Dragon’s Crown Pro:
If you’ve never played Dragon’s Crown and you love sidecrolling brawlers such as Streets of Rage, you can quit reading now. Go grab Dragon’s Crown Pro and have yourself one hell of a time – the genre doesn’t get better than this. If you’re a veteran returning for some extra DC goodness, hold your horses and read on to see if Pro is worth the double dip.
Dragon’s Crown is still the same button-mashing-fun it was five years ago. There’s a bevy of characters each boasting their own in-depth skill trees to unlock and master, there are loads of stages to go out and earn new loot and EXP in and a whole suite of incredibly designed enemies who are looking to blunt your sword/axe/staff upon their skulls.
Working as a side-scrolling beat ’em up, Dragon’s Crown tasks you and up to three mates with entering levels, clearing them out of a multitude of legendary threats – from lizardmen to harpies and even dragons (of course) – and get stronger doing so. You can unlock awesome new powers when you put in enough hard graft and buy and sell gear in an effort to give you the edge.
This is truly a port, however, rather than a remake or even re-release – but that turns out to be a good thing. You can drag across any progress you made in the original PS3 or Vita release so you don’t have to lose anything you previously accomplished. It even boasts cross-platform play so you can still throw down with your mates even if they haven’t upgraded.
There isn’t any new content to speak of, which is a bummer, and this complete cross compatibility does mean that the title shares its trophy list with those older releases. I’d have loved to collect a whole new set of trophies, but if it’s the price we have to pay for such impressive cross-system compatibility then it’s a worthy sacrifice. Regardless, the action was addictive back in 2013 and it’s just as killer here. Dragon’s Crown Pro does little to the core gameplay, instead opting to polish the title for a new audience as much as possible.
The visuals have always been one of Dragon’s Crown’s strongest selling points. With beautiful, over the top character designs and the most fluid 2D animation I’ve seen in a videogame, Dragon’s Crown sings visually. The Pro update brings gorgeous 4K visuals (as long as you’ve got a PS4 Pro, fittingly) and these are truly something to behold.
The effects also seem spruced up but I can’t be entirely sure if that’s just the 4K bringing out their originally-intended magic. Regardless, it’s the best the game has looked (and is likely to look for the foreseeable future). I’m amazed that all of these assets were able to scale so well to such ludicrous resolutions, but I’m thrilled with the result.
The soundtrack has also been completely re-orchestrated to wonderful effect. The score is a much more full-bodied experience now. If you were absolutely smitten with the original, however, don’t fret: you can choose to play the original music over the new stuff should you desire.
“Dragon’s Crown Pro” is a killer game that should be a no brainer for anyone who managed to miss it the first time round. It’s full of frantic, over-the-top action that doesn’t let up, and it quickly becomes a very addictive beast. The new 4K resolution and orchestrated soundtrack are undoubtedly desirable bells and whistles, but the core gameplay here remains the cherry on the hack-and-slash sundae. Whether you want to check it out for the first time or are feeling the itch to come back after a hiatus, you can’t beat this new, improved Pro version.