Back in the day, side-scrolling arcade games like Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, Metal Slug, and even the Simpsons were some of the most challenging, and more importantly popular, games around and that’s not even scratching the surface. It seemed as though every company was capable of making an amazing side scrolling title, but eventually like all fads the genre slowly faded away with the emergence of the console market, making quarter machine games obsolete. There would be various titles that had the side scrolling heart but not many that really pushed the envelope. In 2013 ATLUS took it to themselves to create a new side scrolling beat em up title and in doing so created Dragon’s Crown for PS3 which was met with critical praise.
Dragon’s Crown Pro gives Playstation 4 owners the opportunity to relive the classic throwback title from Atlus, giving you the ability to choose between 6 completely unique characters. Whether it’s sorceress, dwarf, elf, wizard, amazon, or warrior he character selection offers a diverse style of gameplay that makes this title insanely replayable and appealing.
First off I’m going to put this out there early, I had not previously played the original version but after seeing plenty of footage, Dragon’s Crown Pro for Playstation 4 does the original PS3 version right by giving players the ability to play one of the finest hybrids of arcade style beat em ups and dungeon and dragons-like rpg experiences that will leave any sort of fan engaged in some old school multiplayer fun. I couldn’t really find many flaws in the countless hours I spent either alone or with friends exploring every nook and cranny of each desolate location.
The game works like a typical rpg dungeon crawler with players dropped in a hub and are given the option to choose extra allies to join you on adventures. In the hub there are shops, areas to purchase runes for secret abilities hidden in each dungeon, guilds where you can spend experience on abilities for your class, and a church to revive corpses that are found in levels. Eventually levels open up more with side quests and branching objectives that make the game larger than previously perceived.
The opportunity to change your bag after each level is a really fun way to figure out what and what doesn’t work. The loot system after each level is also very rewarding, giving players the option to use acquired gold to uncover items from chests that can be used to boost up your character. The Playstation 4 controller touch interface is also put to good use in the game, allowing you to scroll your finger like a mouse pad over items if you decide it’s much more efficient than using the right analog stick. This function didn’t feel all too amazing to me but to each, their own.
The story follows you(the hero) helping locals until you’re called up by the Prince and Princess to save the day from an impending war, fighting various enemies in many locations to collect relics and defeat hordes of enemies. The way the story unravels is beautiful and wonderfully paced making even the most frustrating chore like backtracking fun and rewarding.
The game is very immersive in the sense that there is a narrator, guiding you through each level and describing each piece of the game from sudden attacks to descriptions of character’s emotions during cutscenes. The narrator has a very dungeon master vibe to him which brings another level to the experience and helps Dragon’s Crown stand out.
The visuals of the game have been upgraded for the switch to PS4 by giving every character, every monster and every background crisp HD quality. Each character comes with a selection of very satisfying color palettes(i’m very indecisive so this naturally took a while for me to decide) that give the players a fun option to look their best.. The soundtrack for the game is fantastically done with each musical piece accenting each location beautifully. Each song offering a unique experience making everything from sitting in the tavern switching allies to fighting dungeon bosses whimsical and exciting.
Dragon’s Crown Pro brings all the whimsical fun that one would expect from a side scrolling beat em up and tweaks it, offering a very rewarding and satisfying game. Although some features exclusive to PS4 like the touch pad are just there with no real benefit, the visual boost and the game itself is enough to recommend to anyone with a keen sense of adventure.
NUKE THE FRIDGE SCORE 9/10