Genre Action, role playing game
Publisher Atlus
Developer Vanillaware
Release date May 15, 2018
Age limit 16 years
Platform May 15, 2018
Official website

The game was tested on PlayStation 4

Dragon’s Crown only at first appears to be another beat ‘em up in which going from left to right character every ten seconds, fighting with opponents. Over time, when you open more opportunities and immersed in the intricacies, the game begins to resemble a sort of role-playing action game, where the hunt for more quality trophies — no less important element than the actual combat.

In search of the king

The story is about an ancient artifact called “the Crown of the dragon.” Sometime after him went the king, but never returned from their journey. Search for autocrat (and relics at the same time) will be engaged in a hired soldier, receiving jobs from other inhabitants of the Kingdom of Hagland. This hero manages the player is free to choose one of six characters in the beginning of the passage. They are all different: one is dressed in strong armor and brandishes a sword, another uses magic, the third is armed with a bow. Starting the training helps to become familiar with the abilities of each.

The characters are great drawn, but lifeless

Unfortunately, the plot and remains one of the weakest elements. By itself, it seems to be not so bad, and it’s got unexpected twists, but the story as a whole does not cause any emotions, and worry about the Kingdom, which from all sides is in danger, no desire. Perhaps the point in the flow of conversations as there are none occurring in all the details described by the narrator. That is, during a conversation with the Prime Minister or Princess you neither see their cues, not their own. The absence of even a shred of emotion on their faces doesn’t help either — if visual novels are one and the same hero usually depicted in several poses, here limited to one.

But Dragon’s Crown looks Pro great, especially on modern TVs with high resolution. Style Studio VanillaWare is immediately recognizable — if you saw Odin Sphere and Muramasa, you’ll feel right at home. There are a lot of references to different artistic movements: the Prime Minister reminds people of paintings of the Renaissance, and imprisoned in the tower of the magician Ghost girl if descended from the paintings of Francisco Goya. The visual style will not be called unique, but it certainly stands out against the background that we see in games of this genre usually.

But the main advantages of Dragon’s Crown are associated with the gameplay — fighting is very exciting, because the rich combat system allows you to add simple movement to a crushing combination. Tackle on a stunned opponent, throwing it up, beating the air and subsequent fall to earth — here is one example of what can be done to eliminate the enemy. Strokes affect multiple enemies, so a couple of wizards trying to pelt you with magic, you will be sorry that they were so close to each other.

Every outing ends with a boss battle

Each fighter has unique skills. Gnome is the only one who is able to lift enemies and throw to the other side of the screen. The magician turns the treasure chests in an animated piece of wood, helping in the fight, but his physical attack is not as deadly as a warrior. Archer melee is also useless — it only pushes opponents or runs off to fill them with arrows. No useless characters, so it makes sense to pass a difficult mission, the motley company (with bots or co-op). As is often the case in Japanese games, a joint online session is arranged not very convenient — you need to collect about five hours and to open all locations to have the opportunity to invite friends. But the local co-op is available immediately.

To go it alone in the dark dungeons and abandoned ruins do not have to — come across bones of fallen soldiers that you can take home with them and bring them to the temple in the Kingdom. With magic heroes rise and go to the tavern, and there already to choose which one to take along on a trip. The longer you play, the better you come across companions, but no attachment to them not experiencing the usual emotionless bots that gold coins can be returned to life, even if they die during battle. The only problem faced in the presence of three companions, is the abundance of special effects and the flickering screen. Your fighter lose sight of very often.

Not fighting a single

An interesting feature of Dragon’s Crown is that the game has something to do even outside of battles. The task of the hero is accompanied by two permanent companion, no space in the squad —cracker Rainey and tiny fairy. Rainey helps to open chests, which are treasures of all sorts: swords, axes, bows, belts, armor, amulets, and more. To put things right impossible — first they need to identify the city, or just sell it, if you upgrade gear you don’t need. Also cracker helps to collect the scattered gold, but look for it not only in destructible crates, but also in the environment, leading the cursor with the right stick. The recesses from which fall out a valuable coin, glasses, plates and necklaces, a little glitter, so skip difficult.

Fairy also allows you to activate engraved on the walls of glyphs. Once in another room, you see the surrounding items only two characters — depicted in the third one lying in the inventory of runes. Initially, she is the hero only one, but over time in the Kingdom you can buy additional, and without the right combinations to create the magic will not work. Bonuses granted with proper activation of the glyphs is not a very useful — you can turn on temporary invincibility, or to encourage healing the whole squad ring, but the effect lasts not too long, and shows the characters not in each location. It’s a fun mechanic, but it seems elaborate and not in the re-release, alas, has not been any change.

The hero of the player marked with a red arrow, but even so it is not always possible to quickly find

But to the rest of the gameplay elements without reproach —especially cool implemented leveling. To dig a mountain of trophies is never boring. All the swords, medallions and other items have widely different characteristics: some increase health, others increase the damage in the air, and others increase the resistance to attacks of certain enemies. For higher levels are given skill points which are spent on improving the characteristics of the two categories: one is the same for all the characters, and the second contains unique bonuses for a specific class. With each “upgrade” feel your character getting stronger and stronger.

The city in which the player is always returned after the attacks, consists of several buildings, and sooner or later have to visit. In the temple, resurrect allies or bury their bones, as well as making offerings for the sake of bonuses (such as improving the quality drop-down trophies). In the Guild you can get additional missions, the reward for which will be skill points and beautiful images — this is one of those rare occasions when I studied the gallery after the passage. In one store, you can buy and sell items in the other — to buy runes. Well, the tavern is the gathering unit and you can switch between your characters at any time, you can take another character, but the pump it will have from the beginning, as well as through the entire main story.


Complete one mission after another, over and over again, fighting with opponents and putting the character into more quality stuff, never get bored after completing the story for one hero just want to start the story again, but in a different fighter. Dragon’s Crown is a great cocktail of beat ‘em up and RPG elements, the latter here almost more than in some RPG.

In the re-release, the game looks better than the old, but updated great orchestral soundtrack complements what is happening. It is a pity that the trophies in the version for PS4 is not issued again, if the game is already completed on the PS3 and PS Vita. But cross-platform multiplayer works fine, and your old saves can be transferred to this version. I would like to see some mechanic fixes, but in such a way to play Dragon’s Crown is a pleasure.


nice visual design;

different from each other characters with unique abilities;

the gameplay carries through unusual for the genre elements.


in a fight sometimes lose your character in mind, so all the “gusto”;

the rune system seems unfinished;

the plot is dull, even if you do not expect anything special from it.

Graphics Dragon’s Crown, like Okami, is unlikely to ever visually outdated — it still looks beautiful and enchanting appearance from the first minute.
Sound Updated orchestral soundtrack, not sinks into the soul, but it sounds good and doesn’t seem repetitive or annoying.
Single game The main story takes about 15 hours if along the way to complete side quests. Thanks to the beautiful graphics, excellent combat system, unusual for the genre gameplay elements of interest is not lost before the final. Moreover, you’ll want to re-play the other characters.
Multiplayer Local co-op available immediately, but to unlock the online will have to spend about five hours on the main story. Not the most convenient solution, and even unclear grounds.
Overall impression Even five years later, Dragon’s Crown remains one of the best games of the genre beat ‘em up. The reissue did not bring in the recipe is nothing new, but did not spoil the dish.

Rating: 8/10

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