9.5
Our overall verdict "gold"

After a whole host of indie releases have graced the Vita, it’s now time for the monster that is Dragon’s Crown to sharpen its talons, spread those vast wings and land on European soil. Vanillaware’s sabre toothed release is let loose and finally scorches across our territories. You’ve heard how good it is, but not from us yet. Well I can tell you now, get ready to show more love for the Dragon’s Crown, as we have a raging monster on our hands. Dragon’s Crown is a 2D side scrolling beat ’em up role playing experience that could be deeper than the bible. Taking RPG elements, along with simple Streets of Rage brawling keep this magnificent game rolling throughout.

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Dragon’s Crown is a graphical feast. The detail, contours and colours here display hours of blood, sweat and tears. Each character is drawn like the artist’s life depended on it. You don’t simply look at these graphical marvels in front of you, you study them. There is more naked skin on show here than at the Playboy mansion. Selling the attributes of both men and women is definitely a heavy theme here – it’s a game, get over it.

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The adventure starts at the home base. Here you’ll find entrances to the Castle, The Adventures Guild and a whole host of other helpful places that you will need to visit regularly. The biggest focus in Dragon’s Crown is the combat. Advancing through caves, castles and woods see you encounter all kinds of foes. Along the way treasure can be looted, coins pocketed and bones collected. Taking these bones back to Canaan Temple sees you resurrect the dead, meaning those lucky ones can join you in battle. You can choose 3 following characters to join you in your quest, each with different strength and weaknesses. Each track taken leads you to an end of level boss. These are pretty ruthless and don’t take kindly to your attacks. There are nine areas in total. After time you unlock a different “B” path to each stage, so don’t think you’re going to fly through. At times the screen is a backdrop of flying bodies, fire and destruction. So much so that you will momentarily lose where you are or who you are. These moments are few and far between though and besides, the battles wouldn’t be as epic any other way.

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Being a side scrolling beat em up, don’t worry – there are no limp, sluggish movements across the Vita screen here. It’s super fast, agile gameplay all the way. Your chosen character can move quickly, with haste and all movements and actions are performed with incredible ease on the Vita. Everything Dragon’s Crown does, it does right. It breathes fiery new life into this type of genre.

AAA games on the Vita don’t come much bigger than this. Dragon’s Crown is a lavish, stunning and beautiful gaming experience. The story itself is narrated with such a warm spoken voice. Each sentence is delivered with such passionate sincerity that it genuinely keeps your attention throughout. The cut scenes also seamlessly merge together, adding to the engrossing journey. Like a Harry potter novel, you get totally lost in the whole experience and vocabulary.

As well as the main story, there are side quests that give even more depth. A simple click on the start button brings up the quests you have originally selected before you set out. Here you unlock stunning pieces of art. All are superbly illustrated, showing incredible depth and fine detail. They truly are works of art. If you’re wanting to bag all of the game’s trophies, then collecting 50 pieces of art is another story!

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Dragon’s Crown really does set the standard in graphical beauty and is the Vita’s finest looking game. It’s a game which you can pick up a couple of days later and get straight back into battle, but more importantly a game that will attract all different gaming types. More fun than the entire Walt Disney back catolog, Dragon’s Crown has depth, rewarding game play and offers a long gaming challenge.

The mighty one has arrived, its now time to show your love to the Dragon’s Crown!

Lizard rating 9.5/10