My Dragon’s Crown experience had two sides at E3 2013. I not only got to experience the PS3 version at Atlus’ booth, but I also experienced the Vita version at Sony’s booth. Call me crazy, but I had to try out both. I’m a VanillaWare nut and have been anticipating this game, so I wanted to see as much as possible. Both demo’s content was the same, the heroes are journeying through a dungeon to eventually reach and slay a Harpy, but the experience was different in both.
I’ll start with the PS3 demo, since that was my first experience with Dragon’s Crown. In this case, I was cast as Kerling, the female, elfen archer, while I played with four other people, who were placed in roles of a knight, sorcerer and sorceress over local co-op. After a brief tutorial, in which we were taught how to jump, use strong and weak attacks, and pick up items, we were sent into a dungeon. Though, admittedly, a good part of that familiarizing was spent with the four of us beating each other up.
Kerling is interesting, in that she is a long ranged character who has a limited number of ammo. She has 15 arrows, and once those are shot off, she must reclaim them by grabbing them off the ground to fire more arrows. She does have a kick attack that can be used in a pinch, but she isn’t as strong as the other characters and can’t really take a hit very well. It was an interesting experience, especially in co-op, as I really had to sit back and assist other characters, rather than charging into the fray. When it comes to brawlers, I go for in-your-face characters, so I had to completely adjust my approach.
In the Vita demo, I ended up playing as another long-range character, Dragon’s Crown‘s sorceress. She has a MP number of 300, and using her spells will lower that number. Say I send off an energy blast or spawn a tornado. That uses MP. If she runs out, I had to either hold down a light attack button to recharge, or attack enemies short range with that same light attack to refill her MP. The mechanic seems practical, and is definitely a balancing move. Actually, I can say that for both characters. If Kerling and Gerda didn’t have arrows and MP, then I could easily see people going for those two and the sorcerer for their awesome long range capabilities.
In addition, the Vita Dragon’s Crown demo was a solo experience. Despite that, I wasn’t alone. Gerda was aided by the sorcerer character, who was controlled by the computer. The AI seemed remarkably competent, as he only died during the Harpy boss battle. I can’t fault it for that though, as I nearly died during the Harpy boss fight as well. I also came across body of another fallen hero in the dungeon, and learned if I “rescued” him, it would allow me to request his aid.
In both Dragon’s Crown demos, I learned that Randy the thief tags along with the party. He isn’t playable, but instead comes in to unlock treasure chests or doors to additional paths. In the PS3 version, using the left analog stick directs him to a chest or door to unlock, while the Vita version uses the touch screen for this function.
I have to say though, Vita won in one respect when it came to the Dragon’s Crown demos. The game looked much prettier and more vibrant on the handheld. I did like the bigger picture on the PS3 demo, but it seemed so much deeper and detailed on the Vita. I suppose that’s the trade-off. You get a smaller screen, but it will look great on it.
Dragon’s Crown comes to the PS3 and Vita on August 6, 2013. The PS3 version is $49.99, while the Vita version is $39.99. Either way, it could end up being the new Guardian Heroes of our generation, and that isn’t a bad thing.
Just have a sense of humor if you play as the sorceress. Especially since, when she runs, she holds her hands on top of her head and leads with her bust. Honestly, I found it more comical than offensive, but some people may not like seeing that degree of fanservice in their game.
Site [Dragon’s Crown]