Top positive review
8 people found this helpful
A specific game for specific people
on 18 December 2013
This is a throwback to old-school side-scroller beat'em-ups. Think Double Dragon, think Streets of Rage, more than anything think Golden Axe. Does that make you go "SWEET"? Then get this game. Otherwise, maybe give it some thought. It's a game designed to appeal to people who played and loved the old beat'em-ups, and thus some people may find it too repetitive/hard/bland. That being said, for people who loved Golden Axe? This game is a gem.
The gameplay is nothing new if you're familiar with the Genre, standard character selection and each character pretty much plays as you'd expect. Moving your character is smooth and instinctive, and it shouldn't take long to figure out how to work your character. Speaking of which:
For the more physical characters you've got the knight who can block with a shield and who also packs a punch, the Amazon who can do insane amounts of attack damage but has weak defense, and the dwarf who's a good balance between attack and defense and can also grab stuff but is slow and lacking in reach. Then you have the Wizard who can cast all sorts of spells to deal damage, but takes time casting the spells and has weak defense. You have the Elf who has a bow and can shoot rapid volleys of arrows from a distance but A. can run out of ammo and B. is weak in close quarters. And you have the Sorceress who specializes in supportive spells, like boosting everyone's defense or turning the enemies into frogs. There's a good variety, and each character is unique and requires a different game-play stile. No copy-pasting going on here. You've also got some RPG elements and character building, where you level up, gain skill points, and use said skill points to give your character new skills. Pretty straight forward.
Another noteworthy thing is the artwork. It's distinctive and cartoonish in a weird way, and I can see some people disliking it, but the sheer attention to detail and beauty is exquisite. It's very similar to Muramasa: The Demon Blade (another good game worth a play), but that's not surprising since Dragon's Crown and Muramasa were both developed by Vanillaware. Whether you like the art or not, you have to admit they put some serious time into character and environment design.
Also, there are many little nods to older games, references to certain movies etc, and at least one boss gave me a good chuckle.
One thing that DID kind of nag me is the emphasis on multiplayer. It's not one of those "must play with 2 or more people or else is impossible to beat ANYTHING" games, but some characters seem to have multiplayer in mind more than solo-play. That being said, it's still quite possible to play through the whole thing with only one player, and (I presume, I've only used 3 characters so far but managed) any character of your choosing. While multiplayer IS a lot of fun, and adds a whole new level of strategy and teamwork, I do kind of wish they balanced the solo-play aspect a bit more. You can have AI characters instead of actually having other players, but the AI is no genius. It's hardly a game-breaking issue, but still.
All things considered, however, this is a gem if you like the classic arcade beat'em-ups. There's plenty of character customization with skills and weapons etc, the game-play and controls are solid, there are story missions AND side missions and so on. You get your money's worth AND some, in my opinion.