Tuesday, October 22

Dragon's Crown

Another dragon game, yes, I know. This one was totally unexpected. I just saw it one day and had to play it because of the art. It was really that simple, and I hadn't played anything in quite some time because of all of the projects that have been keeping me so busy. It took 20 hours to beat, and I only got the first ending because I didn't really want to play it over again all three times for the different endings. To be honest, it wasn't that fun and there were some things that bothered me. I stuck with it thought because of the beautiful artwork.


So here are my thoughts about the game:

Pros

- The artwork was amazing! I absolutely adore the way that George Kamitani paints. His use of color, line, and texture is so masterful. The character designs (with a few exceptions), backgrounds, and animations were all a delight to behold. I was continuously in awe as an artist, and found myself trying to figured out how the team animated, designed, or drew something all the time throughout the game.

- I liked that at the beginning of the game one could pick a character and color palette of their choice. That was fun, and I picked the Elf wearing Grayish Grandeur. I liked how she looked most, and that she was short and sassy. Typically elves are tall and regal, so I appreciated the change. Also, I noticed that all of the playable characters, except the Sorceress, had a different shade of silver/platinum hair as their defaults. They must have all gotten my memo.

- Multiplayer mode was so much fun to play, and I liked the bones system. It was an enjoyable way to bring more party members with you on the adventure. I found a Sorceress named Claudia that says, "Indeed!", and that made my day.

- The narration in this game was so appealing! All of the voice acting for that matter was brilliant, and I felt like I was partaking in a epic fairytale. The music was beautiful and atmospheric as well, completely immersing the player into the fantastic world.

- I absolutely loved the pets in this game. They're adorable and I always got so sad when I would accidentally get them killed. 

- Of course Ghost Ship Cove was one of my favorite levels. It was neat to see an Arabian twist on pirates. Something that I wasn't expecting at all!  

- Later on the gameplay got more fun when the player could choose which path to take in a level. That was a neat way to explore more and find new things.


Cons

- So a lot of controversy is going around about the female character design in this game. For good reason too, and I'm surprised that men are speaking out about it. That's wonderful. I don't actually have a problem with the extreme proportions in this game because it's pretty equal opportunity. The men are ridiculously muscular and the females are insanely curvy. They're pushed so far that it gave me a good laugh every time I met a new character. It's quite extreme! That rather grew on me over time though, and I accepted that art direction. The issue that I could not excuse was the way that the women were objectified in the game. That was definitely problematic. This was not the case for the men. There's a difference between idealized and objectified. Men were idealized; women were objectified. The women characters were portrayed to be sexually vulnerable. They were hurt, bound, defenseless, more scantily clad than their male counterparts, and even rode the pets in suggestive ways. When they were hit, held, or fell down because of an enemy they were throbbing, jiggling, moaning, or bending over in risque positions. This, of course, didn't happen to the men! They were not taken advantage of in such a manner, and most certainly not bending over with their genitals exposed through tight sheer clothing. So it's not just about the character design, it's how they're portrayed and animated. Definitely not cool! Over time we're affect by our culture and it influence people. So this made me extremely sad to see.

- The gameplay was stiff. It just didn't flow, and it was obnoxious to connect with elements/enemies on different planes. I continually found myself missing the mark, because I thought that I was aligned with it but wasn't. Quite frankly, it was vanilla (I had to!). An average experience, that never really felt challenging and I coasted by barely needing to implement a strategy. Even for the bosses.

- It was very common to loose my character in the commotion of battle. I could never find her! So I just looked for the marker over her head and hoped that I connected with whatever it was that I was interacting with. 

- Offline co-op was a mess! The only player that matters is the first player. It's their game story wise, and any other player will not accumulate any storyline or story items, like bags, unless they're player one. Also, every player has to do the stop and guild separately to get items and quests. I've never played something so clunky and it was a surprise when I first realized that the game was designed like that.


So yeah, if you like to play games just for the amazing visuals then definitely give Dragon's Crown a go. Just be prepared to live through the rest of it.

Happy gaming,
~Claudia

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