BADGP Reviews: Dragon’s Crown

Image

Dragon’s Crown (Atlus, Vanillaware)

Review: Vanillaware’s Crowning Achievement?

Zach Buzan, Alex Linna, Thomas Linna

What is Dragons Crown?

Equip your axes and ready your potions for the beautiful world of Dragon’s Crown. This RPG side-scrolling brawler allows you to choose from six different classes: Dwarf, Wizard, Archer, Warrior, Amazon and Sorceress. All of these classes handle themselves very differently and provides the player with incentive to experiment with all of them. The game’s main focus is on the combat and the loot that the players will acquire throughout their lengthy quest. (Zach)

Audio/Visual

Dragon’s Crown has an outstanding and beautiful art direction that is not only shown through the gameplay animations but also through the marvelous art works depicted through the completion of quests. The overall look of the game is gorgeous much like Vanillaware’s previous endeavors. This is by far one of the most visually stunning games to have been released this year. The game itself had some nice little details that give that extra push into a generally visually striking game. As for the music, it exemplified what the game’s setting. It was typically an appropriately soothing or exciting orchestral track that gave a feel of a grand adventure into the world of mystical medieval times.  The music sustained the atmosphere that the game seemed to be aiming for. (Thomas)

Game Play

Like any other RPG, Dragon’s Crown begins its story slowly giving the player basics in how to accomplish tasks. After learning how to resurrect allies and buying items from multiple stores in the city the player may leave and tackle quests. The combat for each class is responsive and is more importantly rewarding. Each class has their own strengths and weaknesses and the game can and will hurt you if the player is not paying attention. Whether slinging spells or manhandling monsters, Dragon’s Crown keeps the game fresh with its skill and loot system. When the adventurer levels up or completes side quests they will obtain skill points which they can use to level up certain skills. Another reward the player will receive after completing a mission is loot. The loot system is where I became addicted to Dragon’s Crown. After completing a quest you will receive a certain amount of items that you can claim for your party. The trick to this is that you cannot see the stats of the item until you appraise the item. Trying to see if you should sell the item or appraise it makes it very interesting as you juggle your gold. (Zach)

Image

Gold management can be a source of tension when four local players all want their best loot and most pay for repairs on equipped loot.  This is further intensified by the game forcing its players to pay to select a level about a third of the way through the game to the end.  But other than a few pricy magic runes there is not much to buy other than identifying loot and repairing that which is already equipped.  (Alex)

Story

Dragon’s Crown takes much inspiration from dungeons and dragons. You are an adventurer and you are here to retrieve a crown for the queen of the city. In order to retrieve the crown, you must defeat a legendary dragon that has broke from its seal. The story is mainly told through the voice of a narrator or dungeon master with the occasional side characters sprinkled around. The voice acting is really well done but gets old really quick since you hear the same sentences over again if the player revisits any area. This happens quite a bit since there are only nine main areas with two bosses a piece. (Zach)

Gender Politics

There is no doubt about it, the character design in Dragon’s Crown is ridiculous and must be addressed.  It is a part of the game and therefore is open to criticism, but it appears that some have allowed it to completely color their opinion of the game.  Those speaking out against Dragon’s Crown for its sexualized characters are not calling for censorship or any kind of regulation.  It appears that the general distaste comes from a place of feminism/equal rights/representation.  So it must be asked: Are you surprised that men make games that appeal to men? Do you expect a man to “accurately” portray a female perspective?  I find any out cry against Dragon’s Crown saddening, because I have to think: “What do you want?”  Would you want the creators to censor their artistic vision? I suppose one would appreciate a more accurate and less sexualized portrayal of women Dragon’s Crown or videogames in general.  How does one accomplish this? I would suggest having more female game developers.  This seems kind of obvious.  As the specter of sexism continues to haunt the industry, it will continue to until women start making games for women and people stop complaining about men making games for men despite how distasteful or misogynistic they may be.  Good art is supposed to provoke a reaction in people and judging by the reaction, or in my opinion: overreaction, to Dragon’s Crown it must be crafted of the best art.  (Alex)

Image

Comparisons

Dragon’s Crown makes room for itself in a once crowded genre.  The side-scrolling genre was hung in the 16-bit era and it is evident that Dragon’s Crown takes inspiration from classics like Golden Axe and Streets of RageDragon’s Crown diverse classes and deep RPG mechanics make it much more fulfilling than the fleeting experiences of the passed.  The brawling genre has remained relevant as made evident by the enormous success of the Behemoth’s Castle CrashersCastle Crashers is certainly more accessible than Dragon’s Crown and only offensive to those with feces aversions, but Dragon’s Crown art, depth, and class diversity give it the edge for me.  (Alex)

Is Dragon’s Crown Vanillaware’s best game? That is something I have been struggling with.  I have not finished Odin Sphere or Grim Grimoire, but have put several hours into both.  I did complete both sides of the Wii gem, Muramasa: The Demon Blade, so for me it comes down to Muramasa vs. Dragon’s Crown. Dragon’s Crown is in HD, Muramasa has better music, both have outstanding and creative enemy designs.  Muramasa has more creative and original core-game-play the blade system in Muramasa is completely engrossing and there is nothing like it, by Dragon’s Crown has multiplayer.  If forced to choose I would lean towards recommending Muramasa over Dragon’s Crown however. Both are great games by Muramasa’s originality gives it the edge.  (Alex)

Verdict

Even though Dragons Crown can be repetitive and the story might not blow your mind, the game well makes up for it through the game play. Having six unique classes to choose from and an addicting loot system it is easy to say I will be venturing in this realm for a long time. (Zach)

Zach – 8.3

Alex – 8.6

Thomas – 8.0

BAD – 8.3

Image Credits:

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: