Review: Dragon’s Crown Pro (PS4)

DCP_PS4An instant classic on both artistic and pure gameplay levels, Dragon’s Crown Pro ($49.99) has finally arrived on PS4 with buffed up 4K visuals and cross-platform play/save compatibility with the PS3 and Vita versions. It’s a game that also hopefully going to be one of those true evergreens that new players will want to add to their libraries because it offers enough replay value to keep you dialed in each time you pick up that controller.

The game’s original notoriety to some for its mildly bawdy artwork for some of the female characters (but you get a half naked muscular dwarf as a counter to that) ends up being much ado about nothing. If you’ve a working brain in your skull, you’ll know the difference between gorgeous stylized artwork and solid animation and somehow deeming the game “controversial” because one doesn’t appreciate the very intentionally over-exaggerated art. That and hell, it’s a Vanillaware game, so assorted forms of pulchritude are a necessary non-evil.

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“Waiter, there’s a fly in m… oh, never mind (ogle!)

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Preview: Dragon’s Crown Pro – That Golden Ask Is Going To Be So Worth It

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DCP_PS4There will be three types of people who’ll be interested in Atlus and Vanillaware’s Dragon’s Crown Pro ($49.99) on the PS4. Those completely new to the game looking for a very solid side-scrolling arcade action/RPG will find an excellent single player, 4-player co-op offline/online game that’s a gorgeous homage to a number of great arcade games from Golden Axe to Capcom’s two Dungeons and Dragons titles.

Those who’ve played the original Dragon’s Crown back in 2013 on the PS3 or Vita (or both platforms) and want to know what’s new will find  much sharper visuals (if they own 4K TV’s) , a new orchestral soundtrack (the original is also selectable) and thanks to a recent patch, cross-platform multiplayer and save data with Dragon’s Crown Pro. Or you can just be like me and dive into a new game just to experience everything fresh.

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The third category are those who went completely bonkers complaining about the stylized artwork and may want to poke at the game anew for its sexy Sorceress and Amazon characters, but I’m gathering that loud crowd will get drowned out by players who want a fun and solidly built couch co-op experience who won’t mind the art style one bit. Truth be told, I’m a big fan of George Kamitani’s art style since I picked up a copy of the lovely but flawed Princess Crown through a Japanese friend about 20 years ago. Kamitani also worked on those two D & D games (which just so happen to be available on the PS3)

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Games of Summer: Dragon’s Crown

Atlus may be struggling with its recent financial woes in Japan, but the company is still swinging for the fences hard and knocking it out of the park with some great titles on assorted platforms. Case in point, Dragon’s Crown, already a hit in Japan and headed to the PS3 and Vita in North America on August 6. George Kamitani and his team at Vanillaware have created an absolutely, outrageously gorgeous game that’s a throwback to classic side-scrolling arcade hits as well as a mighty challenging solo and online play experience. I know a few folks with the import and yes indeed, they’re very pleased with the game (and the AMAZING deluxe art book that came with it). Anyway, I’m looking forward to getting my hands on both versions, as I hear they’re different in a few key ways. Of course, I still want a proper Princess Crown remake or sequel one of these days, but at this point, Kamitani and company can make paper bag puppets and I’ll throw money their way…

E3 2013: Dragon’s Crown Trailer: Pow Wow (and How!)

Here’s a much more detailed peek at VanillaWare’s upcoming instant classic that’s getting plenty of interest for it’s art style and insanely pneumatic under-dressed ladies and overly burly men. Personally, I love George Kamitani’s singular art style and the fact that it looks so fantastic in motion. That and you can’t hate a game that has the best random cartoon mouse appearance since Steamboat Willie. Too bad that super cute rodent isn’t a playable fighter in the game (but I could be wrong…)

Dragon’s Crown Elf & Dwarf Trailers: It’s Not A Toss Up At All…

… In terms of which of these or the other characters to pick because you’re going to go through Dragon’s Crown with ALL of them I bet. The game is crafted so that each hero or heroine is going to be played from start to finish, as each one is powerful warrior in his or nher own right. No matter who picks up a controller to dive in and enjoy what Vanillaware has cooked up, expect to be floored by the lovely 2D visuals and more tight gameplay than you can shake a stick holding goblin at.Before you slam it into its evil buddies and blast them with a spell or knock them silly with a blunt object.

Prepare to get a workout (and give our PS3 or Vita a workout as well) when Dragon’s Crown hits retail and PSN on August 6, 2013. And nope, don’t even try to toss that Dwarf – his incredible beard alone looks as if it will beat you up pretty badly…

Dragon’s Crown Cover Art, Artbook Revealed: Preselling A Not-So-Hard Sell…

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Lovely… and it can soon be all yours, at that. Dragon’s Crown finally gets some VERY pretty cover art for its retail versions as well as a really cool pre-order bonus in the form of a 64-page softcover art book that’s absolutely going to be snapped up by fans of George Kamitani’s work. I’d go as far as to predict the art book selling for more than the game does down thee road among those who miss out and want to pay through the pores on eBay or some other site, but that’s not Atlus’ concern what you do with that bonus item as they see not a red cent from secondhand sales of their cool goods. Anyway, check out the official site if you haven’t already for character profiles, more of Kamitani’s lush artwork and more.

