Dragon’s Crown – E3 Preview

Side-scrolling combat, check! Multiple different classes, check! Ultra busty to the point of uncomfortable cartoon women, check!! For those confused, this is an E3 preview I promise, I just wanted to make sure everyone was still paying attention to the E3 train that has been rolling along. We sat down with Atlus this past week and got our turn at Dragon’s Crown, a new title from developer Vanillaware and Atlus. Check out my impressions below.

Dragon’s Crown is very much a game in the vein of Golden Axe, TMNT: Turtles in Time, or The Simpsons Arcade Game. You will be moving through levels from left to right, taking out anything that gets in your way. The game lets you choose from one of six classes: Fighter, Amazon, Elf, Sorceress, Wizard, and Dwarf. Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses, such as speed, movement, and attack power. However, the game does allow you to customize each as you level up, so don’t worry if your guy starts out kind of weak on defense. At the beginning of the game you will be able to select your main character to use during the story, though the story is the same basically for each character.

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The game is comprised of 9 main stages, each with their own branches, and spans upwards of 10-15 to complete. There are also plenty of side dungeons to be found in the game, boosting up the replay value. At the completion of each level, you will be assigned bonus scores for feats such as not dying or getting the most kills. Your team will also be ranked based on what treasures they discovered and a rank based on how well you did. Skill points can also be earned to customize your class or learn new skills, which vary per class.

All this talk and I have yet to cover the main ingredient, the combat. Quests are started at the adventure guild and then you hop into a game. In combat you will have your basic attack, skill/magic attack, and both a jumping and sliding attack. There are also mounts to find during the game that bring new attacks or weapons like a crossbow that you can pick up and use for a limited amount of time. The combat is very fast paced and hectic, with the screen filling up with your allies and enemies, making combat at times a cluster of colors and attacks. One of the negatives I did find about levels in general is that they felt kind of short, but it could have just been the particular stage we were allowed to play.

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Presentation wise, the game looks and sounds good. Levels are nice looking, though I did see some areas where improvement could be made. On the audio front, noises ranging from weapons making contact and people grunting were solid, yet not overly spectacular.

Dragon’s Crown is set right now to release August 6th for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. There will be a slight price difference as the console version will ring in at $49.99, while the handheld comes in a cool $10 cheaper. Sad news though as there will not be a cross buy option for the two and we were not given word on whether there will be cross saves.