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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Drag-On Dragoon(ドラッグオンドラグーン)

I remember first trying Drag-On Dragoon (what non-Jhipsters call Drakengard) many years ago. Alas, I must have been too immature as a gamer because I thought it sucked hard donkey balls and promptly turned it off, back to collecting dust on my gaming shelf. That is, if I was allowed to have a gaming shelf instead of putting all my "unsightly" shit in my closet, safe from the eyes of would-be disgusted visitors by all the anime "porn". (Cero D, I assure you, but try telling that to the house guests!)

My game "room" except I'm not a cute imouto, just a regular ugly nerd with beard and fedora.
Ahem, anyways, as I was saying, I was one of those typical young gamers who cared about stupid shit like graphics, responsive controls, and a camera you could control to see what the hell you were doing. Obviously, today as a distinguished gamer connoisseur, with experience going back all the way to PC88, I have a much bigger tolerance for such trivial things. After all, such annoyances are nothing compared to playing an adventure game ALL IN KATAKANA.

So when I booted up Drag-On Dragoon again, the shitty graphics, a useless camera that snaps back, and repetitive gameplay did not bother me one bit. In fact, the repetition was almost kind of therapeutic in a way. Just press square until you see the yellow flash then press triangle. Repeat this exactly 56,195 times and you're good to go! If you're wondering where I came up with that number, the game helpfully tracks the number of times you attack just so you can see exactly how many times you've repeated this action like the brain-dead, zombie gamer that you are. Thanks for making me reflect on my useless life and destroying what little self-esteem I had, game!

Bad guys have the courtesy to stand around and wait just like your favorite kungfu movie
The game also felt extra tedious in the beginning because you're so weak. It takes forever to kill anything. But if you know to ignore the random people when you first start, you'll find it much easier to get started. Your weapons level up by the number of people you kill so you can replay the earlier missions and wipe up much faster when you're stronger later on.

And speaking of the weapons, I can kinda start to understand why people like pokemon so much because even though the gameplay is SUPER repetitive, I just HAD to collect all dem damn weapons. Of course, once you collect a weapon, then you have to kill several hundred people with it to level it up. You also unlock the weapon's story in pieces as you level it up to level 4. So yeah, it's like dynasty warrior pokemon except for the part where you're basically massacring thousands of people. Otherwise, it's totally the same.

The flying missions are a nice break, because they are pretty simple except for a few damn tough bosses. You can hold square to auto-target and the rest is just moving around and using L1/R1 to dodge projectiles. As for those boss fights, yeah, you need to learn their patterns and get good. There's nothing like that feeling of beating a tough boss with barely any health left after about 6 or 9 tries.

It's like Lair (PS3) except Lair has fucking amazing graphics compared to this and is also $2 at Gamestop.
Honestly, the two screenshots above cover pretty much everything you'll see in the game but in different environments. The story is pretty short, told in a mixture of short dialogues and even shorter movies. It's definitely not a long-winded visual novel style affair. The mature themes are very subtle so you won't be seeing anything too explicit but you will definitely see some umm... interesting ideas to say the least. It won't rub anything in your face though so you'll have to pay attention, especially no pafu-pafu that's for sure.

You won't be seeing any panchira or oppai in this one... well... at least not the kind you would want
As for the music, well you know how there was supposedly a riot at the performance of Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring in Paris? Ok gamers, you know umm... music and culture and stuff? Yeaaaaah, anyway google it if you're a philistine. But basically, the entire soundtrack is pretty much Rite of Spring, a constant assault on your ears. Not bad by any means but definitely veeeery uncomfortable.

There's more than 30 tracks of this stuff to torture yourself for your inner masochist

As a Jhipster, I'm not too familiar with whatever censorship that may have been put on this game for the English version since I always play the OG dope shit. Googling around, I was confused about the whole "Watchers" thing until I realized that was something they made up to remove any references to God. Oh you silly American Christians, lighten up will ya??

You may want to skip to the end if you want to avoid even the slightest hint of spoilers, but this is the first game I've played where every ending gets worse than the previous one. To give you an idea of how fucked things get, I was pulling my hair out because I could not for the life of me find a spear, even though the game said the chest containing said spear appeared. Turns out the game was lying to me and I had to kill ALL the giant babies to the north to make it appear. However, I had to go to work before I could try that so basically, I spent all day thinking about killing babies. Does that kind of give you an idea of the fuckedupedness? By the way, the English version calls them something else and not babies even though that's plainly what they are.

33,100 people killed, totally like Pokemon
Score: 3 still have no clue how this relates to Nier but don't fucking tell me goddamn internet spoiler nation out of 5 (34 hours to beat)

Overall, despite the crappy gameplay, or maybe even because of it, I really enjoyed my time with Drag-On Dragoon. The story, while not too detailed, was interesting and I couldn't wait to unlock the next ending. However, collecting all the weapons is pretty much impossible without a guide and the last stage was an absolute pain in the ass to beat (don't be ashamed of the pause button).

A very unique and interesting title but one I would still give an average score of 3. Definitely worth checking out but not what I would call a great game. I have NO IDEA why they would decide to change the name to Drakengard outside Japan. Drag-on is such a fucking accurate description AND when put together, it spells "Dragon". GENIUS!

0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

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