Dragon’s Crown is a a 2D side-scrolling action RPG, which was developed by Vanillaware and published by NIS America in Europe (with Atlus publishing the title in all regions outside Europe). The game is an extremely enjoyable beat ’em up style side-scroller which has a lot of depth and detail. Some people may find the game mildly offensive, as some consider the game to have mild sexism, however, this is only in the art-style, and not in the actual plot or dialogue.

Many people who are familiar with Japanese culture will know that their manga art style often depicts women as having over-sized breasts while wearing little clothing. I did not find Dragon’s Crown in any way sexist, as the art style simply fits in with traditional Japanese art. Some people may find this offensive, however, other games have far more sexist content, deliberately delivered through the dialogue or plot. Dragon’s Crown, in my opinion, is not a sexist title.

Now that we have that out of the way, I can talk about the game itself. You begin, of course, by creating your own character from a variety of classes. You can then choose their appearance and clothing colour scheme and bestow them with a name. There are a variety of character classes, ranging from those aimed towards magic, from brawny fighters, to all round heroes. The variety ensures that all players are catered for with at least one combat style they have some interest in.

The 11-14 hour story (which can be GREATLY extended by spending time with extras, as with any respectable RPG) delivers a fun tale of crazy characters and charming environments. As you travel through the levels, the enemies vary greatly in design, combat-style and difficulty, which does a great job of keeping the game fresh. Dragon’s Crown does not disappoint at any stage of the story, and kept me hooked throughout the entire journey. Without a doubt, the game is a gratifying experience.

As you complete each level and boss fight, you will be given a certain number of experience points and a grade for each different element being tested, and these points will unlock different items of loot, but also allow you level up. As you level up, you will learn more combat moves and your abilities will improve and upgrade themselves. With each level you jump, your moves become more powerful and awesome in appearance.

The art style in the game is charming. The 2D world looks stunning, and each of the characters and enemies have been crafted with great intricacy and detail, so as to present a nostalgic side-scrolling adventure. The game stays true to its classic genre origins and offers something which is on par with original beat ’em up side-scrollers, with a lot more content to boot. The music is another fantastic element, complimenting the charm of the graphics and the formidable gameplay, to create an all-round fantastic title.

Without a doubt, if you are an RPG/2D Side-scroller/beat ’em up fan, you should get Dragon’s Crown. If you aren’t a particular fan of those genres, you should get Dragon’s Crown. The experience is something we haven’t seen in the gaming world in a while, and offers a fun experience which most will enjoy. While the price is a little high for the amount of hours in the main storyline, I feel it is worth it for fans of the genre(s).