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Showing 1-10 of 244 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 290 reviews
on August 7, 2013
Final Fight, Knights of the Round, The Punisher, The Simpsons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men, Golden Axe, Double Dragon, and of course, Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara . . . any of these titles bring back memories-preferably fond ones? The beat'em up, as it's so aptly referred to, is a genre that had its heyday in the '90s, when arcades were still a thing, TGIF was the best damn night in television, and Star Wars: Episode I had yet to ruin everything. It was a genre, along with fighters, that dominated my childhood, and while the past few years have been kind to fighting fans, fans of beat'em ups have had to sift through digital offerings for some of that mind-numbing, side-scrolling action.

Vanillaware, a purveyor of 2D games, such as GrimGrimoire, Odin Sphere, and Muramasa: The Demon Blade, has taken it upon themselves to fill the retail release void with Dragon's Crown (hereafter DC), a stately entry in the beat'em up genre, that also features a heaping of role-playing game elements, making the aforementioned Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara its biggest influence.

DC opens at Dragon's Haven Inn, a tavern you'll frequent during your adventures. It's here where you'll choose a character, set your party, and report your progress. The characters available are all visually, and mechanically, distinct: an ironclad Fighter, who's a sword and shield favoring behemoth; the Sorceress, a witch who prefers to support the party, not so much her back; a Wizard, very much interested in melting faces; the Dwarf, a duel-wielding, goblin-chucking ball beard; the Elf, who's fey, swift, and a rumored Hunger Games fan; and finally, the Amazon, a warrior that consists exclusively of brawn, butt, and boobs. She's also adept at sundering skulls with her ax.

A few color schemes are available for each character, and you can change their name as you see fit. Japanese voices are also available if that's your thing, but only for your character. The remaining voicework is strictly in English.

After you've settled on your character, a tutorial awaits (which can be skipped for the subsequent playthroughs), and it does an adequate job of walking you through the basics. You'll also meet Rannie, a rogue; he'll accompany you throughout the game, and you can direct him to unlock chests or doors, while you focus on combat.

Leaving the tavern, you'll have a town to explore, though its faculties, such as the Temple, Magic Item shop, and Stable, aren't all available at the start. Locations open as you progress the story, and additional tasks are doled out at the Adventure's Guild, where you can learn skills (class specific and common) and accept quests.

The main story focuses on the eponymous Dragon's Crown, which allows its wearer to control dragons (of course). It all comes across a bit boilerplate, and it never strives for anything more. A narrator with an earnest delivery breathes some life into the tried and true material, though the narration is limited to the main quest only, so if you find yourself focusing on side-quests, you'll hear a particular phrase uttered repeatedly during your comings and goings in town, until you move onto the next story segment.

Fortunately, your comings and goings are consistently in gorgeous environments, populated with detailed secondary characters, and great interpretations of classical monsters, all with a multitude of influences sweeping throughout. DC references everything from The Nude Maja to Tinker Bell; Renaissance portraiture to Frank Frazetta's paintings; Jason and the Argonauts to Monty Python and the Holy Grail; and more. George Kamitani, Director, takes what should be an incongruous mixture of styles and creates something cohesive. It's pretty impressive stuff.

They're nine stages to conquer, and each has a branching path that becomes accessible after reaching a certain point in the story. Along with the two paths, you'll uncover secret passages and various quest specific situations as well. The locations vary from moss enveloped sanctuaries to desolated catacombs.

It's great the stages are engaging and fun to play through, because you'll revisit them, a lot, either for quests, or because the main story requires it. And, you won't have to do it alone. DC allows for four player simultaneous play, both local and online, although online play is initially locked. You'll have to unlock the stables to access the network, which is going to take around five hours.

Unfortunately, if you're playing on Vita, ad hoc mode isn't considered "local" play, and you'll have to unlock the stables to access any sort of multiplayer. Not a big deal if you don't have any friends; a big deal if you do.

