Dragon’s Crown is a hack and slash, beat ’em up, with some RPG elements mixed in. The eye catching artwork is the bait but the fast and furious gameplay is the real draw. Prepare to fight your way through horizontally, scrolling worlds, building up your experience points and weapon stash as you progress. The combination of proper preparation and button-mashing resonates with me.
This fantasy story starts out pretty slow, giving you time to get acquainted with the main town area and visiting the outer realms. Rather than fully animated cutscenes you are rewarded with beautiful still paintings with a narrator’s voice determining the advancement of the story. After your first few adventures into the wild, the main quest will unfold: The king is missing and believed dead and an ancient dragon, something of legend, has awoken. Obviously, you’re going to have to collect some relics and defeat this lusty lizard!
The RPG elements of the game are fairly simple. You can choose your preferred class, fighter, mage, elf or dwarf each with a fully customizable set of skill trees. While you only control one character at a time, missions can be done with a party of four, either co-op or with NPCs filling in the roll of the three party members. The button-mashing is far from limited with many moves you can master and unlock, trade in skill points to advance the power of these moves. The fairly simple game controls makes this an ideal title for playing on the go, though Dragon’s Crown is available on PS3 as well as PS Vita.
Dragon’s Crown is most definitely adult-themed judged on the exaggerated proportions of the artwork, that said, it is some fantastic fantasy art. The quality and detail to the painterly art style is undeniable, the game even rewards you with additional art cards for completing errand runs. There is some controversy over the sexism on display here, my take is that both genders are equally stereotyped so it cancels out. Because of the partial nudity, I don’t recommend this game for younger gamers. The art is what originally attracted me to this game but it isn’t the only defining quality.
There are homages within to other games in it’s genre like Golden Axe even maybe a little Double Dragon. Overall, the story of Dragon’s Crown is never too serious, with a bit of humor mixed in amongst the carnage, making for a good time.