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Dragon's Crown Pro review
by GameItAll

There is only a handful of developers that catch my attention like Vanillaware. They have been a company that has prided themselves on cool hand-drawn graphics that are nothing less than amazing, with games like Grimgrimoire, Odin’s Sphere and Muramasa: The Demon Blade really highlighting some amazing art on every level.

The 2013 beat’em up from the studio, Dragon’s Crown, kept that feeling as well. The game looked amazing on both PS3 and Vita when it was first released, and with the release of the PS4 version – Dragon’s Crown Pro, players can look forward to crisper character designs in 4K resolution, however those looking for an update to the game in Odin’s Sphere Leifthrasir, you’re going to be a bit disappointed. Considering that we’ve never done a review for the original Dragon’s Crown, lets start here.

Dragon’s Crown tells the story of a fearless adventurer (you) and your helpful rogue, who are in search of a mystical item called the Dragon’s Crown. This item gives its wearer the ability to control all dragons and become a unstoppable force to be reckoned with. However there are plenty in need of help from an adventurer like yourself, from taking on invading orc armies, harpies, wyverns and more, with every quest bringing you one step closer to your goal.

It’s easy to tell that Dragon’s Crown was inspired by Capcom’s Dungeon & Dragons arcade series, in which players choose a role from one of various classes and begin an epic quest. Dragon’s Crown is no different, as players can choose to play between 6 classes, the all-rounded Fighter – who uses a sword and shield for attack and defense, The Amazon – a two-handed attack focused character, the Dwarf – The game’s grappler character, The Elf – Speed and range, Wizard – Offensive Spellcaster, and Sorceress – Defensive Spellcaster.

Each class has different abilities and attacks, making it worth players to try out each class before deciding on who they’ll be using to complete the game with. My personal favourites included the Fighter, the Elf and the Sorceress however I found myself using the later of the 3 only when I was playing with a group of people as her use in single-player wasn’t as effective.

While the entire game can be enjoyed single-player, Dragon’s Crown works best as a co-operative brawler for up to 4 players, which can be preformed in one of three different ways. The first (and honestly best) way to do this is Couch Co-op, where players can pick up their controllers and join you in-game from the start, the other is using computer controlled characters which can be found and resurrected via bones found in levels. The final way is online co-op, however this is oddly not available from the start of the game, instead players must clear several levels before the stables that are available for Online Play to be built.

One of the great things about Dragon’s Crown Pro for returning players is the ability to pick up where you left off and to still enjoy the game with those who are playing the PS3 and Vita versions thanks to cross-save and cross-play capabilities. I was able to test this out with my save file from my Vita version of the game which I still regularly played, in which my most recent saved character was available to download and continue from where I left off, in terms of the online play, after re-unlocking the stables with my new profile, I was able to find a match fairly easily with a friend who was playing the PS3 edition.

Although I believe it’s because of this that we do not receive any new updates for the game itself as the game itself is the last updated version of the PS3/Vita game, with graphics smoothed out for 4K capabilities. With the ability to play with the older generation, we’re sort of held back from receiving major gameplay updates like we saw in Odin’s Sphere, which improved upon the PS2 classic.

Still, Dragon’s Crown Pro gives an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality and its something that can be respected as the game is just plain fun and beautiful to look at with its storybook style graphics, amazing boss battles, branching maps and plenty of quests to beat, loot to collect, and baddies to beat.

Dragon’s Crown Pro may throw off returning players who are coming back expecting something new, but the ability to play with friends who are still on the old systems and enjoying the game’s beauty in 4K is still something to behold. Fans of Vanillaware or beat’em ups in general should not pass up this second chance to enjoy this solid Beat’em Up RPG.
«Blew my mind»
«Just one more turn»
«Can’t stop playing»
«Liked before it became a hit»

Other reviews3

Well, this game is nostalgic not only because of the gameplay and the style but with all the sexist content. I understand that years ago boys wanted to assert themselves due to women but the times have changed. It’s sad to notice that such a good-looking game contains statements about women’s breasts and promotes the objectification of women.  
We don’t have many good co-op games now but this title is one of them. The gameplay is great, the visuals are stunning (love this hand-drawn style), an excellent way to spend time and share the experience with a friend. I wish there were more maps, however, it’s not a big deal - the game stays awesome even if you’re running through the same locations.