This visually stunning adventure sets itself in an unnamed fantasy world within the Kingdom of Hydelan. The story follows a group of adventurers as they embark on a quest to retrieve the legendary & mystical relic called The Dragons Crown. A mysterious coven of magic-users with influence in the highest levels of government seek the treasure and have used their sorcery to link together long forgotten ruins, dangerous labyrinths and many other forgotten areas together in order to search for it. There are 9 levels in total for you to hack & slash your way through. Wait, What? Only 9 levels!? While that does sound like a low number, there are multiple hidden areas and pathways in each level to ensure they are bigger than they first appear to be. In between quests & levels you'll find yourself back in a town. Here there are multiple places to visit that serve different purposes. The Inn is probably the most important, allowing you to switch out your gear and set up your party for the quests ahead, while others like the guild give you quests (do these to unlock art) & the castle allows story quests to be taken up. After a few quests have been finished the town will fill out to include numerous extra places to visit ie Church (for resurrecting bones for party members) & A shop for repairing and procuring goods, to name just a couple more. To traverse the levels there is a fairly big roster of 6 different character classes (Warrior, Dwarf, Wizard, Elf, Amazon, Sorceress) to choose. Each class has its own strengths & weaknesses with its own style of play ie the Elf relies on long range combat via a bow (upgradeable) due to weakness at close quarters. A unique upgradeable skill tree is apparent for each character too so you can further customise them to your play style, when creating a character to play as your are also able to choose clothes colour to differentiate yourself. Theres more than enough content on the character classes side of things to keep you grinding which is further added to by a robust Daiblo-esque loot system. There are also AI characters like Ranni the thief and later in the story Tiki the fairy, these two non-playable characters will guide you to hidden areas in the game and open locked chests and doors revealing loot and secret areas. These secret areas are also accessible once Ranni reaches a certain level (yes, they level up too) so you have to ensure you use him at every opportunity. Now lets talk about one of the most talked about features, Co-op. No doubt you will be wanting to jump straight in with some friends! Sadly, that's not possible straight off the bat. While it is somewhat understandable, the co-op is locked until you reach a certain point in the game (6-8 hours to unlock) Its understandable due to people then not being underpowered online, but it will no doubt infuriate some. Once unlocked, cross-play with Ps3 users is now possible due to the latest 1.03 patch (still awaiting EU release at the moment) with cross-save rounding off the games features.
While at first the game appears to offer suprising RPG depth, you'll come to realise that assumption was fleeting as your nostalgia dissipates and the repetitiveness from the grind sets in. Co-op is the games shining light though, reinforced by the latest cross-play patch, that will help alleviate this when coupled with the Vita's party system. The visuals are majestic & the game seems a perfect fit for the Vita, but the game is also lacking in numerous areas like its level count & RPG elements (to name a couple) which could hurt its long term appeal. Dragons Crown does enough to warrant a recommendation though, with the Vita version being the one to go for it you have the option.
(The last time using PushSquares Scoring Policy. Tomorrow I will post our own Otakufied policy to use!)
Review copy provided by moi