Dragon Crown Pro Review
- Developer: Vanillaware
- Publisher: Atlus
- Genre: Side-scrolling 2D RPG
- Release Date: 15/5/18
- Platforms: PS4
- Reviewed on: PS4 Pro on 4K Samsung TV
- Game Supplied by: Publisher
It’s been 5 years since Dragon Crown wowed playstation owners on the PS3 and Vita, and now the beast is back in new 4k visuals for the PS4 generation, but is it a trip worth taking again?
Whenever i hear of a Atlus / Vanillaware game is coming i get really excited. Muramasa Rebirth and Odin Sphere are two of my favourite games of all time made by the combo. I haven’t previously played Dragon Crown all the way through but i have played it on the PS3 and like the aforementioned two games, Dragon Crown is like them; gobsmackingly gorgeous. If I were to recommend a game based on it’s artwork alone, anything by Vanillaware is my answer. There is no denying it, Dragon Crown is a work of digital art. It is so pleasing on the eye and liquid-smooth to boot.
It is a true homage to times gone past of classic dungeons and dragons, medieval themes, drawn to perfection. There isn’t much in the way of animations to the characters you control, but that is the style of this game.
Along with the achingly beautiful artwork, the new music score ( which can be changed back to the original in the settings ) again it is like honey to the ears. Beautiful, dramatic, pleasant and perfectly written for the game, it too is a work of art. The audio brilliance is not just for the music though, the sound effects to the characters are excellent too. One of the best aspects though is the brilliant voice acting in English. Each of the 6 playable characters can also do the narration voice too, again an adjustment in the settings.
The dialogue is wonderful with frankly, some of the best use of the English language I’ve come across in a video game. You’ll need your dictionary and thesaurus to play this game! Along with the presentation, the story for the game is interesting and varied too, which again, captivates the player.
However, we then come to the gameplay. For the main this is still excellent, but i feel fell flat in one particular area, the combat. The game has been designed for couch play co-op with up to four people playing at the same time, and this is such a welcome addition for those gamers wanting a classic couch co-op game. However, the screen is too busy and full to really see what’s going on. In single player mode you can equip 3 other members to your team, and when the swords and arrows start flying, i very easily lost track of where my character was on screen and what he was doing. It’s best to play the game on your own, but then the combat is immeasurably harder without your allies. Add to this, the small amount of depth in this 2D game is deceptive. There is actually about ten layers of depth your character game move in and out to but the difference visually very small. This causes a problem when you think your in front of an enemy only to find your not. Swing and miss and the enemy then gets you can mean the restart of the whole section, especially if your playing against a boss fight.
Be that as it may, combat aside, there is a pretty deep RPG system, with weapons, gear, amulets to buff stats, to find, upgrade or sell. Plus many other side missions and items to find to make the whole experience much more interesting than go there, fight this, finish. A few more maps to explore, than going over the same ones again, again would have been better, but as things are so beautiful where you go, it’s not too much of a hardship.
Here is the first hour of gameplay
As great as the experience is here with Dragon Crown Pro, I have to say, I find to justify the new 4K visuals, and re-mastered music to then pay £40 to play a 5 year old game a bit excessive. It’s like putting a spear on the tip of a nuclear bomb, you just don’t need it. The price is too much and would have been better served to reach a wider more curious audience at around the £20 mark. The game is great, on many levels, but only if you are feeling flush.
Although i really enjoyed my experience, the thing you’ll be doing most of is combat, and that didn’t work as well as it should, which brings down what could have been a spectacular game, to just a good one.