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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
Platform: PlayStation 3|Change
Price:£22.75+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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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.
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on 1 June 2014
Having been a gamer for a long time, I often enjoy games that have a retro feel to them. Dragons Crown should be just the game for any side scrolling beat-em-up fan, with similarities to games such as Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, Final Fight....etc.

Dragons Crown is a hybrid of the classic side scrolling formula with a few JRPG elements. I'd agree with one of the professional reviews, I read, where the game takes a while before the action gets rolling. It starts by introducing the story, characters and areas you'll be using throughout playing the game, which after selecting your characters, stops you (and your couch buddies) from getting started with the main game. But once you start playing, its all good fun. Plenty of enemies, great bosses, player skill trees, different character classes, fast paced combat and chaotic action. Also the look of the game is VERY impressive, all hand drawn and very colourful.

Regarding the controversy about some of the over-sexualised art/characters; its down to peoples opinions, you'll either find it offensive, ridiculous, or like me, it doesn't bother you in the slightest, and you can't quite figure out what all this fuss is about. To me, the art style is the decision of the artist and the people making the game. If they want to style the game a certain way, that's their decision and part of the final product, and like it or not, the skill in the artwork should be appreciated, it is a very beautiful game. Characters like the ones in this game, have been in video games for many years. Besides, I believe there are films, music videos, animes and even video games, that depict women in a much more offensive fashion.

To me, this game is a fantastic modernization of a classic gaming formula. I can only hope more side scrolling action games will be made. This game sold out in Japan, and that shows the genre may still be popular.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 11 October 2013
The product description talks about "Unparalleled HD visual design" - but this game actually looks strangely flat and cramped. After playing and finishing Diablo III (PS3), this game looks like another return to a previous era of gaming - possibly an heir to "Golden Axe".

But whereas Diablo was a classy update of that classic isometric view - this is a strange, flat view, where you can only really move left to right, with a small amount of up and down movement, to allow you to move out of the way of enemies. All the characters look well-drawn, but are flat cut-outs against the static background. The characters are slightly bigger than in Diablo, but while in that game, everything looked 3-dimensional and scrolled with you - in Dragon's Crown, it's more static and you have to move to the the next room or scene, to progress.

We also have the classic RPG character set-up, like in Diablo - so you can choose male Warrior/Fighter, female Amazon, Sorceress,Wizard, Elf or Dwarf. The screens for your inventory etc. are a bit difficult to follow at first but you get used to it quickly and it's more a case of winning stuff in battle, then coming home to assess what you have and buy/sell/repair etc. This gives you a respite from the endless battles/quests and helps you at the beginning to work out what's going on.

The game seems to be set up for a four player local co-operative mode and if you don't have 3 friends to play with it allows you ressurect heroes from the crypt of the church and have them play along with you - for a price. You also get a loyal rogue who gathers treasure and opens chest, doors etc. After a while a fairy joins you as well and you end up with crowd scene, following you around!

At first it's difficult to die, but soon you meet harder level bosses where you seem to be able to die and ressurrect endlessly. You will meet a point though where it's "game over" and you just end up back at the tavern where you normally start off anyway. This is quite friendly and almost the opposite of the harder modes in Diablo.

Overall this game is quite different to current RPGs - there is maybe a certain Japanese, Manga influence in the character designs - although this is mixed with an idea of English Medieval Fantasy, where everything is exaggerated. The graphic style is a matter of personal taste - it certainly looks distinctive and different - but some people might not like it. It's funny and bawdy at times and at others seems very serious with its continuous narration in deadpan style. I can't decide whether it's tongue in cheek or just something lost in translation.

Overall it's not as good as Diablo, but it is entertaining and different - worth a look if you have just finished Nightmare mode and don't want to slog through again.
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on 2 November 2014
Fantastic artwork and a masterpiece in its time. Decent amount of customization of abilities and unlocking new stuff.
Lots of loot and game can be played alone or with friends and that is a big plus.

Only problem I had with the game was that the there were so few maps and I wish there was more levels to go through.
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on 21 February 2014
I have just put in a few hours into this. It does remind me of double dragon and golden axe. There is leveling up where you gain xp for completing quests and get gold, which you can use to buy items, and sometimes, you even have to make a donation to be revived. The Graphics are good yes they are flat and mainly 2d but have some good hand drawn styles to them. This game was very popular in japan and you can see anime like qualities in the characters. Look at youtube videos of this game first if you are undecided.
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on 12 October 2013
I have only played through a fraction of the game, so this is not a fully experienced review. But from what I have played (as a level 20 warrior now doing the B routes in the 9 areas) I have found the game to be a breath of fresh air.

-- If you are buying this for a 12 year old, see my comment below --

I was going to stay away from this game at first because the price is excessive (at the time of writing this) compared to other newly released VITA games which are a lot cheaper.

It also doesn't help that the GAME is NOT Cross-buy which I personally believe is shocking. But I caved in and bought it the digital copy for the VITA (both the VITA and PS3 versions are identical).

You may have read that the game only contains 9 DUNGEONS(or areas to explore) and a BOSS for each one. This gives the impression that the game is very short, which is very misleading because the game does a great job of encouraging you to re-run those dungeons to complete quests, find loot, earn Gold and it offers areas to unlock and alternative routes in each dungeon.

DESPITE some of the negatives below, I would highly recommend this game, but keep reading as the game does contain questionable content.

