E3 Hands-On: Dragon’s Crown

I cannot effing wait for this gad danged game to come out.
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It’s no secret that I am beyond excited for VanillaWare and Atlus Games’ upcoming title Dragon’s Crown. From the first news I heard of the game all the way up until the latest trailers (Amazon translation and gameplay translation), I have been so excited for this thing. Yesterday at E3, I got a chance to play it.

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As soon as I was able to, I went straight to the Atlus Games booth at E3 to check out Dragon’s Crown. The place was decorated in the game’s art and it all looked wonderful.

I got in on a demo of the game along with three others. One of the other players was a  worker at the booth. He helped guide us throughout the game, teaching us how to control our characters properly. It made getting into the flow of the game much easier.

There’s so much good going for this game I have nowhere to start. The most obvious thing is the game’s graphics. Regardless of the controversial character art direction, the enemies, the environments, everything is just beautiful. It’s just pure eye candy.

All of Dragon Crown’s mechanics are great. The fighting is so much fun. Pummeling your enemies with the wide variety of attacks each character has is just so rewarding. Not only that, but it seems like each character has their own very specific set of moves with little-to-no overlap.

I played as the Amazon. She tore into enemies with her weapon and had a pretty hilarious (and useful) butt drop attack. My favorite move of hers was the one in which she charges and lets loose a powerful attack with her axe which causes her to drop it for a little bit.

I really liked that you had attacks that let you drop your weapon. Not only did it give you an extra set of unarmed moves, it also made those powerful attacks seem even stronger.

The controls were very intuitive. It played very smooth and felt very responsive. The only issue I had with it was the fact that running felt hard to do sometimes. Players can run either by double tapping the analog stick or by pressing the block button and forward at the same time. Eventually, though, I did get the hang of it.

There is a thief character that follows your party around that opens up treasure chests and doors for you. Inside of the treasure chest, there are things like items, gold, etc. Some of the items are usable in the level, like the crossbow and the fire thrower (not sure if that is its name.)

The items you can pick up have limited uses, but are pretty fun to use. They add a nice element to Dragon’s Crown in case you get bored of beating on people with your character’s basic move list.

In between the segments where players battle enemies, they enter town. In these areas, party members can have fun and attack each other without taking any damage. It’s not the most amazing feature, but it does add a little bit of extra enjoyment when you’re in town.

In the latest gameplay trailer, there was a bit with picking up adventurer’s bones to resurrect them. The booth worker playing with us explained that these bones would be used to summon NPC allies to your party. I didn’t get a chance to see them, but I am excited to check them out when the game is released.

Even the menus in Dragon’s Crown are amazing. There’s just something impressive about how polished the game felt.

I only got a chance to play the PS3 version. Tomorrow I plan on checking out the Dragon’s Crown PS Vita version. If it’s good enough, I might just have to pick it up so I can take the game with me everywhere when it comes out.

The expression on my face when I realized Dragon’s Crown doesn’t come out until August.


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Joseph Rowe
World traveling English teacher, writer, and aspiring front-end developer.