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Dragon’s Crown will hit retail and PSN on August 6, 2013. Be there or be square, I say…

New Dragon’s Crown Trailers: Something New For The Guys And Gals (And Any Other Art Fans)…

Hey, it’s ladies first today (well, as always!):

Sure that Fighter below may have a lot more protection, but that’s because he NEEDS it. He’s not as powerful a spellcaster as the Sorceress is (as in NOWHERE near her skills), so he has to clank around in his horned can while dealing out massive damage to any and all who step in front of his blade (ouch!). That Sorceress has it going on in a few ways, so don’t underestimate her good looks and generous assets. Fools who get distracted and start in with the eyeballing get roasted, frozen, shocked or otherwise pained to death. I’d certainly say THAT counts as “Girl Power”… or “Woman Power” if you want to get  picky about my choice of language…

Dragon’s Crown will be available in retail game shops and on PSN for the PlayStation 3 and Vita on August 6, 2013. You’re welcome, by the way…

 

 

 

Shut Up And Play It: Dragon’s Crown Coming To PS3 & Vita August 6

DC display packsVanillaware’s latest game, Dragon’s Crown seems to be generating some minor “controversy” online thanks to one prudish writer-type who’s “ashamed” to play the game in public because he thinks George Kamitani’s artwork is sexist based on how one character looks (see below) and nothing else. Yikes. For starters, while SOME of the heroines in his games may be exceptionally curvy (as in they make Christina Hendricks look like Twiggy), they’re not just lounging around falling out of their tops or waiting to be rescued by some lantern-jawed dude in shiny armor at all.

sorceressKamitani’s larger than life gals do a damn good job at kicking all sorts of ass all around the screen, and I’d gather that the character in question will see her fair share of real-life cosplayers who like the outfit and Kamitani’s singularly pneumatic art style. As you can see here, some of the guys in Dragon’s Crown are exceptionally beefy (and even less dressed in some cases). Granted, I’m quite sure the audience for this will be primarily male, but I can recall quite a few gals and guys into Vanillaware’s excellent beat ’em ups buying the glorious Odin Sphere and/or Muramasa: The Demon Blade and not whining about boob size as an issue. Not to mention that it’s kind of foolish to fault an artist’s work because you don’t grasp his style… Continue reading

Dragon’s Crown Gameplay Trailer: Not Your Typical Storybook Fantasy Memories…


 
DC display packsAs you can probably guess from that video above, Vanillaware sure isn’t making Dragon’s Crown for the little kiddies… well, other than that happy dancing mouse that cracked me up because *BOOM!* it’s just THERE for a second or two in the middle of things before the next visual hits your eyeballs. Yeah, this gorgeous 2D side-scrolling fantasy chase ‘n chop is destined to get the fans raving about the lush art and maybe a few raging about the generously-endowed ladies (hey, that’s George Kamitani’s style at work and working well), but it’s all good.

I’d say that Atlus most certainly has a hit here for the PS3 and Vita, so set your sundials accordingly and maybe even think about pre-ordering this one, as I can see it going out of print fast as a physical copy when the otaku snap it up on day one. Yeah, yeah, digital is the big deal, but some of us like hugging our software a bit tighter whenever we can and for as long as possible…

Dragon’s Crown PS3, Vita Bound This Summer – It’s Worth Every Crown, I Say…

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DC display packsVanillaware’s latest and absolutely gorgeous-looking 2D side-scrolling action RPG, Dragon’s Crown is finally US-bound this summer for both the PS3 and Vita (yup, you can pre-order it HERE) and yes, it’s going to arrive at a premium RETAIL price point for both the PlayStation 3 and Vita. Sure, $49.99 (PS3) and $39.99 (Vita) will seem pricey to the entitled trolls who bitch about game prices in the same posts they seem to cut and paste around the web (usually followed by “When is this going on SALE?” or something similarly cheap-sounding), but this isn’t some dumb mobile nickel and dimer we’re talking about here. George Kamitani and his team at Vanillaware make their art into gaming form and fans of the company’s other releases such as Odin Sphere, Muramasa: The Demon Blade and Princess Crown (which NEEDS a HD remake one of these days!) KNOW these games are well worth the money for the artwork and lovely character designs alone.

Por ejemplo…

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Of course, the addictive gameplay will be a big draw as well and this one’s got drop-in multiplayer on PlayStation 3 or via adhoc network on PlayStation Vita. No Cross Play functionality might be a sore spot for some, but I say pick one version (or both) and enjoy either ride solo or with like minded friends who also love Vanillaware’s games for their always awesome art and stylish hack & slash action. Chalk up another winner for Atlus, I say!

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