NSFW Gamer Review: Dragon’s Crown

NSFW Gamer Review: Dragon's Crown

If anyone knows how to bring awesome 2D games to the PlayStation, it’s Vanillaware.

Their string of high-quality releases since the PlayStation 2 hasn’t slowed down, and Dragon’s Crown is the latest in their cool-as-a-cucumber catalogue.

Come walk with me in a magical land of busty sorceresses, powerful amazons, and fearsome dragons – It’s time to review Dragon’s Crown.

Dragon’s Crown
Systems: PlayStation Vita [Reviewed], Playstation 3
Developer: Vanillaware
Publisher: Atlus Games
Release: August 6, 2013
MSRP: $39.99 Vita, $49.99 Playstation 3

NSFW Gamer Review: Dragon's Crown

Coming hot off the heels of Muramasa: Rebirth, Vanillaware takes us out of the Land of the Rising Sun to the kingdom of Hydeland, a land of swords, sorcery, monsters, and people gaming for the throne. The story is more prominent in this title than it was in Muramasa, and the game is much better for it. You come to find out that the people who you trusted aren’t who you think they are, and the supposed bad guy is actually an ally. That’s when the real fun begins.

For my main character, I played a Wizard, but found myself starting an Elf for a little out-of-the-ordinary experience soon after. Both classes play well and differently, but I don’t think there’s enough diversity to do more than two playthroughs, so choose wisely. As for the wizard, even though he’s supposed to be fragile, I had very little trouble holding my own once I understood the character and the game’s mechanics. He makes for an excellent minion/master style character, and once you start accessing spells, that’s when the ball really gets rolling. He can be a threat at any range, and even unleashes a screen-dominating tornado that chews through bosses with ease. That said, the action does have a tendency to become cluttered, and I have lost myself in the shuffle only to find out where I am when I get knocked around.

NSFW Gamer Review: Dragon's Crown

Spell skills are added as inventory items with limited uses per quest, making a nice and unique way to balance the general gameplay. Even with 23 skills to choose from, I never felt like I was overwhelmed or spread too thin. Everybody will find their own playstyle with their own character, and joining together for quests in multiplayer enhances the experience. Better yet, repeating areas remains fun with side-quests, making grinding for experience less of a chore. As is often the case, however, only the host character retains story progress, but the levels and loot you’ve earned with the host stay on your character. Hopefully we will see an innovation that fixes that in the next generation.

NSFW Gamer Review: Dragon's Crown

Graphically, Dragon’s Crown isn’t as vibrant as Muramasa, but the bold and bright look wouldn’t jive with the setting and themes. Instead, the game has a style and color palette similar to a Frank Frazetta painting, as you can see above, which is an excellent spin. Naturally, the hand-drawn art is eye-poppingly gorgeous, and I’ve heard the game looks even better on PS3. There’s also a significant bit of humor, such as one of the dead adventurers quoting “An arrow… in the knee…” and another saying “I have the weirdest bones,” showing a self-awareness that we usually only get in Suda51 games.

NSFW Gamer Review: Dragon's Crown

If there are any flaws with Dragon’s Crown, it’s the fact that the assisting AI is fairly dumb. While it performs adequately in combat, the pathfinding needs work. They’ll frequently walk directly into traps, sometimes over and over again, as if they’re trying to illustrate the definition of insanity. There was also an instance where the Sorceress and I were attacking a wasp nest overhead, and she fired spells directly in front of her. It was as ineffective as it sounds. However, when I went through the same area for a side quest with the Amazon, she used her jump attack, so that was a great improvement. Of course, it never gets old watching the Dwarf pick up and toss enemies like rag dolls. My only other small gripe is that the narrator repeats your quest prompt every time you re-enter the main town path, but with the voiceover DLC free for early buyers, it keeps it from becoming too grating.

NSFW Gamer Review: Dragon's Crown

On the whole, I’m actually thinking about dropping another $50 on the PS3 version of this beauty so my girlfriend and I can co-op. It’s just that much damn fun. With the character variance and customization, quests scaling up in difficulty at just the right pace, terribly addictive leveling mechanics, and oh-so beautifully rendered enemies and levels, Dragon’s Crown has found a permanent home in my collection, and it deserves one in yours.

Game 5/5

NSFW Gamer Review: Dragon's Crown

And now we come to the part that makes NSFW Gamer special. You may have heard about the controversy surrounding the character design, and it was well-placed. The jiggle physics alone are almost used to an abusive extent. Watching the Sorceress and Amazon’s run animations is like the slow-motion jogging scene in Click, but with more cleavage.

The design for the Vampire enemy does make you wish for a little more God of War, even if the fabric were just a bit more sheer it would’ve been nice. Still, I’ll admit it gave me a rise a couple of times unexpectedly, more with the unlocked art than the gameplay animations. But, boner-inspiring is boner-inspiring, so this makes Dragon’s Crown a cut above Muramasa for sex appeal. Also, when my girlfriend peeked over and saw Roland the Barbarian warrior, she was more than happy with her view, so you could even say this game is equal-opportunity exploitative.

As hot as the babes are in Dragon’s Crown, the fact that you don’t see any actual nudity or sex keeps it from getting a full 5 on the hotness scale.

Hotness 3/5

– Brad Cowan aka “DevilSugar”

Bonus pic for the ladies

NSFW Gamer Review: Dragon's Crown

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One Response to “NSFW Gamer Review: Dragon’s Crown”

  1. Rayes says:

    Only a 3/5? This game has the sexiest of the sexiest in it!