REVIEW – Dragon’s Crown Pro PS4

Making a Beautiful Game Even More Attractive

When Dragon’s Crown was released in 2013, we enjoyed it and had the privilege of streaming it before it was officially released. Now, almost five years later, Dragon’s Crown Pro has been upgraded from the HD PS3 era to the 4k visuals of PS4 and PS4 Pro. Although still the same game as before, this re-release gives players a chance to experience this hidden gem on current hardware while offering veterans an excuse to easily go back and revisit this visually gorgeous world.

The biggest addition to this PS4 version of Dragon’s Crown Pro is the 4k support. Atlus put together a comparison that demonstrates the difference here:

To take advantage of these enhanced visuals, it is best to have a PS4 Pro with a nice 4k TV. However, Dragon’s Crown is still one of the most beautiful games you’ve ever seen no matter how you play it. Even going back and playing the PS3 or the Vita versions, this is a visual experience that only the master artists at Vanillaware can produce. Vanillaware games, including Muramasa and Odin Sphere, should be hanging in a museum somewhere just from a visual aesthetic. Not only do still screenshots look amazing, experiencing this visual splendor with fluid animations and special effects is a treat rarely seen in video games. It is easy to see that Vanillaware puts confidence and care in their craft.

Visuals, however, are no longer the standout bullet point on the back of the box as the audio department has also been upgraded. Re-recorded with a live orchestra, this is one brawler you will want to play with the volume turned up. Also, both English and Japanese audio options are now available along with several text languages.

Going the extra mile, the developers made Dragon’s Crown Pro cross-play and cross-save compatible with both the PS3 and Vita versions! This means your save file from five years ago on PS3 can be imported into the PS4, picking up right where you left off. When playing online multiplayer, having three platformers available makes filling out a team of four that much easier. All the original patches and Storyteller Voice Pack DLC is also included from the original release.

Luckily, Dragon’s Crown Pro is also fun to play as opposed to just being fun to see. With the ultimate goal of retrieving the Dragon’s Crown, playing as one of the six different character classes offers unique gameplay twists. First time players will most likely select the dwarf or knight for their hard hitting physical attacks but the magic wielding characters can easily help round out a party. Unfortunately, some of the gameplay flaws from the original are still present in this PS4 version such as the grind for better loot starts to get repetitive in time, the accompanying thief Rannie sometimes disappears or acts sporadically while clumsily mapped to the right analog stick (forced touch screen controls), and there is no option to sort equipment by class which can make organizing more tedious that it needs to be.

Built for local or online multiplayer, this side-scrolling brawler is best played with friends similar to classic Gauntlet. While solo play is an option, single player adventurers will experience difficulty spikes in the earlier stages of gameplay, especially considering the class of character and tough boss battles. In time, a leveled up character can hold his or her own in solo play, but it will take hours to get to that point. Instead, it is best to find a team of dedicated players to fill a roster of difference classes. Solo players, however, can resurrect bones to have friendly AI join the fight. While not as intelligent as human players, partnering with AI is better than not having any help as they are not afraid to join the fray.

Dragon Crown Pro could very well be the hidden gem you have not played. The brawler genre often gets overlooked in the current gaming landscape, but this is an action RPG done right. At the very least, watch a stream of this game as this remastering is one of the most stunning 2D hand-drawn games you’ll ever see.

SCORE: 8/10

Not As Good As: the Diablo series
Also Try: River City Toyko Rumble 3DS
Don’t Forget About: co-op Shining Soul I & II on GBA

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief
Twitter: @ZackGaz

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