Though, perhaps you have friends, but they're lame and don't like beat'em ups. Thankfully, you still don't have to go it alone. You can set the three player slots to AI controlled companions, and they're competent, for the most part. It may become a bit maddening to see them stroll into traps, or not effectively use items in their possession, but I've seen my friends do this too, so I'll cut my artificial ones some slack.

To keep the AI companionship fresh, you'll find piles of bones in the dungeons, which you can bury at the temple, or pay a fee, and resurrect instead. The resurrected characters will then wait for you at the tavern, all with varying gear. Even better, players you encounter online may be resurrected as well, meaning you can play offline with your friend's toon. It's also cool to know that someone may have resurrected you, and are questing with your character while you're at work thinking of playing Dragon's Crown.

It'll take around 15 hours to complete the game on normal, and after doing so, you'll unlock hard mode, which increases the level cap to 65; after you complete hard mode, you'll unlock the final difficulty level, and raise the cap to 99.

What's the point of grinding a character to level 99, when you can start the adventure anew with different class? Loot. What else? When it is all said and done, DC's draw is loot. Chests are scattered about the levels, and contain treasure which vary from E, the worst, to S, the best. Completing stages and defeating bosses not only yields experience points, but more loot as well.

Multiple bags can be purchased, meaning you can create different loadouts, which you'll need, since having gear with the proper attributes is important as difficulty increases; plus, gear breaks down with usage, and if you don't have back-up bags available, your S-Rank ax may be in no condition for another round, meaning you'll have to return to town, annoy your friends, and miss out on an amusing cooking game.

If you're on the fence which version to buy, I wish I could say there's a clear winner, but there isn't. Graphically, they're virtually identical, with the Vita version susceptible to noticeable slowdown when the action heats up with four players. The OLED screen makes a pretty game even prettier, but it's also small, so losing track of your character is going to happen.

But, the Vita version benefits greatly from the touchscreen. There's additional treasure hidden in the game, identified by glints; if you're playing the Vita version, you just tap the glint, and the treasure pops out. Runes eventually become available, and their magical properties can only be tapped by, that's right, tapping them. Also, if a player dies, and they're out of life points, you can spend gold to reanimate them, but you have to tap their portrait to do so.

How does the PlayStation 3 version compensate without touch controls? A cursor, which you manipulate with the right thumbstick. It is cumbersome to use, even when there isn't any action unfolding. But, having to fiddle with the right thumbstick, mid-battle, to bring your partner back to life? Urgh. Casting rune magic by moving it over three separate runes, spaced apart, while skeletons are hammering you? Double urgh.

In that sense, the game feels designed for Vita, or at least a controller with a touchpad (come on DualShock 4).

Of course, you can't play local co-op on a Vita, and if you have a roommate that's into these games, I'd deal with the cursor, and play it on PlayStation 3. Also, slowdown isn't an issue on PlayStation 3, and if you're sensitive to frame drops, the Vita version may be too much to bear.

If money isn't a concern, you'll be happy to know the games support cross-saving, though you'll be unhappy to know the games don't support cross-play.

Dragon's Crown is a rarity: a 2D side-scrolling beat'em up, with an unabashed artstyle, that's long. It isn't concerned that it'll take dozens of hours to complete with a single character if you wish to tackle all the difficulties; it doesn't care that you may be offended by the art; and it certainly isn't going to apologize if you don't see the appeal of grinding levels until it's simply time to go to bed. And it's all the better for it.
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on February 27, 2014
My oh my did I enjoy this game, whether I played alone or with a few friends in local co-op.
Enjoy games like a Castle Crashers, Golden Axe, Side-scroller beat em' ups and can admire a fantastic art designs? This games for YOU!

I must say I really, really enjoyed the combat in this game it is very fluid and feels smooth. The loot system is great too, there is a huge variety of weapons to find and choose from. The RPG elements are nice, at times they take a backseat to the loot system. Otherwise the enemy's types are really cool and there is a good amount of variety to them. Their are 9 dungeons each can take about 20-30 minutes and after you beat those 9 you unlock alternative roots that you take to fight new bosses and enemies which take around 30-40 minutes. The game can take around 12 hours to complete and after that you unlock NEW GAME + which adds a great amount of variety. If you don't have friends to play it with there is always online co-op which is unlocked around level 10, there is even bots that you can eventually pick and choose who will fight with you. There are also side quests they your going to want to complete which will take add numerous amounts of replay ability to each dungeon.