Pros
----

- This game is absolutely beautiful with amazing 2D visuals, animation and original visuals.
- The controls are stupidly simple to grasp with two attacks of normal and heavy.
- A massive amount of skill unlocking for each character.
- A wide range of armor to loot and replace.
- It is very easy to make GOLD in game and earn enough to repair and buy things.
- A large amount of well designed quests which work as "challenges".

Most of the quests in game are more like "challenges" asking you to re-run a dungeon and perform a certain task while in there, such as killing an enemy while riding a beast (but others can be a bit grinding)!

- The in game henchman (NPCs who help you) are quite good, except when avoiding boss AEO.
- The online co-op is perfect and the smoothest and most stable I have ever seen on the VITA.

I have tried online play on other VITA games and it has been a nightmare, but this game runs without issue and the next patch will allow PS3 and VITA to do cross-play.

Cons
----

- I can't speak for the PS3 version, but on the VITA screen the chaos on screen can sometimes get confusing and make it very hard to see your character. Especially if you play online and join players using the same class. I have found instances where I had NO clue where my warrior was in a mass of battle.

- The game can come off as a bit hard at times, but that simply means you need to go away and level up more and get better gear and find stronger NPCs.

- The GAME not being cross-play (i.e you buy it on the PS3 and get the VITA download version free) which is just greedy and dishonest because the game would sell more copies if it was.

One small warning for those easily offended or 12 years old
------------------------------------------------------------

I'm saying this a 31 year old man...

As has been reported and can be seen in screen shots on the internet, the GAME does use some questionable imagery of woman. I personally don't mind how the two female classes are drawn because the male characters are also exaggerated in appearance, so this balances that out.

But... there is a point in the game where a female warrior priest is shown injured and dieing on the ground, and they have chosen to position her in a very provocative position, while at another point we see a capture female character virtually unclothed. It does appear excessive!

This makes me question the 12 AGE RATING, so if you have 12 year old kids, be careful!
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on 12 October 2013
This game is one of the best I have ever played and I play a lot. The art style and possibly the gameplay itself may put some people off but for me it is perfect. Tons of hours of fun to be had with this one. The art book that came with this game with the pre-order is brilliant as well. Highly recommend.
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on 12 December 2013
I gave this a 5 star rating as I was waiting for about 4 months for this game to come out, I actually bought my first ever PS3 a month before it come out! I ordered it online and paid like £50 for it just to get it for the next day delivery and with the added art work book, inside the book it said the guy who come up with this game had the idea of making it since he was younger and it was being made for 2 years before coming out! So I am happy it did come out and not get cancelled.

I recommend this game to anyone who is in to Hack and Slash games, Rpg's, platform beat-em-up's. Or all 3 of these.
Ok, you can play this game single player all he way or at any time you can get a friend to drop in or out of your game with another controller. The other option is that you can play this game multiplayer with the online feature.
The graphics are beautiful, stunning and the action is easy, one or two characters are harder to play as than the others but that is good as other wise it would mean all characters have same controls, so it gives you more to learn with each player. I love the over exadurated art stlye in the game. It pulls you in to the game from the beginning. You can upgrade skills for the player you are playing as, change your player at any time. Have NPC players fight with you if you choose. Find, buy and sell equipment as you go through the game. And it has 3 or maybe 4 difficulty levels I think. All in all I love this game, it is not the best game ever in history and you won't be able to play it for a year not stop, but I got this and it stayed in my PS3 for a week, then I had a little break then went back to it for about 3 or 4 days! And I am still eager to play it more. It is easy to play and for fans of this title you will want to max it out for trophies and play value. I give this 10/10, I thought of giving it a 9 as I wish there was some DLC like new areas to explore and beat, new characters, but all in all it has a lot of stages to play on and characters to play as and I am happy it just came out as not all games come out in the end, so 10 out of 10!
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on 12 October 2013
I've been waiting for this for ages and I'm not disappointed!

The first thing that will strike you is the unique art style which has to be seen in action to be believed, its amazing. The gameplay is like Golden Axe but you are able to upgrade your characters stats and move list.

The companies behind the game wont let the it falter with features being added on each patch fix according to what players ask for on the forums.

You just cant go wrong with this, get 3 mates round and you'll have a right laugh on this old school brawler!
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on 2 June 2014
A beautifully rendered 2D sidescrolling beat 'em up/dungeon crawler. Much in the vein of Golden Axe but with less up/down movement on the screen. However, this can mar the feel of the game since there is very little actual gameplay room. As a result, things can look a little cramped and busy if you have a full stock of allies and a horde of enemies to fight. In fact, very often, I can't even tell what's going on and lose track of my actual game character in a massive clash of confused graphics. I guess I've got used to it over time, but on occasion I still find myself mashing buttons mindlessly and hoping for the best. The interface for navigating through and comparing inventory items also lacks a bit of immediacy and could be a little more intuitive. However, despite my reservations, I still think this game has a lot to offer. The beat 'em up/rpg genre meld makes for a fair amount of longevity, and the quirky 'hand-painted', hyper-colour graphics do much for the mood and atmosphere. In addition, the game also contains images of some of the largest, wobbliest breasts (all clothed, though) I've yet seen in a computer game, which may be likely to please or offend in equal amounts. So be careful who you are buying this for.
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