Dragon’s Crown only at first seems another beat ‘ em up in which the character going from left to right every ten seconds fighting with opponents. Over time, when you open more opportunities and immersed in the subtleties the game begins to resemble a kind of role — playing action where the hunt for more and more quality trophies-no less important element than the battle itself.
Searching for the king
The story tells of an ancient artifact called “dragon Crown”. Once for him went to king, but not returned from his travel. Search for the autocrat (and relics at the same time) will be engaged in a hired warrior receiving assignments from other residents of the Kingdom of Heidland. This character is controlled by the player free to choose one of the six characters at the beginning of the passage. They are all different: one is dressed in strong armor and brandishing a sword the other uses magic the third is armed with a bow. Initial training helps to quickly get used to the skills of each.
Unfortunately the plot remained one of the weakest elements. By itself, it seems to be not so bad, it even has unexpected turns, but the story as a whole does not cause any emotions and to worry about the Kingdom which from all sides is in danger there is no desire. Perhaps the point in the flow of conversations as there are none occurring in all the details described by the narrator. That is during a conversation with the Prime Minister or the Princess you do not see either their remarks or your own. The absence of even the slightest emotions on their faces also does not help — if in visual novels the same hero is usually depicted in several poses then there are limited to one.
But Dragon’s Crown Pro looks great especially on a modern TV with high resolution. The style of VanillaWare Studio is recognized immediately-if you have seen Odin Sphere and Muramasa, you will feel at home. It is full of references to various artistic directions: the Prime Minister reminds people from paintings of the Renaissance, and the spirit of the girl sharpened in the tower of the magician as if descended from the canvas of Francisco Goya. The visual style is not unique but it definitely stands out from what we see in games of this genre usually.
But the main advantages of Dragon’s Crown are associated with the gameplay — fighting is very exciting because the rich combat system allows you to put simple movements in a crushing combination. Tackle with stunning opponent throwing it up beating in the air and the subsequent fall to the ground — this is one example of what can be done to eliminate the enemy. Strikes hurt several enemies so a couple of wizards trying to shower you with magic regret that they were so close to each other.
Each fighter has unique skills. Gnome-the only one who is able to raise enemies and throw on the other side of the screen. The magician turns treasure chests into living pieces of wood to help in the fight but his physical attacks are not as deadly as a warrior. Archer melee is also useless — it only pushes opponents or runs off to fill them with arrows. No useless characters so it makes sense to pass difficult missions motley company (with bots or co-op). As is often the case in Japanese games, joint online sessions are not very convenient — you need to play about five hours and open all the locations to be able to invite friends. But the local co-op is available immediately.
Alone to go to the dark dungeons and abandoned ruins do not have — on the way across the bones of fallen soldiers, which can be taken with you and taken to the temple in the Kingdom. With magic heroes resurrect and go to the tavern, and already there to choose who to take with you on a journey. The longer you play the better come across partners, but no attachment to them do not feel — it’s the usual emotionless bots, which for gold coins can be returned to life even if they die during the battle. The only problem you face with the presence of three companions is the abundance of special effects and flickering on the screen. You lose sight of your fighter very often.
Don’t fights United
An interesting feature of Dragon’s Crown is due to the fact that the game has something to do even outside the battles. The task of the hero is accompanied by two permanent companion, no space in the squad —cracker Rainey and tiny fairy. Rainey helps to open the chests, which are all sorts of treasures: swords, axes, bows, belts, armor, amulets and more. It is impossible to put on things at once-at first them it is required to identify in the city, or at once to sell if you do not need updating of equipment. Also the cracker helps to collect the scattered gold and you can look for it not only in the destructible boxes but also in the environment driving the cursor with the right stick. The recesses from which fall out a valuable coin, glasses, plates and necklaces a little glitter so skip difficult.
Fairy also allows you to activate engraved on the walls of glyphs. Once in the next room, you see on the surrounding objects only two characters-the third is depicted on one of the lying in the inventory runes. At first, it is the hero only one but over time in the Kingdom you can buy more and without the right combination to create magic will not work. Bonuses granted with the correct activation of glyphs can not be called very useful-you can include a temporary invulnerability or call healing the whole squad ring but the effect does not last too long and the characters are not in every location. It’s a fun mechanic, but it seems elaborate and not in the re-release alas has not been any change.
But the rest of the gameplay elements will not find fault —especially cool implemented pumping character. Rake a mountain of trophies never gets bored. All swords, medallions and other items have a variety of characteristics: some increase the stock of health, others increase the damage in the air, others increase the resistance to attacks of certain enemies. For increasing the levels are given skill points that are spent on improving the characteristics of the two categories: one is the same for all the characters, and the second contains unique bonuses for a particular class. With each “upgrade” you feel that your hero becomes stronger and stronger.
The city, in which the player always returns after a sortie, consists of several buildings, and sooner or later will have to visit. In the temple resurrect allies or bury their bones, as well as making offerings for the sake of bonuses (such as improving the quality drop-down trophies). In the Guild you can get additional missions, the reward for which will be skill points and beautiful images — this is one of those rare occasions when I studied the gallery after the passage. In one store you can buy and sell items in the other — to buy runes. Well, in the tavern is the collection of the squad and switch between their characters-you can always take another character but it will have to pump from the beginning as well as to pass the whole main plot.
Complete one after another mission, over and over again fighting with opponents and dressing the character in more and more high — quality things do not get bored-after the passage of the plot for one character just want to start the story again, but another fighter. Dragon’s Crown offers a great cocktail of beat ‘ em up and role-playing elements the latter here almost more than in some RPG.
In the reissue the game looks better than before, and the updated orchestral soundtrack complements what is happening. It is a pity that the trophies in the version for PS4 do not issue anew if the game is already passed on PS3 and PS Vita. But cross-platform multiplayer works fine, and their old save can be transferred to this version. I would like to see some fixes mechanics, but in this form to play Dragon’s Crown — a pleasure.