Overall the game is simple and at the same time simply amazing. If your on the fence about this game or even waiting for a price drop, just go for it. This game is totally worth 40-50 dollars, I was waiting for it to hit 20 dollars and I'm sure glad I didn't. It's too good to wait.
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on December 28, 2013
It's got the charm of a beat'em up with the addition of RPG elements. You have 6 classes to choose from, and many ways to customize your skills. Did you use up all of your Skill Points? Just drink a trusty Amnesia Potion and re-assign those points to different skills if you didn't like your initial decisions.

Btw, Deep Pockets (Extra Inventory Slots) is not able to be reset at this time so think carefully if you choose this. Level 3 is a must for Wizard and Sorceress. You need those spell books! Every other class will be fine with only two levels in Deep Pockets unless you want to carry more potions or rings/scrolls.

This isn't an overly analytical review because the game doesn't need one. It's all about investing your time and enjoying the experience. You can play locally with 4 players immediately, or you have to traverse your way through the story until you defeat the Gazer in the Lost Woods and have access to B Routes and the Online function when playing solo. You are meant to be prepared before jumping online. However, online is where you really start to enjoy the game. You start on Normal, then Hard, then Infernal, and then.... ULTIMATE! Yes, a new patch has been added with new additions to the game on equipment and a new ENDLESS dungeon has been added. This is to prepare you before you attempt the Ultimate Story Mode Dungeons which are brutal.

If you're playing solo and haven't unlocked online play you still have the ability to have NPC (ally) characters join you while you play. Just bring bones back to Canaan Temple and resurrect them. They'll be waiting for you at the tavern.

Let's put it this way, this game is a treasure of times long past. It's gorgeous, fun, challenging, and rewarding. This is why you buy it.

I'm Silver Phoenix, and I approve this game.
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on September 1, 2013
The game itself is full of fun button mashy levels that never get old because as you progress through the game you unlock different paths and ways to fully complete every stage.
The artstyle is gorgeous!! Every level's background looks like a moving mural. The enemies are very distinct and not just reskins which gives the game a nice fresh feeling seeing how you play a lot of each level.
Gameplay is fun. Its a combination of button mashing Square or Circle to attack and to get more detailed you combine the directional pad to each button for different attacks. You can also hotkey 4 abilities, spells, items or potions for added variety.
The online isn't available until you progress somewhat into the game. You can choose to play offline and choose your own characters to play with from resurrecting fallen soldiers you find in each level or go online and play with friends or have someone else drop into your match. Unfortunately I don't think there is any option for voice chat so it makes it hard to tell people what to do but game is fairly straightforward enough that too much strategy isn't really required.

The Artbook is fantastic. Lots of great drawings that show off the colorful characters in the game. Too bad its very highly sexual in manner you might be confused for a perv if the wrong people thumb through it.

