The lights are on
George Kamitani, Founder of Vanillaware, had ambitions of
making a game for fifteen years, in that time he pitched it to various studios
that turned it down and pretty much had to establish a development team just to
see his vision through, and now in 2013, after a long, complicated struggle to
see it happen, that vision has been made into the reality we know as Dragon’s
Crown. I hope Kamitani is happy with it, because I sure am.
Depending on your attitude, the story may strike you as
either deliberately traditional or painfully generic, you’re an adventurer, and
you go on adventures in the name of the princess or something. In truth the
story is there to give you context for your adventuring, but may be a bit too
intrusive for how inconsequential it seems on the outset. Still if you
approached with the right mindset then there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find
yourself engaged by it. But at the same time, you could probably tune it out
altogether and be no worse for wear.
In terms of the game’s presentation, if you’re familiar with
Vanillaware, than you’ll have a good idea of what to expect, have said that, I don’t
think I can overstate how beautiful this game looks. Vanillaware, with their extravagant
attention to detail, have spared no expense in the effort to making this game
stand out. Everything from the multi-section character sprites to the weapon designs
are visually stunning, and while the enemies look great as well, the gigantic
bosses steal the show, and watching the game in motion is a sight to behold. The
music and voice acting on the other hand don’t leave as much of an impression,
but considering the rest of the experience is so visually well-realized, that’s
Also there’s some mature content that might rub people the
As far as the gameplay is concerned, it’s also a familiar
product of Vanillaware; simple, easy-to-grasp controls, and wonderfully
balanced mechanics that make for a game that, above all else, is simply fun to
play. Dragon’s Crown is essentially a dungeon-crawler with a well implemented
2-D brawler format and loot system. Each of the game’s six classes; Fighter,
Amazon, Elf, Dwarf, Wizard and Sorceress, follow a familiar template, but each approach
combat with their own methods of taking control of the battlefield. While I do
wish the game encouraged playing solo more, being able to recruit new teammates
by resurrecting their corpses is a neat idea, and building a team that works
well together can mean all the difference between triumph and failure. And when
triumph is achieved, you’re rewarded with EXP, Skill point and the like, as
well as loot you can choose to simply discard, or have appraised at a nominal
fee. It certainly makes more sense to appraise the high-grade loot on the
surface, but I found it a bit too difficult to just let my treasure go without
knowing what it was first. Your experience may differ, but in short, the
risk-reward loot system works great.
If there’s any issue I take with the game, is that while it
is playable on both PS3 band Vita, both versions have to be purchased separately.
I’d like to think I’m not so privileged that I feel entitled to both versions
for one price, but it’s still fairly disappointing considering it runs counter
to Sony’s Cross-Buy initiative. But that doesn’t mean I won’t buy both versions.
Because this game is just as playable on both platforms, and helps to necessitate
both long and short play sessions, both of which the game is well acquainted
I’ll admit I’m generous when it comes to giving my opinion
on games, and my view on this game may be a bit more flattering than it
probably deserves, but Dragon’s Crown got to me, not just with it’s wonderful
presentation and gameplay, but also as a testament to one man’s ambition to
make the game he wanted to make, and after almost two decade of trying, finally
seeing it happen. I respect that, and I my opinion, the game is all the better
because of it.
No one has commented on this article.