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About the product
- This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Drakengard series
- Discover how it all began with Drakengard 3, the prequel to the Drakengard series
- High-octane, hack-and-slash ground combat, Drakengard 3 pits players against hordes of enemies and monsters alike
- Features aerial battle stages in which players can fight with the help of Mikhail, the dragon companion
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A prequel to the original Drakengard, Drakengard 3 transports players to a medieval world where six sisters wield special magical abilities as the "Intoners. "These sisters have brought peace to the earth with their power to manipulate magic through song. Harmony is disrupted, however, when the eldest sister, Zero, attempts to murder her younger sisters with the help of her dragon companion, Mikhail. As the story progresses, players find themselves in a battle to unravel the mystery of Zero and learn her true intentions. The world is ruled by Intoners, sisters whose songs unleash vast powers. One day, the eldest sister Zero appears with her dragon Mikhail in tow, in order to kill her 5 sisters. Why did Zero appear before her sisters? Why does she travel with a dragonkin? What exactly is an Intoner? Darkness is upon the horizon.
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The game play is almost the exact same as the previous two Drakengard games. The one big change is that you can't ride your dragon on command in the ground levels, but this comes with the trade off of more unique levels that wrap around the landscapes of various areas in the game, unlike the last two games that have a lot big open battle fields for ground levels. This game has a lot more dark humor throughout the game where the last two were just kind of dark. I really like all the things the enemies are yelling at each other as you mow them down with your sword and/or dragon.
When you play the game, the story is split into chapters. Each chapter is split into verses, and each verse is split into parts, such as cutscenes and levels. This makes it easy to go back to any part you want, which is a standard in the series. In addition, you will unlock mini-quests as you progress through the story. More on these later.
The story is absolutely brilliant, and the best part of the game. Every character is well-written and weird. So weird. The main character, Zero, is best described as barbaric. She's completely uninhibited, rude, vulgar, powerful and loves to kill things. Her dragon partner, Michael is killed while protecting her at the beginning, and is resurrected as a baby dragon, Mikhail, who is the exact opposite as Zero: pacifistic, playful, cheery and not very bright. Zero is on a personal mission to kill her sisters. Her exact reasons aren't known to the player most of the game, so it would seem that she's a terrible person at first, which may be kind of off-putting to some people who may want to play this. However, despite the game's sick, serious and twisted nature at heart, it does not take itself seriously. At all. The game is absolutely hilarious because of the personalities of each character, especially the four disciples (Dito is my favorite). Each character will banter with each other throughout each level
Gameplay is a mixed bag, depending on what part you're doing. For the most part, D3 is tons of fun. Ground missions in story mode are no longer tedious, boring slaying of armies who barely move. Instead, enemies actually fight back, and if you're not quick enough, you will get slayed. Zero can use four different weapons, swords, spears, bracers and chakrams. Each has their own specific use: swords are all-around balanced, spears are for penetrating defensive enemies, bracers are for racking up combos, and chakrams are ranged. You will usually find yourself fighting small groups of enemies at a time, or one to three large boss enemies. The boss enemies are very well made. When you first meet one, it's pretty difficult, and you may need to retry several times, but once you figure out their movements and are used to the controls, you will be able to figure out ways of defeating them without taking a single hit. Ground fights are fast-paced and fighting is more complex than typical beat-em'-ups, but once you get used to the controls, they are incredibly satisfying. However, the game's camera is pretty bad, but not nearly as bad as Drakengard 1. There's an option to make the camera follow Zero from behind, but in all honesty, it doesn't work correctly at all. The levels themselves are pretty linear, with three treasures hidden throughout.
Missions with Mikhail are either on-rail shooting/flying levels, or ground/aerial battles. The flying levels are, with the exception of one boss, pretty easy and forgettable. If you've played Drakengard before, you know what to expect with these.
The ground/aerial battles are a lot more fun, but the controls are a bit funky. Mikhail jumps/flies with X, and he can shoot fireballs or dive bomb the enemy in the air. On the ground, he can shoot fireballs and unleash a sweeping flame breath, which is devastating against enemy soldier hordes. Most of these levels are pathetically easy once you get the hang of the controls, which is kind of a letdown since most of them are very key boss fights, but they are still satisfying because of how action-packed they are.
Then there's Accord's requests, and this is where the game is ridiculously and randomly difficult. You unlock these as you play through the story, and they involve collecting items from enemies or treasure chests they are guarding in a time limit. Collecting the items from enemies is pretty fun most of the time, and the later missions become extremely chaotic to the point where it's difficult to tell what's even happening on-screen. The treasure chest levels on the other hand are incredibly aggravating, because in most of them, you are forced to use a weapon of a certain type only. The chests require many hits to open, and some weapons, especially early-game spears and chakrams, are horribly slow. In order to beat these levels, near perfect timing and even good luck is a necessity (because enemies will knock you away otherwise), making them unreasonably difficult and frustrating. To make things worse, when you lose, you have to wait for the game to re-load the whole stage each time. You will also unlock survival mini-games, which are pretty self-explanatory and difficult, but in a way that's actually fair to the player. If you lose, it's usually your own fault here.
Like other Drakengard games, this one has multiple endings and secret levels to unlock. I won't spoil anything, but I felt like this was portrayed in a strange way, and some of it didn't make much sense to me.
The music and voice-acting are superb, and keep the experience engaging. The same group that composed for Nier also worked on this one, so you may know what you're getting into if you've heard that one. This game's music is more bombastic and energetic compared to Nier, making it unique.
The game does suffer from framerate issues. When lots of enemies are on screen, or a lot of explosions or magic bloom effects are going on, it will dip as low as 10-15 FPS, which is VERY low, and it may render some controls unresponsive for a brief period. The game's graphics are not nearly as detailed as other PS3 games either, which is pretty disappointing considering these issues. I've read that this can be fixed by setting your PS3 to 480p (low resolution mode), but it looks blurry on a HDTV. Using a 1:1 pixel-compatible screen allegedly makes it look better if you do this.
Music from Drakengard 1 and Nier are available as downloadable content, and you can switch to these themes for battles, which is a welcome add-on. There are also cosmetic upgrades for Zero and Mikhail that give small bonuses. Future DLC will come out later, unless you ordered the limited edition from Square-Enix, which includes all of it (I think).
Overall, this is a very fun and entertaining game with a few technical issues, which is a little disappointing this far into the PS3's life cycle. Despite that, they aren't bad enough to render the game unplayable, and if you enjoy chaotic gameplay, twisted humor and an engaging mythos, you will love this game like I did.
In this game you'll be the bad girl in here so it's different from everything that someone has tell you before in a video game...
Yes, it has its technical issues such as frame rate and some textures but come on... this has nothing to do with the fun factor... let me give you an example... Infamous Second Son... that game is next gen and it has big issues in physics, collisions, camera, etc. but it is fun... so if you are doubtful if you should ask this game, I just can tell you, read a little bit about the story, then make your decision... I just took a risk by buying this game and I enjoyed :)