Dragon Crown’s gets remastered
Atlus’ hit 2D action role-playing game of 2013, Dragon’s Crown, is back on PlayStation 4. Dragon’s Crown Pro is a high-definition, 4K graphics version that showcases the artistic work of developer Vanillaware. This action-packed title throws us into dungeons filled with monsters and treasures. Will we succeed in getting our hands on the famous Dragon Crown buried in these ruins? Let’s take a closer look at what Dragon’s Crown Pro has to offer.
Genre: Role-playing, hack ‘n slash
Platform: PlayStation 4
Game Modes: Solo, Multiplayer (1-4 players local and online)
ESRB Rating: T (Teen, 13+)
In search of the mythical Dragon’s Crown
In the Kingdom of Hydeland, a legendary Dragon Crown is said to possess the power to control dragons. The king becomes obsessed with the idea of finding it, and sets off in search of the crown. At the castle, the people are worried and fear the worst, so they send six of their finest adventurers on a mission to find him. Are we going to find him alive, or is it already too late?
As one of those six heroes, you register at the Hydeland guild to acquire work contracts and fulfill them. Your first contract, naturally, is to find the king and prevent the usurping of the throne by rivals of the royal family. You then set out on a classic hero’s adventure.
Dungeons filled with all kinds of monsters
Dragon’s Crown Pro features classic, familiar game mechanics. You prepare for outings by choosing the three heroes who will accompany you, then go to the shop for equipment and the guild to browse the available missions. After leaving the village you enter the selected region, and you can replay completed areas anytime. Although individual stages can be a bit repetitive, each brings their own unique elements, including runes that give access to special powers sealed by magic.
Choosing your three companions takes strategy, as they all possess individual strengths and weaknesses. Characters also gain experience as you use them, so you can focus on leveling up specific characters, or go for an even distribution approach. In the tavern is also the place you can connect with up to three friends for online multiplayer.
The dungeons are filled with monsters ranging from insects and wild animals to pirates, ghosts, and vampire witches. Some have a precise method to get rid of it (ghosts fear fire and light), but in general, you can stick to attacking them head-on.
The action takes place on a 2D sidescrolling map where multiple characters on the screen can create some chaotic battles. Thankfully, a red indicator above your head lets you easily locate your character amidst all the action. With up to four players onscreen simultaneously, there’s always someone nearby to lend you hand should you need help.
The touchpad functionality
By moving your finger on the touchpad of the DualShock 4, you can collect treasure, unlock chests and open some doors. Once a room is emptied of monsters, all you need to do is sweep across the touchpad to collect your goodies. After collecting the jewels and other rewards, it’s off to do battle in the next room.
Using the touchpad as a type of point and click mechanic takes some time to get used to. As an alternative, you can use the right analog stick, which does the same job but the touchpad, only a bit faster. By having two options, you can choose the one that works best for you.
A stunning visual presentation
As an 4K remaster, Dragon’s Crown Pro amazed me with its unique graphic design. The characters have incredible details, as do all the varied environments. The art style is reminiscent of watercolours with exquisite vibrancy and a hand-painted touch. This is definitely a game you’ll spend time looking at each location as you progress through the game.
A remastered soundtrack
For Dragon’s Crown Pro, the music was re-recorded by an orchestra. You have the option of using the original soundtrack, or the new one, within the game’s menu. Comparing the two you can really hear the added richness in the PS4 version. Composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto, the medieval-inspired music music, combined with the excellent narration, gives your the feeling of participating in a grand adventure. You can also select from various voices for all six playable characters, the Fighter, Amazon, Sorceress, Wizard, Dwarf, and Elf.
Cross-play with the PS3 and PS Vita version
Aside from the revamped presentation, Dragon’s Crown Pro is very much the same game that was released in 2013. Incredibly, you can have cross-platform online play between the three versions. You can also use backup files from previous versions you saved in the cloud, and I was able to continue from where I left off on the PS Vita. It also retains any trophies you’ve collected from previous versions. Online, it’s possible to play with gamers on any of the three platforms.
Having played Dragon’s Crown on PS Vita, I was impressed by the huge graphical upgrade of Dragon’s Crown Pro. The game looks amazing rendered in full 4K on my living room TV. As far as the gameplay goes, it can get a bit repetitive but it’s also easy to learn. Since you can replay any mission for extra XP and loot, there’s tons of replay value here. For role-playing and action fans who enjoy a medieval setting, Dragon’s Crown Pro is the perfect addition to your collection.
+ Re-recoreded soundtrack is excellent
+ Interesting story and medieval setting
+ Enhanced graphics, 4K on PS4 Pro
+ Ability to load your PS Vita or PS3 save file, keep your trophies and all the additional content already acquired
+ Cross-play online with PS Vita and PS3
– Sometimes loose track of your character amidst all the fighting
– Some minor graphical bugs
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5