... why are you here? Dragon's Crown is a hybrid game of old school beat 'em ups & dungeon crawling RPGs. Yeah, think Final Fight crossed with Diablo.

The story is a little simple for an RPG. You play as one of 6 classes as a mercenary/adventurer in the land of Hydeland. You are on a quest to hunt down the Dragon's Crown & prevent the destruction of the land. Simple premise, but enough I suppose.

The 6 classes all have unique moves & difficulty to them. There's the Elf who fights with a bow, a dwarf who's a heavy hitter and can throw enemies, a knight who's a balanced character that can actually guard, a wizard that casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down, a sorceress who can buff the party and the Amazon that just looks disturbing. They all play similarly to each other, but it's the special moves that separate them.

The structure of the game is basically get quest, go to dungeon, beat dungeon, lather, rinse, repeat... always repeat! There are sidequests too but they can be cryptic & difficult. In the dungeons you'll find items & gold in chests that require the thief npc to open & it's the only way to earn equipment too! There's also runes on the wall that can be combined with ones you have to summon all sorts of buffs & other weird things & while it can be fun to see what they can be, most are locked to a specific outcome.

As for the equipment you find in dungeons(since tedium is the spice of bland) you'll need to appraise it to use it & that costs money & top of it off, it needs to be repaired! This is where 90% of your gold will go to & it's really annoying when you're broke. Even if the loot bug bites you, it'll wear thin pretty quickly.

Throughout the dungeons you'll also find piles of bones that can be revived for npc teammates. They are randomly generated characters with preset equipment & stats. What's bad about this is they don't level up & their equipment can't be changed & breaks, forcing you to keep wasting more money reviving new ones constantly.

The game does support a multiplayer option too. PS Vita has ad hoc multiplayer while PS3 supports the superior local multiplayer to get friends on the couch. Online multiplayer has the advantage of a fair few people to play with, but it goes from a co op multiplayer experience... to a competitive loot grab! You're better off playing with friends or with the npc's in my opinion.

The art & music are fantastic though. Sure the art is riskay & controversial, but damn it's beautiful to look at! The music is well composed & helps frame the world with classic medieval flare. These are probably the best things about this game sadly.

If you love the idea of the game, it's not bad... just mediocre. It starts off fun but it just devolves into a grindy bore if loot drops don't excite you. If the equipment could be bought & the story was on par with other Vanilliaware titles, I'd shout from the rooftops to buy this game. It's not a bad game at all... just not what I'd have hoped for. It's more fun with friends in local multiplayer then it is in single player though. Best description of this game is that it's extremely niche. Also the better version is the PS3 version overall so consider that one over PS Vita.

Score 3/5

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