The sexploitation aside its a solid RPG lootfest that is pretty good to play offline or online.
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on October 9, 2015
Love this game. People avoiding it for buying into the non-sense feminism propaganda.... Just buy this game. It's really fun especially with 3 other people to play with. Has online as well if you want to play with others via the internet. I prefer the couch though.
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on November 9, 2016
One of the best PS3 games you could get! hours of fun and with 6 different classes/characters to play as you will always have a reason to come back and play this game! This game also features 'couch co-op' as well as online capabilities for when you want to go dungeon diving with some real players! Each aspect of this game is beautifully animated by hand and radiates a quality that has long since been absent in video games! Playing this game is akin to watching a Disney Animated Feature except it allows the player to make their own decisions and choose differnet paths in the dungeon to discover new areas!
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on December 15, 2013
Dragon's Crown is a combination of the arcade brawlers of yore like Shadow over Mystara and Golden Axe and the fantasy worlds found in the likes of Dungeons and Dragons. Players choose one of six character classes like a Fighter or Sorceress and are sent out to explore dungeons, fight monsters, and collect treasure. Treasure collected in dungeons takes on the form of new weapons and armor that can improve a character's stats and even change how they attack. After collecting experience gained by slaying monsters, players can level up their skills, giving them increases to things like attack and magic. They're also granted Skill Points, that can be spent on training to learn new or improve existing skills, like new magic spells, charging attacks, or even making acquired money restore amounts of health. The game features 10 different dungeons, each with branching paths and a unique boss at the end of each stage. Drop-in/drop-out co-op is available for local players, allowing you and up to three friends to go questing together, as well as an online matchmaking mode. While sometimes the screen can get cluttered and some players might find themselves lost amidst the chaos (especially with spell-casters), the choice of hand-drawn backgrounds and character models to shape the world of Dragon's Crown helps bring the game to life. Everything is exceptionally detailed, with fluid animations and vibrant, eye-catching colors, along with a truly stellar soundtrack. Overall, Dragon's Crown is a true beauty. With fluid combat, exciting boss battles, and a gorgeous choice of aesthetics, Dragon's Crown is a game that deserves to be played, and is almost a steal at its price.

DO buy this game if:
- You enjoy games like Castle Crashers, Final Fight, and Turtles in Time
- You love a fantasy setting akin to D&D
- You have friends to play with

DON'T buy this game if:
- You dislike playing through the same area repeatedly
- You want a straight-brawler with no extra trinkets and features
- You have friends who don't like having fun
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on September 9, 2013
tl;dr A textbook arcade beat 'em up with all of the baggage that comes with that. Gorgeous visuals.

If you liked 80/90s arcade beat 'em ups (henceforth "BEM"), especially Capcom's D&D-based BEMs, you'll love Dragon's Crown because it is a love letter to the genre in general and specifically to the D&D games from the 90s. That said, while it has all of the positive aspects of a BEM, it also has all of the negatives, including being repetitive and being most enjoyable when engaging in couch multiplayer settings. Online multiplayer is available, but lacks the enjoyment of sitting down with people you know and playing.

The narration is a nice touch - it evokes the memory of long nights spent in the basement playing D&D as a high school student.

The graphics are absolutely gorgeous, and maybe the strongest part of the game. The character designs will not be everyone's cup of tea, but if you check out pretty much any screenshot of the game, you'll know if it's down your alley right away.
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on August 21, 2013
This is definitely a beautiful game. You can clearly see the passion and dedication to the art and design. It's a faithful homage to oldschool beat-em-ups like Capcom's Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom (which, as it turns out, the creator actually worked on).

Things I like:
- gorgeous art and character design
- shared loot storage among each character
- snappy action and cool abilities
- multiplayer fun, with companions to fill the gaps when friends aren't around
- character selection covers all of the bases from classic fantasy (elf ranger, human knight, wild barbarian, etc) There isn't much customization within each selection, however I didn't find it such a bad thing

Things that could have been better:
- while much of the animation is very good, some of it seemed cheap, using squash/stretch rather than redrawing frames.
So sometimes it looks like you're just watching a moving painting. Maybe I'm being nitpicky.
- somewhat repetitive stages requiring completing an area several times, even if the quest objective is in the middle of the area.
- some stages prevent you from moving to the previous background if you missed something.While most of the classic games in a similar genre usually did this, it can be annoying if you are fighting and accidentally walk through the exit before grabbing the big chest of loot...and no, I'm not referring to the warrior chick. ;)
- early bosses are a tad unbalanced. I love being thrown into massive boss fights right away, but they felt a little bit too difficult for someone just starting the game with no decent equipment and still learning techniques.

Overall I enjoy the game, and it was well worth the wait for the price. It's a great time filler between "thinking" RPGs.
So, for fans of classics like D&D: Chronicles of Mystara who want an HD modern experience, this game is for you.
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on July 21, 2017
The controls take some getting used to, but it has an excellent story, which is well narrated, and the characters have some surprising depth once you get into the game a bit.
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