An Objective Review of Dragon’s Crown

I’ve been seeing a lot of controversy regarding the new Atlus/Vanillaware game, Dragon’s Crown.  Specifically, many people are unhappy with the review posted by notable gaming website Polygon which can be found here.  Personally, I found the review to be well-considered and fair, and it has not diminished my interest in the game.

However, we here at The Chaos Fold always seek to please you, dear reader.  So to make up for the perceived “bias” and lack of “objectivity” I have crafted the following, a completely objective review of Dragon’s Crown.

*ahem*

Dragon’s Crown is a piece of interactive software designed for the purposes of recreation and entertainment. It is available in two formats, one for the Sony PlayStation 3, and one for the Sony PlayStation Vita. It has been released in the Gregorian calendar year of 2013 AD/CE. Each version has slightly different controls, and while the PlayStation 3 version has higher resolution graphics and higher quality sound reproduction, the PlayStation Vita version can be played in a wide variety of locations and does not require the ownership of a “Television Set” peripheral.

Dragon’s Crown features combat between belligerents of varying shapes. These shapes are generally inspired by various western fantasy archetypes, and have a wide array of colors in them. Some of these archetypes are humanoid. Others are non-humanoid.

There are also animations, and visual effects generated by these characters. Sometimes this animation takes place during combat. Sometimes it does not. Sometimes this animation is triggered by player input, other times it is triggered by unseen scripting.

The game contains audio, some of which is represented in the form of sound effects, and some of which is musical in nature. There is also a good deal of text, which can be informative of gameplay systems or mechanics, or related to the game’s storyline.

The game has a storyline, with a beginning, middle, and end.

There is multiplayer, solo play, and solo play with AI-controlled allies. Allies, both AI-controlled and human-controlled attempt to be helpful. On occasion, they do not succeed.

The storyline is progressed by initiating combat with multiple enemies through a variety of environments, and succeeding in this task. There are various missions through which you can advance the primary storyline, and various other tangential missions that do not directly advance the primary storyline. Successfully completing missions will provide the player with rewards. Many missions culminate with combat against an enemy significantly larger and/or more powerful than previous enemies.

Players will use inputs on controllers to affect change within the game world.

Upon completion of the game, the game can be replayed.

Editorial note: The Chaos Fold’s review of Dragon’s Crown is based entirely on facts that literally anyone can acquire with or without playing the game.  No code was provided by Atlus or Vanillaware for this review and I am not being paid by anyone for this, or indeed for anything else.  If you require more detailed analyisis and critique of this game, we at The Chaos Fold urge you to seek out a professional video game reviewer whose opinions have historically aligned well with your own.  Note that any review obtained in this manner will not be objective, as media criticism is an inherently (and entirely) subjective.  Please see the companion piece, A User’s Guide to Media Reviews.

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Chaos.

Many people have asked me about the quote I bear as my standard, on the side there.  The reality/fantasy/chaos thing.  Yes.

Its origin was in the Applegeeks chatroom once upon a time, when I was discussing one of my many absolutely batshit ideas.  The one that gave rise to that?  A world domination plan.

Here’s how it works, I take massive doses of fertility drugs for years, and then impregnate a woman, manipulating the eggs to create psychic conjoined fiftuplets.  Not a typo, that’s 50 identical twins all conjoined at the brain.  After they burst Alien-style out of their mother’s shell, I will rear them as a weapon.  I will craft a machine to house them and their massive, massive head filled with the power of 50 brains.  It’s difficult you see because they’re not conjoined at the body, but the head, so giant skull with 50 brains, and 50 faces, and 50 bodies connected to it.  Needless to say being born to such a paragon of mental acuity as myself, they will be able to kill with their thoughts.  To keep them from turning against me I will implant them with behavioral modification before they leave the womb.  The conglomeration will be my slave.  I will drive them around on a massive robot of my design, meant to be impervious to all forms of modern weaponry.  They will proceed to assimilate all resistance around them, subjugating the entire world to my psychic freak and thus me.

I have other psychotic thoughts, but mortal man is incapable of processing more than one at once.  Look for more in the future!

International Politics + Gaming Forum = Hilarity

So I’m posting on boards.1up.com today, when I come across a thread that asks if it is right or wrong to play a game based on the Iraq war/GWoT.

Short answer, No.

Long answer, No, but that doesn’t mean developers will actually make them. As I intimated in the thread, those are dark and dangerous waters inhabited exclusively by things designed to kill you. Even a respectful game that takes an evenhanded look at both sides and tells a story with the utmost respect to everyone involved, that is to say, a perfectly done Iraq Game, would get endless flak from at least 20% of the population.

Why?

Politics. You can’t please anyone when it comes to this sort of politically-charged topic. Why have there been acres of World War 2 games and almost zero Vietnam War games? We all agreed on World War 2, and we can certainly all agree on its righteousness in retrospect. Well, everyone who isn’t a white supremacist that is. And the white supremacist demographic is a historically marginalized one in the field of global marketing and sales.

Vietnam and Iraq will never be suitable topics for game makers to approach with rationality, because the divisions are too deep and bitter. Revisionists will inevitably say the same thing about Iraq that they said about Vietnam after the fact. “We would have got the job done had we just stayed in there and got the job done!”

Its hard even for me to bring it up without falling into the political us v. them aspect of it all. There is nothing at all wrong with any aspect of making an Iraq game. It just isn’t good business.

P.S. How did that thread end, again? Yeah, someone called me a traitor. And then I laughed. Serious fucking business on this here internets.