Dragon’s Crown on PlayStation 3 came at a delicate time, the PlayStation 4 was already out and I’d have already moved on. I did end up getting a copy to review years ago and felt that the late release of the PlayStation 3’s cycle certainly affected the reach of this game.
Years later, Atlus has done right and released a prettier port of Dragon’s Crown for PlayStation 4, and this game is most certainly more beautiful in stunning 4K. The added detail allows the wonderous ruins, castles, and nightmares look better than ever.
The problem is, that there isn’t anything else that was done to justify a return to Dragon’s Crown if you’ve already played it, as the increased resolution and the re-recorded soundtrack is all that I can see done. This is the exact same game that released in 2013 and features the same cross-play that was available back them, allowing me to grab my save and continue playing as if temporarily put it down.
Dragon’s Crown is an action-RPG that is reminiscent of classical arcade scrollers, in-vein of games like the arcade Ninja Turtle games, or the Konami Simpson’s game. With up to four players able to choose from one of six characters, all based on stereotypes of classical RPG archetypes, you’re able to team up and annihilate droves of enemies that will face off against you, with a series of interesting bosses to help shake up the formula.
A lot of the gameplay is focused on stats and getting better gear, with the option to revisit and clear levels for better gear whenever you so desire to do so. Upon revisiting, you learn of different routes, quests, and bosses that may pique your interest in completing. There’s enough reason to return, as you do gain some fantastic gear upon a second or third return visit.
Set in the Kingdom of Hydeland, you as an adventurer, who helps the locals by embarking on quests. Here you’ll come across droves of undead, ghosts, and monsters. Each level you visit takes between 10 -20 minutes to complete and moving from each level feels wonderfully natural, exhilarating, and loot-heavy. The paper-thin plot isn’t why you’re playing Dragon’s Crown, so don’t expect the story to move you in a way, but expect something that will loosely tie themes together.
A neat change to the game is the added ability to use the PlayStation 4’s touchpad like you would use the PlayStation Vita touchscreen. Simply pointing to treasure or an item on the touchpad will allow your character to move there like a point and click game and they’ll gather the items.
Artistically, this definitely a Vanillaware game and it oozes that unique style the studio is known for. Some models, are a bit outlandish for my liking, but if you can get over the exaggerated character designs, the updated resolution gives these characters a well-deserved once over allowing their designs to pop, the color choices prove to be successful.
At its heart, this loot-heavy, action-RPG is a wonderful treat for those who never played the original release. The wonderful graphics and satisfying gameplay will please most and the six characters to choose from play different enough that there is a class for everyone to play. Unfortunately, if you hate to grind, this game isn’t for you as there’s a lot of that involved to get the better gear, returning to levels can take a toll on you, but, it’s also really friendly, so if you want to pick it up and play for a bit before taking a break, you’ll get your fix long enough and feel satisfied with the experience.
[A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes]