April 26, 2013

Dragon Crystal - Ranking

Story & World

Ha ha ha, oh wow.  I'll give two bonus points for amusing me so, but really — it should be zero.  2/20

Character Development

The bare bones "development" system is hardly worth mentioning, so I won't.  You can just purge your cache of that last sentence, like I will.  I did find out in my post-endgame FAQing that there is a method of increasing the character's power through an exploit.  After being drained of a level by a creature, the character's power stays the same, only the maximum HP drops.  Retaining the power boost he initially got upon attaining the level, the character gets an additional boost when he regains the lost level.  Kind of a roundabout way to control the character's development, but it works.  Too bad I assumed the level drainers did power as well as HP.  Always check your numbers, Shen!

Discovering the abilities of the special items was fairly enjoyable and some had interesting effects, such as a rod that reshapes a monster into another type.  Sometimes it's tougher, sometimes it's not.  That's the risk involved whenever the character felt like he was in a pinch and needed an out.  Even more nerve-wracking was when he was in dire straits and his only option involved using items with unknown abilities (usually resulting in death anyway).  4/20

Combat & Monsters

The combat fares a little better due to the slight tactics involved when surveying a new room and deciding if the character can handle the monsters within.  There were also some situations when the character became more thief-like and quickly nabbed an item before the monsters could swarm him.  Still, compared to most roguelikes, there are slim pickings in the tactics department but it's still better than just ramming right into every creature.  Most monsters could detect the character regardless of his location and stayed out of his line-of-sight, forcing the character to engage in melee even if he did want the option to utilize the lame missile attacks.  5/20

Graphics & Sound

Not a whole lot of variation in the graphics but I suppose they are colourful enough.  There are a whopping four different graphics for the mazes; my favourite was the forest of mushrooms.  A colossal three songs (switching every ten levels) permeate the entire game and thankfully are fairly well done.  The song for the first ten levels in particular tickled my fancy (which was good since it's where I spent most of my time).  6/20

Gameplay

Roguelikes are usually delicacies reserved for the glorious PC master race and it shows here as this is the most watered-down, depthless roguelike I've ever played.  Pretty much everything that makes a roguelike fantastic is either missing or nerfed.  At least it kept the permadeath concept intact (even though I ruined that by save stating).  That being said, it still has some roguelike qualities which are enjoyable enough and might serve to be a good introduction to the genre (heh, you have to graduate to Rogue itself).  I look forward to seeing if any future games can manage to improve on this formula.  5/20

Final Ranking:  22/100