Review: Dragons Crown

Dragons Crown (5)

Brandish your blade, dust off your grimoire, and rally your online adventuring party.
Dragon’s Crown thrusts you into a fantastical medieval world packed with labyrinthine dungeons to explore, vile monstrosities to smite, and nearly endless online adventure. Your mission is to dive into the dank underworld, uncovering treasure and strengthening your mettle as you unlock the secret behind the ancient dragon threatening the world.

Dragons Crown (1)

Pros:

  •  Lovely hand drawn graphics with some amazing back drops giving a true 3D feel to a 2D action RPG game. The animations are brilliant all brought together with some excellent atmosphere.
  • Game can be played with 4 AI/Online players. Online players can be random or set to friends only. Supports AD-Hoc mode.
  • Controls are tricky at first. You can search your surroundings for loot, On Vita this is done by touching the screen where as on the PS3 it is done off the right analogue stick. You can use the right stick on Vita aswel but feels awkward.
  • You can choose one of 6 characters to quest with. All with different abilities, You can have multiple saves for each character. Pick from dwarf,elf,amazon (not the website),fighter,sorceress and wizard. All come with their own advantages/disadvantages and learning curve.
  • Cross saves and is really easy to use. Upload your save to the cloud, Then download and choose a save slot to finish the process.
  • PS3 version has a install option allowing you to dramatically speed up loading times.
  • Action RPG game that sees you taking on missions and traversing new lands, Fighting huge bosses and unlocking multiple routes to keep the game fresh.
  • Game has 100s of hours of content. All though the main story can be done quite quickly in RPG terms, You have different characters to replay it with and so many side quests that can be activated and found.
  • The main hub is where you go in between missions. Here you can talk to NPC’s, shop, repair equipment, sort your load out, save and sort out your bones.
  • The hub also allows you to press select and quick select a location and warp straight there to cut down on walking around. Seems a small thing but in reality is a very nice addition.
  • By sort out your bones I mean, During the game you will find the remains of fallen adventurers, At the temple you can choose to resurrect these fallen heroes and have them join your party, Or if you would prefer you can have their remains permanently buried with a chance of them leaving you a gift.
  • Your party can be changed when ever you like from within the Tavern in the hub. After a mission your party is disbanded but setting it up is easy enough.
  • Apart from your party, You always have a thief and a fairy with you. The fairy will  make you aware of any secret areas/doors/pick ups where as the thief will open chests for you and unlock doors. They dont require any management and can take care of themselves.
  • Areas are relatively short which is perfect for on the go gaming, But for people who want more from it, Can explore and find hidden rooms or missions through out.
  • Runes, Once unlocked allow you to cast spells/miracles to which there are loads of them. Depending on the order of the rune activation and your location, depend on what happens. You could unlock all secret areas, kill all onscreen enemies, give all players a stat buff or even uncover hidden chests.
  • All treasure chests open give random items,cash or weapons with limited use. To add more to it, all chests have a treasure ranking system. From E to S being the best, This is a good indicator on how good the contents will be.
  • The game has you riding dragons/bears/wolves ala Golden Axe, Bring new attacks and more resilience to enemy attacks.
  • Game is played out like a giant adventure book with a narrator talking you through text, the story and any developments. This brings the atmosphere big time.
  • Character voices can be changed and even allows you to have them peaking Japanese.
  • Earn exp and your stats are automatically increased. What you do get though is a upgrade point which is then used to upgrade either a main stat like health bar, picking up coins replenish health etc. Or you can upgrade specific abilities for your character. Here you can add new moves or better stats to your character. Finishing side quests also grant you upgrade points.
  • Boss battles are epic and HUGE! Taking up half the screen is only half the story, Have huge statues fight for you, Take on Medusa and her minions. The game never lets you down in the boss department.
  • Online does allow drop in and out co op and most of the time you wont even realize as it uses your character name and not your gamertag.
  • Huge array of options for you, Turn on/off hit points,health shown,markers,AOE markers and buy the DLC and you can change the voice over.
  • The sound is brilliant and has a really good OST which is best experienced with headphones on the Vita.

Dragons Crown (2)

Cons:

  • The game screen can get very hectic, Making it hard to see where you are or what you are even do. This is the case especially when you have a full party. Yes it has a marker for you but in the heat of the battle it does very little. Obviously this is more of a problem on the Vita than it is on the PS3 version.
  • Would be brilliant if you could use the rear touch pad for clicking the background instead of the front screen on the Vita.
  • Playing online is fine but a few glitches are still around like random disconnects and found items not showing after a mission.
  • Online has an annoying waiting for players after every level change, Or anywhere where loading is required.
  • Has a steep learning curve and has so much information to take in. Had a few instances where the game assumes you know what to do and where to go.
  • Installing the data on the PS3 copy does make the PS3 version faster at loading than the Vita version.

Dragons Crown (4)

In Summary, Having played both versions, There really is no clear winner and comes down purely to personal preference. The game is brilliant and so deep it is insane. Having both copies is a must for all fans as the cloud save transfer is so quick and easy that you can fit in some quick questing on the train to work, then carry on when you get home. The busy screen is always going to be a thing with a game such as this ,but the animations and general epicness takes the sting out of it. It is a must for all RPG fans and is a true contender for best ARPG on Vita. It certainly ticks a lot of boxes such as online play, cross save, multiple routes, side quests. It’s all in there and just begging for you to try to find it all. You will feel overwhelmed a lot of the time ,but you will eventually take it all on, By then of course something new will be unveiled and you will be back at square one. I have like 60 hours logged and still don’t fully understand Runes and weapon choices. Does it ruin the experience? No because I am having fun finding out. Yes I could GameFaq the hell out of the game ,but why spoil it for myself. If you are into ARPG games and want to do some co-op questing then this game must be in your library.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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