There have been quite a few games this year that have caused quite some controversy, some due to choices in gameplay or how they were released, or changed what made the game popular to the fans in the first place. More often than not this year, the staple has been, feminism and the lack of women or over sexualisation of women in the format, some do point out some good points, but the majority unfortunately seem to be questioning art style or foreign culture. Dragons Crown is no different here, It has come under attack due to the art style that has been used within the game, mostly the art style chosen for the Necromancer and the Amazon, mostly showing too much skin, or being too well endowed. Though it is becoming difficult to tell if there is actually a problem here, mostly because every game released has something “Sexist”, the word seems to of lost its meaning and become a scape goat just to complain.
Regardless of if the game is or is not sexist, if you can look past this you will find a very solid game, it has been released by Vanillaware, and published by Atlus. If you have ever seen any of the game’s Atlus publishes, the content on show here in Dragons Crown will not bother you, as it seems to not bother the gamers in their home country, only in the West is it questioned. It might seem like the amount of flack this game is getting is the topic of this review, but people who are interested in this game should not be put off by the complaints of a minority.
On to the actual game, Dragons Crown is a 2D side scrolling fighter similar to Golden Axe, you choose one of 6 different classes, each with their own skills and different attacks, and bring different tactics to a multi-player group.
Classes (Characters) include:
Fighter; a Knight is shining Armour, uses a sword and shield and can take the most damage. With the fighter using a short sword his reach is also a lot shorter than others, but the fighter’s attacks are fast.
Amazon; A gamer geeks dream come true, a half-naked female warrior that likes big things, that’s 90% of geek gamers out of the question, but moving on, She battles using two-handed weapons, and has a very powerful kick. As she is half-naked her defense is very low, but don’t think this makes her easy.
Wizard; a male magic user who holds a staff, he is an AOE damage dealer, but he has the physical strength of Miley Cyrus poking a sponge finger.
Elf; a nimble female archer of the group, she might look youthful but don’t let that fool you, she is a lot older than she looks. As with all archers, she attacks from afar with her bow and arrows
Dwarf; a short fat bear drinking typical type of dwarf that wields two one handed weapons. He has awesome strength and is able to throw enemies at others like projectiles.
Sorceress; a plump female Mage that uses staffs and dark magic, most of her spells support the group, like conjuring food, summoning ‘Lindsay Lohan’ (Skeleton) as a servant that fights by her side or turning enemies into a French persons dream food ‘Frogs’.
You then can level up your character, collecting loot from each of the battles to upgrade your character with, and if you love your numbers on items, you will be searching for S ranked treasure consonantly, to get the perfect class. The loot system is a little addicting, similar to ARPG’s like Diablo and had me playing the same level again to try and chance better loot, this hopefully will give it a great online community as well. The levels are simple in nature, start to finish, with some secret doors along the way, you end you have a boss fight which usually is some massive monster you must defeat. Along the levels there are many chests and that your friend the Rouge can unlock them in the fray, it’s an interesting mechanic, but it was clearly designed with the Vita in mind, as holding R1 seems a little awkward.
The games story isn’t bad, the Dragons Crown, is literally a crown that allows you to control dragons, who would of thought, and the entire realm, including the king and queen, or so the citizens think, is in search for this legendary item. Adventurer are in high demand and luckily this allows you to pick up most of the quests without much trouble, the story continues through these quests and from people you meet along the way, including an alcoholic fairy. Whilst the story isn’t the best, it was enjoyable, and it kept me going, there are also extra quests that you can take, which give another reason to return to older areas, as well as getting extra items. From these quests you can get extra XP and gold, and also unlock art work to view.
Graphically the game has not changed much from other Vanillaware games if you compare them, 2D graphics that have been warped to give life like movement; it is a very interesting concept and produces a very nice style. Though I love the back drops in this game, it goes to show you that 2D games done right can look beautiful, Rayman Origins has proved this and Dragons Crown as too, it would be nice to see more 2D games that are not lazy “Retro” inspired games, but actually pushes what we can do with 2D sprites.
The actual gameplay is where this game hooks and keeps you, with each of the 6 different classes have completely different move set, and the Dwarf is able to pick up and throw your opponents, whilst the knight can fling them into the air and perform air combos. Whilst this allows you to dispatch them quite easily, once multi-player starts, mayhem begins, bosses are easily defeated and you can waltz through most levels. It would be nice if this game increases difficulty as more players enter the game, as it would keep the game interesting and not too easy.
Dragons Crown is an old style game, and it is going to only find a niche market, but regardless it is a fantastic mix of old and new style game play mechanics, and if you can get past the art style, you will find a game that will keep you entertained for a long time, 5/5 for a purely fun and fantastic game, one that has kept me entertained, and 3 of my friends laughing whilst throwing each other across the town hub.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.