When I first bought Dragon’s Crown, I could not put the game down. I was on the path to beat it within a couple of weeks (which is amazing for me these days), but then I got to a troublesome boss fight. So what did I do? Naturally I pouted and put it down for a few months. After finishing Ys: Memories of Celceta, I forced myself to pick the damn thing back up and get through it. After maxing out my character and yelling my AI comrades for being so stupid, I finished the game (the main story, anyway) and felt extremely pleased that I put it in my top ten games of 2013.
The game is a simple, side-scrolling dungeon crawler that offers various methods of play depending on which character you choose. To no one’s surprise, I chose the Amazon so I could hack and bash my way through enemies. Hanging back with magic and hoping no one gets close enough to hit me is not my style, and the game even suggest only “expert” gamers attempt to crawl through with the magic users. Even the nimble elf requires strategy and precision as she will run out of ammo. A massive character with a massive axe is just what I needed.
If the game only offered the main story, I admit it would be incredibly boring and the level-grinding would be a far more tedious affair than usual. While you will crawl through the same dungeons repeatedly, the side quests at the guild add a refreshing layer to break up the repetitiveness. For example, one of the early side quests requires you to rob some orcs while they sleep. You won’t find this bunk on the main path, forcing you to try to unlock any doors that you most likely overlooked while tromping through the corridors. Another requires you to use a large shield to reflect back the dark magicians’ magic to open a sealed door.
My biggest complaint about the game is the horrifically dumb AI partners. They’re basically damage sponges, and you can’t count on them to stay out of harm’s way, even when the Narrator warns everyone to take cover. The developer most likely wanted everyone to play online together instead of relying on them, but I never could get an online game lined up with my few friends that had it. This is exactly why it took me so long to defeat that particular boss (and then I beat the final boss on the first try…go figure). I’m sure if I had brought my friends in, and they were leveled up enough, they would understand what taking cover means. Idiots.
Oh and I wish it was cross-buy. I loved playing it on my Vita, but I think it would be so pretty on my big TV too.